Saturday, January 3, 2015

2014 Recap

Hi all. Remember me?

You'll have to excuse my lack of posts these last few months but I have been in a hole. A dark and self loathing hole. Meredith, captain of my Swim Bike Mom Ambassador Team, recently wrote about this exact same thing, only she refers to it as her "cave". You can read about it here. Yep, that's exactly where I've been.....

I'll get into the specifics at a later time but all you need to know right now is that I'm back! Clawed myself out of that untrained, feeling-sorry-for-myself, eating/drinking too much hole and have found the motivation to get back on the training wagon and focus on new goals. BOOM!

I wanted to provide a little year in review for ya'll but since I haven't done much in the last few months, besides thoroughly enjoying the holidays that is, I'll just point you to my Blogaversary post where I basically did just that! Instead, let's take a look at my 2014 race schedule (since I did not set specific goals last year) and what did/did not happen. 

Time - 32:12

Yep - super slow but the course was kinda hilly and I was waaaay out of shape. Still a great way to start off the new year and had lots of fun running with friends.

Time - 1:38.59

Hard course with over 482 feet in elevation gain (not much on the bike but challenging for 9 miles in a pair of Brooks) and where I proceeded to injure my right ilio spoas sending me to rehab for over 3 months. Great accomplishment and many lessons learned. 

Time - 1:18.14 (course error)

Despite the hip injury I completed in my first tri of the season. Taking place on the OSU campus this was a gorgeous race where I got to meet fellow SwimBikeMoms and where 9 miles into the bike,  I found myself face down in gravel with what would end up being a sprained elbow/wrist. Out of the pool for 8 weeks and back to rehab.  

4/13 - Blooms to Brews Half Marathon
Didn't end up registering for this race due to my previous hip injury.

5/10 -  Oregon Dunes Triathlon, Olympic
Registered but did not race as I was still nursing the elbow/wrist sprain.

Time - 6:45.

With a goal of 7:30 you can say that I was pretty happy with these results. The whole Ironman brand was such an amazing experience. We spent 4 days in Boise, rented a house where my brother's family, mom and aunt were able to join us and just made a little vaca out of it. Racing with my bro was the highlight of the weekend. Though I did struggle with yet another injury (strained calf the week before) and had to walk at least half of the 13 miles, I was so amazed at how good I felt overall and what my body was capable of doing. Needless to say it was all the fuel I needed to get that 140.6 fire burning.

8/4 - Mid Summer Triathlon, Sprint
Did not register for.

9/21 - Portland Triathlon, Sprint (maybe Olympic?)
Did not register for - replaced with the Gorgeous Relay

12 - Foot Traffic Holiday Half Marathon
Did not register for and I completely regret it now.

Additions to the Schedule:

Time - 1:23.42

Probably one of the funnest races I have ever participated in  - and my times reflected just that, PR'ng in each event. Not only was I able to introduce The Kid to his first tri (which he ended up loving and wanting to do more) but I also won 2nd place in my age group!! 

No official time

My first relay - 6 teammates, 60 miles, way too hot but loads of fun. My last official race of the year.

11/15&16 -  Ironman Arizona - Volunteer

I am embarrassed to admit that I have yet to post about my volunteer time in AZ. With it being such an inspirational experience I promise to give you a little recap soon. After all, this is where I met a bunch of fellow SBM Army members, reunited with an old friend and registered for 2015 for crying out loud!! That dang hole......

So yes, while the past year did contain some great accomplishments, it was kind of riddled with injuries and I wasn't able to really compete as healthy as I would have liked. In addition, I am a bit disappointed in the amount of races that I did not participate in simply due to my own lack of motivation and fear. I've had a lot of time to reflect on this while in my "hole" and am ready to go into the next season with a new game plan. One that I know will prove successful. More to follow........

All this being said I am so looking forward to 2015 and all the amazing opportunities that have been laid out before me! I'm still in the process of setting new goals, both personal and tri related and will share with you all next week - but one thing I do know for sure, being part of the 2015 Swim Bike Mom Ambassador Team is going to be an unforgettable experience. Over the course of this next year I will dedicate each and every one of my workouts to the women that make up this team and their inspirational stories.

Its good to be back

Cheers, Bec

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weekly Recap and a Giveaway Winner!

Fall is in the air and this gal is happy!

Got out for a few runs last week (though not as many as I should have) as the weather was perfect! Fall is definitely my favorite time of the year to run – the air is cool enough to wear compression tights, I can do most of my running without sunglasses and the air is filled with wonderful smells as folks start lighting up their fireplaces for the first time. 

Monday – 3 mile hilly run

The Kid has had swim practice at a different pool the past three weeks, which has given me a great opportunity to check out new routes. 4 miles of rolling hills in one of the prettiest neighborhoods around. It got pretty dark about half way but I loved the view! Something about a different environment always makes a run so much more enjoyable.

Tuesday – Shoulda...woulda...coulda......didn't.  :/

Wednesday – Had my running gear on and just couldn't push myself out of the door. Dealing with a bit of stress at work this last week so finding the motivation to work out vs. flopping down on the couch with a big ol glass of wine has been hard. I am a routine gal and once I get thrown off that horse for a few months it is so hard to get back on. Give me a full week of consistency and I will be back in full beast mode..........promise.

Thursday – 4 mile trail run

It was a struggle, not gonna lie. I wanted to quit at mile 3 and just pack it in but thankfully my mind refused and I kept chuggin along. Looks like I missed most of the fall colors though - the trail was primarily brown with a little bit of green still holding on. One thing I love about Oregon is how green it actually does stay throughout the winter months - can't keep those pine trees down!

Friday – Can we just skip, Friday? Wine + couch was just about all I could muster.

Sat – IM Kona World Championships!

So I literally spent ALL day on my couch glued to my iPod/computer screen watching the live feed of the Ironman World Championships in Kona, HI. Although November's televised recap does a better job of capturing most all of the field as well as including those inspiring age grouper stories, I do love being able to follow right along with every step of the race. All 17 hours of it!
The broadcast was awesome and the race itself super exciting. Germany’s Sebastian Kienle, took 1st for the men with a time of 8:14:18, never once wavering. While Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae (ultimate lady beast!) took first in the female Pro field at 9:00:55 by absolutely CRUSHING IT on the run, overtaking Daniela Ryf in the last 4 miles. Holy crap was that an amazing thing to see! Rinny came off the bike in 15th place and ran her marathon in just 2:50:26 to take home the win and another female run-record. Two freakin’ hours and fifty minutes?!! Are you out of your mind?!! All so crazy inspiring.

Here are the top 10 final standings......not a bad showing from the US!

Sitting there watching Kona all day got me in the mood to finish up my own Ironman plans. Finally booked my flight and reserved my hotel/car for next month’s volunteering weekend at IM Arizona. Step #2 towards IMAZ 2015 is complete!  Wohoo!  What’s even more exciting is the fact that quite a few of my fellow SwimBikeMom teammates will be there volunteering as well – some even racing! Can’t wait to meet everyone and help cheer on all the amazing athletes.

Sunday – Football, football, football. I admit it – I’m a sucker for the NFL and am going to have a very hard time making time for s/b/r on Sundays this winter. Especially since my Chargers are doing so well! I sense many rides inside on the trainer happening these next few months…......

With week 1 of my half marathon training complete over, I'll admit that it’s been very hard getting back into the routine of things. I spent some time on Sunday re-evaluating my mental state and have and already started off week 2 with a new attitude and a desire to get back at it. 4 mile run yesterday – with an av pace of 9:20 (booyah!) and 1 hour scheduled on the trainer for tonight. Right now it's a daily reminder that I am the only one responsible for what happens with my training - using "life" as an excuse is no excuse at all.

Before I go I’m excited to announce that Natalee Webb has won Tri-ing The Best I Can’s first giveaway contest!! Congrats on your new 3 pack of Lock Laces, Natalee! I know you’re going to love them as much as I do!!

Thanks to all those who participated and be on the lookout for more fun giveaways in the future!

~  Cheers, Rebecca

How do you get back into routine after taking some time away from your fitness norm?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

1 Year Blogiversary!

Today marks Tri-ing The Best I Can's 1 year Blogiversary! Whoop whoop! 

While this blog was primarily created as a way to track my Half Ironman training, I've actually fallen in love with the blogging world and those within this community and don't plan on stopping any time soon! So let's take a stroll down memory lane and look at all the injuries fun I had these past 12 months! And be sure to read through to the end for a little giveaway treat!

October 2013

10/7/13 saw the creation of Tri-ing The Best I Can with my very first blog post! Followed by one of my favorite fall trips to Hood River, OR for fruit harvesting and delicious brew tasting. Oh yeah, and a few additional posts about the lack of motivation.....(I sense a recurring fall theme)

November 2013

November had me in full training mode for my very first half marathon! Lots of running and even more experimenting with forms of motivation! P and I did get up to Mt Hood for a quiet Thanksgiving in the mountains too.....ahhh....makes me smile just thinking about it.

December 2013

Completed my first 13.1 miles and P, his second 5k, at The Holiday Half!! And in what would prove to be 'The Year of Pain', I ended up injuring my right calf. Oh, mustn't forget that I also learned exactly what NOT to wear if you want to look decent in race pictures. Whoever convinced me that running shorts over full tights was a good look needs to be slapped! Um, no. Take my word for it, they.were.bad.

Can't forget to mention one of the happiest moments of December - P and I got engaged!! Hallelujah, the "Three Amigos" are finally going to be legit!

January 2014

Officially completed week 1 of my 20 week Boise, 70.3 Half Ironman training plan AND became a Sweat Pink Ambassador!

February 2014

Hired Brett, of PTS Sports and Meredith of Swim Bike Mom as my virtual 70.3 coaches and joined the SwimBikeTrain 70.3 online group! Not once did I regret that decision. Completed The Worst Day of The Year 5k and quickly realized I need to incorporate more hill work into my training. However, the post race McMenamins beer and lentil soup more than made up for a sluggish run.

March 2014

March was brought to you by another episode of The Portland Shamrock Run and the letter "F"! This time I conquered a tremendously hilly 15k and - enter another episode of 'The Year of Pain'. Yep, you guessed it,  injured my hip - which would put me into PT for 3 months and continue to be a nag for the rest of the year. All in the midst of weeks 6-9 of IM Boise training. Joy!

April 2014

Lots of crazy this month.

Meg!!! (green jacket)

I participated in my first 'Tri Talk Tuesday' link up where we discussed open water swimming and had an amazing Retul bike fit which helped me to get through many a 3+ hour trainer rides without the usual lady part pain.

I continued to jam through four more weeks of IM Boise training and then had an awful bike accident during my first tri of the season at The Beaver Freezer, adding a sprained elbow/wrist to my ever growing PT bill. I did get to meet fellow SwimBikeMom, Meg, and even had a surprise visit from my bestie (that's her in the pic with the OSU beaver) to help celebrate my birthday weekend! Accident aside it was an outstanding month!

May 2015

May took The Kid and I to Chicago to visit my pops and see my little sister graduate from High School. I also reviewed my second TriBox which would contain one of my favorite products - the Mino! So a quick visit to Chi-town and lots and lots of training.

Oh yeah, and The Kid graduated from Middle School and I officially become an old lady! :)

June 2014

One guess - Ironman Boise 70.3 baby!! 

One amazing trip out to Boise, ID where my family was able to see both my brother and I complete our first Half Ironman ! Too much good stuff to try and fit into a brief description so I'll direct you to my race recap for all the awesome details! Link to Recap #1 here and #2 here!

July 2014

The Kid and I raced The Girlfriends and Dudes Triathlon together where I  promptly PR'd my sprint distance by over 12 minutes  for a total time of 1:23:42 AND won 3rd place in my age group! The kid himself kicked major booty in his age group (though not a timed or placed event) and decides that yes, he loves this triathlon stuff and is ready for more next year!

August 2014

I FINALLY got around to recapping July's race....then went into some serious post race blues. High School started up for The Kid and I started floundering for another race to register for. (expensive motivational tool)

September 2014

I decided to start commuting into work a few days a week and participate in the BTA Bike Commute Challenge........

I visited my sister and new baby niece in So Cal whom I immediately nickname, Smooshy (is she not the most adorable thing ever?!!), and stay long enough to witness my SD Chargers kick some Seattle Seachicken butt!!!........

I ran my first 60 mile/6 person Gorgeous Relay with team Chafing The Dream!!

And to getting engaged and completing my first Half Ironman, I get some of the most exciting news of the year and am asked to join the 2015 Swim Bike Mom Ambassador Team!!!!!


 Needless to say, this last year has given me a multitude of fun things to blog about and being able to share all of my adventures with YOU has been the best part about it! So, in celebration of the hours I've spent writing, and as a thank you for the time you've spent following and all your kind and encouraging comments,  I'd like to do a giveaway. That's right, a little1 year Blogiversary present for you!

You've heard me mention how much I adore Lock Laces, right? How about a 3 pack to enjoy?!!

Enter the giveaway below and make sure to tell your buddies about it too! The contest will end on Sunday, 10/12 at midnight!

Thanks again and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Ultimate Coffee Date

It's time for my first installment of The Ultimate Coffee Date! On the first Saturday of each month I'll be participating in a link up hosted by Jill at, Nikki at and Lynda at This is a great chance to let ya'll know what's been going on in my non-training life.

So grab a cup of jo, your coziest blanket and settle in - we've got some catching up to do!

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you....that I am so excited that fall has finally arrived here in the PacNorthwest! It has been uncharacteristically warm this summer so I am welcoming these cooler temps. Fall is my favorite time of the year by far. I get to break out the boots, scarves, scented candles, curl up with my blankets, get my football on and drive up through the Gorge for our annual fruit picking, beer tasting and romance boosting adventures.

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you....that P and I are finally sending out our Save The Date wedding magnets this weekend! We have most of the major wedding planning items taken care of (venue, catering, photographer) and are actively working on our music play list. No DJ for us - we're taking the iPod route so we can have full control of what get's played. Music is much too important to the both of us. 6-21-15 can't get here fast enough!!

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you....that I am going to attempt to make a soup recipe this weekend that is so incredibly bad for you but oh so worth it! Anyone else like the Zuppa Toscana from Olive Garden? That delicious combination of Italian sausage, kale, potatoes and cream? Oh man, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. P isn't that big of a fan so that means The Kid and I get to! Here's the link to the recipe I'll be using. It has some pretty great reviews:  Zuppa Toscana. YUM! (I know there's a healthier version out there but we're going to indulge a little this time around)

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you....I am seriously overwhelmed with my 2015 race schedule! Deciding on what courses/distances I want to race next year is the easy part - it's coming up with all these entry fees that is killing me! And since so many races sell out within a few weeks of registration opening, I am struggling. And it's not even 2015 yet for crying out loud!! Ugh....

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you....that I am totally creeped out by those Direct TV commercials with the gorgeously amazing Rob Lowe and his nastier alter ego. You know the ones? Never aging Rob Lowe talks about all the great things he can do with his Direct TV and then the creepy Rob Lowe says the same about his basic cable? I mean, really....that's just cruel!! It is kind of hard to make Rob Lowe look ugly though...and I right?! :)

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you....since triathlon season is officially over for me, I've decided to do the Holiday Half Marathon again this December and am back in training mode. Really hoping to bring my time down to 2:10 but more importantly I need a goal to keep me active over the fall. So it's gonna be a lot of running, yoga and weights over the next 3 months. Time to get back after it.

If we were having coffee this morning I'd tell you....that I'm coming up on my 1 year blogiversay! Last year I had this crazy idea to start blogging about my triathlon training as a way to help keep me accountable and keep those around me sane. Too much training talk can drive even the most beloved family members crazy. So on October 7, 2013 I hit the publish button and Tri-ing The Best I Can was born! And as a thank you for all your support this last year, I will be doing a fun giveaway nest week so stay tuned!

Thanks for reading and hanging out for a few. Please head on over to our host's pages so you can discover and support the other bloggers who have linked up. We're a close family, here in the social media fitness world, and are always looking to meet new folks with the same goals.

Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you've been up to! Have a wonderful weekend!

~ Cheers, Rebecca

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Gorgeous Relay 2014 - Race Recap

Last weekend I had the pleasure of running my first relay race. The Gorgeous Relay – a 60 mile, 6 person race starting from the Columbia River Gorge and ending at Base Camp Brewery in downtown Portland.


Some of you may be aware of a much bigger relay that is held in Portland every August – it is quite an event with thousands showing up to participate each year from all over the country. With over 1,000 (12 member/2 van) teams, you can imagine the cluster that can be the Hood 2 Coast (H2C) relay. I've heard some pretty awesome yet exhausting reviews about the race though and am currently on a team that is hoping to make it into next year’s lottery (because that’s the only way you can register for the darn thing!)

The Gorgeous Relay is quite the opposite of H2C with a max of 80 (6 member/1 van) teams. With 3 friends from work and 2 more outside of the office, I knew we had put together a strong yet super fun team. The relay is only in its second year, and at the moment is not a timed event nor are there prizes awarded for place. This race was all about having fun while doing what you love.

Meet, "Chafing The Dream"......

6 runners, 60 miles, 1 van and lots and lots of sweat. :)

Bright and early Sunday morning (have I ever mentioned how much I HATE Sunday races? My body needs a day off before having to go back into the office - just brutal) most of us met up at the finish line, piled ourselves and bags of gear into our SUV and drove about an hour away to the starting line. It was a rolling start based on estimated 10k times that we had previously turned in, so our team was set to go at 8:10am. It was a bit windy that morning, and although we could have really used the breeze later on, it died down pretty quick.

Check the team in, take a potty break and it's time to roll.

Leg 1 - The Start. Goooooo, Christa!

The start! Go Krista Go!

Eric - By far the fastest, kindest, and craziest ball of energy I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. This guy is nuts and just plain awesome. 

Leg 2 - 5.44 miles - Me!

I started out ok, feeling energized and strong.....3 miles in and body was like, "Say whaaaaatttt???" - I hit a bit of a climb. Not bad, sure.... for someone who has been keeping up with their miles. Me, on the other hand...ouch. Up one hill and back down the other. Hi Rebecca, meet mile 4.2 and it's lovely set of stairs.

Oh, joy.

Again, shouldn't have been that big of a deal but after already running 4 miles, 150 feet of stairs is not my idea of a good time. Oh well, #justkeepmovingforward as Meredith, SwimBikeMom, would say. 5.44 and I was done! One leg down and 1 more to go.

Leg 3 - Go Eric, you crazy fast, 6:30 min/mile guy go!

Leg 4 - Go Becky...up Multnomah Falls and back down again, go!

Leg 5 - Go Marky go!

By leg 6 the team had climbed up to the top of the Gorge with the temp slowly creeping up behind. By the end of the race we would be at 90 degrees. Oh the humanity! Laura completely dominated this climb though - 600 feet for 3 miles. She clearly rocks.

Laura on leg 6 being the bad ass that she is!

Leg 7 - One more, Christa - you got this!

Leg 8 - 5.2 miles - Me again!

Thank goodness most of this leg was downhill because it was starting to get HOT! After spending the last 3 hours driving/riding in the van, my legs were not happy campers at this point and I felt it at mile 3. My route pretty much took us all the way back down from leg 6 at the top of the Gorge. Running downhill can seem easy while you're doing it, but the hip (the very same one I injured during this year's Shamrock Run) started to complain and with the sun was barreling down (have I whined enough yet - sheesh!) I was ready to be over. Thankfully I had my handy Nathan water bottle with me - so no worries about hydration. After what seemed to take an eternity I made to the next hand off.

Leg 9 - Go, Eric - we know you want to break 6:30's but it's way too hot out there so you'll just have to settle for 6:50. (nuts!)

Leg 10 - Go, Becky! 3 miles on your old route, you got this!

Leg 11 - Go, Mark go! Wait? What? You don't want to take any water with you on your 6 mile run? You're nuts dude, take my water bottle!

Our mascot - GoPro!

Leg 12 - There she goes again. Go Laura! Anyone who can manage that 6th leg deserves to run in at the finish line!

So at about 6pm or so, (I did a horrible job of tracking time and even my own pace during this race - too many logistics to think about), Laura rounded the corner and made her way up the street. In true team fashion, all 6 members of Chaffing the Dream met her with 50 yards to go and crossed that finish line together!

Did I mention how crazy energized my teammate, Eric was? The dude could barely sit still! All his running around certainly paid off for us though - here is a video he put together from the footage he took on his GoPro. By far the highlight of our day!


Pic of the finish line as we waited to cross!

Cause nothing says, "We did it!" like a carved wood finisher's medal and a pint glass of beer.

Even with my lack of training and the heat, this was such a fun day. I would highly suggest finding a relay to participate in. So nice having a team of support in the midst of all that torture. ;)

Here are a few of my take-a-ways on running a relay:
  • Bring way more water than you think you need. Someone is bound to forget theirs.
  • Bring a change of clothes for each leg + and an extra for the after party
  • Baby wipes! It's amazing how a quick "cleaning" session can make you feel like a new person.
  • Towels - because no one wants your sweat stank on the seat of their new SUV
  • Rollers! Because you'll spend most of your day cramped up in a car, being able to stretch out and roll your legs is super helpful.
  • Bring good snacks - for recovery and in between. We were on the road running from hand off to hand off for about 10 hours. That's a long time to go between solid meals. I brought a few peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a huge bag of potato chips - all that salt was definitely welcomed.
  • Sunscreen! 
  • Plastic bags - you'll have a TON of sweaty smelly stuff to store from start to finish. 
  • Extra energy bars, gels etc. I brought a whole bag of goodies/swag that I had collected during this year's race season and barely had anything left by the end of the day!

~ Cheers, Rebecca

Have you ever done a relay?
What was your favorite part?