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.

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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?

Wrong.

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.”

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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.

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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

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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?

 

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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?

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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.

The post Race Report: 2017 Army Ten Miler appeared first on Elbowglitter.

Cardio Ab Burn Workout: BeFiT Trainer Open House- Erika Hammond

woensdag 4 oktober 2017

All the Running

A screenshot from an app called RaceAddict. (And yes, that race start time is the default and likely is not correct.)

I joke that I hate running.  I don’t actually hate running.  It’s just that upon taking up triathlon, I discovered that I like doing things in addition to running, and having to run four+ days a week is kind of terrible.  I love the killer workouts that triathlon season brings.  And yet I spent my winter season running.

Why?  Well, I’m one of those people where if I don’t race, I’m much more likely to skip workouts.  If I have something I’m training for, I’ll get out there.  (I’d like to think that with Chattanooga 70.3 on the schedule, that would be enough, but really, who knows?)  Plus I have a lot of friends who I met through running and I want to keep racing with them.  For me, running races are also a lot less stressful.  I think it’s because the logistics are much simpler.  So much less to pack.  Weather plays much less of a role (except in what I wear).  The races are also shorter, time-wise, so that makes things easier.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not aiming for big things this season, but I’m taking each race as it comes.  For example, with this weekend’s Army Ten Miler, I’d love to improve my time from the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler earlier this year, but I’ve been a bit tight for the past couple of weeks, and I’m just not sure my body’s up for it.  But we’ll see what happens race morning.  Goal is to finish and have fun.

Then it’s on to half marathon season.  I’m not sure what I’m most excited for.  Space Coast has become a tradition, and I’m excited to hang out with friends and get my that 5th coveted space shuttle medal.  Donna is also slowly becoming tradition and a trip to Florida in February is so amazing.  BDR New Orleans is new, but I’m pumped to finally get to run with Kim again.  So each race has something awesome about it in addition to the actual running part.

Plus if nothing else, all that treadmill time helps me keep up on my tv watching.  Thank goodness for the fall tv season!

The post All the Running appeared first on Elbowglitter.

maandag 2 oktober 2017

September Mileage Update

Okay, how is it already October?  September absolutely flew by!

And not because I was working out.  Maybe it’s true – running doesn’t necessarily make your life longer, but it certainly makes it feel longer.

So in September, I raced my last triathlon for the year (and nailed it!) and then was on “active rest” for the rest of the month.  I was still gearing up for the Army Ten Miler, which is this coming weekend, but everything else was on a bit of a step back.  Plus I went on vacation, where I walked a whole lot, but didn’t exercise outside of that.  It was pretty darn glorious.  Also I’m fairly sure I gained 4 pounds this month.  Apparently, this is not the best way to live.

September Totals
Swim: 4.1 miles
Bike: 100 miles
Run: 30 miles

I’m really amused by how round my bike and run numbers are.  Certainly not planned at all.  But this really shows just how much my bike mileage stepped back this month.  My bike mileage was 200+ miles a month for the past three months.  I honestly really miss the biking, and I’m picking it up again after Army Ten.  My coach just wanted to give my body a bit of a break, and I will admit, I enjoyed not killing myself on the bike every week.   My run numbers will be picking up as well, as I head into half marathon season.  I have a love-hate relationship with the half marathon right now.  It’s a great distance, but after a summer of maxing out at 10ks, going back into long runs of more than 8 miles is mentally hard!

2017 Totals
Swim: 42.6 miles
Bike: 1647 miles
Run: 386 miles

The post September Mileage Update appeared first on Elbowglitter.

How to Warm Up Like an Athlete: BeFiT Trainer Open House- Adam Friedman

woensdag 27 september 2017

Disney Trip Report

I’m back from vacation.  And it was exhausting.  And I didn’t even run a race while I was away.  (I know, it’s a rarity for me.)  I didn’t even bring workout gear with me, since I knew I wouldn’t bother to get in a run.

The Magic Kingdom was beautifully spooky at night.

Of course, that meant that I had to do a Tuesday night ten mile run on my treadmill when I got home, but these things happen

At some point, I will learn to take relaxing vacations.  That day is not today.

If you couldn’t tell from the picture, I just got back from a trip to Disney World.  It was my one-year-old niece’s first trip, which made it extra special.  That kid had six adults around to entertain her. She is definitely living it up.

While I’m not a Halloween person, I love going to Disney at Halloween because I love the creativity of all of the decorations.  I love that the carved pumpkins placed all over on Main Street are themed to their respective locations (film strips over the theater, jewels over the jewelry store, etc).  I love that the characters wear Halloween costumes.  Because come on, characters in costumes are awesome!

Halloween season also means it’s Food and Wine season and if there’s something I love, it’s eating and drinking delicious things.

This was also my first trip to go see Pandora, the new land based on the Avatar movie. When it was first announced a few years ago, I wasn’t sure what I thought.  The movie was already old (and while I did watch it, I don’t remember being all that enthralled).

Guys, this place is incredible.

The theming is amazing and the space is just gorgeous.  Even just walking around was so impressive.  We got to ride Flight of Passage, where you ride on the back of a banshee, and it was incredible.  The technology is so cool and the experience was phenomenal.  If you’re going to the parks, make sure you get a Fast Pass for this ride.  We had Fast Passes, but because the ride was having some issues, we still had to wait almost an hour.  (The regular line was a 4.5 hour wait!)  No complaints here, it was totally worth it, but thanks to that, we were also given a Fast Pass to ride Na’vi River Journey, a ride that my niece could also join us for.  That was also absolutely gorgeous.  I want to go back and experience the space after dark, because I’m sure that it will be beautiful all lit up.

And yes, I do believe my niece had a blast.

While it’s not my place to put someone else’s child on social media, I think the back of her head is probably okay. Also I’m pretty sure Dad had a good time too.

The post Disney Trip Report appeared first on Elbowglitter.

donderdag 14 september 2017

Should You Wear Makeup For a Race?

croisy / Pixabay

A couple of months ago, Runners World posted a video of how to do your makeup for a race.  This got a lot of attention in various running communities, mostly with a lot of disdain.

Who needs to wear makeup during a race?

Racing isn’t about looking good!  It’s about racing!

If you’re doing it right, your makeup will wear off anyway.

I didn’t really participate in any of these conversations, but I have to admit that I’ve been thinking a lot about appearance and sport.

First off, no one should feel like they have to wear makeup for a race.  In one of the threads I saw, a woman commented that she didn’t necessarily want to wear makeup, but she felt that the appearance of her skin was so bad that she needed to.  This just makes me sad.  As long as all your key parts are covered and you don’t have offensive sayings written anywhere, you shouldn’t ever have to worry that your appearance at a race is bothering anyone else.  No one has to wear makeup to a race.

But along the same lines, if someone wants to wear makeup to a race, why does anyone else care?  We all have different motivations for racing.  Heck, we all have different motivations for racing depending on the race.  Some races, I go out to push myself and try to set a PR.  Some races, I go out to have fun with my friends, and my plan may even include running and chatting with a friend for the entire distance.  Both are valid reasons to run.  None of these things have any effect on anyone else’s race.

And let’s be honest, a lot of us do pay attention to what we wear to a race.  Yes, I want to be comfortable, but I also want my kit to be cute.  I’ve loved racing in my Coeur Ambassador tri kit this year, and weather permitting, I will be wearing it for my upcoming road races as well.  I feel great in it, not only because it’s comfortable, but because I think it looks really great.

When it comes to a triathlon, I have never worn makeup, because, well, swim.  Though I do often use a tinted moisturizer (mainly because it’s SPF 50 and doesn’t destroy my sensitive skin).  Does that count as makeup?  And for a road race, I sometimes put on waterproof mascara, though that happens less and less as I get older and care less about what other people think.  (Don’t get me wrong though – I wear makeup for work every day because I enjoy it – I love a bold lip and defined eyes.)

But who am I to judge if someone else wants to wear makeup?  Maybe they feel more confident with makeup on.  Maybe that added confidence helps them be a stronger runner.  Maybe applying it is a calming part of their race day ritual for all I know.  Maybe they want to ensure their photos look great (note – photos can look great with or without makeup, but it’s definitely personal preference).

So makeup or no, go out and rock your race.  No one should feel like they have to wear makeup (I certainly won’t be), but if you want to, go for it!

The post Should You Wear Makeup For a Race? appeared first on Elbowglitter.

woensdag 13 september 2017

So What’s Next

With an incredibly successful triathlon season behind me, I’m already looking at the 2018 season.  And it’s once again time to go big or go home. (No, I’m not doing a 140.6.  I am a retired marathoner.)

That’s right, in 2018, I’m headed back to the half distance and have registered for IM 70.3 Chattanooga!

I am really excited about this.  While I obviously had a great year this year racing olympic/international distance races, I found myself missing the pomp and circumstance of the 70.3.  I missed doing long bike rides.  While metric centuries are HARD, I still miss that distance.

The main reason I didn’t do a 70.3 this year was scheduling.  I couldn’t find one that fit in with my already planned schedule of life and work and vacation.  And that was starting to look like an issue for 2018 as well.  I’ve got a long planned trip to Europe in August, and I certainly don’t want to be worrying about training then, which meant I needed something earlier in the year.  I didn’t want to do a 70.3 in July because it’s stupidly hot.

I asked my Coeur teammates for advice on good 70.3 races earlier in the year, and there were a few recommendations, but Chattanooga kept popping up again and again, and even better, a number of my teammates are planning to race it!  I also have a number of friends who have done this race and enjoyed it, so things very quickly started to fall into place.  I asked my coach, who basically said “DOOOOO IT!” So that was an easy sell.

70.3 Chattanooga is on May 20, which is early, but not terribly so.  There will be plenty of open water opportunities in April and May.  I would like to get a triathlon in before the race, because I always joke that my first race of the year is mostly about remembering how to triathlete, so once 2018 schedules come out, I will be figuring that out (and will also accept recommendations).

This is going to mean a lot of winter training, and a lot of time on the trainer.  I think this should fit in well with the half marathons that I already have planned through the winter and spring.  Thankfully, I really like riding on the trainer, so this can only bring about good things.

And it also means that I can still race a bunch of Olympics next summer if I feel up to it.  Best of both worlds!

(We’ll see how I feel about this decision in a few months.)

 

The post So What’s Next appeared first on Elbowglitter.

maandag 11 september 2017

Race Report – 2017 Patriots International Tri

Well, apparently 2017 was my season.

I finished my 2017 triathlon season with a bang at Patriots International and ended up as second place Athena.  Pretty darn proud of how this season ended.  But let’s talk about the race itself.

While I have raced two different international distance courses in Williamsburg, I had never done Patriots. That said, parts of the course overlapped those of the previous races I had done, so I had some sort of an idea of what I was getting myself into.

As per usual, I was watching the weather closely leading up to the race.  Of course, it was hard to make even the tiniest peep of a complaint, considering what has been going on in Texas and Florida.  But I lucked out and race day was pretty perfect.  Cold in the morning (around 60 degrees), but the water was around 75, and the day promised to warm up to around 80.

The swim ended up being wetsuit legal, and I followed my coach’s instructions to always wear my wetsuit if possible, because it was just free speed.  It was nice to just be able to put it on for warmth if nothing else!  As we watched some of the earlier waves start, I realized how shallow the water was.  In fact, the announcer said “If at any point, you forget how to swim, just stand up.”  People basically walked out to the first buoy because the water was so shallow that you couldn’t swim without your hands hitting the ground.  I know how much energy it takes to walk through the water, so when it was my turn, I tried to swim as much as possible, but walking ended up being easier.

The swim did involve some cross current swimming, but I honestly didn’t notice it too much.  Because of the placement of the sun, I had trouble finding the buoys at times, but it wasn’t too bad.  And I used the trick of taking my wetsuit off in the water and letting the water help me get it off my legs.  Definitely an easy way to get out of it when there aren’t wetsuit strippers.  Plus then I didn’t have to run in it.

Swim: 35:16

The bad part of this race?  The quarter mile run to transition from the swim.  Ugh.

T1: 4:11

On to the bike.  Now, they claimed this course was flat, and I would agree for the most part, but there were some rollers and quite a few false flats.  I would be riding along, thinking I was flying, then realize I was nearly a mile per hour slower than I thought.  Thank you, false flat. Of course, what goes up must come down, right?  The only real “hill” was going over the Chickahominy bridge, which is part of the Rev3 Williamsburg course, so I had just done it in July.  (Of course there, it’s right at the beginning and end of the bike course, which have to be the worst places for a bridge.)  The weirdest part of the course was the last mile or so, where you sort of had to wind your way back to transition on these narrow paths.  That definitely hurt my overall pace.

At one point, I passed a woman blaring music on her bike.  People.  Don’t do this.

My goal was simply to push my hardest on the bike and try to hold a solid pace for as long as possible.  I ended up averaging about 16.5mph, a bit slower than I wanted, but I’m pleased with it, and it meant I still had some gas left in the tank.

Bike: 1:25:17 (My Garmin read this as short – closer to 23 than 24 miles)

T2 happened.  Nothing exciting there.  I will say, that even though I came in second, I had the fastest T1 and T2.  Go me.

T2: 1:45

This run was billed as being on pavement, gravel, and trails.  So that sounded fun.  And it was… interesting.  It was definitely scenic and shady, both things I enjoyed.  But there was one turn that a number of people missed, and there were other points on the course where there was just a sign and no volunteer indicating where you should go.  I know, I know, the rule of triathlon is that it’s the athlete’s job to know the course.  But I didn’t love this.

Early on in the run, I heard someone yell to a teammate “Make sure you don’t miss the right turn after the water stop!”  So I kept that in mind, and yep, there was a right turn right after the water stop that was very easy to miss.  There were runners coming straight back at you, so it logically made sense to go straight… except for the small sign pointing you right.  I talked to a few people who had missed the turn and turned around to go back.  Worse, I ran into a few people who decided to run that part of the course backwards (it was vaguely P shaped, to explain how that was possible).  Not sure that’s legal, and I’m fairly sure it’s a DQ, but I’m no official, so who am I to judge?

So these trails winded around and up and down and it was a very lovely place, but also a bit more technical of a run than I’m used to.  I had to really push the pace here and not just run by feel.

As I was coming into the finish, there was a woman behind me with a huge cheer squad.  I love seeing that.  But then, her friend came up to her and said “Beat that girl in front of you.”  Oh no you don’t.  So I put on all the speed I had and sprinted into the finish.  Okay, so my sprint isn’t that fast, but I still beat her.  It wasn’t even about her, I think her friend just put a bug in my ear and I had to win.

Run: 1:18:30.  Only a minute slower than Rev3 Williamsburg, which was a fast and flat course.

Total: 3:24:57

So I guess this was definitely my season.  I’m super happy with how I did and all my work is really paying off.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to an easy off season as I’m picking up distance running again, but it should be slightly less stressful. Now I just have to stop eating all the thing, as has become my habit over the past month, and things will be great.

On to the next big thing!  But first, a rest week.

The post Race Report – 2017 Patriots International Tri appeared first on Elbowglitter.

Yoga Flow Workout: Level 3- Core | BeFiT Trainer Open House

donderdag 7 september 2017

One Last Tri for 2017

My last race for the year is the Patriots International.  I’m headed back to Williamsburg, VA, this time for another VTSMTS race.  Last year, I ended my season on a huge high with a 70.3.  In 2015, my season ended with only my third ever international distance race and a race where I wanted redemption.  2014’s season ended with my first international distance race, and 2013 ended with my first big triathlon, the IronGirl sprint.  So it’s a bit weird to not be ending the season with a “big” race.

That said, this isn’t a nothing race.  I’ve had an awesome season so far and I definitely want it to end strong.  The concern for me for this race is the swim.  It will probably be the most challenging swim I’ve had all season (though I don’t have to jump off a boat to start).  There is a current, and the race organizers suggest practicing swimming across currents.  Guess what I haven’t done?  So this should be fun.  Might be wetsuit legal too, so we’ll see how this all turns out.

The bike is rolling, but nothing too crazy.  I prefer hills to flat, so I’m looking forward to this.  The run is apparently super flat, but on varied surfaces (pavement, gravel, and mulch).  All in all, it should be a pretty good course, and I’m hoping for a great race.  The race is an international and half distance run at once, which I always enjoy, because there are so many more athletes on the course.  It just makes a race feel big, and I love that big race feeling.

Another great thing is that it’s a SATURDAY race!  So I don’t have to rush back from the race right afterwards.  It can be a much more leisurely day, which I definitely prefer.  Also, it’s in Williamsburg, so I can eat at The Cheese Shop.  Yum.  Might have to get a sandwich to eat there and a sandwich to go.

 

The post One Last Tri for 2017 appeared first on Elbowglitter.

dinsdag 5 september 2017

August Mileage Update

ImageParty / Pixabay

August was my last full month of triathlon training.  My last triathlon of the season is September 9th, so I can only assume that my training goals will shift somewhat over the off-season.  I’m hoping for less swimming and expecting more running, but we’ll see what my coach has in store for me.  There is nothing I find harder than dragging myself to the pool on a cold dark morning, and now that team swim has ended (at least for now), finding that motivation is going to be tough.

August was a pretty good month.  My one race this month went way better than I planned.  I was expecting a bit of a mediocre race, and instead beat all of my goals.  Let’s hope that trend continues.

August Totals:
Swim – 5.5 miles
Bike – 208 miles
Run – 40 miles

I didn’t realize how low my run miles were, but I did miss one long run this month due to volunteering.  I should have planned better so I could get the run in, but I was just exhausted.  A better plan would have been an afternoon nap followed by a run, but it is what it is.

2017 Totals:
Swim – 38.5 miles
Bike – 1547 miles
Run – 356 miles

The post August Mileage Update appeared first on Elbowglitter.

Legs & Booty Bikini Body Workout: Surfer Girl

vrijdag 1 september 2017

End of an Era

When I signed up for my first triathlon in 2013, I did it through Team Fight, the athletic fundraising arm of the Ulman Cancer Fund.  I’ve been a member of Team Fight each year since, and will continue to be on the team for years to come, I’m sure.  It’s a great cause and I’m proud to fundraise for them.

One perk to team membership was team swim, held once a week at the pool of a local community college.  Our two volunteer coaches taught us proper swim form (and in some cases, taught complete newbies how to swim).  They showed up with workouts, put up with our moaning and groaning, and made triathlon fun.

Even better was the camaraderie that developed among the team members.  Over the past few years, I have met the most amazing people through Team Fight, people who I hope will be lifelong friends.  Knowing that my friends were expecting me made it that much easier to show up at practice.

Unfortunately, on Tuesday, just hours before practice, we received an email that this was our final practice.  The college had increased the rate to rent the pool and it wasn’t worth it for a charity team. Due to the timing of the email, a lot of the team members weren’t able to make the final practice – with big races over the past two weeks, a lot of people are in recovery mode.  So the final crew was a small one, but we were mighty.  It was a bit bittersweet to see this tradition end, but I am hopeful that we will find a new venue.  If nothing else, we’re going to get together and swim, maybe not every week, but often enough that we don’t miss each other too much.

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woensdag 30 augustus 2017

Wednesday Workout Recap

Last week was another big week of training, gearing up to my last triathlon of the season.  We also had an eclipse last week.  Seems pretty long ago, doesn’t it?

Monday – Eclipse Day.  This was a rest day for me.  It was also my telework day, and late in the afternoon, when the network went down, I decided to take advantage of the time of day and went to the pool to get in my Tuesday swim.

Tuesday – Took my rest day here.  And it was glorious.

Wednesday – FTP test.  This didn’t go well.  I just didn’t have any energy for it, and about 15 minutes into the 20 minute test, couldn’t hold my watts, so I decided to stop the test and just continue by riding hard and finishing out the workout.  I didn’t even bother to look at the stats, just decided that my I probably wasn’t fully recovered from the weekend and chose to not worry about it.

Thursday – 4 mile run

Friday – 2000m swim.  Got to do this in an outdoor 50m pool, which made it seem faster, but in fact I was sooooo much slower.  I think I was just being lazy since I didn’t feel as rushed – at my normal pool, I’m pushing to get done so I can get on the road to work and miss the worst of the traffic.  This pool (only open early during the 2 weeks when my main pool is closed) is located such that a few minutes here or there doesn’t affect traffic.

Saturday – Got up super early to get my 2 hour ride/2 mile run in before going out for dim sum with some friends.  Worth it.

Sunday – 8 mile run.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside.  I’m ready for the cooler weather (but not so much for the snow just yet).

 

The post Wednesday Workout Recap appeared first on Elbowglitter.

maandag 28 augustus 2017

Summer’s End

(For everyone watching the images out of Houston and wondering what they can do, there are a number of awesome places where you can donate money.  Check out this list and remember that every little bit helps.)

scross2601 / Pixabay

I was at a choir rehearsal last night and someone mentioned that summer was almost over.  I was completely surprised by this statement.  Summer isn’t over!  Summer can’t be over!  It’s much too soon.

But this weekend is Labor Day weekend, which is the traditional end of summer.  Kids are already back in school.  The official start of fall isn’t until September 22, but I guess I have to accept that the summer is ending.

I think part of my denial has to do with the fact that my summer isn’t over!  I consider triathlon to be my summer sport, and I have one more race this season, the weekend after Labor Day.  I also haven’t yet taken my summer vacation – that happens later in September.  So in my mind, summer still has an entire month to go.

But fall brings some awesome things.  Like sweaters and not having to wake up before dawn to get in a run before the temperatures reach ridiculous levels.  Fall also means more road races (including some of my favorites) and holidays and football.  Fall means holiday scents and tastes (maybe not pumpkin spice EVERYTHING, but the Cheerios are so tasty).  So maybe I am ready for fall.

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Yoga Flow Workout: Level 2- Jess Taras | BeFiT

donderdag 24 augustus 2017

Don’t Be Gross – Wash Your Workout Gear

DavidZattarin / Pixabay

[contact-form]

On a popular Facebook forum this week, someone posted a question – Do you re-wear your workout gear or do you wash it every time?

People, I was horrified to see all the people posting about re-wearing workout gear.  And I’m not just talking about shirts.  People were wearing bike shorts and sports bras and pants more than once before washing.

I’m no clean freak, but this is unacceptable.  And gross.  And I’m not just talking about the smell.  Because let’s be honest, if you’re working out at home alone, the only one who cares if you smell is you.  And a little BO offending the nostrils never killed anyone.

No, my concern here is all of the other bacteria and dirt that is collecting in your clothing that you’re just putting back onto your body.  Say you do a workout and you then hang your clothes up to dry.  Well, all those fun little bacteria now on your clothes can hang out in that dampness and munch on the sweat and dirt (including oils from your skin and skin cells themselves) and multiply.  And then you put the clothes back on your body.  Let’s not even talk about what happens if you’ve been at the gym and picked up some strange bacteria in your clothes.

Now, this bacteria probably won’t kill you.  But it can lead to skin irritation, acne, and dermatitis, none of which are fun, and all of which can lead to bigger problems if not treated properly.  And if you already have irritated skin and introduce a colony of bacteria… well, I’m no scientist, but that seems like a bad plan.

And have you ever picked up an item of clothing that’s still a little damp from sweat and put it back on?  That can lead to a fungal infection, including yeast infections.  And don’t just think this is something the ladies get.  Have you heard of jock itch?  That’s a fungal infection, and it can end up throwing a party, typically in the groin area or the bra area (but it can happen anywhere).  Definitely not an experience that I would recommend.

My rule is this: If the clothing either 1) touched my skin or 2) got sweaty, it gets washed.  So if I’m wearing a jacket over a long sleeved shirt in the winter, that jacket is fine.  But if I’m wearing a long sleeved shirt over a short sleeved shirt, the sleeves of the top shirt also touched my skin so everything gets washed.

What if you don’t own enough workout gear to get you between trips to the laundromat?  Do you have a sink?  Wash your stuff in the sink.  I’ve been known to do this with sports bras because they are the item I own the fewest of.  It’s really not hard, I promise.

If you want to re-wear your jeans 10+ times before washing, go for it (unless they get sweaty or smell or you spill a plate of spaghetti on them).  But when it comes to your workout gear, throw that stuff into the wash.  No one wants a weird infection.

The post Don’t Be Gross – Wash Your Workout Gear appeared first on Elbowglitter.

dinsdag 22 augustus 2017

Volunteer Recap and Lessons Learned

This is the only picture I took all day. That’s how hard I was working. Also, I’m terrible at taking pictures.

On Sunday, I was up bright and early (wait, it was before bright and early) to volunteer at Iron Girl Columbia.  I had to be at the race site at 4:30, which meant leaving my house before 4.  I had friends telling me I was crazy, but really, it was something I needed to do.  I get so much from volunteers at races that I need to give back.  Besides, volunteering at races is so much fun!  (Except for that early thing.)

Iron Girl Columbia is a sprint distance race, and the race gets a lot of beginners, but don’t let that fool you – this course isn’t a waltz.  The swim is .62 miles, the bike is a hilly 16 miles, and the run is 3.5 miles.  So it’s longer than your average sprint.  But it’s a great challenge.

I worked at body marking until I destroyed two different markers, then headed to swim finish.  I definitely learned a lot about racing at swim finish.  I’ve worked at the finish before, but I’m usually further back.  This time, I was at the edge of the water.  There were a bunch of people stationed at swim finish, and we’re definitely ready to deal with a lot of issues that come up.  Thankfully, we didn’t have to deal with any of them.

Well, there was one.  And ladies, I need to talk to you about this problem.  I was unaware it existed.

Our coordinator referred to it as “suit check” and then made his wife explain it.  Sometimes, women do the swim in looser fitting attire, and as they get out of the water, their top pulls down and there are boobs all over the place.  So we had to remind ladies to pull up their suits on many occasions.  I only got flashed once, so that’s a good thing.

But let’s give this some thought here.  If you’re doing the full race and not just the relay, you shouldn’t be wearing a top loose enough that it can fall down that much.  If you are, it’s clearly not supportive enough.  (I suppose there are likely women out there who don’t need a sports bra to run, but those were not the women we had to remind.)  Even if you’re wearing a sports bra, if you can fall out of it, it’s not the right size or shape for your body.

Yes, oftentimes when lady triathletes get out of the swim, they grab the top of their kit and bra and yank them up, because when you stand up and all that water drains out, it’s natural that your kit will pull down a bit.  But it shouldn’t actually be going anywhere significant.  I usually have to pull my top back up over my bra because it has slid down a bit, but the bra has gone nowhere.

So take a look at what you’re wearing and maybe consider something a bit more supportive.

Now, back to the race.  The volunteers at swim finish aren’t allowed to touch you, as that’s technically outside assistance.  The boat ramp was slippery in spots, and it was tough to not be able to reach out to help, but we wanted to follow the rules.  There was an older woman who I offered an arm to, and it wasn’t an issue, and if someone seriously needed help, we obviously would have provided it.

Unfortunately, this race had a hard time cutoff for the end of the swim, and there were still some ladies making their way in.  The last two ladies out of the water before the cutoff were probably very confused as to why we were screaming so much at them to keep swimming and practically shoved them towards transition.  But once the cutoff hit, Kristin and I walked further into the water and offered assistance to the ladies getting out of the water.  They couldn’t be double DQed after all.  But it was heartbreaking to watch.  One woman had two spectators waiting for her, and they knew she hadn’t made the cutoff.  I very much appreciated that they weren’t angry at us, instead they just kept cheering.  The woman exited the water and started crying because she was so overwhelmed that she finished.  Her friends were hugging her and the volunteer captain came over to give her the bad news, at which point, she just started sobbing.  They were awesome to be there for her and remind her that she had finished the swim, and that was a huge accomplishment (and it is!)

A few of the other people were angry (understandable), and the poor volunteer coordinator had to deal with their anger.  If you find yourself in this situation, remember that the volunteers aren’t the ones who made the rules.  In this case, it came from the police – we couldn’t let any cyclists out onto the road after a certain time.  The volunteers just often end up being the ones who have to give the info.

After swim finish, Kristin and I headed to the run course to cheer.  After about an hour of this, my energy was seriously flagging.  I had wanted to be there for the end of the race, but I was exhausted, and ended up leaving a little after 11.  I still had a great time and was so glad that I took the time to volunteer.  I’m definitely putting the race on my schedule for next year to volunteer again.

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Cardio Core Abs Workout: Surfer Girl- Amber Gregory

donderdag 17 augustus 2017

Volunteering at Races

Tumisu / Pixabay

It’s race weekend again!  But this weekend, I’m not racing, I’m volunteering at Iron Girl Columbia.  This was my first “big” triathlon four years ago (I started triathlon with a beginner super sprint, but this was my big race.)  While I love the race, I couldn’t fit it in last year with 70.3 training, and I was really disappointed to not be out cheering.  So this year, I was determined to volunteer.  I even had it figured into my summer race plan so that I didn’t accidentally schedule something over it.

I admit, when I got the details of my volunteer gig and realized I was going to have to leave my house before 4am, I wondered exactly what I was doing.  That’s earlier than I’ve left for my last few races!  That’s earlier than I got up for my most recent race!  There was a time in my life when I was still awake at 4am.  (Now I’m often in bed before 9.)

But it’s still worth it.

Volunteers are the most important part about racing, and I say this not because I’m volunteering this weekend, but because I’ve been the beneficiary of many volunteers during my racing career.  Handing out cups of water, pointing athletes on where they should go, offering a smile or a high five, these are all so important when you’re racing, and especially when you’re struggling.  So this year, I wanted to give back and volunteer more.

Iron Girl Columbia is an especially fun race to volunteer at because of all the newbies.  There’s nothing like seeing the smile on someone’s face when they make it out of the swim or cross the finish line that they’ve worked so hard to get to.

I’ll be all over the course on Sunday, at transition doing body marking (I’m packing my headlamp), at swim finish, and probably somewhere on the run course.  My shift officially ends at 9:30, but I’m planning to stay out there through the end of the race.  So if you’re racing, look for me.

And if you haven’t ever volunteered at a race before, go do it!  It’s so worth it.

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dinsdag 15 augustus 2017

“Get To” vs “Have To”

Something I often see in the running world is people complaining about runners who say “I have to go run.”  This phrase is often uttered with a bit of exhaustion or disgust.  The common response is “No, you don’t have to run, you get to run.”  Because the ability to run is a privilege and it’s awesome and you shouldn’t complain about it.

But you know what?  Sometimes you can complain about it.  The two aren’t mutually exclusive.

First off, we all complain about things that we’re lucky to have.  There are plenty of mornings that I think “Ugh, I don’t want to get out of bed and go to work.”  I love my job and it’s awesome to be employed, but that doesn’t mean I go skipping off to the office every morning.  I also often don’t want to clean my house.  But I’m also privileged to be able to have a house.

And I think the same goes with running or any other sport you’re training for.  Some days, you just don’t want to do it.  And it’s your love of the sport that makes you do it even though you don’t want to.  If I didn’t love triathlon and want to race, there are plenty of days that I certainly wouldn’t be working out.  Sure, some days I’m looking forward to a certain workout, and many times, I’m looking forward to the endorphins and sense of satisfaction that come with completing a workout (or the food I will get to eat afterwards).  But that’s certainly not every day.  Some days, I do not want to get on the treadmill after work.  I want to sit on the couch and watch tv or read a book or go to bed early.  But I do my run anyway, and 95% of the time, I feel better for having done it.

So yes, you get to run.  But you’re allowed to not love it all the time.

 

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