Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Getting tested....

Have you EVER seen anything like this?


This is The Bod Pod....kind of like a time capsule. I may have actually traveled through space and time this morning...but I can't tell you for sure.

So this morning I had some testing done. I wish I had been able to get in about 6 weeks ago so I could have a good starting measurement before I made my dietary changes BUT I couldn't get in so I have the measurements now. I'll schedule another appointment in a month or two to measure further progress. So what exactly is the Bod Pod? Good question....

This machine uses Air Displacement Plethysmography. English please...Ok, it is a dry way of testing body fat percentage. It is similar to testing underwater BUT the obvious difference is that air is more convenient and comfortable than water, and it is not wet. Duh...you don't have to hold your breath, submerge and expel ALL of your air to get an accurate measure. You simply strip down to approved skivvies, put on a cute swim cap, climb in, shut the door and wait for 50 seconds. The testing is easier and safer, is reliable, and has improved repeatability accuracy.

The basic operating principle of the Air Displacement Plethysmography includes some really big words that you all will understand, right....Densitometry, Mass Measurement, Volume Measurement, Thoracic Gas Volume, and Surface Area Artifact. For a complete break down of all these really, really big words go HERE and check it out.

Along with the Bod Pod I also had my resting metabolism tested. This means I found out how many calories I need each day simply to maintain and sustain life with zero activity, or just existing each day I require 1700 calories. They hooked me to a crazy mask and I got to lay down and breath in a dark room for 15 min. I wish I would have had my phone handy to snap a picture of myself but I didn't so I found this photo, taken from HERE:

So just imagine that is me, not a dude, and laying alone in a dark room.


So, sharing the results of today's tests have been on my mind. I was debating whether or not I would put it out there for the world to know and I have decided I will and in a month or so when i go back I hope I can share some improvements with you and we can celebrate together. Plus I know I am not the only one struggling to be healthy and maintain a healthy weight. We all work so hard and man of us never see the scale budge. I have begun to take drastic measures and I need to know that it is working. So without further adue, the result of my Bod Pod test:

You can see here my % of body fat, fat free mass, how many pounds of fat (37.791?! Wow. No wonder I am having trouble with my paces!), how much I would weight with 0% fat WHICH IS NOT POSSIBLE, HEALTHY OR EVEN HUMAN....

I would like to focus on the %of body fat, % of fat free mass-or muscle, and that Fat Mass...I put a 10 pound weight loss as my goal. I am certain this is possible. And once I achieve that I can re-evaluae and set a new goal or sustain.


So with the above information it was determined that I am in the Moderately Lean category on the Body Fat Rating. i am 2% away from lean...Wow. I can do that, I can get there.


In talking with the woman who conducted my test and evaluated the results she told me I was in a good range. She explained the health concerns with being too low, which I already know. She pointed to the Ultra Lean category and said, "This here, this ultra lean is for people who, you know, do triathlons and stuff."

Ugh, punch in my face. Yeah. I know. I see them every other weekend (remember the 90 pound turkey? Yeah, me too). It was frustrating to hear the opinion, judgement, or bias or whatever you call it that I should have been in the ultra lean category simply because I do triathlons. The shoulds, oughts, and musts really get old and annoying, even though I do it to myself all the time. I work out and train so much, I should be leaner, I ought to be below 20% body fat, I must lose 10 pounds....The expectation to be something simply because I do triathlons or marathons, or whatever...I don't need to hear it from the health professional. I need to hear how I can get to my goal.

Thursday I have my Fitness Assessment where I will have my VO2 tested. I am pretty excited. Have you ever had anything like this done before?

Do you fight the shoulds, oughts, and musts? By that I mean do you find yourself thinking thoughts like "I should be 10 pounds lighter." "I ought to be able to run a 8:45 min/mil pace." "I must qualify for Boston." "I must get first in my age group." "I shouldn't get passed by a 90 pound turkey!" You see? These are what I call unhelpful thoughts. They do more harm than good. If you find yourself beating yourself up with these types of internal dialogs try to catch yourself and stop the thought process and replace it with something a bit more helpful and positive. See what happens!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sometimes you just need a little PUSH...

...a little oomph if you will.

Lately, with the summer months being so hot and humid AND my new demanding work schedule, I have been struggling with my runs. Struggling to get through a three mile run can be a real downer, a real confidence-killer. I know there are many factors contributing to my slump: staying up later, getting up earlier, stress of a new job, diet, hours siting and driving, and also some over training and a little bit of fatigue.

Something had to change. Obviously I just started my job so that was not going to change. I decided in July to take on a new way of eating. I needed to know what I was putting in my body and I needed to STOP putting things in my body that are not natural, helpful, or healthful. Now I am by NO means an expert when it comes to diet and clean eating, but I am stumbling my way through it. I have found that making things from scratch is the easiest way to know what I am consuming. If it is processed I pretty much don't eat it. Towards the middle of July I embarked on a new way of fueling my body: I have cut out wheat, grains (rice and yes, this includes bread), pasta, sugar (all forms to include fruit), dairy. It was TOUGH at first but now going into my 6th week, I am used to it and really loving how I feel.

I can (and will) go into more details on the new way of eating soon. I have lost about 8 pounds of fat and gained 5 pounds of muscle. I need to get my measurements so I can tell you how many inches I am down. Tomorrow morning I have an appointment to test my resting metabolism and measure my BMI, and I'm not talking with calipers. I am very excited about this. Then on Thursday morning I am going in to the Wellness Center for the Fitness Test to include the VO2Max testing. I am beyond excited about this. Finally I am getting some valuable, measurable information about my health and fitness. Boo-yeah!

Anyway, back to the little PUSH we may or may not need at times...I was a little hesitant when Daniela of Power-gy contacted me about giving their product, PushNOW a try. First, I wanted to know what was in it and was it safe. So many products in the past have proven to be dangerous and I just don't go there. Anything that raises your heart rate can't be good or safe when you are running 26.2 miles, or even 3 miles for that matter. Those products aren't for me.

BUT-I checked out Power-gy and as soon as I read about the product I was interested. It seemed different, by description and by ingredients.


What Power-gy says:


Need that extra "push" while exercising? Feeling sluggish halfway through your workout? push NOW is a pre-workout endurance supplement that gives you the perfect amount of sustained energy to carry you through your workout routine. Unlike most endurance supplements that are packed with sugar based ingredients, push NOW is sugar-free.

Here are the ingredients:


*****Now, I am by no means an expert or a doctor or have any education or training about this sort of thing SO with that being said, please consult with your doctor before taking anything like this.

My experience with this product was very, very good. I have tried products in the past but this one is different. If you will recall, I have been doing a good amount of my training in the evenings. So, with this being a pre-workout supplement, before my evening runs I took one supplement around 7 o'clock PM. My workouts have not been easy, I am doing the Run Less, Run Faster plan which has me doing some serious speed work and tempo runs. Each time I took the Push NOW I was able to make it through my workout. Not only did I make it through my workouts but I was hitting my paces right on target. THAT, my friends, is a BIG deal. I didn't poop out and actually after my first RLRF workout I was surprised that I was able to even finish the workout. Just as the product promises, it gave a subtle push to make it through.

A couple of other things I think you should know. I did not notice my heart rate raise any higher than it does during a workout sans supplement. I generally have a heart rate of 165 during an easy mid to long run. During my speed work it can push 185 if I am working HARD. I did not feel like my heart was going to explode or that I could possibly die at any moment. I felt completely natural. I had actually forgotten I took the supplement after one workout. I was neither wired nor running around like a crazed energizer bunny. And get this, after my evening workouts I was able to come home, shower, and fall into bed at 10 o'clock and sleep. Yes, I was able to fall asleep after taking this supplement only 3 hours prior. Now I'll admit, I am kind of a freak of nature when it comes to sleeping, I almost fell asleep while swimming laps in a warm, sun lit, indoor pool once...but still, I think this deserved to be mentioned.

I took the supplement before my Roxborro Sprint Triathlon where I had my swim PR by 1 min 20 seconds. I also had a killer bike (despite the rain) and my best run (during a tri) of the season. Had the run not been on a muddy trail in the pouring rain I would have possibly gotten a 5k PR. I finished that race feeling like I had been able to push to the end as opposed to wanting to fall off a bridge a mile in to the 3 mile run.

And finally, I have taken this supplement for two of my long runs, including this past weekend's 14.77 mile run. I probably could have gone on to 18 miles if it weren't for my calves tightening up, the humidity, and I was hungry. So the verdict is.....I'm certainly purchasing more of this supplement. It has earned the 5 Mile Stamp of Approval.

Go ahead, check out their website (HERE) and if you have any questions I am certain Daniela would love to answer them for you! She knows her stuff and has a passion for health and wellness.

Have you ever tried anything like this before? What are your thoughts on using performance supplements?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

All Mixed Up...

This has been one of those weeks. All my workouts and runs are all mixed up. I wasn't able to get my tempo run in on Thursday or Friday so I am hoping to hit the treadmill in a little bit, if Hurricane Irene cooperates. For now we are right on the outskirts (just south and east of Raleigh) and have random wind gusts and rain. Nothing serious. This puts my long run of 13-15 miles tomorrow morning EARLY.


I am super stoked to run with Running and Whatnot in the morning! She is in town from WA for a couple of weeks and is struggling with the culture here, the absence of sidewalks, and the SERIOUS lack of consideration given to runners and others seeking an active lifestyle by motorist and those who think we should not be on the 2 inch shoulder of the road. So in case you have missed me and my complaining about this stupid town I live in go ahead and check out her recent experience in trying to get out and simply run in this town. It will make you go outside and hug your sidewalk. Seriously.

It's sad that when I day dream about running I imagine Tacoma, sidewalks, slow moving cars, not dodging cigarettes flying out of car windows at me, beautiful scenery, and SMILING and WAVING motorist. In real life, here in my neck of the woods, I get honked at (and not by the boys flirting) and flipped off. Seriously.

Fortunately being a military family all I have to do is wait, wait just a little bit and a move is on the horizon. I am excited about our next move! It is looking like a move to CA is next! I know, it is super early to be talking about that, like almost three years early, but it gives me something to look forward to...getting out of this place. Ok, wow, little tangent there, enough being grumpy and negative.

I am attempting to be the change I want to see in this town. (Ghandi)

It isn't fair to say that no one in this town is healthy or active, because in fact there are a lot of healthy, active people. Many of which kick my bootie in each triathlon I have competed in. It is just the overall culture is different from what I fell in love with in Runner's Paradise (AKA the PNW). I still have not adjusted but I have at least, for the most part, accepted where I am and what I am working with. I am making it work, kind of.

Speaking of a move to CA, I have been busy completing the requirements so I can transfer my professional license to CA. This has me busy with studying for CEU tests and I have to take a graduate level class that I didn't need for my degree program. So with that being said I have been very busy and will continue to be so for the next few months. I have to get my licensure paperwork in by Dec. so my blogging may be a bit on the sporadic side for a while.

And for your viewing enjoyment, LB wanted to run to the Bus Stop on Friday...of course I let him. He set out on the quarter-mile + run while I was loading the car and locking the house...As I pulled up next to him I had to get a picture. Do your kids ride the bus to school? For some reason, when he got on that bus the first day of school it was like a punch in the gut. I was so proud of him for being independent and brave but he is that much further from being my baby...


Well, off to check in with all my friends running the Hood to Coast Relay this weekend then to get in my 6 mile tempo run!! What are you up to this weekend? Hunkered down for Hurricane Irene?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

RLRF I sort of <3 you....

...even if you are trying to KILL me.

Today I squeezed in my RLRF workout! I hit snooze this morning, yep no surprise there. I don't even know why I bother setting that stupid alarm. 90% of the time I hit snooze. I LOVE having three runs a week though because if I snooze Monday I can still get it in on Tue or Wed, then have run #2 in on Thru or Fri and still be able to get my long run in early Sunday mroning. Three runs a week make my running possible and alleviate the stress of a training plan. Not to mention the two to three cross training sessions a week can easily be done on my porch, at the yoga studio, or the pool on the weekend. So this plan is working great right now.

Tonight's workout consisted of 3x1600 m repeats, or 3x 1 mile repeats, @ 7:40 min/mil pace with one minute rest between each. I'm not gonna lie because really I would jus be lying to myself, and what's the point of that? I took about TWO MINUTES rest between each one. I'm sure that is not ideal because the point is to raise that lactic acid threshold and increase endurance at a faster speed but lets face it, 7:40 min/mile for a whole, entire mile is redonkulous-for me anyway. I am certain these workouts are working. I need to find 5k to test it out and play with my new found speed. I was actually surprised I was able to do three one mile repeats at that pace. Mission accomplished, self-estem boosted 25 points, confidence through the roof.... And that is how it should be.

Tonight we had Open House for LB to meet his new 1st grade teacher! I think it's going to be a good year, for all of us!


I was so proud when we stopped by to say Hi to LB's kindergarten teacher and after greeting LB she looked at me and said, "I've started walking! It's not running but I'm walking! I've lost 10 pounds!" She told me that LB was always talking about me and my races and running. It is such a good feeling to know that I have motivated her in even a small way and she is getting fit and healthy!

And because I am 16 years old and care what other people think of me, I cleaned up my cords....So many of you loathed my cord mess so I felt embarrassed about my mess like I should tidy them up. We'll see how long it stays like this.




There, do you all feel better now?

OH! I almost forgot! Check out my guest post over on Power-Gy's blog HERE!! I'll be doing a review of their Push NOW Pre-workout endurance supplement soon!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I wouldn't say " TOTALLY....

...redeemed myself", only slightly redeemed myself.

For some reason peeling myself out of bed at 5:30 AM on a Saturday is much easier than oh, say a Monday, Wednesday or a Thursday. What is that about? I guess it is just knowing that I had the remainder of the day to chillax and be lazy instead of be functional at work all day makes a difference.

The sweet, soft, and gentle sound of my alarm startled me from my sleep (who me? Sarcastic? Nah.....) at 5:40. The amazing and welcoming aroma of delay-brew coffee did make my arousal that much sweeter... My foot got caught in the sheet, or the sheet was practically tied around my foot, and I fell out of bed landing on my pile of cords that I use to charge all my 50 jillion electironics: computer, iPod, hard drive, two cameras, cell phone, work on-call cell phone, Garmin...just to name a few. Anyway, my foot was caught and I think I pulled my ego hamstring or inner thigh trying to catch myself and prevent my face from saying good morning to the stinking carpet.

Nice way to wake up...Way to find that inner peace, get the day off to a goooood start. Don't you hate it when that happens? Or am I the only person in the world who gets tangled up in the sheets?

My Pile-O-Cords....


And the funniest part of all this is that just this morning, while I was out, LB wrote me a little note because he tripped, or fell off the bed and/or stepped on a plug and hurt his foot. In case you have trouble reading it, it says:

"Mom kilenee (clean) up yor (your) kords (cords)."


I was confused at first when I saw it, I wondered if he or The Hubs had witnessed my graceful greeting of the day....but I don't think either of them did, for one it was pitch dark my room and LB was in his own room. I think it was just sheer, random coincidence.

I piddled around, ate breakfast, had my coffee, and hit the door by 6:20. I should have and could have left a little earlier so I could have gotten in 13 miles-ish. I headed out knowing I needed to be home by 8 so I could meet J-Ninja for yoga at 9.

My RLRF plan called for 17 miles...uh yeah, right....No. I am just not ready for that kind of mileage. I am not about to risk injury right now so I am following the old 10% increase in mileage per week, kind of. Really I am just not increasing in a stupid way. I realize this is not how the plan is meant to be used but I just don't have the base for 17 miles right now and I don't have the time or energy for any other plan. So 3Plus2 (3 quality runs plus 2 [at least] cross train days) it is for me.

So I should have done 17 miles at MP (marathon pace) +48 seconds: 9:54 min/mile. Now I am sure on a 10 mile run I should have hit that MP +15 or 20 seconds but hey, I'm just rolling with the tides right now...So I hit my 10 miles at a 9:55 min/mile pace. I was soaked in sweat by the end. It was muggy and I couldn't keep the sweat out of my eyes. I have been thirsty ALL day long too.

Yoga was good, not amazing but good. We got some nice, deep stretching in and I think that was much needed. The best part of all this was breakfast after with J-Ninja! I earned that Western Omelet and pancakes!

Tomorrow I hit the pool! I am ready for a nice, long swim! My joints and muscles miss the pool!

Thursday, August 18, 2011


No, not my training, not my job, not anything of significance really....except my run tonight.

I hit snooze this morning. I hate it when I do that. I mean I love it, getting that extra hour of sleep, but I hate it. And the kicker is that I knew it would be difficult to get my run done this evening. I knew that I had a busy day at work and an appointment at 6 PM. Yet I still self-sabataged and hit snooze.

Tonight I got home about 6:30 and The Hubs was making dinner-AWESOME! I was super starving since I had to eat my lunch at 11and devoured the chicken stir fry dinner...

Fast forward 45 minutes and I am on the treadmill at the Rec Center, plucking away at my 6 mile tempo run. I completed my slow, warm up mile at 9:48 min/mile pace. I quickened the pace to 8:45 min/mile for mile two. I could feel my stomach burning. The burn was creeping up into my throat and my stomach was H.E.A.V.Y. Mile 2 came and started to pass but things were not feeling good and I was doing that disgusting throw-up in my mouth thing....I hit the big, fat, red STOP button and packed up my stuff. I headed to the car with my tail between my legs. Tonight I quit my run. I could have done my 6 mile tempo run but somehow I just didn't feel like puking up my dinner. I was defeated.

I have to get it together. I'm still struggling with the early AM running thing even though it's only 3 days a week. Today's tempo run is scrapped. I think the smart thing to do is scrap it for tomorrow too and go ahead with the long run Saturday AM.

Have you ever just straight up quit in the middle of a run? Even though your legs and breathing were good? It felt weird and I was kind of angry. I needed this run but I just couldn't stomach it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

RLRF: I <3 You....

Kind of.

This past weekend I missed my long run. How am I supposed to get in a 17 mile run at MP +45 seconds when I am doing a triathlon? Major conflict here but what ever, I'm going to make it work. I was too sore on Sunday to get it done and Monday just didn't work out. So scratch the long run for this week. I'm determined to get it in this weekend, Saturday. I have no excuse. It will be long run Saturday AM then yoga with the J-Ninja.

This morning I slept in and had a plan to do my run on the treadmill then hit the pool after work. Well the treadmill happened but the pool did not. I really miss swimming. My swim time on Saturday was awesome, my best time of the season: 13:49.9 (previous PR is 15:09)! So I would love to keep the swim momentum going and get that time down a bit more, I need all the help I can get to make up for my weak run showing. I'm picking up my tri training intensity for the remainder of the season. I only have two left, as of now: an Olympic distance (which is scary!) and another sprint.

Tonight's RLRF workout was a doozie, I expect no less than a doozie out of these workouts though. I did a 10 min warm up followed by 5 x 1k @ 7:49 min/mile pace, followed by a 10 min cool down. It was rough but nothing I couldn't handle, even with my wicked blister:

The Hubs fixed me up with duct tape...it worked pretty well. It was still sensitive but at least it didn't get any worse and I was able to run.


Many of you have asked if I got the blister from my new NB w10 Minumus shoes. The answer to that is No. The blister came during the run portion of my sopping wet triathlon on Saturday. I made a last minute decision to ditch my socks after the bike and put my bare feet into my soaking wet Sauconys. I think it was the best choice and this one blister could have been worse and multiplied by 10 if I had worn the socks. So i think I came out of this deal pretty good! So far no issues with my w10s! Love them!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Take a Gander at This...

It hurts...real bad. And yes, I know my foot looks very dirty....


I hit snooze this AM instead of going for my run. How can I run with no skin on my arch? I don't know either...So I didn't. Suggestions welcome. Anything would be better than what The Hubs suggested: Put duct tape on it...Uh, seriously, is there anything you men don't use duct tape for?

Tomorrow is a new day though and my alarm is set for 5:15 AM so I can do my 5x1k @ 4:42 with 400 yd recovery between and a 10 min warm up and 10 min cool down.

Next thing for your viewing enjoyment is this truck I saw today. Look closely at the roof of his truck. I guess I could call him and ask what's up with the dinosaurs and super heros? Well and to ask what's up with his truck in general. It looks like my 6 year old went crazy practicing his numbers and letters on it, then played dinosaur vs. super heros on top....


Need a closer view? It's a little blurry but you get the point. Funny.


And finally, Sunday afternoon we had a small, impromptu belated 6th birthday party for LB. Poor kid didn't have any fun at all though... The look on The Hubs' face is priceless. Almost as classic as LB's face. Almost.


Happy Monday everyone!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mayo Lake Sprint Tri Recap

All it takes is a woman to pass a dude to light a fire under his bum. Seriously.

Today I did the TrySports Mayo Lake Sprint Tri. It was amazing and crazy and wild and awesome all wrapped in one blurr of an event!

Team Mountaintop!


Somehow The Hubs and I got bib #20 and 21 so we were next to each other in the transition area. That was fun....Here are our bikes set up and ready.


I was hoping to make it to the podium but I knew the competition was stiff going in with 21 in my age group. It was a little more than twice as big as my last tri. With that being said I feel like did SO MUCH BETTER. Actually I am not sure what my splits were, they aren't posted yet, but I know I feel really good about them, given the circumstances.

"Circumstances?" you say....Lets just say the swim was amazing. Went off without a hitch except for a few instances where I literally swam over one girl, got kicked in the boob, got swum over and a few other things. It was actually the roughest swim to date BUT I think I had my fastest swim time yet. Amazing!

Coming out of the water we had to run up a steep hill. Whose idea was THAT? Really....

IMG_3031.jpg IMG_3034.jpg

This certainly was not the cleanest or least disgusting swim venue I have experienced...


I came out of the water and grabbed Nelly (my bike for the new readers) and hit the road. I saw, what I thought was off in the distance, some gnarly clouds. I told myself, "Ok Amanda. Lets do this. Go hard and beat the rain." Big mistake. If I never believed in jinxing myself this would be one of those times that has made me into a believer.

Not two miles in I started getting pelted with rain. I wondered for a minute if it was hail, tiny little hail nuggets flying at my face. I let off my speed for a minute and thought about a few options: Get off the road and sit under a tree and DNF, keep going, see what happens, ride a bit slower, use my race experience to my advantage and despite being a bike-weenie use my racing experience to my advantage and go for it....I went for it. Others were slowing, I sped up. I still rode conservatively on the downhills, I always do since my crash back in March. That messed me up and I suffer from PTSD. Every down hill I have flashbacks of the entire crash ending with me in a ditch. Scary stuff. But at the end of the day it makes me a safe and alert biker. If I can just get that piece under control I know I could be so much stronger on the bike.

So there I was, riding my bike in the stinking rain. Who does that? Not me. I don't ride in the rain. It didn't help matters that this was THE hilliest course I have ever ridden. It even beat Kirkland in Kirkland, WA. It was big, long uphills and long steep downhills, and short steep uphills and long moderate downs....and on and on the entire way. It was actually a great course. I could get those thighs burning on the uphill, hit the big gears and ride it down....giving my legs a rest.

I passed a few girls and a number of dudes. One dude kept leap frogging with me. I didn't mind since he was, well a dude, and 50. And then it happened. An Age Grouper passed me, not only was she in my age group but she was a 90 pound Turkey, and I mean that in the most complementary way possible. She could not have weighed a pound over 90. She was skin, bones, and muscle. She passed me and I decided to hang close, 15 meters behind. And sorry if you are a blog reader of mine, but really you need to hear this. When she passed she remained in the middle of the lane. I could not over take her at all if I wanted to. A couple of times I could have and wanted to but she was right in the middle. I didn't want to cross the center lane or pass to the right so I hung back until the right moment came and I passed her. I didn't look back and I never saw her again. On the bike.

When I finally came off the bike I was soaked to the bone. The rain had been torrential. I racked my bike and made a split second decision to lose the socks for the run. My entire transition area was soaked. When I did Tris in Washington I usually took a large trash bag to cover my stuff in case it rained. It was just habit and second nature to plan for rain. Not here...I didn't even think about it. Everything was soaked, my shoes were full of water when I slid my bare feet into them. i figured bare feet would be better than my soppy socks.

The run was a trail run. It was absolutely awesome! I had forgotten how much I love trail runs. At first I puddle hopped but that lasted about 15 feet into the woods. The trail was about 3 feet across at most, but usually about 2 feet wide, and slippery mud. There was no avoiding it. I slid around the corners and down hills. It was gnarly! I was loving every second of it even though it was up and down hill, wet and muddy, twisty and turny, and tree branchy and rooty. I will say though that it was the longest three miles of my life. I hit the one mile mark and nearly hit a wall. Yep, a wall at one mile. My left arch was burning already and I could feel my insoles bunched up and crinkled up under my foot, not laying flat in my shoe.

I passed a number of dudes...and let me tell you, I guess all it takes is for a woman to pass a dude to light a fire under his tushie to get him to run faster. It's funny and annoying at the same time. Then as I grabbed a tree on the right hand side and flung around a tight, hairpin curve it happened. That 90 pound Turkey went trotting by me....UGH. I was ticked. I was running my best. I could have run faster if it was a road race but this was a muddy trail race and that kinda takes some getting used to. But I saw her in front of me and I watched her slip away....into the forest.

Getting passed is so mental. It is hard to keep going, at least it is for me. I felt myself slow a bit as she went by but as she went around a turn ahead and I could no longer see her it was me and the forest and the rain and the mud again. I found my mental game and realized I was doing ok and I could keep going. After the two mile mark I got passed by another girl. This one was also hard on me mentally but she looked good and strong. She showed no sign of fatigue or slowing. I let her go. Yes, let her go....

In my mind I knew best case scenario I could have third place but really I had no idea of my standings. As I finally neared the finish line I saw The Hubs, clapping and cheering me in. He yelled, "There's one on your tail!" I glanced over my shoulder and saw a woman coming but really couldn't tell how close or far she was or how fast she was coming. I gave every last ounce of umph I had and sprinted to the end. It was a weak sprint but I held her off and beat her. Turns out she wasn't in my age group but it got me an Overall Female Ranking of #15 and an 8th place finish in my Age Group out of 21. I'll have to post official times and splits later once they are posted.

The rainy day...


LB was having a blast...he was a soaked, muddy rat by the end. He said, "Mom! I am just doing what my shirt says!!" Well son, I guess you are...


Tomorrow is my long run and yoga! What's in store for you tomorrow?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ok, I can do this...


Yeah, I think so.

This morning's RLRF run was a tempo run. I haven't ever tackled a temp run on the streets. Usually I stick to the treadmill so I can control the pace. But it is just not feasible or convenient for me to get to the treadmill in most cases since it would cost me a good hour or more in the morning. Getting up at 5:15 is bad enough, take away even a half hour and that puts me getting up at 4:45. Gross.

My plan called for 7 miles, Mile 1 easy at 9:43, the middle 5 at a more challenging 8:43 pace, and the final mile at an easier 9:43 pace again. I opted out of 7 miles for two reasons: 1) I didn't have time for 7 miles and 2) my long run last Saturday was 8 miles, I didn't think a medium, mid-week long run of 7 miles two days before a race was a good idea. Aren't' I a good smart runner/triathlete? My first mile was completed in 10:07 min/mile, a little slower than planned, Mile 2 was 8:46 min/mile, just three seconds off goal pace! Mile 3 and Mile 4 were right on the money at 8:43 min/mile each! How did I do that?? And mile 5 was at 9:54 min/mile.

Overall I am pleased with the run, I just wish I had enough time to do 7. I was feeling pretty good and I think I could have maybe gotten another 2 miles done at the faster pace. But I am playing smart. I don't want any overuse injuries. This weekend, depending on how sore and worn out I am after Saturday's tri, I'll hit my long run up early on Sunday. I'm going to shoot for 10-13 miles instead of the 17 miles on the plan. I think that is doable, as long as the heat and humidity are bearable.

One issue I have with this plan is that it jumps into high mileage FAST! Next weekend, at the end of week 4 the plan has a 20 miler! Are you kidding me? 20 miles in week FOUR? I understand that this plan in intended for people with a very good mileage and endurance base. I haven't helped myself any by starting in week 3. Self-sabatoage much? This plan has FIVE 20 mile runs altogether...No stinking joke...This is serous. I'll work it out though, I am certain!

Jen, of Runner Maybe hooked me up with this link HERE to a RLRF calculator! (THANK YOU!) PRICELESS! I put in my 5k time and turns out I ran my splits on Monday night a lot faster than I needed to. Oops! Maybe that is why I am STILL sore from that workout? Ya think? But now I know and will adjust for it come next Tuesday's speed work. Am I sick and twisted for saying that I am already looking forward to it? I was afraid so...I think I will love the speed work and long runs but hate the tempos. But who know? Maybe like an arranged marriage I will learn to love them.....one can only hope.

So any questions about RLRF? I know a few of you had some questions on my last post. I'll try to answer questions here this weekend! I am certainly not an expert by any means though, I am fumbling through this workout...so it will be fun, like the blind leading the blind! And let me just add this, three runs a week kind of rocks! I do have three days of cross training but for a triathlete that just plain and simply rocks the hizouse! Swim and bike and kettle bell....oh yea!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I am humbled to say...

WOW! Holy RLRF! This is going to be no joke. Like seriously no joke...I am not prepared for what is the Run Less, Run Faster plan. Tonight it put me in my place.

After a lot of hard work I got my plan made and I am sticking to it....hard or not it is what it is and I am doing it.


I decided to do tomorrow's workout tonight since I have a 12:10 AM date at the airport to pick up my boys. Yay! I knew getting up at 5 AM would be hard to put it nicely. Why self-sabatoage? I had the evening and needed to get my workout in. Too bad I had to leave work a little later than anticipated and couldn't make it to the 7 PM yoga so run only it was. I decided to head to the Recreation Center that has a small, and I mean small fitness room. But hey, two treadmills and two elliptical and some weights and other things is pretty good for a FREE community center. It is literally 6 minutes from my house! Score!

I am not sure what time they open but they close at 9 PM. Getting there in the AM and back home to shower for work mostly likely will not happen, let's be honest. But I guess I could become an evening runner...GASP! Tonights killer workout lasted one hour from the beginning of the warm up to the end of the cool down. I am sure, positive actually, that they will get longer as I progress through the plan. But for now an hour it is.

My workout tonight was:

10 min warm up/10 min cool down

1200 m done in 5:39

1000 done in 4:40

800 m done in 3:42

600 m done in 2:48

400 m done in 1:49

200 m done in :50

...All these with 200 m recovery between.

Anyone have any guess as to the problem I had when I arrived with this, written on a Post-It note, and jumped on the treadmill?

Uhhhhh.....how the heck to I convert all this to miles and mph or pace per mile or min/mile pace? Deer in the headlights...total Duh moment as I stood there and stared at it. Shoot. I texted Jess-Blonde Ponytail, she is a veteran of the RLRF plan since she used it for her last marathon. She emailed me a table which was very, very helpful....now that I am at home with my computer.

So there I was, standing on the treadmill. I decided that I could figure out the distance by gauging it with the visual guy that runs around the track. I have enough track experience that I know a 1000 m is 2 laps around a track plus a 200 yards, which puts me halfway around the track. ugh, so this was not only a physical workout but my brain was smoking by the end.

I used the lap option my iPhone to time each interval, and the treadmill to measure distance and pace. It worked out ok but I need a better system. It worked out that I ran each interval a little bit faster than the previous. the 1200m was done at approximately a 7:15 min/mile pace, 1000 @ 7:10, 800 @ 7:05, 600 @ 6:52, 400 @ 6:32, and the 200 I did way to fast (but hey, this was one of my races in High School and when I dabbled in track in college, I was a short distance sprinter).

I recovered each time with 200 m very, very slow. It was hot even inside with the fan blowing right on me. I was sweating up a storm.

photo-13.jpg photo-12.jpg

I also did the entire workout in my new NB w10s except for the last 200 m and the cool down! I loved them! I felt no pain or weirdness throughout! In fact, it was weird when I put my Sauconys back on. I am excited to be making this transition! I may even race in them on Saturday when I do my next sprint tri.

Man, my legs look weird and swollen. Maybe it is is my weird ankle socks?


Well I am off to the airport soon to pick up my boys! It has been way too quite around here!!

How was your workout? Anyone do any crazy speed work??

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tips for Running in Heat and Humidty

Yes, it's about time I talk about this....it is seriously challenging and I know many of us deal with it.

Let me tell you about my training. Saturday I got up early to meet Sarah downtown for a long run. Neither of us had run more than 3 or 4 miles since Seattle Rock n Roll so we were just out with hopes of 5 or more. My new Run Less, Run Faster plan told me I was to run 15 miles. HA ha ha ha!!! Yeah, right. I knew that was not smart. Sure I could have suffered through it but I don't want to get injured. Things are looking UP for me fitness-wise right now and an injury is the LAST thing I want. So in my mind I had a 10 mile limit. No more than that but I wanted to hit at least 5 miles.

I showed up and parked and quickly noticed downtown was bustling with bodies, running bodies!! A race was happening! I texted Sarah and told her I thought something was going on and she recalled a race going on down there. We didn't have enough time to register last minute so we watched for a few minutes and then made a game plan. We would run the first mile of the course in reverse so as not be confused as racers, then turn around and run the 10k race course. The race was small. I'm pretty sure I could have maybe placed Age Group, maybe....I like sizing up the competish these days.

We were on our way and it was muggy, humid and hot. In fact, this is a good time for me to tell you what I learned about running in heat from Run Less, Run Faster:

Reduce exercise intensity in very hot conditions. When temps exceed 90 degrees F or when the sum of the temp (F) and humidity (percent) exceeds 135, runners should modify their workout. Uh.....that wold be 24/7 here in the south from June-Oct. So Saturday it was about 84 degrees at 7 AM with 76% humidity. Any math whizzes out there? No, ok I'll do the math...160. I think that means go to breakfast for an iced coffee or mimosa....

Second thing I learned, and I am SO guilty of this, when it is humid it is BETTER to drink that water and try to stay dry. Why? Good question, here is what RLRF says: Your body adapts to the heat through increased blood flow to the skin, increased sweating, and a higher core temperature. You need to replace the sweat lost through regular hydration. Only water that evaporates results in significant cooling; the sweat running off your body reduces your body heat very little (Think about this one, the sweat running off and NOT evaporating does not really work to cool you). Higher humidity reduces the rate of evaporation. Wet skin does not sweat as much as dry skin; therefore, "poor it in, don't pour it on". In other words, drink water rather than pouring on top of your head.

So how many of you pour that water all over you, and on top of your head trying to get relief from the heat? ME! I am guilty! Just last weekend I was doing so. And frankly, I can see now that it did not help. The water just does not evaporate, and in high humidity, neither does your sweat. It is the sweat that evaporates that cools you, so if it just beads up there on your skin it is not really cooling you. So how do we adjust to this? How can we help ourselves? I'm not sure it is possible actually. Research shows that running times and paces slow while running in heat (temps over 60 degrees F) and humidity. In fact, you will not be able to sustain as fast a pace as normal in the heat, even if you are acclimated.

So all this to say, I should't be so hard on myself. And you shouldn't be either! It is stinking HOT and HUMID.

Back to the run...we ran opposite the race for about a mile then joined the route. I felt kind of bad but hey, it's a public road and we ran on the opposite side of the road and did not interfere with the racers. It was nice because Sarah and I could pretty much run our own pace and just follow the route, otherwise we run together since I have no idea where I am going in that part of town. I tried to keep my pace around 9:54 (my Marathon Pace +45 seconds). I was happy with my effort but I still have a had a hard time maintaining a consistant pace. Back in the day I would run every mile within 2-4 seconds of each other. Those days are gone.

We followed the course and when I ran back by my car I stopped for a quick shoe change, from my Saucony's to my NB w10s. I wanted to get at least a mile in with them on.

LOVE. Can you say love at first stride? Om my goodness! They felt amazing! Light! Comfortable! I did my 8th mile with them on and had no problem or pain whatsoever! I think my transition to these shoes will be negligible, and here is why: I walk around barefoot all the time, whenever socially acceptable. I love to be barefoot. And if not barefoot I wear flip flops that are equivalent to wearing a 1/3 inch slab of rubber, no real support. I even run in my flip flops when I need to, chasing LB or Lazy Dog, running in the park, playing catch or football. You name it I have done it in flip flops. I toured Italy in my flipflops, walking on the marble slab ground. No support whatsoever...so this transition will be A-okay.

BUT, that does not mean I will be running barefoot. No-siree. I am not jumping on that bandwagon. The thought of stepping on dog poop or a nail or a rock or spit or a snot-rocket, or getting a hook worm,you get the idea... I'll be wearing shoes thankyouverymuch....



After the 8 mile run (completed at about 9:30 min/mile pace) I was drenched in sweat but I had plans to meet J-Ninga for yoga! I headed to the studio and changed in the bathroom where I had to literally wring out my shorts into the sink before I dared put them in my Marc Jacobs bag. Seriously, priorities people! I have never seen such a thing. It was gross. Yoga was amazing though...I hope I can make it a routine to hit up the 9 AM morning class after my Saturday longruns. That would be awesome!

And finally I hit the road today with J-Ninja and her Hubster for a 20 mile bike ride. It was a good ride and I felt pretty good. We didn't ride too hard but the course was our old favorite, the Ranges, with hill after hill...So my quads were screaming at me! I passed on an even yoga class with J-Ninja. My back is so sore, most likely from plank into chaturanga then into cobra and down dog....over and over.

So this weekend was totally awesome! I got in a lot of training. The only thing I missed was a swim. Twice, Saturday and today, I put it off and didn't make it to the pool. I hope to make it there straight after work tomorrow. I'm packing all my stuff to be prepared.

This weekend I rediscovered Pandora Radio. Oh. My. Goodness. I am listening to Amy Winehouse station (a mix of music and artist of the same genre). It is awesome! So what are you loving today!?

Friday, August 5, 2011


Once upon a time I did yoga twice a week. That was when I was training for my first marathon. I would follow up most Tue/Thur runs with 1 hour and 15 minutes of flow Yoga. I did a lot of things right during that training cycle. Not sure what happened but I think I got cocky. Got over-confident maybe. Started thinking I was the bees knees, the best thing since sliced bread. A seriously too-cool-for-school chica. I see the error of my ways now though.

Back to Yoga. It was great. I was not as bendy as I had once been. I couldn't do many of the modifications which frustrates me. My balance was all wonky and frankly I had non when trying to Warrior III or the Half moon. Yoga is good. So, so good. It can do so much for the body as far as balance and stretching. The Pigeon pose is my favorite. The stretching I feel in my hips is unmatched. If I need to relax I can do two things, close my eyes and think back to my massage therapist, Kathryn (at the YMCA in Tacoma) or think about the Pigeon pose. It is almost instant relaxation. Fantabulous! Today my back muscles, glutes and hammies are sore. It feels so good!! I love being sore, hate it but love it.

It isn't exactly convenient, generally, to go to yoga, but I think I can commit to once a week. I think it will really help my overall fitness. Since our beach weekend was spoiled by what was a hurricane, then Tropical Storm Emily, and now an open tropical wave, J-Ninja and I decided to hit up yoga again in the morning.

Speaking of tomorrow morning, I hope to get in a good 5-6 mile run before hand. Although I don't think I'll be wearing these:

Aren't they beautiful?


My amazing UPS friend dropped these off this evening. Lazy Dog is not so excited to see the Brown truck, but me, I get straight up giddy when he rolls up.

Lazy Dog licking his chomps...biting at the bit to eat the UPS man.


I think I'll wear the new New Balance W10's for one mile, return home and change into my Saucony for a few miles, then one more shoe change. They say to transition slowly. I'll try but patience has never been my forte.

Tonight I am just chilln' at home. I think this is a great opportunity to get in a kettle bell workout and bike ride on the trainer work on my final OBX Marathon plan. I'm all set up and ready to get it done, put down on paper so there are no more excuses. I must get on this.photo-10.JPG

The Hubs made it to the summit of Mt. Rainier. I am so super jealous but I think next summer we will head up there to do it together. I can't wait!! Look at him! He's on top of the world!


What are you up to this weekend? Anyone creating their training plan for their upcoming races? Or summiting any mountains? Going to the beach despite the open tropical wave? My parents are cruising around Alaska. My son in heading back to Berkley from Yosemite and I am sitting at my kitchen table, listening to Pandora radio....Someone tell me something exciting....make me feel even more jealous happy for you!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Still Lonely...

Yes, I am still living the Bachelorette life here...for 5 more days.

It is very quite and lonely. To make matters worse TOMORROW is LB's 6th birthday. I can't believe he is 6 already! And I can't believe I am not celebrating his birthday with him. I am celebrating, just not with a Spiderman cake or with him. J-Ninja, Sarah, and I are heading downtown for a late Flow Yoga class followed by dinner! When will I ever get to celebrate LB's birthday like this again? Probably when he's grown and off doing his own thing, in 20 years. Thank goodness for friends!

To make matters a little more sad and woe-is-me-ish, LB is in Yosemite National Forest this week with his grandpa. The cell phone service there is not great so I can't reach him. Insert pouty face here.....I am certain he is having a great time though. While he is hiking around Yosemite, The Hubs is on his way to the summit of Mt. Rainier.

Photo taken from Mel-Tall Mom's yard in June. Beautiful!


Man, how did I miss out on all this fun? I have always wanted to hike to the top of Mt. Rainier. Maybe next year....

Take a look at these beauties! New Balance Trail W10! They are making their way to my house via UPS as we speak.

I don't do a ton of trail running but a lot of the sprint tris thus far have included a good portion of the run on trails. So I am hoping to get used to these puppies and work my way into the minimalistic running, kind of. Anyone given these a spin? How do you like them?screen-capture-2.png

Oh and HOW did I forget!? I am OFFICIALLY registered for OBX 26.2. So I guess I have to start training now. What fall races are registered for? Any first time marathoners??

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

More Chamoise...

For the boys…wait, I don’t have boys…but either way Chamoise it good. Really good. If you are getting into the world of triathlon don’t skimp on the Chemoise. Feel free to ask in a comment if you need clarification.

Recently I have been approached with a number of questions surrounding triathlon. I figured I would go ahead and answer some of them here and now. So if I leave any question unanswered, please feel free to ask either in a comment or via email. I’ll do another post if necessary. But…keep in mind please that these answers are just mine. I am no pro, I have no coach, or professional training. These are from ME, me who wants to melt into the pavement and slip peacefully away into the sea during the run portion. Me.

Now, first question:

1) Under your wet suit do you wear a swimming suit?

-Simply, no. I mean, yes if if is swim suit or birthday suit...but I prefer triathlon specific clothes. I have done 6 triathlons and have only worn a wet suit once and that was in my first, in late September in Lake Washington. The water temp was two degrees warmer than the air at 68 degrees. I wore a shortie wet suit (it was shorts with only 3/4 sleeves) over my swim suit because I did not have a proper triathlon outfit. Now here is the deal, if you don’t want to drop the money on tri gear I get it. It’ expensive. I have done most of my tris in a swim suit. It is no biggie. My suggestion for you is don’t wear a wet suit unless it is cold. Cold air and cold water. You will warm up and the wet suit will slow you down coming into/out of T1. I understand though that some tris are just wet suit necessary and in order to avoid hypothermia you need to wear one. in which case I would wear it OVER my tri shorts and singlet. But if i didn’t have that as an option I would wear it over a sports bra (one made for tris that will dry quickly, not cotton) and my swim suit AND tri shorts (very important that they are Triathlon specific shorts, not just biking shorts, you will hold too much water in the butt pad of a regular bike short). Coming out of the water you unzip the back and pull it down to the waist while running. At your bike you shimmy out of it. Once out of it, if you have only a swim suit on good luck with those tri shorts. Yes in the past I wore my tri shorts over my swim suit and worn it the whole way. swim, bike , and run. In my 70.3 I did not want to wear the swimsuit for that long but for a sprint or olympic I think it would be just fine. Just don’t forget the Chamoise Cream….

Oh and P.S. Putting on spandex while wet is nearly impossible. Wear your bike and run clothes from the get go! It makes your T1FAST which is just plain bad A.

Me in my tri shorts and swim suit with a tri-soecfic bra underneath. I swam, biked, and ran in this…


Me in my 2XU Tri shirt and Tri Shorts. I swam, biked, and ran in this entire outfit…Shout out to J-Nina’s Hubster below with his Age Group GOLD.

Me (and LB) at my first tri 9/2008 in my shortie with swimsuit underneath.

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2) When you are swimming how do you overcome the obstacles with running into/getting hit by other swimmers?

-Expect it. Unfortunately this happens and it can be bad but for the most part swimming arms aren’t really like deliberate punching arms. What I’m saying is that it can catch you off guard and throw you off but if you expect it then you wont be surprised. My advice is, if your out for a good time and a first time tri, begin to the back and the outside. If you don’t want to be in the back then just ensure you are on the outside. This way the faster, more aggressive swimmers can be on their way and not swimming over you. Keep your eye on the buoys and don’t get too far of course. And the time when I get kicked and hit the most is on turns. So be aware of swimmers around you while turning at the buoys. Remain calm if you do get punched and don’t take it personally. I have punched and been punched. It’s part of the game.

3) For the sprint tri’s how do you fuel throughout the race?

-This one is tricky. You have to find what works for you. I think I am close to finding the right way. For me, I drink Accelerade 30 minutes before my wave start. Upon coming out of the water before getting on my bike I eat as much of a GU gel I can in ONE squeeze and gulp. Then while on my bike I have a water bottle I use in the aero position. This is key for me. Otherwise I cannot drink while riding. I’m just not coordinated enough. In my water bottle I have TWO separate chambers, a large chamber holding 20 oz I think and a smaller one holding 12 oz. I put water in the larger chamber and a GU Brew in the smaller. This way I am fueling while drinking. It is awesome. Now if you are a good biker you can do this, my husband tapes Gu Gels to his bike, the center bar between his legs. As he rips the Gu from the tape it opens the Gu packet and he can eat it. But you have to be aware of your trash, if you get caught tossing it you can get a 2 minute penalty for littering. Same goes for dropping your water bottle or anything else while on the ride. Then coming off the bike I grab my Chomps and use those as close to the beginning as I can on the run. I think next time I will use a Gu Gel, it is easier to down and I can get it into my system much faster, which is what I need coming off the bike. In the past I have used my handheld water bottle during the run with Gu Brew in it. So it just depends on what you want to do and what works for you. But there you have it.

Here is my bike with my water bottle between the bars. You can’t really tell here but there are two straws that stick up so I can drink easily.


4) Which marathon are you training for? Don’t you find it difficult to squeeze in biking/swimming while you are marathon training too?

-Um, ok I am only kind of training for a marathon right now. OBX HERE to be exact. It is Nov 13. I guess I should register and seriously be training. To be honest, yes I have had a hard time maintaining all three sports. For a while I focused only on running, then I was spinning and cycling like a mad woman, then once summer hit you couldn’t get me out of the pool. I was swimming almost two miles a day 4 times a week. I found my passion and natural athletic ability in the pool. I was born to be a swimmer. But, alas I cannot always swim, it is inconvenient. So yes, juggling all three is hard which is why I was desperate to see the Run Less, Run Faster plan/book. It has cross train days built in and those are the days where I will bike and swim and do weights or whatever. Tri season is quickly coming to a close so I will lay off the swim and bike, maybe, doing each once a week for maintenance until next spring when I will amp it up again. I think one fall marathon and one late spring marathon will be good, then TRIs all summer long.

5) The secret to improving bike skills seems to be finding other people to ride with. There is a group that rides together several times a week but they go much further (30+ miles) than I do (20miles at most). Do you think I should ride out with them and turn around early? What if I get lost?

-First off, please don't get lost!! Ok, this is scary for me too. I have a few riding groups around here and have never had the courage to join. BUT I will be joining them this coming Sunday, at least I will if you do!! =) But really, two people I work with are in the group and it was described to me as this: There are different levels of riders, Group A is fast fast lightening fast. Averaging over 22 mph. They go hard and fast and long and kick bootie. Group B is 18-22 mph. They too ride fast in my opinion. Then Group C rides less fast, all ranges up to 18 mph. I was also told that they take in new riders and will not leave them behind. So if you get there, talk to some of the riders, maybe some of them have the same issue, wanting less miles, and they may be willing to ride back with you. Maybe the first time out you could plan to ride the entire route, just to get a feel for it and familiarize yourself. Then after that 30+ ride you can decide. Plus, 30+ miles is awesome. I agree that riding with a group would be very helpful in pushing you/me/us to improve. So lets do it! A group ride is on the calendar for Sunday evening! Oh and about finding your way back….take your cell phone so you could call for help or if you have a GPS on it then you can find your way. Safety first!

Well that does it for my Q&A post. Hopefully you got some nuggets of knowledge out of it! And if you have anything to share I would love to hear it!!! Let me know in a comment!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

How I got 3rd in My Age Group....

I swam fast. Rode hard. Choked on the run....

Ok, no really. I did really well throughout except for the run. What the heck? I'm supposed to be good at running. It's what I do. I run, mostly. But I always choke on the run. I've been told it's because I need to ride more and that my legs are tired from biking so I die on the run. I'm sure that is true. So tomorrow I am moving the trainer back inside. He has been banished to the garage since May and it is time, time to bring him back in and set Nelly up so I can ride.

Anyway, we headed to the race site early since we didn't make packet pickup the night before. It was still dark when I got everything set up...but under the cover of darkness I discovered I had forgotten my race belt. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh! After a quick mini panic I realized all would be fine, I would just have to pin it. Old school style....No biggie. I closed my eyes and visualized how it would go down in transition: off with the bike shoes and helmet, on with the visor, running shoes, grab bib with pins already attached, pin it on as I run through the transition. I replayed it a couple of times and felt confident I could remember come race time. I use visualization a lot. I think it really helps me.

So here is my transition all set up and ready to go.


I headed over to J-Ninja's Hubster's transition to get some rubber bands so I could attach my repair kit to the back of my bike seat. Bad news, he had broken two of the rubber bands. There were none left to spare. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! I returned to my transition. I stared at my bike, then my wheels, then the repair kit. The conversation in my head went something like this: "I take the repair kit I don't need it. I leave it behind I get a flat. I have no pockets. Where do I put it? What do I do? I am doooomed. I will face certain flattage if I don't have it. That is just the way my life is...I need this repair kit. Think. Think. Where can I get rubber bands?" I looked around and no one in sight had rubber bands.

After a bit I had a brilliant idea. I headed over to the body marking area and grabbed two ankle straps.... I hooked up my repair kit and stepped back to admire my handy work. "Yes, this is going to be a good race." I should have been a boy scout.


With my transition all set up all I had to do now was wait. My wave started at 7:46. As I waited a girl came and introduced herself, Lacey! Lacey moved to NC from WA too and emailed me about doing the same tri. I was thrilled that she came up and introduced herself. It is so great to meet people in real life!!

Finally it was time for the pink caps (yay for pink caps!) to head to the water. J-Ninja wished me good luck, I wished Lacey good luck and then, then I did something weird. I went to the VERY FRONT. I mean smack dab in the front! The swim started and I was off. Nice and easy. I was working hard to concentrate on my stroke, kick, and breathing. I didn't want to get thrown off like I have so many other times.

The swim was in a river that meets the salty water of the Atlantic ocean. It was also really warm. And to make it worse there was a current. We were swimming into the current for a good part of the swim. It didn't phase me though, I felt good, except I was getting really, really warm. The water temp was around 86 and like a noob I put my swim cap over my ears. Why? Well at the time I thought it was a good idea, to help keep water out of my ears. Nope. FAIL. It was like wearing ear muffs in the summer. I got hotter and hotter. I could feel my face getting read and hot. As I came around the last buoy a dude smacked me, twice, in the head. Now I know things can get crazy in a race, but seriously, at the point where you were in a wave about 10 minutes earlier and you are getting passed, by a girl, let it go, don't punch. Wow. My goggles got knocked a little bit and I remember that is why I often put my swim cap OVER my goggles in a race. Oops.

I came out of the water and heard J-Ninja yelling for me!! I ran to the transition. I actually cannot remember what that run was like. I was ticked off because my watch had my swim at 17 minutes and something. I was mad. J-Ninja was at the side near my bike and her words rang in my ear, "Don't let it phase you." She was right, it was just the swim, I felt so good though? How could that be? The current? I guess? In the end, my swim time was 15:14 and I was ranked 2nd female in my age groups out of the water. I had no idea.

When I got on the bike I had no idea where I stood place wise. I knew there were only 9 in my age group. So I was somewhere between 1st and 9th. As I rode I passed one girl in my age group, there....8th or 1st. And that is how my ride went. I never saw anyone else in my age group until about a quarter mile to go. I rode hard the entire time, like there was a mob of girls trying to get me. My goal for this race was to place. I wanted a top three. So I rode hard and just at the last I passed a girl in my age group, putting me in first but again, I had no idea. As we came nearer the dismount she passed me quickly and I got caught behind a dude who could not get off his bike and I was trapped in the narrow dismount area, "Dude, move! Go! Go!!" I yelled, mainly because I was about to fall over and I couldn't stop, he had to get out of the way.

I ran to the transition area, feeling surprisingly good. I visualized again my transition, shoes, visor, bib. It all went down just as planned. My bib was pinned on before I even made it out and crossed the timing mat. I was off...running. Running in the heat. The humidity. Ugh. I was not prepared for this. But I could see the calf with the number 34 in front of me. I kept her in my sights. Surely the heat will get her too? Yes, there is no way she can keep this up. She is going to choke. And then she was further and further ahead. Ah, drat. I let her go. I could settle for 2nd or 9th. At the 1 Mile mark I saw J-Ninja's hubster, he had a mile to go-I cheered him on and kept going. 2 miles left for me. I held my own and saw no more age groupers....until the last half mile. My feet were on fire. The bottom on my right foot was burning, my speed laces were too tight paired with the hot asphalt it was killing my foot. I could hardly breath, the humidity was torturous. The heat unbearable. It was like running in a stupid sauna. I was thirsty and HOT and then this chick, some girl in my age group passed me on an uphill with maybe half a mile a go.

I had no fight left. I had no kick. I had no will. I kinda felt like dying. Like melting into the pavement and dripping off the bridge into the salty water, to be washed away at sea....but no relief came. I had to finish. I had to keep running until I finally saw the finish line. I knew I was at best third place, at worst 9th. Oh well. I felt like I had put up a good fight and finished a good race. I was spent.

I crossed the line and things went pretty black as the girl removed my chip. I stumbled to the water bucket and got a drink. My eyes were littered with black dots everywhere...I couldn't really focus. I was hot, my stomach was churning. I was light headed. J-Ninja and her hubster found me in the gaggle and we talked for a minute. I got more water then told them I needed to cool down before I passed out and we headed to the lake. I got into the lake and submerged my hot body (and no I do not mean that in a stuck up way). I was still hot and light headed. It took a good while for me to cool off and start feeling a little bit more human again. Pretty sure I was on the brink of heat exhaust.

Here is picture of the lake, those rocks harbor a snake. A mean man-biting snake. A poor racer had been standing on the rocks and got bit! The ambulance came and took him away. I have no details about what kind of snake but it was not good. But it did not deter me from sitting in the water, right there to the left of the rocks. Snake or heat stroke....I chose snake. At least that could have won me a ride in the Ambulance with AC.


Here is a picture of a crazy water tree....I think it is pretty, pretty creepy.


And so now you know the story of how I got 3rd in my age group. I was so close to 1st but I let it slip away...Maybe sweet victory will be mine on Aug 13th when I do my next Sprint tri....


And here is my new bling....nestled quietly and comfortably with all his brothers and sisters....Welcome home Tri Bling, I have been expecting you....



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