Friday, February 28, 2014

100 Day Countdown - Freak the Freak Out!

Holy canoli!! Do you see that number on my countdown thingy????

We are officially less than 100 days out from Ironman Boise 70.3 people!!!

Ok,well maybe we can calm down just a little bit - especially now that we seem to be on a more aggressive yet specific training plan and the fact that we have some online coaching to help us keep on track and  accountable. ("us"..."we"...?)

I won't lie to you folks, first week of these new training hours and I am down right exhausted. Which I kinda knew I was going to happen.

On Monday I'll provide a more detailed recap on exactly what took place this week but for now let's just say that sleeping in till 7:30am this morning was a God send. The full effects of not getting enough shut eye has reared its ugly head and caused me to skip a morning swim. Skip a swim, you say? But isn't that the easiest discipline for you? Don't you look forward to getting in the water and rocking out? Yep! But with the added hours and intensity of my new plan, I just couldn't do it yesterday and then add a 5 mile interval run on top of that.

But as I am currently in "pre-Beastmode" zone, I foolishly assumed I could just add those 3300 meters to today's workload (2.5 hour trainer ride). Ha! Thankfully I ran it by coach Brett and Meredith last night and was was met with a stern, "NO!". They both coach by the theory of if you skip a workout then just move on - no stacking. Doesn't that mean that I'll completely forfeit that portion of my training? Yep, which I guess will be a good thing for me to be aware of going forward. I DO NOT like skipping workouts, especially ones that are specific to a race, so my hope is that this will be a great incentive towards better accountability and keeping my tired/lazy bum from making excuses....

Lesson for today? No stacking workouts - if you miss one, then just move on. Yes, you can feel bad about the loss in training hours but let that just be a motivator for the next time you feel like bailing.

Ugh - this will definitely take some getting used to. But as this year's mantra goes.......... where are you?

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mind Wandering Wednesdays

Welcome to Mind Wandering Wednesdays where I will be rambling all sorts of non-sense just to get some thoughts off my overwhelmed training brain and bring a little humor into the week. **because we all need a good laugh by the time Humpday rolls around**

I thought about doing TMI Tuesdays...but that's played.....

So here we go, round one..........

  • There's nothing worse than swimming in a pool that is still cloudy and warm from the night before.....urine/snot fest anyone? Gag!!!

  • Wonder if my sealed bottle of vitamin D supplements are still ok - expired in November....we shall soon find out....
  • Negative people annoy the living daylights outta me!                 

  • I'm down 6 lbs since actively focusing on finding my ideal "race weight" - Can I get a "Woop! Woop!"
  • 2 weeks till I get my yearly bonus at work....wonder how much of it I can blow on Tri stuff???
  • When does daylight savings time begin? Really need to get some outside runs in.
  • Why do I always need to poop on the treadmill? Not outside or on the bike, just on the freaking treadmill....
Seriously? Another trip to the toity?!!

  • Wonder what kind of treats will be out on the Boise run course.....gummy bears? Mmmmmm, delicious, chewy, candy bears.......Coke?
  • I won't get the M dot tattoo until I complete IMAZ but am thinking about getting this on my foot after Boise, sans the actual word 'Triathlon'....because that's not a conversation starter. ;)


  • And of course, some more EPIC race spectator signs to help get you through the week....

This guy definitely wins the prize though!!!

Any random Wednesday thoughts you'd like to share?
Anyone else over the winter?!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

IM Boise 70.3 - Week 5 Training Recap

Week 5...week 5.

Monday: planned - 2500 swim
                actual - same

Tuesday: planned - 60 min bike + 30 min swim
                actual - 60 min bike (pool closed as I finished the bike too late in the evening)

Wednesday: planned - 2400 swim + 3 min run
                     actual - same

Thursday: planned - 60 min ru. + 30 min recovery run
                  actual - same

Friday: planned - 30 mom sloooow run
             actual - same

Saturday: planned - rest day
                 actual - same (wedding planning!)

Sunday: planned - 2 hour bike
              actual - rest day while freaking out over new training plan

Well I did good, stayed super focused, dedicated to both my physical and nutritional training.....even felt accomplished, like I was on the right track and was owning this plan!

BIG Lol...

Mentioned joining up with coach Brett and Meredith in my new Swim, Bike, Train army, right? Yeah, well kiss my previous training plan and feelings of confidence good bye. Don't get me wrong, I am thrilled to have this opportunity to get some real coaching for the first time in prep for Boise 70.3. But the excitement has worn off and I've had the weekend to review my NEW training plan, I am down right terrified!

Monday...1.5 hour biggie....Tuesday? 1 hour am swim (3100 meters) + 1.5 hour (9 mile) pm run. Holy heck! The 3100 meters swim I am good with though it is a jump from what I've been doing. But a 9 mile run...already? I've only been doing 6 as a max since my half marathon this past Dec!! Am I really ready for this? Can my body/mind cash the checks this new plan is feverishly starting to write? Have I bitten off more than I can successfully chew?!

In through the nose...out through the mouth......just breathe.....

I mean after all, I do need some help, right? Need support and advice from these new coaches who have already raced in my shoes? Help with nutrition, endurance, running form, bike strength etc.? Yes, indeedy, without a doubt! Can't wait to soak up all the info I'll soon be flooded with. And in all honestly, I think my previous plan would have done a fine job in getting me across that finish line in June, but I'm not sure if  that finish would have been upright, or crawling on my knees. IF I do get through the next 15 weeks at this more more aggressive pace, I know that without a doubt not only will I finish on my feet, but I will do so strong!!

In other more non- terrifying news, P and I met with our wedding coordinator for the first time on Sat though the ceremony isn't until June of next year - what can I say, we're planners! :) This wedding is going to be outta sight! I mean, seriously....since the majority of our family and friends will be coming in from out of town, we have a whole fun filled weekend planned - and what a weekend it will be. The only bad part is that we have to wait for what seems like FOREVER before the festivities can begin! June 2015 is going to be a rockin' month and we just can't wait to celebrate with all those who hold a special place in our hearts. Who says you can't have a blow out second wedding?!!

Also - recently found out that my brother will be joining me in Boise this year! P and I had already planned on renting a cabin as lodging so that my family could come out for support but I had no idea my bro was planning on actually racing as well! He is brand new to the sport of triathlon so I'm looking forward to helping usher him into this crazy new world. So excited to have someone else out there on the course  - someone else to commiserate plan with. P is by far the best supporter you could ever ask for but I'm sure my constant need to discuss every.little.detail, over and over and over again is beginning to wear the poor guy thin. Let's keep my handsome racing Sherpa happy. :)

5 weeks down and 15 left to go....................

Anyone else starting to freak out over their upcoming race season?
What are your mental training secrets?

Friday, February 21, 2014

SBM & PTS Sports Coaching Opportunity

Is she not the cutest thing ever??!!


I can barely contain my excitement! Last night I signed up to take part in a very unique online training program hosted by Meredith of Swim, Bike, Mom and coach Brett Daniels (T-Bone) of PTS Sports outside of Atlanta, GA.

This program will run the entire 20 weeks of my Boise Half Ironman training (which yes, I am already into week 5 of) and after that as needed. Included in the program is a specific training plan that has been put together by coach T-Bone as well as an online support group via Facebook!

Holy cow I am so super excited. I've been doing some research these past 6 months on potentially hiring a coach for my HIM, but the costs are outrageous! Averaging $175 a month, I just can't justify that this year. Maybe next year when IM AZ comes into play.....maybe. Even more of a reason to celebrate this new opportunity though!

Training group begins on Monday and then it's 15 weeks of unending support and real accountability.

My excitement did get tempered just a bit yesterday when I uploaded coach T-Bone's training plan to my Trainingpeaks account - as of next week I will be upping my hours from what I am currently averaging of 7.5 to 13 with my peak week at 17 ! And that's not including strength work....nearly double from what my current plan has me doing. And rest days? What rest days? Oh, you mean that randomly placed 30 min swim? Yeah.....I found a total of 3. Three real nothing-to-do-but-stretch-and-recover rest days! Crap!! - as I've said a millions times since yesterday,


Oh well, no rest for the weary, right?! - and all the better to not only get me across the finish line in Boise, but to CRUSH it!

So stay tuned for all kinds of fun updates on what this new experience will bring to my training and racing life! I promise to pass on all of coach Mer and T-Bone's secrets to you all. :)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Product Review - TriBox via RunnerBox

So I came into work last Wednesday to find this pretty little package waiting for me on my desk. (usually have most packages delivered to work -  easier to ensure proper delivery)  What the heck? I don't remember ordering anything? Was it a present from one of my adoring fans? **rolling your eyes** Was it some kind of leftover Christmas gift that finally found its way to Portland?

Nope - it was my first TriBox from RunnerBox!

Couldn't get this dumb picture to rotate for the life of me!

Oh happy days!

RunnerBox is a bi-monthly subscription ($20 + shipping) based box for runners. TriBox (my version) gears it's goodies towards swim and bike products in addition to all that fun running stuff. I currently subscribe to another monthly sample box that is beauty related (and could honestly add at least 10 more kinds of boxes if given the budget) and knowing how much use I get out of the those samples, could barely contain myself when I opened this new treasure trove!

This month's TriBox contained all sorts of original sized endurance treats and a few other useful products that will come in handy not only on race day but during my training as well. Huge bonus is that all the products in this box are natural and/or certified organic - who wants to put a bunch of chemical nonsense in your body when you've got 7 hours of racing to cover? Not me.....

So what specifically was in my box, you ask?

  • Kay's Naturals Protein Honey Almond Cookie Bites (gluten free) - pour a little almond milk over these scrumptious treats and you've got yourself a bowl of cereal to die for. Seriously good.
  • Honey Stinger Vanilla Waffle - I've been wanting to try these waffles out on my longer bike sessions as I've heard nothing but great things from fellow triathletes - and yes, they were right. Such a nice break from my typical gel routine. Sweet, chewy and super easy to eat on the bike.
  • True Bar Coconut/Cashew - One word....ridiculous! (soooo good)
  • Eden Quiet Moon Nuts, Seeds & Dried Fruit Mix - Not ashamed to say that I scarfed this down within minutes of opening! Yum
  • I Heart KeenWah Chocolate & Sea Salt Bites - Again with the immediately down the gullet - a bit hard to chew but worth it!
  • Health Warrior Chia Bar, Acai Berry - not so much on this guy. Had it for breakfast in the car on my way into work this morning. A tad bland - but only 100 calories with 4g of protein so I'll take the healthy benefits I received.
  • Amrita Chocolate Endurance Bar - have yet to try
  • PocketFuel Mocha Energy Shot - I prefer GU products and citrus vs. chocolate flavors, but will test this sucker out on tomorrow's long run. 
  • Coco Hydro Pineapple Flavored Electrolyte Powder - I L.O.V.E. coconut water and use it for my hydration every chance I get. I plan on testing out during tonight's long swim.
  • Natural Ice SPF 15 Chapstick - ...doesn't go on very smooth but definitely feels like I have a good solid layer of protection.
  • Sporti Swim Ear Plugs - I have been fortunate enough in my swimming life to never have the need for ear plugs, so I can't really give you a review on these guys. I'll bring them to tonight's session and at least see how they hold up. But again, awesome surprise sample for those of you who may need them!
  • Klitch Footwear Clip - now this thing is cool. It's designed to a easily clip onto the handle of your backpack or transition bag, allowing you to hang your shoes outside of your bag so they  don't gunk up everything. Genius!! First thing I do after every Tri is immediately switch my running shoes out for a pair of flip flops - giving my poor footsies a chance to breathe. Now I don't have to cram them into my bag! Love, love love.... These clips come in all different colors and are only sale right now for $12.99 + shipping. 

So the black on black wasn't the best of pic ideas but you get the point, right?

Along with these awesome products were a bunch of coupons for additional purchases - pretty amazeballs, eh? And because I love you all so much, I've gone and linked up each product to either it's respective website or where I could find the best deal online.

I am pumped to have signed up for these packages and just hate that I have to wait 2 months until my next one arrives! :) So check out RunnerBox if you're interested in subscribing - you can also choose to give a one time GiftBox to that someone special as a great motivational surprise! I may or may not know of a certain family member that will be receiving said GiftBox soon...........

**Although I am trying hard to become an Ambassador of RunnerBox, by no means have I have been paid to review these products. Simply my way of keeping you all informed of what's out there.**

Do you participate in the monthly sample box craze?
Any I should know about?

Monday, February 17, 2014

70.3 - Week 4 Training Recap

Do I see an increase in consistency? Have I found my mojo once again?........

Monday - planned: 2500 swim + 40 min run
               40 mile run - no swimming, didn't want to brave the icy roads.

Tuesday - planned: 30 min run + 60 min bike
               actual: 3 mile run + 30 min bike

Wednesday - planned: 1500 swim
                    actual:  60 min bike - hey, at least I did something...

Thursday - planned: 60 min long run
                 actual: 6 mile run 

Friday - planned: 1500 swim + 45 min bike
            actual: 45 min bike - no swim

Saturday - planned: rest day
                actual: rest day

Sunday - planned: 90 min bike
              actual: 60 min yoga session + 120 min bike - BOOYAH!

All in all it was a good week, minus neglecting my swim. Although it is the easiest of the three for me, I need to be diligent in making sure that I do not sacrifice valuable training time in the pool simply because I have plenty of confidence. Lack of training time = lack of speed. I can do three IRONMAN distances right now....but as I'm slower than most on the run, I need to be sure and make up as much time in the water as possible.

So it's back in the pool for me tonight - love that I can now get a session in while the Kid is working on his own stroke in the pool with his team. Makes training life a whole lot easier!

Other than trying to amp up my consistency, I had a great yoga session on Sunday - and by great, I mean "ouch"! I used to go to yoga regularly, at least once a week. But after changing gyms a few month back I have neglected to make it in  - doesn't help that the available times are few and far between. So Sunday morning I forced myself to get up and on the mat.....

.......and today my body is thankful - angry and sore, but thankful none the less.

It's amazing how tight and inflexible you can get when running, swimming and biking become your only focus. I used to be able to do Padangustasana with ease:

Looks pretty badass, eh?...when you can do it. :(

But after skipping basic yoga for the past 5 months and neglecting to get even 1 session of Bikram (hot yoga) in, I can hardly bend my knees this far over while sitting on my rump let alone holding a toe pose!

My poor old, creaky bones - what has triathlon done to you?!!!

Anyway, from the horses mouth I WILL be getting this inflexible mess into yoga at least once a week going forward. My butt and back muscles are crying out for more - besides the fact that it is a great way to work on your core strength, yoga provides an opportunity to focus on lengthening of muscles which will benefit my running form immensely. And Lord knows I need all the improvements I can get in that area.

Last but not least I received my first Tribox from TheRunnerbox last week. Be on the lookout for my full review of this fun subscription based goodie box - in the meantime here is a little teaser pic of the bountiful supply I received.... :)

Besides weights, what other forms of cross training do you do?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

70.3 - Week 3 Training Recap

Um, yeah....about that....

Monday - planned: 2000 swim + 40 min run
               actual: Nada, zip, zilch - on the couch sick as a dog

Tuesday - planned: 30 min run + 60 min bike
               actual: 0 run + 60 min bike

Wednesday - planned: 1500 swim
                    actual: 2250 swim (feeling motivated!)

Thursday - planned: 60 min long run
                 actual: 60 min bike (massive right calf cramp during Wed's swim - did NOT want to run)

Friday - planned: 1450 swim + 45 min bike
            actual: nothing whatsoever -  day was spent trying to make our way to and from work through             the massive NW storm. Thank the lawd for mass transit!

Saturday - planned: off
                actual: 60 min run (too much cabin fever so 6 miles on the dreadmill it was - then a few                       bottles of bud as a treat for getting my butt out in the cold and doing something at least)

Sunday - planned: 90 min bike
              actual: 2 mile trek through the ICE to Target for rations!!!

Convenient path (though totally iced over) to saver!

And inch of this nasty stuff sitting right on top of our 7" of beautiful, powdery snow...stupid ice.
Darn stuff encapsulated everything....even the rocks!

Needless to say, my training last week was sabotaged by all the nasty weather we got. Now, 7" of snow for most of you is but a drop in the bucket. And during my 5 years living in Omaha, NE I would agree with you. Portland however, is not at all prepared for this kind of weather so basically the city shut down for 3 days. As a matter of fact I am writing today's (yesterday's) post from home because the 1/2 of ice that blanketed our 7" of snow has yet to melt and our local neighborhood roads are a mess.

This week is a new week though - I do have a 40 min run and swim scheduled for today, but of course the pool is closed, so no water time for me.  **update** Never got around to running either....oh bother.

Where, oh where has my motivation gone.......oh where, oh where can it be?

Suck it up, buttercup - 3 weeks of HIM training down, only 17 more to go!! Crap on a cracker, I better get moving!

Anyone else experience weather related training breakdowns?
How do you move past it?!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Worst Day of the Year 5k - Race Recap

Worse day of the year? I think not....definitely not compared to what we've been dealing with this past week. Turned out to be a gorgeous day actually - a bit cloudy and cool during the morning, but with a 10am start time, it was a comfortable 40 degrees for the run.  Having a later start time lead to such a stress free race morning. P signed up for the 5k as well so we leisurely woke up at around 7am, I had my typical race morning coffee and peanut butter toast, spent a good hour and a half stretching and made our way, 2 miles down the road to the venue.

2 miles away, say whaaaaaa??

Oh, heck yes - the race was held at the McMenamins-Edgefield property and is one of our favorite places in all of Portland. So much so that we are planning our wedding there next June. The property is the old county poor farm that was refurbished in 90's and is now a destination resort. The 74 acre farm land contains a hotel, outdoor concert venue, vineyards, gardens, two golf courses, a movie theater, Spa, 5 restaurants and 10 different bars, a winery, brewery and distillery. If you are EVER in the Eastside of Portland, you must make it a point to stop in. The place in amazing and was a perfect host for our 5k fun run.

Now on to the run - I was hoping to use this race as a good time trial for verifying how much faster my 5k has gotten over the year. Haha, not so much. Someone should have taken a closer look at the course before hand. **Doh**

 P and I met our friend, Mark, at the venue around 9:15am. The race was capped at 1,500 and I think only around 700 ended up registering. Love, love, love smaller races.The parking was a cinch and they had all kinds of fun vendor tents around the property.

First stop was at the shoe donation tent where I regretfully said good bye to my bright pink Adidas Marathons - the pair of shoes that I ran my very Tri in. They were still in fairly good shape and I'm sure will be a great resource for someone else in need. In return I got an awesome neck gator that with the expected warmer weather approaching, I can hopefully put away until next winter.

Next stop was the coffee tent and potties. 2 minutes to race start and Mark and I wished P good luck as we headed up closer to the front of the pack. Runners near the front and walkers behind. Oh, if only everyone had followed that rule it would have made our time on the course a lot more enjoyable.

And we're off!!

First thought? "Get the heck outta my way all you walkers!!". I mean really - the course followed a narrow path around the two golf courses which meant many, many hills not at all conducive to passing slower folks. I ended up spending quite a bit of time up on the side of the greens just trying to get some momentum going by passing all those who basically quit running after the first hill.

Mark and I quickly realized that a decent pace was not going to be possible and surrendered to treating this fun run as just that, a fun Saturday morning training run. Once you are able to resign to the fact that your chip time is not going to reflect any serious effort, it actually makes your time on the course much more enjoyable!

So after a quick loop around the 1.5 mile mark, we dominated the remaining hills and found our way to the finish line. 

Total time - 32.12
Av pace - 10:21
Place - 5th AG

Blah - nothing to write home about, but that's ok. It was a fun run, with fun friends and I will take getting in an extra 3.1 miles on a typical rest day. Mark and I waited for P to finish his power walk and then headed over to the heated tent for some brew and a bowl of delish soup. We spent the next 3 hours lounging around the property enjoying each other's company and a "few" more post race beers.

Beer!! One of the main reasons why I race!

Overall it was a fun day at a venue that you just can't beat. One suggestion for anyone interested in running next year - make sure that you get some interval training in. Though the race is a short one, if you want to enjoy the course and not huff and puff your way through 3.1 miles, spending some time on a moderate hilly training course will benefit you greatly.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

70.3 - Week 2 Training Recap

Week 2 of 70.3 training was thrown off a bit after I had that twisted ankle incident early on in the week. I ended up taking 2 unplanned rest days but am very thankful for doing so as I ended up having no issues come race day. (race recap for my 5k fun run to follow....)

Monday -  planned: 2100 meter swim + 40 min easy run
                 actual:  same

Tuesday - planned: 30 min easy run + 60 min trainer, low effort
                actual: 60 min trainer - 0 run due to ankle twist incident

Wednesday -  planned: 1500 meter swim
                      actual: rest

Thursday -  planned: 60 min easy run
                  actual: 60 min bike on trainer (still babying ankle)

Friday - planned: 1500 meters swim + 45 min bike
             actual: rest

Saturday - planned: Rest day
                 actual: Worst Day of the Year 5k run!

Sunday - planned: 90 min bike
               actual: same

So, although my distance and time were cut short this week, I'm not beating myself up too much as my ankle feels 100% and won't be a recurring issue down the road. I also came down with a full blown cold (as did everyone in my house) on Sat and ended up sitting out on this Monday's double session as well. If it's not one thing.......jeez!

I feel good otherwise and have settled on this year's theme...

I NEED to get out of my comfort zone in all three disciplines but man is it sooooo warm and cozy in here. Like how it feels to know that I can lay down an 8 mile run without feeling like I'm going to die afterwards - that's a pretty cozy/secure feeling, right?  But now that I'm in my third year of racing, how can I expect to get faster on my runs or stronger on my bike if I'm not pushing limits and getting out of said comfort zones? I've passed the point of just wanting to finish, proving to myself that I simply can - rather now I want to focus on improving, getting stronger, faster and obtaining those coveted podium spots. The intensity of my workouts need to dramatically increase or else it's just 

I want to make triathlon my biatch! ;)

Anyway - not that exciting of a post as I'm still sniffling and sneezing everywhere. Be on the lookout for my 5k race recap later on this week when I have more energy. In the meantime, I leave you with a few of my favorite homemade race signs...haha, these people are awesome! I hope to see some just as good while in Boise.

Sorry babe

Or 7/15+ depending on the event......


And may fav...........

I'd probably start choking on my own spit if I ever saw this one......