vrijdag 29 december 2017

2017 Year In Review

skeeze / Pixabay

Another year has come and gone.  2017 has been an interesting year in the world, that’s for sure.  Definitely one for the record books.  But personally, it’s been a pretty decent year.  I’m ending it nursing an injury, so sports-wise I’m a little frustrated, so it’s been good to look back at all that I accomplished over the year.

At the beginning of the year, I set some goals.

  1. Continue with Swim Bike Fuel Nutrition Plan
  2. Increase my FTP
  3. Volunteer More
  4. Spend an Hour a Week Crafting
  5. Try to Keep My House Clean

I’d say I hit about 50%.  Sometime mid-year, my diet fell off the rails, but I didn’t start gaining weight back til November.  It’s the holiday eating, I’m sure, and I’m hoping to get those few pounds back off by the end of January. Getting back to basics will surely help.

I did manage to increase my cycling FTP by leaps and bounds.  I’ve still got plenty of room for improvement, but this was an awesome year for biking.

I got in some race volunteering, though not as much as I would like.  Planning to continue to step that up this year.  Race day volunteering is so much fun.  It’s also exhausting.

Crafting… yeah, that didn’t last.  Maybe I should go for one hour a month.  And my house, well it’s a total disaster, especially since I was so busy through December.  I think that getting the house clean is probably a more important goal, but it’s way less exciting.

Race wise, it was an excellent year.  I broke my five year old half marathon PR and had some amazing triathlons.  I PRed a couple of races and I even jumped off of a ferry to start a race.  I got to hang out with friends and Coeur teammates all through the race season.  It was an incredibly fun year.  I definitely missed doing a big long race, but I had a blast with the shorter races (and when I’m out doing 60 mile rides, I’ll probably regret the decision to race long in 2018).

Still figuring out what 2018 has in store, but I’m sure it’s going to be a great year!


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woensdag 27 december 2017

Recipe – Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chili

So I don’t know about you, but I have been leaning in to this “fat and jolly” season just a bit too much. My pants are feeling tight, and as much as I would like to blame the dryer, I’m pretty sure that isn’t the case. Right now, my big plan is to get back to meal planning and batch cooking. This is so much easier to do in the winter. Soups and stews are easy to make and they freeze well. I like being able to just pull a container out of the freezer and put it into the microwave for a quick meal.

One new recipe I have added to my list is Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chili, a recipe put out by Cigna. I love easy Chili recipes and I really appreciate that you can make this as spicy as you want. While I believe that spicy food should make you sweat and your lips burn, not everyone agrees with that.

Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili


  • 2-3 sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped). Turns out to be around 3 ½ – 4 cups
  • 3 cups broth (use less for more chili texture)
  • 1 lb ground lean pork, beef, chicken, or turkey (see notes for using precooked meat)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 14 oz diced canned tomatoes (drained). You can use garlic or onion flavor canned if you like.
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 2-3 cup chopped cauliflower (add as much or little as you’d like).
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, chopped, found on Spanish or Mexican foods aisle or, ½ cup to 2/3 cup hot chipotle salsa may be substituted.
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 shallot (diced) or 1/4 cup red onion (optional)
  • Herbs to garnish
  • optional cheese toppings


1 First chop and peel your potatoes. Place in a microwave safe bowl and steam with 1 tbsp water in them for 90 seconds.

2 Next add your ground meat to the crock pot with broth and oil. (Other option is to brown meat beforehand so you do get as much grease in crock pot.)

3 Add your tomatoes, sweet potato, onion, cauliflower and mix all together.

4 Finally, add your seasonings and chipotle peppers with sauce.

5 Stir and cook on high for 3 to 4 hrs.

6 Add your shallots the last hour if you adding them.

7 Add more paprika and or black pepper and sea salt when finished cooking if desired.

8 Garnish with fresh herbs such as cilantro, or basil works well, too.

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donderdag 21 december 2017

Inside Tracker Update – December 2017 Test

I have been avoiding my latest Inside Tracker test because my diet has not been great lately.  As we joke in the office, we’re just leaning in to the “fat and jolly” part of the season.  And all that is great – in moderation. Moderation is not something I’m good at.  But I’m working on it.

So last week, I finally sucked it up and had my blood drawn for my Inside Tracker test.  I have written about these three times before, and while I did get a discount on this test as a member of the Coeur Sports team, I was an Inside Tracker user long before I got a discount, and I’m in no way being compensated for writing this.  I just really love the service.

It turns out I had no need to avoid the tests.  Because while I’ve been eating garbage, I’ve also been putting good things into my body, and all my work is showing!

So my total cholesterol is looking a lot better than it was.  This is something that I really struggle with, and a lot of it is due to genetics.  But that doesn’t mean that it’s not something I can’t work on.  The big thing here is going to be to lose weight.  Right now, my weight’s up a bit (see previously mentioned “fat and jolly”) but I’m not concerned, and will get that back off in the new year.

I know that weight loss is a polarizing thing for a lot of people, and I’m not here to tell you whether or not you can be fat and healthy.  But what I can say is that my numbers are not ideal, and therefore, for me, weight loss is a good idea.

Look at that HDL climb!  Come on little line, you can do it.  You can get into the green zone!  Unfortunately, HDL is a tough one to improve.  The big recommendations are:

  • Lose weight
  • Exercise (at least 60 minutes of moderate exercise a week)
  • Avoid trans fats
  • Medication

Clearly, I’m trying to avoid needing medication (though it may be inevitable due to genetics).  And I’m already working on the other three.  So I just need to keep going.

Boom!  This one makes me really happy.  Look at that drop out of borderline high LDL.  Okay, so it’s not a huge drop, and is just barely squeaking in, but I’m so pleased.  The big change here has really been just having oatmeal every day.  Yes, it’s not the most exciting food, but it’s easy, filling, and it’s helping.  I’m also trying to a dose of psyllium husk every day.  It’s not the most exciting, but it definitely seems to be helping.

Boom!  My triglycerides are back into the green!  The Lipid group is probably the part of the test that always gives me the most concern because there are some clear health issues, and I love that I have some key things to work on.

I was really expecting this to be worse, given the sugar in my diet as of late.  It’s still not great, but not as bad as I thought.  Guess what’s going to help here?  Cleaning up my diet and losing weight, which really go hand in hand.

B12 is one that’s definitely important for athletes, and I’ve seen a solid jump here.  I wish I could say that it was entirely due to diet, but it’s not.  I’ve added a supplement, and I’m pleased to see that it’s put me right into the optimized zone, but not too high.

This one was a surprise.  Two possibilities here.  Dehydration, which is something I struggle with in the winter months.  My office is freezing cold and so drinking enough water is tough.  But I’m going to keep at it (and also drink a ton of herbal tea).  I’m also going to add an electrolyte supplement to some of my water.  Finally, I need to pay attention to the sodium levels in my food.  It’s not something that I really think about save for right before and after a race – because I know that if I don’t have enough salt, I end up with a crazy headache post-race.  I’m going to see where my sodium intake falls and then make some changes based on that.

So there you have it, my latest test.  If you’re interested in Inside Tracker, I highly recommend you check them out.  It’s a great service and their team is incredibly responsive and helpful.



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Spicy Salsa Cardio Dance Workout: Dance off the Inches- Stella Sandoval

woensdag 20 december 2017

What’s In My Bag: Purse Edition

Various magazines often post lists of what celebrities carry in their purses.  It made me wonder how my purse stacks up.  Plus it was well past time to clean it out, so I thought I would document the process.  I pretty regularly switch between purses, and try to carry a smallish bag, but haven’t switched out from my big purse after my trip to Florida at the end of November.  That means it’s starting to fill up with ridiculous things.  

Starting out, it’s not looking too crazy.  From top to bottom:

  • Portable phone charger
  • iPhone earbuds
  • Giant keychain with way too many things for the small number of keys
  • Pen case (for the fancy fountain pens I carry) plus two “regular” pens.  Note that the fancy pens aren’t currently in the case and instead are strewn about my office and house
  • Two snacks.  Because everyone needs snacks.

Still pretty normal purse contents.

  • Sunglasses case (with sunglasses inside)
  • Reusable bag
  • Altoids and weird licorice candies
  • Cough drops, which are weird, only because I’m not sure when I last had a cough.
  • Business card case

This one’s a bit misleading because I didn’t open up the pouch, which contains all sorts of ridiculousness.

  • Pouch with lipstick, mirror, hair bands, spare contacts, medications, and other random tiny things
  • Wallet
  • Bottle of hotel lotion from a trip I took in May
  • Mickey Tsum Tsum lip balm that I bought on a whim (which is now stacked on my desk)
  • More chapstick

And now we get into the random stuff

  • Passion Planner – I LOVE this thing
  • Holiday CD from a coworker
  • Massage ball
  • Pile of garbage
  • Gum, plus loose gum that fell out of the container
  • An Action Wipe… in case I sweat and need to wipe down? I’m not sure why this is in my purse.  Usually these are in my gym bags.
  • You are Beautiful stickers

So that’s the full list of what was in my purse.  Most things went back in, save for the trash and the Mickey lip balm.  Anything random in your bag?  I think next up I’m going to dig through my tri bag, because that thing is a disaster.


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maandag 18 december 2017

A Reluctant Yoga Practitioner

I can’t do this post at all. Nope. Pretty sure my arms don’t work like that. StockSnap / Pixabay

Guys.  I have never liked yoga.  I just can’t get into the whole “center yourself and feel the strength of the earth move through your body” thing.  When that happens, all I can think is “Hurry up, I’ve got things to do, let’s get this show on the road!”

But I may have been too quick to judge.  Turns out there are all sorts of types of yoga.  Which means that there’s probably one that’s right for me.  And one where I don’t have to envision the powers of the ancestors flowing in and out of my finger tips.  Or whatever.  Like I said, I stop listening when things get weird.

I’ve been dealing with some nagging issues in my hips and glutes.  It’s probably all tied to my piriformis and general tight muscles.  I have never been flexible.  I’ve been seeing a PT and doing a lot of strength work, and I’m definitely noticing improvement, but it’s been slow.

Since my calf muscle is still healing after tweaking it at Space Coast, my coach told me that I needed to be doing yoga every day to get my body stretched out and healed.  She recommended Yoga with Adriene as the best option, so I’ve been doing some of her videos daily, mostly the ones for runners, and I have to say, my piriformis feels almost perfect.  Now, the not-running as I heal is probably helping, and of course my PT exercises, but it wasn’t til I added in yoga that I really noticed an uptick.  I might just be ready to try a 30-day yoga challenge.  It’s on YouTube, so I can really do it anywhere.

Also, my shoulders are perpetually tight.  I try to stretch them out, but I don’t have anything structured that I do.  You know what might help with that?  Yoga.

So I guess I’m going to be sticking with this yoga thing.  You still aren’t going to find me in yoga class every week, but I can certainly do a 15-20 minute video after my workouts.  Maybe someday I will be able to touch my toes.


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Carb Killer Cardio Workout: 10 Min Solution- Michelle Dozois

donderdag 14 december 2017

Yoga for Weight Loss: Section 1 | Element- Ashley Turner

December Link Roundup

jill111 / Pixabay

It has been way too long since I’ve done a link roundup and man, do I have a lot of things saved, and a lot of things I’ve missed.  I’m going to try to start getting these posts out more often, maybe every month or every other month.  It would definitely help if I kept up on my blog reading.  I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I write a blog, but tend to go for a chunk of time without reading any blogs, then read everything all at once.  Which always makes for a fun afternoon, but maybe I should try to be more up to date on things!

Racing and Fitness Things

Physical and Mental Health

Delicious Recipes

Just Cool Things

The post December Link Roundup appeared first on Elbowglitter.

maandag 11 december 2017

How Not to Give the Gift of Fitness

monicore / Pixabay

This morning on the radio, I heard a story about the best way to gift fitness to a friend who just isn’t into it.  The basic gist of it was “Don’t buy them a treadmill with the hopes that they will use it, but buy them some cute “Athleisure” clothes or get them a yoga mat that matches yours, or buy them a gift card for some workout classes.”

Don’t do this.  Don’t do any of this.

If you have a friend who knows you take yoga classes but has never shown any interest in your classes, don’t give them the “gift” of a class for Christmas.  There is a solid chance they have zero interest in yoga, and you forcing them with a “gift” sort of takes away the meaning of the gift.  That’s like giving someone broccoli for Christmas.  “I know you say you don’t like this, but I really like it, and I think you should try it so now you have to.”

Can you imagine how insulting that might be to someone?  Hi, I’m in shape and you’re not, so I’m going to give you these classes so you can tone up, and it’s a gift, so you have to thank me.  Oh, you never workout because you don’t have the gear?  Well, here you go, now you have no excuse!

I love triathlon.  I love riding my bike.  I have a love/hate relationship with running and swimming.  And trust me, everyone I come in contact with knows these things about me eventually.  I have some friends who have shown interest, and I’m immediately encouraging.  I have other friends who have zero interest, but think what I do is cool anyway, and I so appreciate that support.  Doesn’t mean that I’m going to give my non-swimming friend a cute bathing suit for Christmas.

If you are into a certain activity and have a friend you think would enjoy it, invite them to join you sometime, not as a Christmas gift, but just as a nice thing to do.  See if you can borrow a bike for them to use, get them a guest pass to your gym, ask them if they want to join you for a beginner yoga class.  Don’t force it.  Don’t demand they join you.  If they say no, they say no.  Your friends don’t have to love everything you love.

And “athleisure” clothes aren’t going to make anyone more likely to workout.  Yoga pants are comfy and awesome for wearing when sitting on the couch.

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Lean Body Sculpt Workout: 10 Min Solutions- Amy Bento

donderdag 7 december 2017

Trying Something New – Yoga Class

RyanMcGuire / Pixabay

On Sunday, I did yoga and brunch with some of my Coeur Sports teammates.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous about it.  I’m very good at brunch, but I’m not so good at yoga.  In fact, I’m not sure that I had ever taken an actual yoga class before.  I’ve done videos, have a book that I try to use, and been in classes that included some yoga poses, but I had never taken a full yoga class.

The studio’s website had a “for newbies” section, so I read all about it.  Bring a towel.  Check.  Studio will be around 90 degrees.  Yuck, but check.  Be ready to sweat.  Check.

The class was definitely a full one.  So many people there, but what was immediately awesome is that there were people of all shapes and sizes.  Some people looked like yoga pros, others were there in their shorts and t-shirts ready to challenge their bodies.

What I absolutely loved about the class was that it was so challenging and fast moving that I didn’t have time to worry about what I looked like or what anyone else looked like because I was just trying to keep up and work.  I didn’t worry about if this bend made my belly flub hang out.  (I did worry that it might be possible to drown in my own sweat, but that’s a different kind of worry.)

I’m still not sure if I absolutely loved this class or absolutely hated it.  It was challenging for sure, but that makes for a good workout.  I liked that I wasn’t the only one in there having to modify poses or pausing to chug water or wipe the sweat off of everything.  I was sore for days, which tells me that I need to get back to my strength workouts and actually do the workouts in the yoga book I bought.

This class definitely isn’t something I plan to do every week, but I think it may show up in my plans again sometime, possibly for a great workout on a step back weekend.  It was perfectly timed, since I was still in recovery from my race and healing up some pulled muscles.

But most importantly, this was a reminder to just show up.  To not worry what I look like or how good I am at something.  Just show up.  No one cares how good you are, everyone’s just there trying to better themselves.



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Belly Blaster Cardio Dance Workout: 10 Min Solutions

maandag 4 december 2017

November Mileage Update

ImageParty / Pixabay

Who else is struggling with the fact that it’s December?  Just me?

November was a better workout month for me, even with a not-so-great race.  I even made it back to the pool.  Once.  That means I’ve been to the pool once in the last two months.  Good job, self.

November Totals
Swim: 1 mile
Bike: 129 miles
Run: 48 miles

Not too bad.  I’m right on track with my running prediction.  I guesstimated that I would hit 500 miles this year, given what I had on my schedule, and I was pretty spot on with that.  Clearly, I need to get to 2000 miles on my bike, and I should be able to do it, though December’s a bit of a crazy month. I can’t believe we’re already near the end of the year!

2017 Totals
Swim: 43.6 miles
Bike: 1868 miles
Run: 475 miles

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Lower Body Pilates Workout: Booty & Thighs- 10 Min Solutions

vrijdag 1 december 2017

On Sexual Harassment

Sexual assault.  Sexual harassment.  It’s all over the news right now, and I’ve been debating whether or not to speak up.  After all, this blog is typically about running and triathlon.  But it’s also about mental health and self-confidence, and those are two things very damaged by the way women are often treated by horrible men in positions of power.

It seems like every day, another famous person is accused of sexual assault, and the one thing all of these men have in common is power.  They all hold some sort of power over these women.  Maybe they are supervising the women, maybe they are high up in the company, maybe they are in a position to make or break the woman’s career.  Whatever the source of the power, they use that power to take advantage of these women.

I keep hearing people (men and women alike) say things like “Well, they didn’t say no or try to get away,” or “They didn’t say anything before, they’re just doing it to get attention.”

First off, when a man who has power over a woman (let’s say he has the ability to get her fired) pressures her into a situation, she is caught between saying no and losing her job.  And yes, when faced with that situation, some women absolutely would be able to say no.  But plenty of others wouldn’t – especially when it’s not just losing your job but also potentially being blacklisted in your industry.  And once it’s over, these women walk away, try to brush it off.  Many of them ultimately find other jobs, some end up leaving the industry all together.

Saying yes out of fear does not equal consent.

And a lot of these women didn’t say yes.  A lot of them were forced, and then threatened if they spoke up.

The thing is, this isn’t unique to the entertainment industry.  It is prevalent in many industries, possibly all of them.  Many, many women have stories of sexual harassment in the workplace.  And many of us brush them off because we are told to be nice.

Here’s one personal example.  I had a coworker who made me very uncomfortable.  His advances were likely innocent, but he liked to come up behind me, touch my hair, put his hands on my shoulders, and stand much too close when we talked.  Sure, these things may sound innocent, but put together, with his words and demeanor, and it made me uncomfortable.  I did my best to ignore him, to ask him to not do what he was doing, but it continued.  Finally, my resolve broke when he showed me a photo of a woman in a revealing red dress and told me that it would look great on me, so I should buy it and he would take me to Vegas.

It was just too weird to leave alone, so I finally went to my boss about it.  But the thing was, I was still trying to be nice.  “I don’t want him to get into trouble,” I said.  I was still relatively new at my job and didn’t want to rock the boat.  “I just want it to stop.”  So my boss at the time talked to his boss, and it stopped.

Of course, I found out he just moved on to do this to someone else.  Maybe if I had worried less about being nice, maybe if I had gotten mad and said “No, this is inappropriate, it is against company policy, and something needs to be done,” then it would have stopped for everyone.

But we’re taught to be nice, to not cause a scene.

At an old job, many years ago, I was at a work outing.  I had consumed a few alcoholic beverages, and was talking and laughing with some coworkers.  One of the higher-ups in the company pulled me over and started hitting on me.  He was married, I wasn’t interested, I tried to pull away.  He then started making some very sexually suggestive comments, while keeping hold of my wrist.  Another woman, also higher up in the company, saw this and helped pull me away from him.

I was embarrassed and upset.  My coworkers knew what had happened, but no one wanted to say anything, so I brushed it off.  At work the next day, the guy called me to apologize, and kept saying “But nothing happened, so it’s not a big deal.”  I was so embarrassed by what had happened, and I was also leaving the job in a few weeks, so I agreed and said it was no big deal.  Essentially, I just wanted it to go away.  And it did.

I’m not sure I ever saw that guy again in the few weeks I had left at that job.  And I can’t say that the incident has weighed heavily on me or caused any lasting harm.  The hurt has gone away and now it’s just a sense of embarrassment.  And I shouldn’t feel embarrassed for being a victim.  But that’s not the point.  The point is that it shouldn’t have happened.  I do feel some guilt for not standing up and making it a bigger deal.  Why?  Because it’s likely this wasn’t a one-time thing for him.  It’s likely that he did this to other young women.  And maybe it was worse for some of them than it was for me.

I understand why some women wait to speak up.  When this happened, I was embarrassed.  I was young.  I was on my way out anyway, which I think is really the key to my story.  Who knows what would have happened if I would have had to continue working with this guy.  I just wanted it to go away.  But if suddenly I heard that other women were saying “Hey, this guy did these things to me,” maybe I would add my voice to the choir.  I don’t know.

Neither of these two incidents are as heinous as some of the many stories coming out in the press.  But I share them to show just how pervasive sexual harassment is for women.  These are not the only two incidents that have happened to me.  I have worked with men who believed it was fine to place their hands on my shoulders, thumbs rubbing bare skin due to a wide neckline.  I have had my ass grabbed more times than I can count.  I have given and received advice from others of people to avoid.  At one point, there was someone who I not-so-jokingly referred to as “The Inappropriate Toucher” and did my best to stay more than an arms-length away.

Thankfully, the men who have done these things are a very small percentage of the men I have encountered over the years.  I am lucky to have so many wonderful men in my life, men who have never once made me feel uncomfortable around them.  I have watched some of them stand up against harassment, which is amazing.  I work in a male dominated industry, and 99.9% of the time, my interactions are professional and friendly.  I spend my summers training and racing in relatively revealing clothing (let’s be honest – tri kits don’t hide much), and have never once felt uncomfortable due to the actions of another person.  (And yes, this includes during gross, sweaty victory hugs after a race, because the intent there is very different.)

(I do want to add that men can also be the victims of sexual harassment and women can be the perpetrators.  I don’t have any personal experience, so don’t feel comfortable writing about it, but it does happen, and we need to be aware of it, support the men who are dealing with this, and speak up against the women perpetrating it.)

As these stories have come out, I have noticed that a lot of men are surprised and a lot of women are not.  And that’s because we don’t speak out.  These men can’t imagine doing something like this to another person, so it seems shocking.  And women often don’t say anything, so how are they supposed to know?  So if you want to, if you feel comfortable doing so, tell your stories.  And if you find yourself in a situation to speak up when someone is behaving inappropriately, absolutely speak up if you can do so safely.

I don’t think this behavior is going to go away quickly, or anytime soon.  But it’s time to be honest about it, to get it out there, and to realize that we all have the right to feel safe.


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donderdag 30 november 2017

Race Report – 2017 Space Coast Half Marathon

I made it!  All five years of Space Coast!  When we first started this series, I really didn’t know if I’d make it all five years, but I definitely wanted to.  I love the space program and I really wanted to get all five shuttle medals.  I typically don’t race for medals, but I’m not going to lie, this time, I raced for medals.

Of course, it wasn’t just about the bling.  It’s also a great time for me to go to Florida, and I had so many friends doing the series that it was always worth going.  Definitely one of the most fun trips of the year every year.

For this race, my main goal was to run with Kim, and we talked about a general goal of running sub-3, but really, just having a good time.  She raced the prior weekend, I was dealing with hip tightness, so who knew what would happen.  I knew that we would end up talking through the entire race so either way, it would be awesome.

And it was!  The weather was pretty darn perfect, not too hot or too humid, which is a rarity for this race.  I was feeling some tightness in my hip, mostly in my piriformis, but nothing like I had dealt with while running the previous weekend, so I wasn’t too concerned.  Kim and I ran along, keeping a pretty steady pace (save for the bathroom break we both needed), and basically enjoying the day.

Around mile 8 or so, my piriformis started to make itself known, nothing big. And then at mile 12, the soleus on my other leg froze up.  I think I yelled “CRAMP!” and Kim tried to catch me.  I wasn’t falling though, just hobbling.  I tried to walk it off, but every time I went to run, it hurt, so that meant we were walking it in.  Kim was awesome and didn’t seem to care that we were walking, so we just made our way to the finish line.

Not my best finish, not my worst finish, and I had a blast. Racing with friends is so much fun.  Some races are for pushing and trying to PR, but some days, it’s nice to just get out there and laugh through the whole race.

So that’s that.  Five year series complete.  I’m leaning towards racing again for the next series, or at least starting it out.  I like being in Florida after Thanksgiving and having a vacation to start the holiday season.

Now to get this hip/piriformis/glute thing fixed!


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Dance Off the Inches: Fat Burning Jam Workout- Part 1

woensdag 22 november 2017

Trying Out Zwift

Following the recommendation of… oh, just about everyone, I have finally checked out Zwift for cycling workouts.

What is Zwift?  I guess you could call it virtual reality cycling.  You connect to their platform and get to ride through a virtual landscape with other riders.  And of course, there are definitely game aspects to it – so you can challenge other riders,  try to set new personal bests, and of course, earn new jerseys and equipment for your avatar to wear.

Don’t worry, after this, I earned enough points for a helmet. Even virtual riders shouldn’t be without a helmet.

So the best way to use Zwift is probably through a smart trainer, which will automatically change your resistance as you ride through the hills and valleys of Zwift.

I don’t have a smart trainer.  But I do have a power meter, which works pretty well.  Zwift looks at the watts I’m putting out and the simulated course and uses that to determine how fast avatar me is going.  So I can be pedaling at the same rate and speed, and depending if I’m going uphill or downhill, I could be doing anywhere from 3mph-35mph (all speeds I have seen on Zwift).  So obviously, the goal is for me to change my gearing so that I’m picking up the pace and better simulating the road changes.

If you don’t have a smart trainer or a power meter, you can use a speed and cadence sensor, which Zwift will translate into zPower, their version of virtual power.  It’s not quite the same, but still can make for a good workout.

For me, Zwift just breaks up a bit of the monotony on long rides.  And you can input your pre-designed workouts as well.  My coach gives me workouts, which I can do while on Zwift.  When I’m just riding to ride, it’s fun to try to beat old sprint records or try to climb the hill faster.  (I think I need to ride at some crazy mid-week hour so I can have a chance at a QOM – queen of the mountain – and even then it’s unlikely.)

Plus, let’s be honest, I like stats.  I’ve been training with power, and I like being able to see the power on the screen.  I can still port the workout over to Strava and see how I’m doing on the various segments that have been created.  I’m hoping this helps me become an even stronger rider over the winter.

Anyone else use Zwift?



The post Trying Out Zwift appeared first on Elbowglitter.

maandag 20 november 2017

Pilates Perfect Belly Workout: 10 Min Solution

Turkey Trot

I have to admit, it’s been years since I’ve run a Turkey Trot.  Why? Mostly because I’m in taper for Space Coast.  Also, I have to admit, a big part of it is the unpredictable weather in November.  So I’m not surprised by the data below indicating that most Turkey Trots are happening in relatively warm states.

Do you run a Turkey Trot?  Maybe I should sign up for one next year.





Data powered by Athlinks. Visit Athlinks.com to claim your Turkey Trot results and you could win a free 2018 race entry!

The post Turkey Trot appeared first on Elbowglitter.

vrijdag 17 november 2017

The best laid plans…

So if you couldn’t tell, I’m not doing so great on my NaBloPoMo goals.  Whoops.  But hey, something is better than nothing, right?

I blame this stupid cold.  I’m not sick, really, but I’m not exactly well either, so I’m working to kick it. As of today, it’s mostly just a cough and a bit of congestion, plus that general feeling of malaise, but I’m definitely better.  It’s meant more missed workouts though.  Can I have a two+ week taper?  Is that an option?

I certainly didn’t go to the pool this morning.  I figured coughing and trying to swim would be problematic and lead to possible drowning.  Seemed messy either way.  But I am hoping to hit the bike trainer tonight and then go to bed early (Yeah Friday Night!) so I can have some fun this weekend.

(Including braving the grocery store and hopefully running 6 miles if my cough clears up a bit.  I don’t want to run on the treadmill if I don’t have to, but at this point, whatever it takes.)

I finally decided to check out Zwift after seeing so many of my friends raving about how fun it is, and after one ride, I think I agree.  I will be doing a more robust review of it sometime in the next few weeks, but I think it might be a way to make my indoor rides even more fun.

The post The best laid plans… appeared first on Elbowglitter.

dinsdag 14 november 2017

Weekend Update

Myriams-Fotos / Pixabay

This weekend was definitely a productive one for me.  I took an unplanned 4 day weekend – Friday was a federal holiday (Veterans Day Observed) and because I work a flex schedule, I discovered on Wednesday that I had enough hours in for the pay period if I took sick leave for my two PT appointments.  I have sick leave coming out my ears, so I went for it and took a four day weekend.

Of course, my whole plan for Thursday was to go to the DMV to get my license renewed.  It doesn’t expire til January, but with the Real ID Act, getting a new license is a process, so I wanted to get it out of the way.  Thankfully, Maryland lets you make appointments, which actually helped a lot.  I was in and out in about 40 minutes.

Unfortunately, I seem to have left there with some cold germs that started to rear their ugly heads on Saturday.  I manage to make it through the entire season without getting sick and then I manage to get two colds in the span of a month.  This is definitely unfair.  Long weekend and I spend it sick, just in time to go back to work?

Oh well, at least maybe I’m getting this cold out of the way before the holidays.  Or something.

So after getting the Christmas tree up and getting some projects done around the house, the rest of the weekend was pretty lazy. Rather than go for my planned 12 mile run, I decided to do a 2 hour trainer ride, figuring that it would be easier on my body than running.  I think it was, but it was still freaking hard.

I think over the winter, I’m going to experiment with Zwift to see if that can make trainer rides any more entertaining.  I don’t mind long trainer rides, but I need to make sure I’m actually pushing myself throughout the workout.  I know a lot of people out there use it and love it, so it might be time to give it a try.


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maandag 13 november 2017

Kickbox Bootcamp: Arms & Shoulders Workout- 10 Min Solution

The Holiday Season Is Here!

I don’t care what anyone says, it is not too early to put up my Christmas tree.  So that’s what I did this weekend.

View from my couch, because after doing all this work, I was too tired to get up.

A number of years ago, I discovered that putting my tree up around Veterans Day was the best timing.  After this weekend, life starts to get busy with racing, travel, concerts, and holiday commitments.  So now the tree goes up early-to-mid November and comes down sometime in early January.

That doesn’t mean my decorating is done.  I put up a few holiday items, mostly the angels and creepy elf that belonged to my grandparents, but there are still a few boxes of things that haven’t made it out yet.  I also need to put the wreath on the front door.  It felt just a little early for that.

I still haven’t figured out the best way to decorate the outside of my house.  I live in a two story brick box, so the only thing I could feasibly put lights on is the porch.  I’m not climbing on a two story roof to hang lights.  I guess I could put them in the bushes.  This seems like a lot of work though.  I used to have these really cute (and cheap) colorful solar lights that looked like candy canes, but they all broke or disappeared.

I will admit, it does sort of feel early for Christmas – I’m certainly not ready for the holiday.  Every year, I fall farther behind in my gift buying plans.  My niece, she’s set, but everyone else… I’ll figure something out.  This is always a really busy time of year, and I think it starts to really feel like Christmas after Thanksgiving and my trip to Disney World, but if I waited to do my decorating until then, it wouldn’t happen!

So my tree is up, the cat is sleeping under it, and all is right with the world.  Now all we need is some snow!

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donderdag 9 november 2017

Team Coeur 2018!

This was a pretty crazy week, but Wednesday dawned with a lot of excitement – my candidate won our city council election!  And then my day got better with the release of this graphic:

I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be back on the Coeur team for my fourth season.  Four years.  I still feel like pinching myself, like it can’t be real.  How can I be this lucky?  It must be a mistake, right?  But I am so proud to be a Coeur Sports Ambassador again next year.

Seriously, these ladies are the among the nicest, most amazing people I have ever met.  If you see any of us out in our team kits, please don’t hesitate to say hi, and be ready for some big smiles and friendly words.

I think the best part of this team is the wide variety of athletes.  We have team members who are little tiny balls of muscle and we have Athenas (myself included), who are slightly larger balls of muscle.  We have people who win IM distance races and go to Kona every year, and we have people who hang out in the back of the pack, and everywhere in between.  The common denominator is the heart of this team.  Knowing these women has made me a better triathlete and a better person, and I am so incredibly honored to be racing in the team kit again next year.

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Oh, how out of shape I’ve gotten

(A post from 11/5 that got caught in my pending files.  Whoops.  Still counts.)

This weekend, I had a 12 mile run on my training schedule.  Just 12 miles.  No big deal, right?


Seriously, I was not this sore after my last half marathon.  Where I set a PR.

What this tells me is that I’m terribly out of running shape.  Okay, so I did run 12 miles, and the pace wasn’t that bad.  Actually, if I look at the McMillan calculator, my pace was within the recommended training pace if my goal is to race near my PR again.  So maybe it’s not that bad.

But given how I hurt, I can tell that my form was off.  My ribs are sore today, and I think that’s due to poor form (though I’m going to check this with my PT this week).  My glutes are sore.  My quads are sore.  My hip flexors feel good, so I guess the PT is working.

The thing is, I like being sore after a good race, but after a long training run?  I’m out of shape.  And guess what?  I have another 12 mile run next weekend!  Hooray!

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?

(And yes, this is a drive by post to get in my NaBloPoMo post.)

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Fat Blasting Flashback Dance Workout- 10 Min Solutions- BeFiT

woensdag 8 november 2017

More Kindness

Post-election day.  Even though this wasn’t a huge election year, there were a lot of important local races going on (my preferred city council rep won!) and this morning, there is a lot of commentary out there.  But this really caught my eye, and I keep returning to it.


I’m not sure how much coverage this local race got, but in sum, a transgender woman was running against a 13-term incumbent who had once called himself Virginia’s chief-homophobe.  He introduced the state’s bathroom bill.

But Roem didn’t campaign on those issues, at least not initially.  She campaigned on the local issues important to her potential constituents.  Her big focus was traffic, something my friends in that area say is a huge issue.  She didn’t even bring up gender until her opponent started to use it to attack her.

And the whole time, she refused to stoop to his level.  She kept her messaging positive.  We could learn a lot from her.  She was being attacked and she went high.  It’s so easy to respond with anger and frustration and lash out, but Roem managed to keep herself out of the fray, and I have so much respect for her because of it.  I’m looking forward to her political future.

Also, I just love this from the Washington Post:

Standing on a table inside the pub, Roem dedicated her win “to every person who’s ever been singled out, who’s ever been stigmatized, who’s ever been the misfit, who’s ever been the kid in the corner, who’s ever needed someone to stand up for them when they didn’t have a voice of their own. This one is for you.”


She then reiterated her promises of alleviating traffic congestion on Route 28.


“That’s why I got in this race,” Roem said. “Because I’m fed up with the frickin’ road over in my home town.”

The post More Kindness appeared first on Elbowglitter.

maandag 6 november 2017

Weekend Recap

messersrach / Pixabay

The best laid plans…

This weekend was the first in a while where I wasn’t going to be out of town or sick, so I thought “Hey, it’s the perfect time to get stuff done around the house.”  I even made a list.

And then accomplished so very little.

Okay, so I did go on a 12 mile run.  And then recovered from said run.  (Well, sort of.  It’s Monday and I’m still sore today, so I am clearly doing something wrong… or just out of shape.)

I also went to lunch with Liz and we went to see Thor Ragnarok, which was AWESOME.  Definitely highly recommended.  It was much more comedic than the recent Thor movies, and I very much enjoyed it.  Some good cameos as well, so keep your eyes open.  (And yes, there is both a mid- and post-credits scene, so don’t leave.)

I also did a few loads of laundry and put away so much laundry and then re-washed bedding after someone hacked up a hairball on it.  (I swear, cats know when the laundry is clean and save up all their hairballs for those moments.)  I also did some meal prep for the week.  And got a reasonable amount of sleep too.

But I had this list.  This list of things that I wanted to get done.  This list was admittedly an overreach, as it included things like “clean out entire closet” and “declutter kitchen cabinets.”  But you know, it’s good to set goals.  Maybe I will rename this list “Things to get done in 2017.”

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Element: Power Yoga Workout - Section 1

zaterdag 4 november 2017

“Race” Report – Zombies Run Virtual Halloween Race

zombies run halloween

I’ve been using the Zombies, Run! app since it first launched on Kickstarter, and recently, I’ve started participating in their virtual races.  I’m not usually a virtual race kind of person, but I think these are worth it.

First off, what is Zombies, Run!?  It’s an app that creates an audio story to go along with your running.  The basic plot is that zombies have taken over the UK (and possibly elsewhere) and you are a runner for one of the local towns, going on missions to get supplies, rescue people, and try to figure out how this all happened.  The stories play out in audio clips that will intersperse with your music or audio books or podcasts or whatever else you listen to while you run.  (Or you can have them play with silence between.)

I’ve been using the app for so long and had only paid for it via the initial Kickstarter backing, so this spring, I decided to sign up for their virtual race.  I enjoyed it so much I signed up for the fall race as well.

zombies run halloween

For $34 US, you get a race packet, two audio training runs, the audio for the race (you get both a 5K and 10K option), and all sorts of communications leading up to the race.  The company definitely does their best to make this a virtual reality experience.  You get emails from the characters in the game, which often include phone numbers you can call to listen to audio clips that further the story.  You can also add on to the race packet with t-shirts and other items, but I decided to keep it simple.

The audio training runs are made available to you in the weeks leading up to the race, and then the race itself is “open” for two weeks.  Of course, you purchased your entry to the race, so the audio files are yours to keep and replay, but if you want your results to be included in the official listing, you need to complete the race in that two week period.

The general plot of the Halloween race involved a haunted house, something very outside the normal plot of the story.  I definitely enjoyed it, though not as much as I enjoyed the spring race.  It definitely made the miles fly by, and it was fun to know that every kilometer I ran meant another audio update in the app.

zombies run halloween

The finisher’s envelope contained a card relevant to the story, an Abel Township Runner 5 patch, and the race medal.  I’m tempted to put the patch onto my gym bag.  But again, I don’t race these for the swag – I just like the audio and I like supporting the creators.

So if you’re a Zombies Run! fan but haven’t checked out the virtual races, I highly recommend one.  I have heard that sometime next year, they plan to put the old races up for cheap download, and those are definitely worth your time.  And if you haven’t checked out the app and like to listen to audio dramas, or find the idea intriguing, definitely check these out.

The post “Race” Report – Zombies Run Virtual Halloween Race appeared first on Elbowglitter.

vrijdag 3 november 2017

Podcasts – My Current Listens

Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

I love podcasts.  I’ve talked about this a lot.  But my list of podcasts is ever changing, so every so often, I like to do an update of what I’m listening to.

My current jams are:

The Baby-Sitters Club Club – Jack and Tanner are hilarious.  Two 30-something guys reading and reviewing The Baby-Sitters Club books.  But if you read these in the 90’s, trust me, there’s so much subtext you missed, and Jack and Tanner will help you find it.  (Or maybe they’re just making it up for entertainment.)  Either way, these are a riot and totally worth the listen.

Wolf 359 – This is a fiction podcast, set in a space station.  Small cast, incredible acting, epic writing.  It’s what I would call a dramedy.  Definitely start this one from the beginning.  I’ve actually listened to the story twice through.  The show wraps up this year, and I’m alternately excited to see how it ends and sad that it will be ending.

The Bright Sessions – Another fiction podcast, this one about a psychologist and her paranormal patients.  Really great listen.

Radiolab Presents: More Perfect – This is Radiolab’s Supreme Court show.  They go into depth on current Supreme Cases and former Supreme Court cases and explain why they’re important now and what they mean for us.  And Radiolab‘s main podcast is pretty good too.

Reply All – This one’s new to my list.  They describe themselves as a podcast “about people who shape the internet and how the internet shapes people.”  There are some absolutely fascinating stories here.

Sawbones – This show will likely forever be on my list.  Take an entertaining trip through medical history.  It’s amazing what we thought might cure our ailments.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s the podcasts that I listen to almost immediately when a new episode pops into my app.  There are others that may rise back to the top over the next few months, so I’m sure I’ll have an update then.

Any podcasts I should be listening to?

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donderdag 2 november 2017

NaBloPoMo? What the heck?

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Years ago, I was really into NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month.  The basic premise is that you write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November.  It’s not supposed to be good (though apparently some people have gone on to get theirs published, to great acclaim.  That was never my goal. It was more about the opportunity to be creative and write more.

I completed it one year, and never really found the drive to do it again.  A bit part of that is just the lack of time.  With work and training and life, it just wasn’t a priority.  But I do like writing (otherwise I wouldn’t write a blog, now, would I?).  So I thought I might take up NaBloPoMo – National Blog Post Month.  Yes, it’s a stupid name, but it’s the same general idea as NaNoWriMo, in that I’m going to try to put up a post every day of the month.

Spoiler alert: I will fail.

But I’ve not been as great about my posting lately, and my training has also been off lately.  I’m not sure which is the cause and which is the effect, but if I recommit to both, I should find great success, right?

Well, we’ll see. Does anyone want to join me in this endeavor?  Yes, I know it’s already November second, but hey, no one’s perfect.  If you’ve got a dusty old blog, brush off the cobwebs and put out a post or two.  I’d love to see more of my friends writing again!

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woensdag 1 november 2017

Full 10 Minute Solutions Workout - Butt Lifts Exercise

October Mileage Update

Cadu helped me hand out candy last night. He didn’t eat as much as I did though.

Oh this one’s gonna hurt.

Though it helps that I’m writing it while eating Halloween candy and handing out candy to children.  These kids better hurry up or there will be no candy left for them.

Remember when I implied last month that October would be better?

I lied.

October Totals:
Swim: 0 miles
Bike: 92 miles
Run: 41 miles

That’s right.  A whopping zero miles at the pool.  Nice work, self.  I missed one swim because I was sick and two swims because I was out of town for family obligations, but I could have made things work a little better.  Oh, I also ran a stupidly hot race this month.  So I guess it wasn’t all bad.

My run mileage is picking up, which is good since I’ve got some half marathons on the schedule.  And I’m already working to recommit to my schedule.  Knowing that I wouldn’t get in a quality workout on Halloween night thanks to the doorbell constantly ringing, I swapped rest days, so I got in that workout on Monday.  Here’s to getting back to it.

2017 Totals
Swim: 42.6 miles
Bike:1739 miles
Run: 427 miles

The post October Mileage Update appeared first on Elbowglitter.

donderdag 26 oktober 2017

Winter Season Plans

So I’ve been feeling pretty darn sloth-like over the past few weeks.  Even though I ran a race not that long ago.  Basically, it feels like life and work and illnesses have thrown me for a loop and my training plan has gone off the rails.

In all honesty, it’s not been that bad, and if it’s going to happen, this is a fine time for it.  But I’m definitely eager to get back to proper training and scheduling.

One thing I’ve learned from all of this is that when I’m given a chance to really step back, I have a tendency to take it too far.  When I know I don’t have to prioritize my workouts or my diet, well, things go a little crazy.  But rather than just go whole hog back into things, I’m trying to ease back in.  For example, I’m mostly recovered from my cold.  I ran 4 miles on Tuesday night.  My schedule called for 5 last night.  However, since I was on my feet all day at work and was pretty exhausted when I came home, I opted to take a rest day and hit tonight’s workout hard.  Normally, I would have pushed that 5, but since I have the time and space in my schedule, I decided to step back.

I’m also trying to revamp my diet.  I let things go a little crazy for a while there, and while I’m still down from my high weight, I had gained back about 5 pounds, and I didn’t like the direction I was going.  I tried Weight Watchers for a while in solidarity with my coworkers and I liked it, but all of a sudden, I stalled out.  I put my food into My Fitness Pal and realized why.  I had fallen into the trap of not getting enough calories to fuel my day.  Why?  Because I can’t turn down a piece of good chocolate, and that was killing my points.  Now, I’m not knocking WW.  It worked really well for me and helped me get back on track.  It made me realize how important it is for me to track my food.  And it’s made the transition back to MFP a lot easier.

I’m approaching MFP differently this go around.  I’m going to focus on really hitting my macros, rather than just calories.  Let me tell you, getting enough protein is hard!  I’m constantly low.  Right now, I’m far from perfect, and my general goal is “around 1600 calories, not over on carbs, eat more protein.”  I’m getting there, and I’m okay with being far from perfect.  I’m not tracking exercise on MFP.  No more of this “I worked out so I get to eat more.”  Yes, on long run or long bike days, I will increase my intake, but on a day where I just have an hour workout?  1600 is more than fine.  I’m not a tall human, and I have a desk job.  And you know what?  When you focus on protein, watching your sugars, and lowering carb intake?  1600 feels like A LOT of food.

So for the winter season, I’m just going to try to get myself back on track, race some half marathons, have fun, and get myself prepped for 70.3 training.  Hooray?


The post Winter Season Plans appeared first on Elbowglitter.

maandag 23 oktober 2017

Kona Dreams

Last weekend while following all of the coverage of IRONMAN World Championships, commonly referred to as Kona, I couldn’t help but think “I want to be there.”

(Okay, yes, I started this post last week and then got mired down in work and extra hours and then got a cold, so I didn’t get it done.)

Watching the coverage of all of those amazing athletes in that gorgeous setting, I couldn’t help but dream of someday being among them.  No not as an athlete.  That’s just laughable.  I am and remain a retired marathoner.  That means no full distance triathlons for me.  And even if it did, I would have to get SO MUCH FASTER to even think about qualifying for Kona.  Ask me again when I’m in my 80’s and maybe I’ll consider it.

No, I want to get to Kona as cheer squad.  I mean, come on, how amazing would that be?

The Coeur Cheer Squad hard at work.

I love cheering at races.  It’s one of my favorite things.  I was so bummed to not be cheering at MCM this weekend, but my cold kept me inside and on the couch.  Not that my cheering would have been all that great, given the complete laryngitis.  And as an athlete, I always get so much out of the people who are cheering.  It’s such a huge boost when you’re struggling or when you’re having a great race.  It’s just an awesome feeling to have people look at you and say “You!  You are doing great!”

Kona is the world championship for triathlon, but it might as well also be the world championships for race cheering too, given how many people make it a goal to get there.  Let’s be honest, Hawai’i isn’t exactly a terrible place to have to go.  And to get to see the top racers in the world while you’re there?  So amazing.

So there’s my newest addition to my bucket list.  Cheering at Kona.  Who wants to go along?

The post Kona Dreams appeared first on Elbowglitter.

donderdag 12 oktober 2017

Preventing Injuries

WolfBlur / Pixabay

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been going to physical therapy for the past few weeks.  I’m not injured – rather I was realizing that I have some muscle imbalances in my hips and glutes, and I knew that if I didn’t get that figured out, I was definitely risking injury.

Could I have used the internet to research my issues and done exercises on my own?  Possibly.  But I very much like the personal guidance given to me at PT, plus anytime I use the internet to try to diagnose myself, I end up being told I have cancer or lupus.  Thanks, internet doctors.

I realize I’m really lucky to be able to go to PT.  I have good insurance that leaves me with only a $25 copay per visit.  I have a boss who understands running and doesn’t take issue with me taking 90 minutes out of my work day to go to PT.  I also have a great PT office within walking distance of my office.

And yes, while that means I’m burning sick leave and spending about $100 a month, it’s been so worth it to me.  I have learned so much about where my muscles are weaker and what I need to be doing to strengthen them.  I’ve learned a lot of great stretches and foam roller moves.  (By great, I mean excruciatingly painful, of course.)  I learned that yes, I do need to be foam rolling my adductors (inner thigh).  I hadn’t been paying them much attention because rolling there HURTS SO MUCH.  The sort of pain that I thought was perhaps the bad kind of pain and not the good kind.  Turns out that nope, even though it feels terrible, it’s the good kind.  Who knew?

I’ve also discovered the wonders of dry needling – basically poking needles into trigger points to help the muscle release.  You know when a massage therapist digs into a knot in your leg (or shoulder or back or wherever) and it hurts but then releases and feels awesome?  It’s like that, but with needles.  It’s amazing, but not always enjoyable.  Yesterday, I was definitely laughing and writhing on the table while my physical therapist laughed, held my leg down, and absolutely destroyed a knot near my knee with a needle.  And then she gave me a sticker.  So it was worth it.

A big part of my goal this winter is to really work on balancing my muscles, getting in strength work, and making sure my body is ready for the 2018 triathlon season.  But it’s not just about triathlon – it’s about being healthy and making sure I’m properly taking care of my body.  It’s the only one I get (unless science gets super advanced over the next few decades).


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maandag 9 oktober 2017

Race Report: 2017 Army Ten Miler

Army Ten Miler Beers

Photo credit: Shannon

Year nine for me for the Army Ten Miler.  And while this wasn’t my slowest time (that came when I ran and caught up with a friend), this came pretty close.  It was definitely one for the record books.  But I’m not complaining at all.

I’ve been saying all year that I’m due for a bad race.  I have been nailing it all year, maybe not setting PRs, but really racing strong.  Given that this past month, my goal has been to get more rest and really recover from tri season (and go to Disney World), I figured my training was a bit off for this race, and I shouldn’t expect a PR.

The weather definitely helped that goal.  We had a bit of cool fall weather, but then things shot back up again, and it has been stupidly warm.  To the point where most people still have their air conditioning on.  The temps heading into ATM weekend were looking okay.  Warm, but not terribly so, probably in the upper 70’s.  There was a possibility of rain, but that turned into a possibility of light showers, which I’m okay with.

When I walked out of my house on Sunday morning to pick up Shannon, I knew it was going to be a bad race.  It was 75 degrees and so insanely muggy.  So gross.  To compare, last year, it was freezing before the race, and we stood around in trash bags in an attempt to keep warm.  (That’s the typical ATM race morning.)

This race is huge.  35,000 people.  As per usual, I was in the second to last wave (the 7th), so my wave started at 8:48.  They set off waves every 8 minutes, and let me tell you, those waves go off exactly on time.  Would you expect any different from the Army?

I started out and was doing well, but I was literally dripping sweat.  I was pushing myself pretty hard for the first two miles, but my body told me to slow down.  My heart rate was too high, and I just didn’t feel great.  So I slowed down.  I tried to find a good balance between speed and temperatures, and did a pretty good job of it.

At the water stops, the cadets were amazing.  They had enough water that they were offering to pour or throw it on runners, and I took them up on it.  It was refreshing to say the least.  They had fun with it too – threw the water so hard my hat flew up.  But it felt great and I think that’s what saved my race.  I was wearing my Coeur aero top, and while I’ve done non-triathlon races in it, it clearly also functions well when wet, and I definitely think that helped keep me cool.  What I really wanted was ice to stuff in my bra, but well, you can’t have everything.

This race does attract a lot of newer runners, which is awesome.  It was one of my first big races, and clearly I loved it enough to keep coming back.  But unfortunately, that also means inexperienced runners who aren’t sure what to do when the weather is super humid.  The race organizers were saying all weekend to make sure that you hydrate.  I’m not sure everyone took that to heart.

Apparently, the number of people who were attended to by medics due to heat-related issues was incredibly high.  I heard someone say that 135 people were transported to the hospital.  Of course, that could be for non-heat related issues, but that’s a lot of people, given the medical treatment available at the race (including breathing treatments and saline IVs to rehydrate).

I heard people saying that they never stop at water stops because it slows them down.  That was the wrong thing to do during this race.  I have never consumed so much water during a race.  I carried my handheld and filled it at every stop.  The water stops were mobbed too, which just meant slowing down in general.

At 10:08, the organizers decided to turn the race into a “fun run,” meaning that anyone who hadn’t yet crossed the finish line was no longer eligible for awards.  They also rerouted part of the race, cutting off a mile.  I was past this point, so I did all ten miles, and didn’t actually hear about the change until I was in the finishers chute.  Obviously, I wasn’t going to be winning any awards, and had already decided to not push for a PR, but I was surprised that this wasn’t communicated out on the course.

The initial word from the organizers was that anyone who finished after 10:08 wouldn’t have an official time.  That changed after the outcry.  There was a timing mat that was cut, so anyone who missed that mat but still hit the others and finished would be listed as a finisher with no official time.  (This protects the people who are trying to streak the race, to have 6 finishes so they can register early, and who were racing for their employers – they can show they finished, and it wasn’t their fault they didn’t get the full 10.)

I have run races in worse conditions, so I was surprised to see this change made, but I’m not complaining about it.  I can only believe that with the information in front of them, the organizers felt it safer to shorten the race.  I suspect it was due to the number of heat-related injuries they were seeing.

I finished in 2:17:38.  Given that my 10 miler PR (with my post diagnosis reset) is 2:07 and change, I’m pretty pleased with this.  I slowed down about a minute per mile and found a good spot.  I didn’t feel awful when I finished, and while I was exhausted the rest of the day, I never felt sick, which tells me I did everything right.

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