dinsdag 29 november 2016
maandag 28 november 2016
zondag 27 november 2016
donderdag 24 november 2016
Happy Thanksgiving, Americans! (And happy almost-Friday to everyone else.)
2016 has been an… interesting year. But I’m sure we can all find things to be thankful for this year.
I’m thankful for my family. The more I talk to people, the more I realize just how lucky I am to have family who I actually like spending time with and who seem to like spending time with me. And this year, I got a new family member with the birth of my niece. That makes 2016 one of the best years ever.
I’m thankful for my friends. I have some of the most awesome friends. This year, I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to spend with my friends, but that’s definitely changing in 2017, and I’m looking forward to the trips and events we already have planned.
I’m thankful for my health and my ability to run and bike and swim and complete ridiculous athletic adventures. I’m not sure what drove me to start these challenges – anyone who knew me in my teens and early 20’s is probably completely confused as to how I turned into this person. But I’m glad I did and I’m glad I can continue.
I’m thankful for my job. It might not be perfect all the time and who knows what the new administration will bring, but it’s a pretty great job with a solid paycheck that allows me to have my house, my pets, and pay for these ridiculous adventures.
Oh, I’m thankful for my cats too, except this morning, when I could have slept in but someone decided he needed breakfast at 6am. Furry little jerks.
woensdag 23 november 2016
I have to admit, today doesn’t feel like a Wednesday. It’s my last day in the office for the week, so in my brain it’s Thursday or Friday.
On to last week’s fitness activities:
Monday – Rest day
Tuesday – Swimming! I was exhausted, so this could have been better, but I showed up.
Wednesday – Biked. Supposed to also lift weights, could not convince myself to do so.
Thursday – Biked again because I knew Friday wasn’t going to happen.
Friday – Went to the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler kickoff. Always a fun time, though I was bummed to not win an lottery exemption Going to have to volunteer this year so I don’t have to stress about the lottery next year.
Saturday – Biked for an hour and got a TON of stuff done at home.
Sunday – So much housework, plus a 6 mile treadmill run.
dinsdag 22 november 2016
Over the weekend, I took a look at my calendar and realized just how crazy the rest of the year is going to be.
This week is Thanksgiving and then on Sunday, I’m running Space Coast. That’s followed by an epic Disney trip that culminates in a short holiday cruise. I have been looking forward to this for months and will absolutely be taking a ton of pictures.
The weekend after I get back is choir hell week, followed by a weekend of three concerts. It’s always a lot of work, but I’m so glad I do it, and if you’re a DC local, consider coming out to hear us (the Cathedral Choral Society) at one of our concerts.
The weekend after that should be calm, and I’m looking forward to brunch with some of my local Coeur teammates. Apparently we’re pairing that with a workout, which is slightly terrifying, but it still should be fun.
The weekend after that is Christmas.
The weekend after that is New Year’s. And then it’s 2017. I’m still not sure what 2017 holds. I’ve decided that it doesn’t hold a 70.3 this year due to some scheduling issues, but that’s okay. I think I want to try to bust out some awesome olympic distance races and hopefully volunteer at a bunch of events as well.
maandag 21 november 2016
Surprise! Race week is here. On Sunday, I will be running the Space Coast Half Marathon. Am I trained? Well, sort of. I did two twelve mile runs in preparation. And not a lot else. Well, I’ve been biking a lot and swimming a little bit. That’s got to count for something.
I’ll probably make it though. The race has a 7 hour time limit.
I really like this race. It’s the fourth year in a five year series, and I can’t decide if I’m looking forward to it being over or if I’ll be sad when it ends. It’s pretty awesome to go down to Florida in November and hang out with a bunch of friends. And the race course, while simple, is also a lot of fun. It’s just an out and back along a really pretty route, and that means that I am pretty much guaranteed to see all my friends on the course, no matter if they’re ahead of me or behind me (let’s be honest – most of them are ahead of me). Because the marathoners do a loop in a different direction first, I often see my faster friends as I near the end of my race too. And watching other runners gives you something to look at as you make your way through the miles.
I also really love the post-race gathering. At the finish, you get your medal and a towel, which is perfect. You can use it to keep warm if it’s cool out or you can sit on it in the grass in the sun and eat your pancakes and eggs. Yes, that’s right. There’s a post-race breakfast. There’s also usually pizza too. All super healthy stuff. And delicious.
I don’t know how this race will go for me. Last year, I pushed too hard and hit a wall near the end. My goal is to not do that this year and just run my own pace. It’s very likely going to be humid during the first miles before the dampness burns off as the sun rises, so I should do my best to conserve energy there, then push through the finish. But again, my training hasn’t been run focused, so anything can happen.
Either way, it’s guaranteed to be an awesome race and I’m definitely looking forward to it.
zondag 20 november 2016
donderdag 17 november 2016
Guys. Christmas is coming. It’s super soon.
Okay, maybe that’s just in my world. It’s actually over a month away, but this weekend, I took a look at my schedule and it is pretty darn full up until Christmas with racing, travel, holiday concerts, and a few big work deadlines.
And yes, we have Thanksgiving first. Which I am also not ready for. Gotta figure out what side dish I’m cooking. A bag of chips and some dip just isn’t going to work.
I get a David’s Tea advent calendar every year and this year, I’m drinking the teas as a countdown of workdays left til Christmas. Today, I opened day 9. DAY 9! So few work days left! (Thank you, vacation.)
I am NOT READY for Christmas. I did start putting my tree up this weekend, but there are still many ornaments in a pile on my table and boxes of other decorations that need to be unpacked.
My Christmas shopping has been haphazard. I need to figure out who I still need to pick up things for. Gifting is my favorite part of Christmas. I love giving little gifts to all sorts of people in my life. Unfortunately, this year, I’m not as on the ball as I would like to be. But I’m sure I will get there.
Are you preparing for the holiday season? What’s left on your list?
woensdag 16 november 2016
I always seem to struggle with the beginning of the week, then rock out the end of the week. I need to work on this. I think I just need to be better about prepping for the week on the weekend.
Monday – Rest day and late choir rehearsals.
Tuesday – Supposed to go to swim, but ended up watching the election results and not getting much sleep.
Wednesday – Bike ride and lifting. I was so tired I gave up on the lifting about 5 minutes in because I was afraid I was going to hurt myself.
Thursday – Ab work and lifting. Rocked this one.
Friday – Bike and lifting.
Saturday – 12 mile run. It was definitely a weird run, but it went okay. Pace was improved from last week.
Sunday – 2 hour trainer ride.
maandag 14 november 2016
I do my training runs as an out and back on a local trail. It’s safe, pretty, and easy to get in the mileage.
I was just about to my turnaround point when I passed an older man in a light jacket laying curled up on the ground in a pile of leaves. I looked at him as I ran past and saw him moving. Okay, not a dead body. That’s good.
I stopped and asked him if he was okay. He just grunted at me. So it was a response, but not much of one. Looking at this guy, he was relatively well dressed, though not really dressed for the cool weather. We do have a number of homeless people in the area, but they typically have their things with them. This guy was just laying there with nothing else around.
I ran on to the next major intersection and debated. Finally, I called the local police station who directed me to call 911. So I did, and they said they would be sending an ambulance and asked me to wait so I could point out the guy.
As I waited, another runner came up and stopped to talk. She was the first person who stopped, and since I had been standing there, at least five others had glanced down at this guy and continued on. I told her that I had called, and she asked if I minded if she waited with me because she was also worried about the guy. (I think she had asked him if he was okay and got no response.)
So we waited and she helped me flag down the ambulance, and we watched from afar. The paramedic team talked to the guy for a while, who looked up, sat up, and finally even stood up. So that was a good sign. Finally, the team left and the guy remained on a park bench. Turns out he was just enjoying a nice nap in the sun. In the 40 degree weather. The paramedics agreed that we did the right thing and warned the guy that if he did this again, he would likely get the paramedics called on him once again. Because let’s be honest – it’s not normal to just lay down in a pile of leaves next to a trail to take a nap. If he had been laying on a picnic blanket, that would have been different, but this was just odd.
So the other runner and I high-fived and resumed our run, opting to not run past the guy, just in case he was mad at us.
Even though it turned out to be nothing, I’m still glad I called, and the paramedics were very careful to tell us that we did the right thing by calling. I would hope that if I were lying on the side of a trail that someone would call an ambulance for me if I wasn’t responding.
So all was right in the world, my run just got extended by about 30 minutes. But I’m so glad that was the worst part of it. Well, and some guy got his nap interrupted.
donderdag 10 november 2016
Last week, Coeur Sports announced their team for 2017, and I am so excited to be on the team for the third year. Coeur’s “motto” is “Heart and Courage,” and I have learned so much about heart and courage from my fellow team members.
Coeur Sports is an incredibly inclusive brand. Their triathlon kits run what I would call true to size, and I was excited when they increased their sizing to 2XL. No, that still isn’t all encompassing, but they’re a small business, and they have to move a bit slower than people would like, but they’re doing their best.
They also show this by embracing ambassadors of all shapes and sizes. I’ve seen some chatter online recently after both Coeur and Smashfest announced their teams. And both have women of all sizes. Coeur was openly accused of only having skinny, model-sized ambassadors, only the fast people who land on the podium every race. And do we have super fast athletes on their team who have abs that I covet? Absolutely. We also have mid-pack athletes, back-of-the-pack athletes, and team members wearing XS to 2XL. No one is ever going to call me skinny or super fast, and while I have landed on the podium, it’s definitely a rarity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty awesome the way I am, but I’m not going to pretend I’m something I’m not.
The thing about this list of women? They (well, we) do our best to motivate and encourage everyone. We want everyone to get involved in running or cycling or triathlon, and we want everyone to do it to the best of their ability. If that means you’re on the podium, you’re awesome. If that means you’re the last finisher, you’re awesome. If that means you never race, you just enjoy running or biking or swimming, you’re awesome too. It’s about getting out there and doing something for yourself, about pushing yourself through tough times, and about pride in what you’ve accomplished, no matter how great or small.
So I’m excited to be back on the team in 2017, and I hope to see you all out on a race course. I look like garbage when I race, but I try to have a smile for all the other Coeur ladies I see out there. I promise, it’s not a grimace. It’s a smile. Really.
woensdag 9 november 2016
When this posts, the election will be over and we can go back to the important things on the internet – funny cat videos.
Also training. I should really get back to training.
Monday – Halloween! Rest day! Unless I count the number of times I got up to answer the door and hand snacks to children.
Tuesday – Skipped swim. Didn’t sleep well the night before, opted to just ride my trainer for an hour, plus my Cowbell Wrist was still bothering me.
Wednesday – Trainer ride and lifting
Thursday – Skipped my workout to get my haircut.
Friday – Skipped my workout to go to happy hour. Yeah, this wasn’t my week.
Saturday – Hey! I did my workout! Two hour structured trainer ride. Except I forgot to lift weights.
Sunday – 12 mile run. This hurt more than it should have. Probably because of all the missed workouts. Good job, self.
dinsdag 8 november 2016
maandag 7 november 2016
Once again, I have chopped my hair off. Every two years (or really a little less), I chop my hair off and donate it to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. They only require 8 inches of hair, so the chop is pretty darn easy.
People say “Oh, it’s so nice that you do this.” And I guess it is. But it’s also because I’m super lazy. Until last week, I hadn’t gotten my hair cut since January of 2015. Because I don’t dry it (lazy), my hair stays pretty healthy, so I don’t have to worry about ends getting frayed. It probably doesn’t hurt that I’m good about taking vitamins. Apparently proper nutrients help keep your hair healthy too. I can tell that the ends do get a bit dry, so I’m going to try to be extra careful about getting moisture into my hair. I’m sure all the time in the pool doesn’t help.
By the time I’m ready for a cut, I’m ready for a cut. My hair gets so unwieldy. And big. And I end up just wearing it up in a bun most of the time, but it gets so heavy that it gives me a headache. I know, my life is so hard.
It kind of amazes me how much hair I have when it’s all chopped off. It’s hilarious to watch the stylist try to cut through the giant bundles. I know my hair is thick, but I always forget just how thick it is. Also, it looks kind of pretty all bundled up.
As always, I love the new cut. My head feels so light, my hair dries so quickly (well, comparatively speaking, anyway) and it’s so much less work to deal with. It does mean that I can’t just pull my hair in a messy bun before work anymore, but I think I can deal.
I’m also weirdly excited to find out how easily it fits into my swim cap.
zondag 6 november 2016
donderdag 3 november 2016
For the first time in a long time, I’ve hit November and don’t have a big race planned. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few races already scheduled (Donna, Rev 3 Williamsburg Oly) and a few more that I’m hoping to get into (Cherry Blossom, Army Ten Miler), but I don’t have a goal race yet.
I’m up in the air about doing a 70.3 this year, and a big part of that is scheduling. I want to pick a good race, but I also want to make sure that it fits in with the other things I already have scheduled (family trip, and a friend’s wedding, date TBD). I can race anytime, but big events and trips definitely come first.
I really enjoyed the training this year. It was hard, but I liked it. It wasn’t like marathon training where I just felt like I was running all. the. time. It did take up a lot of time, but it wasn’t time I dreaded. I just wished I had more time for the other things I wanted to do.
Now that I know what I’m doing with a 70.3 and how my body will react, I can really set goals. I can really work on improvement. Before this year, I think my longest bike ride was about 50 miles, and it was a day long adventure with a lot of breaks. This year, I topped that many, many times. Suddenly, a 40 mile ride was a stepback week. So mentally, I think the next season will be easier.
But having a rebuilding year wouldn’t be so bad either. Step back, really work on short distances, focus on dropping some weight and improving my speed.
So it’s something I’ll have to debate over the next few months. A big part of it is just going to be scheduling. I’m not just going to do any race – I want it to be the right race with the right timing. I have some ideas. We’ll just see where I land.
woensdag 2 november 2016
I have got to get my you-know-what into gear.
Monday – Choir rehearsals. Yay. “Rest” day.
Tuesday – Swim practice. This is going to be tough to get back into, with two late nights in a row. But I did it and it is done.
Wednesday – Trainer ride plus weights. Not with weights. Two different workouts. I would fall off the trainer if I tried to do strength work while pedaling.
Thursday – Ab work and strength work. My core is terribly weak and it is my own fault.
Friday – Trainer ride plus weights. And a massage and early voting. It was a productive day.
Saturday – 10 mile run. Lovely as always. Picked up a new fiction podcast – The Bright Sessions. Definitely recommended.
Sunday – I was supposed to have a long trainer ride but by the time I got home from cheering and visiting with awesome friends, I was exhausted, dehydrated, and starving. It was not a night for riding, so this workout was 100% missed. Not good, self. But worth it.
dinsdag 1 november 2016
Huge congrats to all of the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K runners! This race was no joke this year. Ridiculously warm temperatures. I think it got up to 81 degrees out there. Considering that we had our first frost earlier in the week, that’s just insane. And definitely tough on the runners.
This year was definitely a bit different. Normally, we’re out early, catch the majority of the 10K racers and then wait to cheer on the marathoners as well. This year, because of the Metro work, the 10K course was completely changed and we ended up just cheering the marathon. It meant I could sleep in! Thanks, Metro?
It’s definitely always a balance as to what to bring and how much. This year, we had Twizzlers, beer (and cups), a few Cokes, SunRype bars, cookies, donut holes, candy, and tons of pretzels. And we definitely ran out. We always try to save for the 13+ minute milers, because we know how tough it is to be later in the race and have spectators already gone, so we make a point to be there and to have snacks. We also did a lot of handing out ice from our cooler. People were dying out there. It was just so warm, and coming off the 14th Street bridge, where there was no shade, people were melting.
I was so impressed with all the people running. People really did their best to push through some pretty tough conditions. And it was awesome to be out there and feel like I was helping, even a little bit. If you haven’t spectated a marathon before, I really recommend it. It’s a lot of fun.
Even if you do end up with a tendinitis flare afterwards because of all of your cowbell ringing. Only I can injure myself cheering. Cowbell Wrist. It’s a thing.