Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 Holiday Half Marathon - Race Recap

"Oh what fun it is to run 13.1 miles on a strained calf, HEY!"

Let me start off by confirming that 12 weeks of training paid off tremendously. Besides a little set back in the form of a strained right calf muscle (more on that), I would have to say my first half marathon was a total success! I'm still reeling from the fact that this "non-runner" was able to run 13.1 miles without stopping - it was definitely a mind over matter kinda race and I am stoked to know that my mind is becoming strong enough to overcome certain obstacles - will definitely be a must need for Ironman.

P (who was doing the 5k) and I got up around 5am, had my usual race day breakfast of peanut butter toast and a cup of coffee and was out the door and on our way to downtown Portland by 6am. Race day morning for running events are so much easier than triathlon. Nothing to remember but your bib number and a few gel packs. No bags to prep, checklists to review or equipment to verify - definitely helps with nerves.

The Holiday Half and 5k is put on by Foot Traffic and  is relatively new, only in it's 4 year. The start and finish are both on the Adidas corporate campus - great venue but unfortunately in a few more years will not be able to hold so many people. But, since the campus is located in a residential neighborhood, they did offer shuttle service from a local parking lot ($5 and worth every penny - I would highly recommend for next time). We got there so stinkin' early that we made the very first shuttle. Without knowing exactly what to expect we didn't want to run into any issues - better to have an extra hour of stretch and much needed toitty time! The weather was awesome - 43 degrees and just a very light drizzle at times - kept my body temp very happy.

(Adidas was kind enough to provide their gym for a warm place to stretch and listen to some holiday music - yay for Christmas themes - LOVE IT!)

After a good hour (told you we got there early) of stretching we headed outside to join the masses. With the 5k starting 15 min after the half, I gave P a hug, wished him well and made my way towards the starting line ....where the heck is the starting line?! The place was packed so I kinda just squeezed in where I could. No harm no foul.

And I was off! 13.1 miles of running and whatever you do, Rebecca, don't stop! Miles 1-2 were easy enough, found a pretty good pace and tried my best to navigate my way through the crowd and narrow streets.

Then mile 2 hit.......OUCH!!

Crap! It was my darn right calf again! 11 more miles of this? Are you freaking kidding me??!!!

You see, two days prior I had jumped on the treadmill to finish my last easy run. About 20 minutes in I felt a sharp pain shoot up the outside of my right calf. I figured it was probably just a tight muscle so I hopped off and spent a good 5 minutes stretching. Got back on and within seconds the calf was on fire again. I was pretty pissed. Besides dealing with that tendon issue due to my laces being too tight, I had virtually stayed injury free through my entire 12 weeks of training. And now, two days before the race and I pull a calf muscle? This has got to be a joke....So I spent most of Saturday (after all the Christmas shopping), stretching, icing and elevating. Hoping and praying that by Sunday morning I would at least be able to "get through" the it at a snails pace.

But no, mile 2 of the race and my calf fired up again leaving me in a bit of a pickle - continue to run and possibly, depending on the extent of the injury, do significant damage to the muscle OR stop at mile 3 and call it good. My first half marathon...this non-runner's first real distance race possibly ending with a DNF?!!! For those of you who know me well, know that quitting was NOT an option. I considered stopping for all of two seconds...and after the next mile passed and the next, and the next, my mind eventually went into BEAST MODE and the throbbing was all but forgotten over the next 8 mile or so.

So I ran, taking in a GU pack and some water at miles 5 and 9 - and am happy to report no intestinal issues whatsoever!! My energy was outstanding and I never felt the need to stop and walk - not once! The course was relatively flat, winding through cute little neighborhoods and right by Portland State University. And as it was in a section of Portland I have never been to, did a great job of keeping my mind occupied. I only had my trusty Timex on - no gps- so figured I was clocking somewhere between 10:30 - 11 min miles. Not nearly as fast as I was hoping for, but given the circumstances was satisfied with just being able to run the whole way.

By mile 11 things started to slow down and my body questioned why in the world I was doing this in the first place. I just kept reminding myself that with each step I was running farther than I ever have before - that proved to be motivation enough to keep my legs moving! P was a sweetheart and was waiting on the side about 100 yards to the finish cheering me on. He finished his 5k much early and had already enjoyed his free beer and post race festivities while waiting for me to come hobbling along. I crossed the finished with mixed emotions - a smile for the gratitude and pride I felt in accomplishing the race and a few tears for these same reasons, along with the fact that the numbness had worn off and the pain I had been ignoring the past two hours had made itself very present once again.

Time - 2:20:03
Pace - 10:41
Place - 1612 out of 2505

Needless to say I was very happy to be done and unfortunately didn't want to stay for the post race activities - rather P and I made a beeline for the shuttle and was home in 25 minutes! I was able to find my work buddy, Laura (Rock Star marathoner!) before we left and met a few of her running group buddies. Always nice to see a familiar face in the crowd!

Anyway, drama aside it was a great morning and has definitely boosted my confidence in being able to finish the run portion of June's 70.3. I do plan on mixing in another HM some time in April in order to keep my base full - but now it's time to take a short break, rehab the calf, enjoy the Christmas holiday and research 70.3 training plans - WOOT!

And if I'm not back on here before then, here's wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas! I hope Santa brings you everything on your list!

Dear Santa,
                                         I want a Garmin 910XT, a new RoadID, new wheels, waterproof iPod Shuffle, a few paid entry fees for 2014.....................

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Taper - To Love or Not to Love

Happy post-Thanksgiving bloat everyone! 

Wow, has it been awhile or what?! Sorry for my lack in posting these past two weeks - with the Christmas holiday fast approaching and so many activities already under our belt, I guess I just got carried away with all the hustle and bustle. It's crazy how quickly time flies by......

Thanksgiving was at an odd time of the month this year wasn't it? It came, went and then BAM!, we were into December! Nuts...anyway, the Kid went up to Washington to spend the holiday weekend with his dad's family so P and I rented a cozy little cabin up on Mt Hood for a few days. And what a blessing it was...despite the fireplace not working - boooo!

We spent the weekend enjoying delicious foods, wines, football and snuggling with our pups. I did manage to get in one run while on the mountain - bright and early on Thanksgiving morning so in a way it was my own one man Turkey Trot! :) What a difference a thousand feet or so can make on your lung capacity though! I only had 4 or so miles scheduled but I'll tell ya it took at least 2 to get my breathing under control. So glad I got my butt up and made it outside - couldn't think of a better venue to spend some quality foot to road time.

Now that we're a good week into December, I can officially say that tapering has commenced!! Got my last long run in on the Sunday after Thanksgiving and am sailing right along. (P.S. 11 miles after a holiday weekend filled with booze does NOT bode well for your digestive system. Needless to say I am very thankful for the port-a-potties that were available on my route - gah) Lesson learned!

Funny thing about taper weeks - you look sooooooooooo forward to them until they hit. Then your mind starts playing tricks, trying to convince you that you're no where near prepared. And your body? It's starts talking all kinds of, "How does that knee feel? crappy, I know.....and about that left hip? Hurts, don't it?". Your immune system plummets and that inevitable cold sets in. You become stupidly emotional, your patience wears very thin and the fun experience of Christmas tree shopping turns into a tear stained soap opera with drama around every corner....

....oh wait.... that last part just me? ;)

Haha - in all seriousness, it is a funny thing, taper week - gets me every time. But FEAR NOT! For I have my first half marathon....13.1 miles of  what is currently forecasted as 46* and possible rain to conquer on Sunday! 12 weeks of prep has come to end and I am pleased with my progress so far. Having been born with fins (not really...that would be creepy), I've come to find out that this fish isn't so bad on land after all! Looking forward to seeing what I post and how all this mental toughness I've been working on pays off.

Race report to follow on Sunday but in the meantime, if you're in the market for a new wetsuit, check out the special they are running over at XTERRA right now. All suits at 57% - 60% off!  I currently own their Vector Pro Fullsuit and have been very pleased. Plenty of buoyancy and ample range of motion. Would very much like a sleeveless as well, so perhaps Santa will make an early visit to my house this week......

XTERRA Wetsuit Sale
Enter Discount Code: SANTA

(Mulder should NEVER hide behind a wetsuit!!! - I think all my X-Files fans out there can agree!)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Cowboy Up Big Girl and Put On a Jacket!

Wind will be the death of me......or at least the death of my training plan.

Didn't have the best of training week's last week. Skipped both my Tues AND Wed runs. This after I ended last week's 9 miles on such a high! Why in the world would I not be super motivated to get out there and tear up the road?

Four words.....


It has been a tad bit cold up here in the PacNW this last week. Mid 40s so nothing too terrible - at least not compared to all you NorthEasterners and your negative wind chill temps!! Though we're still not down to freezing, the winds have picked up tremendously. We live right at the end of the Columbia River Gorge so said winds in the Portland area are at their worst by our house. 

That said, add in the 30-40-50 mph winds we had this week to our 40 degree temps and you can imagine the chilliness and my desire to do anything BUT get out and run. Even on the dreadmill. So instead  I spent both Tues and Wed on my butt in front of the fireplace with a glass on wine in hand. I'll admit it was wonderful at the time, but I know better than to skip out on my interval runs. Big girl pants, you ask? On the floor, just laying around, stinkin' up the joint. Once again I proved to be my own worst enemy. 

Thankfully, in my fit of lazy, I was able to gather up some motivation again on Fri/Sat and got back to it. Come Sunday I was not as prepped for my 10 mile trail run as I would have liked but did get my cold rear out there and finished averaging a 9:58 min/mile. Not as fast as I would have liked either, but given that I was on a trail and not the even pavement, in addition to dealing with the wind, I still consider it a success. 

(Though I had to lap it four times to get in the 10 miles, I still preferred this scenery to the road!)

I do need to focus these next three weeks on nutrition during my longer runs in prep for race day. Had some wheat pancakes with a maple peanut butter sauce and two cups of coffee around 10am on Sunday. Finally got out on my run by 1:30pm, drank about 4 oz of water at mile 5 and definitely felt like I bonked around mile 8. I ate the same thing before last week's long run, drank the same 4oz of water and felt amazing. Chalking it up to the technical difficulties of the trail wearing me out vs. the smooth/fast pavement. (should also start mixing in a Nuun tablet with my water again - did this all through the summer's tri training but stopped these last few months,  not sure why)  I'll get back on the road this weekend and test things out again. I am a firm believer that nutrition needs are different for everyone so I usually just experiment versus trying to adhere to someone else's suggestions. Makes for a bad boiler sometimes but well worth it when you find what works!!

All that said.....only three weeks left till the Holiday Half. Definitely looking forward to those last two weeks of's what's left...

COMMITTED to getting out for Tues, Wed and Thursday's runs - how else am I going to justify the massive quantities of gravy I intend to eat over Thanksgiving?! :)

At what distance do you start adding in a nutrition plan to your race?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Did That Seriously Just Happen?

9 miles at 9:30 per minutes -!!! Just wanted to start off this week's post with that bit of excellence - BOOM!! 
(For those of you sub 7 mm, just bear with me here....)
I've never been able to consider myself a "runner". I know,  I know, regardless of how slow you go, you are a runner. I do believe that.....for everyone other than myself. I guess it's because I've never really been able to enjoy myself while running. A swimmer for most of my life, I started out on this running journey a few years ago while attempting to train for a marathon. 5 weeks in and I was riddled with injuries. Since that time I have accepted the fact that I'd never be able to break a 29 minute 5k and that this portion of my Tri will always be the worst. That was until yesterday....I freakin ran 9 miles (9.17 to be exact) at 9:30! Never in my life have I been able to sustain that pace.....even for a 5k. 

And I think I found the secret. We'll at least for me, that is. Normally I run music, nothing to distract me from my own thoughts, my rhythm.etc. That is until now. Prepping to put in 6 miles on the dreadmill this past Thursday I knew it was going to be a snooze fest. An hour of going nowhere is just torture. "Well, why not try out a podcast to help pass the time? At least it will keep me entertained", I thought. .....that it did. 6 miles felt like 3 - I was done in a flash! Did the same on yesterday's run and success! 9 miles flew by...and I am truly hoping the gps in my phone was on track, because I am stoked. You better believe I'll be doing my long run this Sunday with my headphones on.

"What podcasts where you listening to?", you ask. So far I've only tried out 'The Age Grouper' - two guys, Jeff and Eric, out of Chicago, speaking on all kinds of triathlon related goodies. From suggestions on improving your times, life/training balance, race recaps and so on. Here is a link to their blog - you can download their podcasts directly from the site or look them up on itunes:

  In other news, have you noticed my little timer up there on the right? Countdown to Ironman Boise has officially moved into the 100's. Starting to get real, folks. Was debating on whether or not I should start my training right after December's half.....and that would be a yes. 6 months to get these lazy buns back in race shape is going to be hateful awesome!! Not looking forward to those 4:30am workouts though - how do you morning people do it?!


It takes everything I have just to open my eyes that early......gahhh.  Found this on the web earlier....may have to post it to my alarm clock - perhaps it will give me that extra bit of umph I'll need to rise and shine come 1/2014


What is your secret to early morning training motivation?
Are there any podcasts you enjoy?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Beautiful Life and a Revelation

Well it's been over a week since my last post - been in kinda of a funk lately. My training and nutrition is still on par for December's race, it's more of a mental/emotional standstill that I seem to be at right now. 

My sister-in-law's mother passed away over the weekend after a long hard battle with cancer.  I knew this beautiful woman and had the pleasure of spending time in her company. Although I am more than thankful that this did not hit closer to home (I could not be nearly as strong as my SIL has been if it were my own mom - but then again, my SIL is pretty amazing in general), it has seriously stopped me in my tracks. I can't help but to think of how susceptible our bodies are to pain and disease, and just how very fragile life is.

As a result it has caused me to take a painful look at how I have been treating my own body. How neglectful I've been at some of the very basics. From a strength and cardiovascular perspective, I know I am very fit - I can swim, bike and run long distances without much pain or extraneous effort. I know that for the most part I put only good foods in my body (with the exception of Friday fun nights = pizza, and my weekend beer/wine) and am well aware of how my nutrition plays the largest role in overall health.

What I have been avoiding however, are the basic, routine visits with the doctor. Those check ups that provide you with an overall exam and blood work. Those seemingly little details that really do affect your quality of life. Don't get me wrong, I am great about seeking PT when a training injury arises, or even going in to get a script for a sinus infection - what I am just horrible at are those routine visits that are designed to keep you healthy!! Maybe it's just me, but I think there can be a false sense of security when you are an training and racing somehow equals healthy??  What makes matters worse is that I've been on my boyfriend to get into the doc for the very same thing. "You can't treat something if you don't know what it is" fav motto. What a hypocrite I am!! For crying out loud, get off your lazy behind and do something about, Rebecca!

Anyway, needless to say I am forcing my procrastinating self to make an appt for the GP next week and will be sure to report back.

Something else that has been weighing on my mind is the desire to do more - wanting to race for a cause perhaps? Yes, I can swim/bike/run....but in service of whom? For the first two years it was definitely myself, to prove that I can. And for my son, to be an influence of health, determination and patience - to show him that it doesn't matter your dream, if you put in the hard work, time and energy, anything really is possible!  But I feel like I need something more now - that my racing needs to somehow benefit others. Not sure - I know that there are a few Team in Training groups in my area that I can join, but I don't necessarily know that that's it. Either way I'm going to spend this off season researching on how I can make my racing more beneficial for others.

In the meantime, I've just been chugging away - running 5 days a week (bleecch) and averaging a pretty decent pace. 10:30 for 8 miles last Sunday is a huge win for me! I can run well into the 9's during short distances, but to average below 11 for 8 miles is pretty rock star in my book. :) I've also been able to work through that tight tendon issue on my right foot and it is pretty much gone entirely.....I still have my laces threaded the same way and think I'll probably keep it for now. 

New shoes and 9 miles on Sunday -!

Do you avoid the doctor as much as me?!
Do you race for a cause, something more than your own satisfaction?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Dreaded Dreadmill

7 miles on the dreadmill last night......thanks Oregon.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind running in the rain (almost prefer it to the heat) nor does it bother me to run at night.....but rain + dark? No thanks....that combo is just one wet leaf away from a broken ankle. So instead I spent my long run (which I should have done Sunday - procrastination will always get the best of me) on the treadmill, aka, "dreadmill". Thankfully I had a little Monday Night Football to keep me company, but man is that just a rough 75 minutes of sheer boredom!

Good news is that I think I may have figured out a fix to my foot issue that should keep me running a good pace until I can pick up a pair of new shoes. After spending a year trying different options- Adidas, Aesics and Nike - I finally settled on the newest Brooks Adrenaline this past summer and can I say they are just an amazing pair or sneakers! Not one injury or joint discomfort in the 300 or so miles I've put on them so far.  Very happy, happy, happy with this shoe.

Since I should have at least 50 more miles left on my Brooks, I decided to use a re-lacing technique (LOVE the interwebs) that would hopefully take the pressure off my foot tendons and provide some relief, assuming I wasn't dealing with a stress fracture......And wouldn't you know it, it worked! Though I still have some tightness after each run, making an effort to stretch my foot/toes out afterwards and the next day significantly reduces any discomfort. 
(skipping over the 4th hole worked wonders)

The longer you are in the sport of triathlon, the more odd pains you will experience here and there. Though knowing I must listen to my body for signs of more serious issues, I am learning not to overreact with each new twinge. Almost 80% of the time, a pressumed "injury" is usually just a tight muscle or tendon that needs a good rub. Getting fit with the proper equipment for YOUR body (regardless of the awesome new pair of Mizunos your friend just came home with), sticking to a training plan with gradual increases to workload and ensuring that you stretch and roll out daily will keep most major issues at bay. My own humble experience of course.

 That being said, last night's 7 miles on the dreadmill wasn't too bad. I'm a week behind in my HM training plan, but seeing that I have a pretty decent base to work from, it shouldn't bare any negative effects on my race. Can I just say how happy I will be once 12/15 comes and this darn thing is OVER?!! I will definitely view it as an accomplishment, but 5 days a week of running is far too much for me - I miss by bike/swim time. :(

And just for my fellow Fanasty Football enthusiasts out there...check out last night's end result to my week 9 match up. I'd like to thank Andre Johnson for going crazy ape bananas this weekend and the Chicago defense for taking out Aaron Rodgers! Luckiest WIN ever!!!! 

How do you deal with long training sessions on the "dreadmill"?

Monday, October 28, 2013

Excuses, Excuses

You can tell from the title of this entry that my week has been filled with self sabotage in the form of excuse, after lame excuse after lame excuse.....

Last week I mentioned having an odd pain running down the top of my right foot after a 4.5 mile trail run. After a ton of foot stretches and further research,  I chalked it up to needing new shoes and decided that it would be best to cool it on my HM training plan and spend this week on the bike instead. Fully convincing myself that I would get to the shop and pick up a new pair of Brooks Glycerin (a.m.a.z.i.n.g product) before jumping back on the road.

Guess how much time I spent on the bike? Or in the gym for that matter?


Lame? Indeed.

Instead I found every reason NOT to workout and drink as much booze and crappy food as possible. Why is it that self control and mental fortitude runs away screaming when the word "injured" comes into play? I had a lousy week at work and wanted nothing more than to come home each night, have a glass (or two...or three) of wine and veg out on the couch, mindlessly watching some football. (stupid football season and your delicious snacks) Having said, "injury", gave me just the excuse I was looking for....over stressed, tired and just plain lazy, turned into, "Oh no, I can't possible work out. Wouldn't want to further injure myself."

Needless to say, after feeling the physical effects of my bad decisions last week (cranky, bloated - you name it!), I pulled myself onto the bike last night for a good 60 minutes of spinning torture. How easily it is to forget how much better both body and mind feel after a workout. Lesson learned - glad to have put myself in check before things got too out of hand. This week is a new week, so we're letting go of the past and moving forward! Enough beating myself up - that does no one any good.

In other more pleasant news, I had a delightful weekend with P enjoying the sights, sounds and most importantly the tastes of fall. We spent our Saturday over in Hood River touring the 'Fruit Loop' - a stretch of road that consists of at least 30 fruit stands, vineyards, u-pick orchards etc. - and enjoyed ourselves immensely. Fall is my favorite time of the year and you can't beat it here in the Pac Northwest. Trying our best to soak it up as much as possible before the rain and freezing temps hit. 

If you're ever in the neighborhood make sure to check out the Loop - you won't be disappointed! And don't forget to peruse the many breweries that call Hood River home..... 

(Run! Don't walk and pick yourself up some seasonal Wassail from Full Sail Brewing)

Regardless of how crappy my week may go training wise, I never regret the time spent with loved ones in place of a run/bike/swim. It's finding the balance to be successful at both that is ALWAYS the goal.

Do you find yourself making excuses during the off season?
How do you stay focused in the colder months?


Saturday, October 19, 2013

Fall is in the Air

(Nothing beats running in this)

What a perfectly cool, mid-morning run I had today. Fall has definitely landed, full force, here in the Pacific Northwest. Went out for a 4.5 miler and chose to stay on a local trail - excellent decision. There is something about running alongside nature that makes it so much easier and a lot more enjoyable. I kept a pretty even 9.40 mile pace the whole time - which for me is darn good!

It was nice to finally get back on my feet. I've had an issue these past few weeks with what I think is a pinched nerve on the top of my right foot. The only thing that makes sense to me is perhaps I laced up a little too tight one day. Checked a few online resources to help justify my self diagnosis and I'm hoping we are all correct. Since it flarred up during last Sunday's 5 miler, decided to give it a rest and stuck to my trainer this past week. Felt good to get some miles in on the bike, but I hate to lose any running time.

Took off this morning and the foot felt fine - heck, even my ever bothersome hip was happy to be on the path. Around mile 4 the aching started to flare up again - aarrgghh. We'll see how tomorrow goes. Maybe time for new shoes, not sure. I only have about 350 on my Brookes now, and was hoping to get in at least another month or so. Ah, such is the life of an endurance enthuse....if it's not new shoes, it's tires, or wheels, or bike shorts, or bathing suits, or get the idea.

In other news, researching potential training plans for Boise. Crap. Little intimidated. Example of what my peak week will likely include:

6750 yards of swimming/6 hours
145 miles on the bike/7 hours
20 miles of running/5.1 hours
= 18 hours/170 miles

On their own, each discipline sounds easy – but jam 18 hours and 170 miles into 1 week? On top of a full time job, swim practice and school events for the kid and any sort of family time.…..guess you know how much “free” time I’ll be enjoying these next 6 months. I’m exhausted (terrified) just thinking about it! If this is what is required to train for a half IM – I can’t even begin to imagine what a full looks like.

"Calm down, ding dong and just stay focused on your half marathon. You'll have all sorts of time to worry about what's next when this is over." - says the rational voice in my head. (I really need to listen to her more often...but sometimes I just don't like her level headed ways)

One race at a time…..

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

IRONMAN – 140.6 miles of swimming, biking and running. Are you tired yet?

So I spent this last weekend super jazzed to be watching live coverage of the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, HI. Although a recap of the race (which is always fun to watch as they provide not only pro coverage, but amazing human interest stories of some unique age groupers) won’t be airing on TV until Nov. 16th, having an opportunity to see play by play action of the entire race via the interwebs, was mesmerizing.

There I sat glued to my iPad all day – even took it with me to the gym so I could get my run in without missing a beat. Needless to say I was inspired – always have been. Something about having the physical and mental stamina to defeat such a task is HOT!! You heard me, H.O.T! Anywhere from 9 to 17 hours of consecutive racing….oh my word, 17 HOURS! And the overall toll it takes on your body? Participants at Kona this year will have lost 3-5% of their body weight during the race. Are you kidding me? I could barely lose 2% in 8 weeks. Yikes - It truly takes something special folks….and whatever that is, I want it! I will hunt it down and make it my own…my precious………………. ;)

(Once obtained you will have to pry this from my cold, dead hands!)

All silliness aside, what I really loved most about the coverage was watching all those “regular” every day folks (amateurs) finishing well into the night. Hours and hours after the final pro was done, these amazingly fit men and women (some even in their 70s) were running, leaping and even crawling across the finish line. All to say that they completed their dream of competing in Kona – against the world’s best. Frickin awesome. Hard not to sit in front of the screen and bawl like a baby…which I did…over...and over…and over again.

Ultimate dream of mine? You better believe it! Have my sights set on 2015 – but for right now, over these next few months I will be focusing on increasing both my endurance and speed when it comes to the run. Uugghhhh, running……..currently averaging around a 10 – 10.5 minute mile, I’d really like to be down to 9 by the time Boise rolls around in June. So, in order to keep myself motivated and on track, I signed up for my first HM (half marathon) on Dec. 15th. If you don’t know by now, all desire to get off my butt and workout, jumps right out the window and tears off down the street unless I have a race to work/look forward to. We all have different motivational factors – none are better than others, they’re just different - mine just happens to be “The Next Event”. Needless to say I’ll be 90 and still racing triathlon if that’s what it takes to keep a healthy and active lifestyle!

With 10 miles being the farthest distance I have ran to date, below is the fairly conservative training plan that I am currently following to get me comfortably to 13.1 by December. Could I do more? Sure….but why risk the chance of injury. (I learned that lesson very early on..the hard way)

I’m excited to see how much of an improvement I can make on my run over these next few months – with it being my worst discipline of the three, I am hoping to gain a better appreciation and a more positive attitude towards the final leg of my race. Here is a great article I read on recently, speaking on steps towards mental toughness…..

I especially like this quote: "Whether you think you can or think you cannot, you’re probably right"

Perhaps I should tattoo this on my forehead as I begin the arduous 6 month long journey of training for Boise 70.3? Guarantee I will have this saying posted everywhere at home/work/gym/car – how else am I going to keep moving towards my ultimate goal of one day soon, hearing Mike Rilley yell,

"Rebecca Reynolds, YOU.ARE.AN.IRONMAN!!”

Monday, October 7, 2013

Tri-ing The Best I Can

So here it is folks - the end result of a committed triathlete (though still in the wannabe category) who decided that what she really needed in her life was to take on the daily/weekly ritual of creating and updating her own blog. Why on God’s green Earth would I even consider such a thing given everything else I have going on - good night.  Like being a mother (and the endless list of jobs that entails), girlfriend, full time employee, student of a never ending series of required FINRA exams, and I’ll say it again, wannabe triathlete, isn’t enough?... no friends, apparently not.

So why exactly am I doing this? Many reasons, actually - unfortunately I no longer live near most of my family or close friends (amazing work peeps aside)and though many are genuinely curious about when/what my next race will be and how the training is coming along, I have realized that daily posts to Facebook may not be the best avenue to share these updates. This blog does two things to remedy that; 1.) provides a great venue for those interested, to simply check in, see what kind of nonsense I’m up to and comment or move on and 2.) helps to keep from clogging up everyone’s wall with those mundane auto-posts from MapMyRun/Training Peaks etc. Now aren’t I nice? I believe these “workout” type of updates rank in the top ten of most hated FB posts – so really I'm just saving you from that inevitable daily eye roll!

The real reason why I’ve decided to spill my guts online…..I’ve been racing in triathlons for just over a year now with 4 under my belt so far (3 sprints & 1 Olympic) – still a baby learning how to crawl. There is SO much that goes into this sport that I find it a bit hard to fully explain. And when I do try, be it usually with others who don’t participate, those poor souls have no option but to sit politely with a smile on their face and a concerned but vacant stare, all while nodding their heads as if what I'm saying is even the slightest bit interesting. “The swim start was nuts! Seaweed for the first 50 meters, totally pushing against the current. At about 5 minutes in I was finally able to find a good pace. Transition 1? Boy howdy did that not go how I had planned.….” drone, drone, drone…. Let me stop here for a moment and say that yes, I certainly DO have an outstanding support system – between P (Paul The Oak, my honey), The Kid (Seth, my 13 year-old-too-smart-for-his-own-good son) and many friends and family, there are some that genuinely like to hear about all my nonsense. But let’s be honest, how long can one person listen to the same story over and over just because this crazy lady remembered some boring-as-all-get-out detail that she hadn’t thought of before?

I really needed to find a way to not only log my training miles, but vent about how it was going, what was hurting, what nutrition plan I was trying, details on how the race went, what mental state I was in etc. All so that come my next event, I could look back on what worked and what hadn’t before, WITHOUT driving my family absolutely bonkers in the process.I guess physically writing in some sort of journal would suffice, but then I couldn’t share all my vulnerabilities with you lovely people!

That being said, here is what you can expect to see from me going forward……
* Posts from the heart - I am by no means an eloquent writer (leave that up to my expert honey) and I don't pretend to be. What you see on here is exactly how you'd expect to hear it from the horses mouth. There is no part of me that finds reworking each entry to its most perfect form even the slightest bit appealing. I am not here to impress you with my grammatical prowess, so set that portion of your expectation bar a bit lower folks.
* Training – updates on progress, obstacles, etc.
* Race reports – pics, stats and overall recap
* Lessons learned – nutrition, race day planning, life balance (how do you keep from crying over absolutely nothing on race day? Still trying to figure that one out…)
* Product reviews & advice – perspective from an average lady on a budget
* Race Travel – reviews of hotels, local restaurants and overall experience of the venue
* Mixed bag of emotions - random posts which will inevitably include some honest venting, self-praising and of course what comes easiest, self-pitty
* Personal – whether or not my family has kicked me out of the house just yet!–lol

So there you have it folks, my first official post. Here's hoping that some of you find my weekly rants either useful or at least entertaining. Hop on board this crazy train as I just keep moving forward, ‘Tri-ing The Best I Can' – ah ha, get it? GET IT?!!