donderdag 27 juli 2017

Things I Love: My Instant Pot

Kitchen gadgets seem to be a dime a dozen.  The next latest and greatest thing is always coming out and everyone jumps to buy it.  Within a few months, that gadget is relegated to the back of the cabinet in favor of something else.

This could not be further from the truth with my Instant Pot.  I got my Instant Pot for Christmas (thanks Mom and Dad!) and I have used it multiple times a week ever since.

The Instant Pot is basically an electric pressure cooker, but it’s got some additional settings as well that let you use it as a slow cooker, a rice cooker, and as a few other gadgets I never owned in the first place.  I had never owned a pressure cooker before, but I had heard good things.  I had a roommate who regularly used a pressure cooker to cook beans, and I knew it worked fast, but it was never something I thought I needed.

Then I started hearing people rave about the Instant Pot.  How fast and easy it was to use, how people were making delicious meals quickly.  How super easy cleanup was.  This all sounded awesome to me, so I started researching and decided that I needed one.

I was not wrong.

Now I’ll be honest – I’m not a fancy chef.  I don’t make anything super extreme in my Instant Pot, but it has made cooking a lot easier.

On a weekly basis, I use my instant pot to make:

Hard Boiled Eggs – Put the eggs on the rack, add two cups of water, cook on high for 2 minutes, let sit/depressurize for 15 minutes, then turn off and put the eggs into an ice bath

Sweet Potatoes – Potatoes on rack, 1 cup of water, cook on high for 10-12 minutes (depending on size)

Steel Cut Oatmeal – 1 1/4 cups oatmeal, 3 3/4 cups water, cook for 10 minutes

Some of my other favorite things to do with the Instant Pot are shredded chicken (including really easy BBQ chicken – anytime I can cook from frozen, I’m in) and I’ve even used it to make homemade chicken stock (using bones from rotisserie chickens).  I know plenty of people who have cooked whole chickens in their IP.  I haven’t gotten that far, but maybe over the winter.  I also really want to try making yogurt.

There are a ton of recipes out there using the Instant Pot, and I’m super glad I have one.  This isn’t any sort of a sponsored post, just me raving about something I use regularly.  When I’m in heavy training mode, finding time to put together healthy meals is tough.  It’s so nice to be able to just throw things into the IP and press a button.

And the best part?  The inner pot is dishwasher safe!  So easy!

Do any of you Instant Pot users have favorite recipes I need to try?

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maandag 24 juli 2017

Catching Up

Visited the Air & Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center. So very impressive!

It has been a busy few weeks, and my lack of time is showing in my blog.  I usually get these posts written in the evenings or over the weekends, but with putting in extra hours at the office, the last thing I want to do when I get home is get on my computer.  (Plus once I get in a workout and eat dinner, I’m pretty much just ready for bed.)

So let’s see, what’s been going on?

My workouts were pretty much a mess over the past few weeks thanks to the cut on my foot from Williamsburg (which is now mostly healed).  Because the ball of my foot was injured and thus sore, I was walking weird, and while I did skip running workouts (pounding on a fresh injury seemed like a bad plan), the little walking I did meant that I ended up with strained muscles in my hips from the weird gait.  So that threw off the workouts even more.   Things seem to be mostly in working order save for a slight twinge in one hip, but I think some stretching should help that.  Who knew that one little cut could cause so many problems!

I was also avoiding the pool until my foot healed, so basically it’s been all biking, all the time.

This past weekend, my brother, sister-in-law, and niece were all in town for a few days and it was so awesome to get to spend time with them.  I will never regret moving to the DC area because I love it here, but it would be nice to get to spend more time with my family.  They clearly need to come visit more often.  There’s plenty of stuff to do here after all.  (Though maybe I would recommend not coming on the hottest weekend of the year.)

I haven’t been paying attention to the fact that I have another race in 2 weeks and it’s going to be a tough one.  I’m going from a very flat course to a very hilly course.  Should be quite interesting.  Let’s hope the heat has broken by then.

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Total Body Barre-Lates Workout: BeFiT GO- 10 Mins

woensdag 19 juli 2017

How to Fix a Flat Tire

Look, I look like I know what I’m doing.

This weekend, I did a small clinic at Princeton Sports on what to do when you are out riding and you get a flat tire.  Given the number of people who showed up at the ride who admitted to not being able to fix a flat, I had hoped more would stay for the clinic, but I think that those who did learned a lot and hopefully feel more comfortable about dealing with a flat tire.

First off, flat tires aren’t terribly common.  I’ve gotten exactly one flat tire since I started riding.  Of course, that one flat tire was during my first olympic distance triathlon.  Thankfully, I knew what to do.  I wasn’t particularly skilled at handling a flat tire, but I had practiced at home.  I wasn’t going to let one pesky issue destroy my entire race.

I have heard a number of cyclists say that if they get a flat tire, their race is over.  And if you’re racing to land on the podium, maybe that’s true.  But for the vast majority of us, there’s no need to stop if our tire goes flat.  And besides, what are you going to do if you get a flat during a training ride?

And what’s the best way to learn?  Practice.  Lots and lots of practice.  If you have a clinic or a class available to you, go.  If there is a hands-on option, participate.  Learn to take your wheel off, get the tire off and change the tube.

If you don’t have a class available, you can learn thanks to the internet.  The internet is an amazing place.  I actually learned to change a tire by watching a video on YouTube.  I no longer remember which video I used, but I’ve included a good one at the bottom of this post.

Don’t just practice once.  Repeat the process over and over again.  Remove the tire, pull out the tube, replace the tube, replace the tire, inflate your tire.  You don’t have to use a CO2 inflator every time, use your regular bike pump.  Sit in front of the tv and have something entertaining playing in the background as you repeat the process over and over.  It will get easier.  And if you’re struggling, walk away for a few minutes, calm yourself, and come back.  You can do this, and then if you do get a flat on a training ride or during a race, you’ll know what to do.

 

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maandag 17 juli 2017

Does Cheating Expose a Deeper Problem?

tswedensky / Pixabay

I’m not going to lie – I love Marathon Investigation.  This started as a way to track down people who cheated to get into Boston.  And it was amazing to see just how many people cheated, and the incredibly inventive way that they cheated.  The site then began to profile other cheaters, mostly people who cheated to get on the podium, but they also occasionally point out people who simply cheat so they can claim they finished.  They also pointed out people who bandited races, either by copying someone else’s bib or running with an old bib (or without a bib at all).

Don’t get me wrong – cheating is always wrong.  I have seen course cutting so many times at Disney races and it makes me mad every time, even though those cheaters would argue that by cutting the course, they didn’t hurt anyone.  I can understand this argument.  They didn’t push someone else off the podium or take a Boston spot or take aid on the course that they didn’t pay for.

But by cutting the course, by lying about their finish, they are harming the sport.  They are saying that it is okay to lie so that you can get a finisher’s medal and proudly proclaim that you finished the race.  I don’t understand this at all.  Why would you want to lie about your accomplishments?  What do you really gain?  And the fact that this doesn’t make sense to me says that there is probably something wrong in how we look at racing.

This week, a teammate of mine got called out by Marathon Investigation for cutting a race course.  She had previously been disqualified by that race.  I admit that I didn’t know her well, and I haven’t talked to her since the piece was published.  I don’t know what happened, but the evidence does not look good for her.  She is no longer on our team, but that doesn’t mean that she is being shunned by the group.  Instead, the leadership has opted to reach out to her and offer assistance.

[W]e have reached out to the athlete and offered to find any resources that will be helpful to her in dealing with this. While it is right and mandatory to speak out against cheating and doping ALWAYS, we also recognize this is a human with feelings. We can all shame her mercilessly on social media and drive her deeper into a hole, or we can try to help her resolve any issues so they no longer hurt her or anyone else around her in the future.

I can understand being in the middle of a race and wanting to quit.  (And sometimes, quitting is the smart thing if you’re sick or injured.)  I have definitely been in races where I’ve thought “Hey, I could just cut the course there and be done!”  Of course, it wasn’t a serious thought.  I It was about as serious as thinking “I could just grow wings and fly through the rest of the race.”

I also know that there have been races that I have been determined to finish because I didn’t want to tell people that I didn’t.  The fear of failure is honestly often my training motivation when I’m just not feeling it.  I don’t want to not finish a race and have to share that.  Not with my friends and family – they don’t care.  But since I do put all of my training out on the internet, it is scary to think that I might have to also share that I failed.

But you know what?  A DNF isn’t failure.  Things happen.  Injuries, illnesses, weather, heck some days you’re just not feeling great for whatever reason.  A DNF says “I tried, and it wasn’t my day.”

We need to remember to be supportive of people no matter what happens at their races.  We need to remember that we are all in this for fun (with the exception of the pros, who I hope are partly in it for fun), and that it will be more fun if we support each other.  Who knows what drives people to cheat.  But rather than point and laugh, we should offer help and be ready to listen when they want to talk.  Sure, some people may not want help. But simply by supporting others when they are successful and when they may be less successful, maybe we can reduce the number of people who think that they have to cut a course or lie about their finish times.

In sum, be nice to people.  It’s a simple rule.

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Belly Dance Cardio Workout for Weight Loss: Leilah Isaac

dinsdag 11 juli 2017

Race Report – 2017 Rev3 Williamsburg Olympic

Rev 3 Williamsburg Race MedalRev3 Williamsburg was incredible.  Absolutely incredible.  Rev3 puts on wonderful races, and I cannot think of a single thing I would change about this day.

This was my second year for this Rev3 Williamsburg Olympic course.  (I did the race in 2015 as well, when it was taken over by Challenge, but the course was very different and really can’t be compared.)  So of course, I had goals.  Well, one goal.  Do better than last year.

I knew this was going to be a challenge though.  Last year’s race was incredibly fast partly due to some extreme currents in the water, so I figured this year’s swim would be slower.  Also, just in general, it’s July.  If the day ended up being extremely hot, all bets were off.  But I still had goals.  Last year, I raced an amazing 3:33:33 (best race time ever), so my goal was something around or under 3:30.

The great thing about this race is that it’s a big race with that big race feel, but because it’s only about 2.5 hours away, it also feels very local.  I knew so many people racing this weekend, people both from Mid-Maryland Tri Club and the Coeur team.  It’s always fun to see friendly faces on the course.  This year, they also added a sprint on Saturday (as well as a kids race) which made for extra cheering fun.

Saturday morning, I got up bright and early (well, it wasn’t bright yet) and headed out to cheer on the sprint race.  We got there in time for the swim start, and watched the swimmers enter and then finish.  I’m definitely glad I got to watch.  Not only was it awesome to cheer on friends and strangers, but it also gave me a look into what I was facing the next day.  The water was clearly incredibly shallow, as people were able to stand fairly far out (of course, that’s not the best race plan, as you expend way too much energy walking through water).  Once the swimmers were close to the shore and stood up, it was clear the mud was ridiculous.  The water was also incredibly dirty, and by the time the last swimmers got out, it looked like they were swimming in chocolate milk.  Yum.  So we stayed and cheered and celebrated with our friends as they finished, and it was awesome.

Rev 3 Williamsburg Race Morning Race morning, I followed my normal plan of getting to the race site stupid early.  I like to get there as transition opens.  Do I need to be there that early?  Nope.  Setting up transition takes maybe 10 minutes if I’m not moving particularly fast.  But I like to be there and get mentally ready and also hang out with people.  When people register for this race and list their tri club affiliation, if enough people from the club register, they rack you together, so you are near people you know.  This is also nice because you can assume your teammates are friendly and won’t just throw their stuff down on your transition spot.

Finally, it was time for race start.  We watched the 70.3 racers start, then it was our turn.  There were two men’s waves and two women’s waves.  I was in the first wave of women.  I walked into the water with a friend and sort of slipped as the concrete dropped off.  But since I was in the water, it wasn’t a big deal.  Also, the water was warm. Disgustingly warm.  The official temperature was over 85 degrees.  So gross.  It definitely felt like bath water.  And unfortunately, while there was a current, it was nothing like the previous year.

The horn blew and I was off.  I was generally pleased with how this swim went.  Occasionally, I found myself in packs, but didn’t struggle too much to get around them.  I also did a really good job sighting and felt like I swam a pretty straight path.  The water was super warm though, and I definitely felt myself getting hot.  And though I did my best to try to not get the water in my mouth, I definitely could feel the grit between my teeth.  Disgusting.  Also, my foot was starting to sting.  That wasn’t a good sign.

The water was so shallow that I understood why people were walking.  I wasn’t to the final turn and my hands were hitting the ground – and I don’t have long arms!  So I did my best to keep moving forward without walking and risking sinking in the mud, and finally, I was out.  And I was dirty.  My poor beautiful Coeur kit.  I hope it recovers.

Swim: 29:41 (2016: 25:47)

I glanced at my watch on the run in and knew that I was slower than last year, but thought I could pick up time on the bike.  Of course, now my foot hurt.  When I got to my bike, I paused and took a look at my foot. There was a chunk missing from the ball of my foot about a centimeter long.  That’s good.  But it wasn’t bleeding profus

ely, and since I knew it couldn’t be stitched, I just rinsed it out with water from the bottle I always bring to transition for rinsing my feet, and put my socks on and hoped for the best.

T1: 3:04 (2016: 3:03 – clearly I’m getting better, since this year I stopped to check my foot and wasn’t really slower.)

On to the bike.  This is a fast and flat course.  I was trying to do race math and figure out just how fast I could get off the bike and how much time I could leave myself for the run.  I’m not great at math on a good day, so trying to do race math while biking… well, it keeps me occupied.  This course is a bit long – 27.2 miles on the bike.  I hadn’t actually looked at my splits from last year, since I knew the swim wouldn’t be comparable, so I didn’t have a set goal, but figured something under 1:40 would be good.  My foot definitely hurt when I first started pedaling, but it sort of settled into a low ache, and I could mostly ignore it.

I do most of my training on hills, so I’m not really sure what a good flat course pace would be for me, so I just pushed.  I was aiming for around 17mph or more.  My plan was really to kill myself on the bike because I’m not a great runner, so this is where I can find the most improvement.

The course itself was awesome.  Some of the roads were smoother than others, which makes for an interesting ride.  For the most part, the other racers were friendly – most people calling out as they passed and encouraging each other, calling out friendly words, etc.  This wasn’t a closed course (bike courses rarely are), and for the most part, cars were friendly, though there were definitely a few buzzing racers.  I found out later that one cyclist even got hit, though I heard he or she was going to be okay.

I have my watch set to alert me at 5 mile intervals, and I kept ticking off the miles ahead of my goal pace, so I started to really think a PR was possible.  I wanted to leave myself at least 1:20 on the run if not 1:30.

One thing I noticed on the bike was that my heart rate was pretty steady and I wasn’t pushing into too high of a zone.  This tells me that I have room for improvement in my legs – and this is an awesome thing to discover.  I know that when it comes to running, I might have a little bit of improvement left, but I’m near that sweet spot where my HR and my pace are pretty maxed, considering my HR issues.  But on the bike, there’s room for so much more.

Bike: 1:34:16, 17.31mph (2016: 1:37:59, so I didn’t pick up as much time as I wanted, but still pretty darn good.)

In to T2 to check out my foot.  It wasn’t too painful, and I hoped my sock wasn’t just completely bloody.  Shoes off and my sock just had a little bit of blood showing.  Of course, it’s important to note that I was wearing hot pink socks, so as I realized later, it might not show much at all.  I didn’t take off my sock to check out my awesome wound though and just kept going.

T2: 1:52 (2016: 3:41.  Clearly I got lost or something)

Time to run!  My first steps while running were not awesome.  The wound on my foot had been in my nice flat bike shoes and not forced to bend at all.  Now, it hand to bend with every step.  It didn’t feel great, but I hoped it would fade.

My goal was just to hold a sub-13 pace and try to move as fast as I could while the day was still cool.  My first mile was comfortably 12:43, so I hoped things would hold.  This course is an out and back on a paved trail, and I love that sort of course when I know people racing because it’s awesome to get to see my friends and also to cheer for strangers.  I started leapfrogging with a couple of people and it was fun to chat with people.

I managed to keep my heart rate down while still managing to really power walk the walk intervals.  I think that’s one huge reason my pace has improved so much – I’m really pushing my walk intervals.  I also kept dumping water on me and packing my top with ice.  It wasn’t terribly hot, but that sun does beat down on you.

I hit the halfway point and knew that things were looking great for a PR.  As I ticked off the miles, I mentally calculated how much time I had left, and at one point, I had around a mile left and 20 minutes to do it in, and that was a great feeling.

Run: 1:17:38, 12:32 pace (2016: 1:23:02)

Rev3 Williamsburg Race Results

BOOM!

Total time: 3:26:32, a PR of 7:01

I was SO so so pleased with my finish.  I felt awesome and even with the slower swim, I still nailed it.

After the race, I walked over to medical to have them take a look at my foot, just to see.  My foot didn’t hurt, but I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to fall off or anything.  I took off my sock and they irrigated the wound, poked at it a bit, and put some ointment and a bandage on it and told me I would probably live.  Thankfully, my tetanus shot is up to date.  While I was sitting there with my sock in my hand, I mindlessly squeezed the water out of it (from all the water I poured on myself) and well.. it wasn’t just water.  So apparently that pink sock doesn’t show blood.  Good to know.  So gross.  Stacey was lovely and waited for me at the finish and got to witness this all first hand.  I have such great teammates!

Foot inspected, we headed to watch other racers and eat some delicious BBQ.  I also met Mariah from InsideTracker who is as lovely as she seems online.  It’s always awesome to put a face to a name.

This race remains one of my favorites.  I had the best time and I really can’t think of a single thing that I would recommend the race change.  (Except maybe clean up the water somehow.)  I’m not sure what races I’m doing next year, but this one will absolutely be on the list.  I definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a great July race.  And there’s all sorts of touristy things for your family to do as well.

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Ultimate Cardio Fat Burn Workout: Steve Jordan

woensdag 5 juli 2017

Is Fatlogic Holding You Back?

A couple of years ago, I learned about “fatlogic,” and I fell in love with the idea.  Fatlogic has a lot of different definitions (it’s a fake word made up by the internet, what do you expect?), but the one that really resonates with me is that fatlogic is when you use weight or size to justify something.

“I’m fat, so it doesn’t matter how I dress, I’ll never look good.”

“I can’t run because I’m fat.”

“I’m too fat to ever fit in with that group.”

I feel like I’ve been seeing it more and more, and idiots on the internet definitely don’t help.  And yes, there are times when your size can be a reason you can’t do something (theme park rides with small seats, some sort of activity with a weight limit, etc), you can’t let your weight or size become an excuse.

I have seen time and time again where people (men and women alike) say that they can’t ride a bike because they’re too fat.  While I suppose there is a size where you can’t ride a bike, I think most of these people are using it as an excuse.  Maybe they are too scared to ride.  Maybe they don’t want to be seen in public riding. Maybe they think they’re going to fall.  Maybe they just don’t want to be the fat person on the bike.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t do it.

escape the cape bike

Go to a bike shop.  Find a bike that fits you and your body.  Go ride.  There are plenty of friendly people out there of all sizes who are out riding.  (And besides, the heavier you are, the faster you go downhill, which is super fun.  Thank you, gravity.)

I know that I have definitely felt like I’m too big to be riding my tri bike.  I refused to get aero bars for my road bike because I thought I would look like an idiot with my belly all in the way.  And no, I’m certainly not the most aero rider, but that has to do both with my size and my general lack of flexibility.  And yet there I am, riding a tri bike.  And I’m getting faster on it too.

Maybe you just want to go to the pool, but are afraid to be the fat person at the pool.  Go to the pool.  Just show up.  If you go during lap swim hours, you will see your super fit swimmers there, but you will also see people of all shapes and sizes.  (If you go to my pool, I believe the average age of the swimmers is approximately 68, and that’s including when the high school swim team is there.)  No one actually cares what you look like because they’re not looking at you.  I’m not going to avoid sharing a lap lane with someone because of their size (unless it’s super tall butterfly guy, and that’s just because he doesn’t understand that he can’t swim butterfly while splitting a lane without hitting me EVERY SINGLE LENGTH.  Ahem.).

You weight isn’t a reason to not do something.  And if you’re not happy with your weight, do something to change it.  But don’t let your weight hold you back, and certainly don’t say “Oh, I won’t do that until I’ve lost a bit more weight.”  You don’t know what you’re missing out on.

 

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maandag 3 juli 2017

June Mileage Update

ImageParty / Pixabay

Halfway through the year.  Yikes!  I can’t believe we’ve already hit the longest day of the year.  I’m still struggling to remember to write 2017 on things!

June wasn’t the best month for me, workout wise.  I had more missed workouts than I would have liked, and not for reasons that I think are truly justified.

Still, June had some highlights.  Super amazing race at Escape the Cape.  Increased by FTP by 11 watts.  And some big stuff at work that isn’t all that exciting, but hey, some deadlines were met and good things happened.

June Mileage
Swim – 6.8 miles
Bike – 214 miles
Run – 57 miles

Well, you can see that I was pretty bike focused in June.  Which is a good thing.  It’s where I have the most room for improvement, and it turns out to be the training I love the most.  (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fast runner or swimmer either, but in terms of where I am and where I can be, the bike is where I need to focus.)

In July, I need to make a point to get in all my swimming.  If all goes as planned, next month’s stats should be higher, but anything can happen!

Year To Date
Swim – 28.7 miles
Bike – 1135 miles
Run – 281 miles

 

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Firm Butt & Thighs Circuit Workout: Tiffany Angulo

woensdag 28 juni 2017

Wednesday Workout Recap

Last week was a busy week.  Work really kicked up again, and my training has picked up as well, so it meant for not a lot of downtime.

Monday – Rest day.  I use these for getting stuff done around the house that I inevitably didn’t get to over the weekend.

Tuesday – Scheduled for swim, but I knew that it was likely I would miss Wednesday’s workout, and I need all the bike time I could get, so I did my 75 minute structured trainer ride instead.

Wednesday – After a 9 hour meeting at work (where there was food for lunch but no actual break) I was completely burned out and went home and crashed as anticipated.  At least I planned for it.

Thursday – 5 mile run

Friday – 2000m nonstop swim.  Got distracted midway by the youth diving team.  They were so impressive.

Saturday – 9 mile run.  Well, more of a slog.  Whatever, miles covered.

Sunday – 17 mile solo ride, repeated the same 17 mile course with the group at Princeton Sports, followed by a 2 mile run, a trip to the grocery store where I magically didn’t buy all the food in the place, and then a shower and rest.

The post Wednesday Workout Recap appeared first on Elbowglitter.

maandag 26 juni 2017

Choosing a Distance

JarkkoManty / Pixabay

This weekend, I realized just how different my training is this summer as compared to last summer.  Last year, I was focused on 70.3 training, which meant much higher mileage, especially on my bike.  A 60+ mile weekend ride was the norm, and that was easily 4-5 hours, including a stop at the gas station for snacks, a bathroom break, and refilling water.

This weekend, I did have a 9 mile run on the schedule, so not so terribly different from last summer, but my bike ride was only 2.5 hours.   I didn’t have to start at the crack of dawn and I still had a good amount of my day left.  I have to admit, I really enjoyed it.

I got out around 7:30 and rode 17 miles, then joined up with the group at Princeton Sports and rode the same 17 mile course a second time.  Somehow, I swear those hills grew between the two rides.  It really was the perfect way to do the ride.  I had to push myself through the first part to ensure that I made it back to join the group ride, and the presence of other cyclists kept me moving through the second part.  I was still slower on the second loop, but some of that is likely also due to the warmth of the day.

(And no, I didn’t quite hit 2.5 hours – I was off my 8 minutes.)

I finished the ride not feeling completely drained, did a quick 2 mile run, went to the grocery store (sorry, fellow shoppers), managed to not buy all the food in the place, and by the time I was home and showered, still had plenty of time left in the day.

That’s not to say that I won’t ever race a 70.3 again, but I’m really enjoying the balance that I get focusing on the olympic distance.  I still worked out over 8 hours this week, and that’s with missing a workout due to work commitments.  So it’s not like I’m being lazy this summer, but I feel like I have decent balance.

Given what I have planned in my life for next year (a northern European cruise in August), I’m not sure a 70.3 fits next year, due to scheduling, vacation hours, and funds, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.  I definitely don’t want it to be a one-and-done type of thing, but I also think I may be an olympic distance athlete.  And there’s nothing wrong with that.

I think in running and triathlon, there’s this push to do the next thing.  If you run 10ks, you get asked when you’re doing your first half marathon.  Once you do a half, people ask you when you’re going to do a full marathon.  And don’t get me started on ultras.  I did two marathons.  I don’t have any desire to do another, not because I didn’t like them, but because I just didn’t want to be spending that much time training.  I still get prodded about doing a 140.6 triathlon.  I’m completely uninterested.  I need balance in my life.

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Booty Barre Workout Routine: 10 Mins- BeFiT GO

donderdag 22 juni 2017

Thursday Workout Recap

Because I missed posting it yesterday.  Whoops 🙂

Monday – Rest Day.  So good at these.

Tuesday – Two mile run, followed by Team Fight swim.  These are supposed to be in the other order, but there’s nowhere for me to run after swim, plus it’s 9:00 at night and I just want to go home and sleep.

Wednesday – FTP test.  I was DREADING this.  And it went really well.  Or really terribly, depending on how you view it.  I went up by 11 watts.  That’s awesome!  Except it now means that all my FTP based workouts are going to get that much harder.  So, improvement is good, but…

Thursday – 5 mile run on the schedule, but I was burnt out.  Did about 3.5 and stopped.

Friday – 2000m nonstop swim.  I probably should have pushed for a bit more speed here.  But I got the distance in.

Saturday – 8 mile run in the soupy air.  It was only in the 70’s when I started, so I hoped that the run wouldn’t be too bad.  Nope, I forgot about the 94% humidity.

Sunday – I had been sneezing much of Saturday (allergies) and that plus the humidity meant that I just couldn’t face an outdoor bike ride.  So I pushed myself on the trainer for 2.5 hours.  Outside would have been better, but I got in the time, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.

The post Thursday Workout Recap appeared first on Elbowglitter.

dinsdag 20 juni 2017

Cheating Surfaces Again

People seem to always find a way to cheat.  Doping is nothing new in triathlon.  It’s clearly wrong, but it’s not new, and we all know it’s continuing.  The above is a screenshot from a post on SlowTwitch.  For anyone who can’t see the image, to summarize, a woman was caught letting air out of the tire of one of her competitors just prior to IM 70.3 Syracuse.  Thankfully, she was reported, disqualified, and the victim’s tire was reinflated.

I’m sure more reporting will come out, and I would very much like to hear from this woman why she was messing with someone else’s bike (allegedly, she claimed she was trying to inflate someone else’s tire, but got the bikes confused – if so, why did air come out of a tire and not go in?).  But the sad thing is, this isn’t a unique situation.

When athletes dope, they’re only risking their own health.  When someone messes with someone else’s equipment, they’re risking injury to that other athlete.  You might think that letting air out of someone’s tire will just make them slower, or make them have to stop to change the tube (thinking there was a puncture in it).  But this could also lead to a crash and physical injury to the athlete (or to other athletes if the crash takes down others, which can very easily happen).

You hear of all sorts of suspected sabotage.  An athlete’s seatpost suddenly drops during a race because the clamp has been loosened, even though it has never fallen before.  An athlete leaves transition and finds her brake pads are misaligned and rubbing (though this can happen from the bike being accidentally bumped in transition). Tires mysteriously go flat.  Items disappear from transition.

Of course, some of this can happen randomly or by accident.  I don’t understand how you can accidentally grab someone else’s shoes in transition, but I suppose it’s possible. And when something mechanical goes wrong on your bike, sometimes that’s just dumb luck.

But sometimes, it’s because people have decided that sabotage is a great way to cheat.  Conveniently, I’m not really competition for anyone, so let’s hope my stuff is safe.  But this really mars the spirit of triathlon.  I have seen plenty of people stop to help others during races.  We’ve all seen people helping others over the finish line.  That’s the sport I love.  And sure, you can be competitive.  You can push to be faster than someone else.  But the goal is that you are faster, not that you make someone else slower.  And there’s certainly no glory in getting there by cheating.

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Sculpted Bikini Body Workout: Arms & Legs- Surfer Girl

vrijdag 16 juni 2017

Friday Five 2.0 – Summer Running Tips

This week, I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for their Friday Five 2.0 topic, Summer Running tips.

While I love the long days of summer, I don’t so much love the hot days of summer.  And I live in the land of humidity (DC wasn’t actually built on a swamp, but I totally understand why people say that), which makes summers even more fun.  I am much more of a spring and fall weather runner, and don’t even mind running in the freezing cold.

That said, summer is here, and I’m in training (when am I not?) so here’s how I handle the heat.

1. Go Out Early

Okay, I’m actually terrible at this one, but if you want to beat the heat, get up early and get running.  I don’t like to run in the dark, but hey, the sun’s up early in the summer, so get out there as soon as the sun comes up.  The day is just going to get warmer, so get in your workout while you can.  You can always nap later.

2. HYDRATE

I can’t emphasize this one enough.  Drink water.  Drink so much water.  Drink all the water.  (Also, get some electrolytes.)  In the summers, I make a point to carry more water than I need. For long runs, I wear a hydration pack and put ice into the reservoir, which definitely helps keep me cool.  I use NBS Hydration and Preload for running.  The Preload has really helped me prevent cramping and post-run headache issues.

And hydration isn’t just when you’re working out.  I make a point to get at least three liters of water a day outside of my workouts.  No matter how much water you drink during your run, if you’re starting at a deficit, you won’t be able to make it up.

3.  Protect Your Skin

I am a pale, pale redhead.  But even if you’re not, you should protect your skin from the evil rays from that glowy orb in the sky.  My preferred sunscreen is by Zealios (who is conveniently celebrating Ginger Awareness Month).  This stuff is amazing.  It’s zinc based, which I prefer, as I think the physical barrier gives me better protection, and it has amazing staying power.  This is the only sunscreen that I can confidently use during a triathlon and know that it’s not going anywhere, even on the swim.

I also own DeSoto Cool Wings, which not only protect me from the sun even more, but if I can manage to keep them wet, they also really help keep me cool.  I mainly wear these for races, as it’s easy to dump water on them at water stops.

4.  Slow Down and Listen to Your Body

Don’t kill yourself in the heat.  If you’re out for a long run and you feel like your effort is the same as normal, but you’re slower than you want to be, don’t automatically push yourself harder.  Take a minute to evaluate.  How are you feeling?  Is the heat getting to you?  It’s better to be a bit slower and be safe, especially on training runs.  But this also applies to races.  If you’re feeling sick from the heat, slow down a bit.  Get some extra water or ice and try to cool off.  It’s not worth pushing yourself so hard that you’re sick.

This was my theory during my 70.3 last year.  The temps in Augusta were abnormally warm, and by the time I got to the run, the joke became that we were running on the surface of the sun.  I did my normal intervals for a good chunk of the run, but I hit a point where when I tried to run, I would get lightheaded from the heat.  Rather than push, I decided to pack my sports bra with ice and power walk, with a few jaunts of running.  Yes, it meant I finished slower than I possibly could have, but I also finished under my own power and I felt good doing so.  Worth it every time.

Any good summer running tips you can recommend?

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woensdag 14 juni 2017

Wednesday Workout Recap

Another week down, another workout recap.  I don’t have another race for about a month, so I think this month will be a lot of really hard workouts to see what I can pull out at Rev3 Williamsburg.

Monday – Travel day/Rest

Tuesday – Bailed on my swim workout in favor of sleep.

Wednesday – 60 minute structured trainer ride.  Felt surprisingly good after the tough weekend.

Thursday – 5 mile run

Friday – 2000m at the pool, 1700 nonstop.  For me, these are a good opportunity to work on form, which is where I end up falling apart in OWS.

Saturday – 7 mile run that I should have started much earlier, but sleep is so very delicious.

Sunday – 2.5 hour training ride followed by a 2 mile run.  I split this one up.  I did 70 minutes with a group outdoors and then the last 80 minutes at home on the trainer.  It was just a little too warm out.  Should I have stayed outside?  Yes.  But I did not.  Next time, I think I’ll do the solo part of the workout before the group ride.

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maandag 12 juni 2017

Race Report – 2017 Escape the Cape Olympic

Escape the Cape Ferry Boat

I jumped off this boat. Yep. A perfectly good boat. And I jumped off of it.

Last weekend, I did my “scary” race of the year – Escape the Cape in Cape May, New Jersey.  Every year, I like to do something that scares me.  Last year, it was Augusta 70.3.  This year, rather than tackle a new distance, I decided to go a different route and take on Escape the Cape.

This race has been tempting me for a while.  Why?  Because you start by jumping off the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.  That is crazy.  I’m not particularly afraid of heights, but I do have a healthy sense of self-preservation and jumping off of a perfectly good boat goes against that.

I admit, I didn’t pay much attention to anything in this race beyond “jump.”  I knew it was an Olympic distance, but beyond that, I was focused on that jump and the swim.  Most of my swims are freshwater, so this had me concerned for many reasons.

Then I started to hear more about the run course.  I knew it went onto the sand and I knew that was going to be hard.  Then the race director, known as DelMo, started putting out videos apologizing (sarcastically) about how hard he made the run course.  The turn-by-turn run course came out and included steps such as “Curse DelMo,” “WTF, DelMo,” and “Find DelMo, Kill Him.”

So, you know, that was promising.

One thing I missed about the run course until the day before (when Kristin pointed it out) was that it was only 5 miles, not the 6.2 I was expecting.  So that helped.  I was so focused on the swim that I didn’t even look at the distances of the other legs.  That’s quality race prep.

Race morning dawned bright and early and Kristin and I headed out to get setup in transition and get ready to board the ferry.  We had to board the boat at 6, and my race didn’t start til 7 (and Kristin, who was doing the sprint, didn’t start til 7:45).  So we had a lot of stuff to bring with us.  I packed a little bag with an almost empty can of TriSlide (to help get my wetsuit on), some snacks, and some sunscreen squeezed into a tiny baggie so I could apply it while getting ready.

There was a lot of excitement and nervousness on the boat, and that hour went by very fast.  I couldn’t believe it was already time to jump!  As soon as the horn went off, some people raced across the timing mat and leapt in, including one guy who did a flip. No way was that happening.  So I got in line and made my way up to the start.  Standing there on the boat, I realized the jump wasn’t that bad.  I think it was 12 feet.  In my mind, I had it as high as the dive platforms at the pool.  My pool has a 10m (33 feet) diving platform.  So 12 feet was nothing.

There were four people directing people to jump.  The current was incredibly fast, so when someone jumped, by the time they surfaced, they were already a number of feet away.  Right before I jumped, I watched someone lose their goggles when they jumped, so the volunteer helping people in was warning all of us to hold on to their goggles.

Finally, the person before me jumped, and I was told to jump as soon as the person surfaced. I refused to think, just jumped.

escape the cape jump

However, I should have considered my race photo, as I clung to my goggles.

The swim was amazing.  The current was fast, but the adrenaline boost from the jump was so helpful.  I didn’t feel any anxiety while swimming at all.  The waves weren’t too bad, but there were enough that it was sometimes hard to see the buoys to sight.  They had a ton of lifeguards out on boards though, so I just stayed near them when I couldn’t see the buoy, knowing that they were somewhere on the course.  It was a straight line, so it couldn’t be that hard, after all!

Swim: 27:32 (see what I mean about the current?)

The distance to T1 was ridiculous.  It was definitely a long trek, and not easy in bare feet.  A guy in front of me had stashed a pair of flip flops along the way which was a genius move.

T1: 7:05

This bike course was about 24 miles, two 12 mile loops. The sprint athletes, who started 45 minutes after us, only had one loop to do, which meant that for my first loop, I was mainly racing with other olympic athletes.  The course was flat and fast, aside from one bridge.  I loved having a two loop course, because it gave me a good chance to understand the loop and then really let it go on the second loop.  This was the first outdoor ride I’ve had all season where I could feel the results of all of my work over the winter.  I felt like I was flying.

escape the cape bike

The second loop was a bit more crowded as the sprint athletes joined us, but it wasn’t too bad.  Definitely no worse than some other races I’ve done.

Bike: 1:25:44

On to the run.  At least it was only going to be 5 miles.  I could do anything for five miles, right?  The majority of the run was along a street with some amazing spectators.  Lots of people out on their porches and yards, enjoying the morning and watching the spectacle.  I waved and called good morning to a lot of them.  I absolutely love races that go through neighborhoods like this one.  Seeing all the people out, hearing the cheers, having quick conversations, it makes the run go so much faster.

The olympic had a total of four sections through the sand – two on the way out and two on the way back. I’m not sure what I was expecting.  People kept referring to these as “dunes,” but I would probably say “beach.”  The word “dune” made me think I was going to have to climb up something.  And I suppose entering and leaving the sandy area was bit of a climb, but nothing like what I feared.

escape the cape run

It’s easy to look good in a photo when you can see the photographers up ahead.

Don’t get me wrong – that sand was not easy to run on, but I lost less time than I thought I would.  I ran where I could, walked where I had to, and continued to collect sand in my shoes.  I think the challenge made it even more fun than I expected.  It was hard, but not impossible, and everyone out there was just so friendly that it was hard to not smile.

Run: 1:10:35

Total time: 3:14:10

escape the cape medal

I finished this race so incredibly happy.  I felt so great about what I had just done, and I had such a great time.  This was a great challenge and an amazing race.  I definitely want to go back and race it again.  I encourage everyone who is looking for something a little crazy to try it out.

 

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Booty Sculpt & Spin Mobile Workout: BeFiT GO- 15 Min

woensdag 7 juni 2017

Do one thing every day that scares you

I’m currently working on my race recap for Escape the Cape, but it probably won’t be out until later in the week.  The race has free race photos (amazing!) so I’m waiting and hoping to have a few good pics from the race.

But I just have to say – this event was amazing.  When I set up my race schedule this year, I made it a goal to do something that scared me.  Last year, that race was Augusta 70.3.  The distance was daunting, and the idea of that training was a little terrifying.

This year, I had initially planned to register for a different 70.3, which ultimately got cancelled, and I just couldn’t find a 70.3 that I wanted to do that fit well into my schedule.  I’m a busy lady, after all.

So instead, I decided to jump off of a boat.

Escape the Cape starts with a leap off of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.  You jump off a boat.  And then swim a mile (or .35 miles if you’re doing the sprint).  It is intense and intimidating.

And it was awesome.

Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  I certainly don’t do something frightening every day, but when I do, I like to go big.

Of course, now I’m wondering what I have to do in 2018.

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donderdag 1 juni 2017

May Mileage Update

ImageParty / Pixabay

The quest for All The Data continues as I track my monthly mileage.  As I have mentioned before, I’ve only ever tracked yearly run mileage before, so I don’t have any set distance goals for 2017, but I’d like to see how far I go to figure out what sorts of goals I can set for 2018.

May Totals
Swim – 7.2 miles
Bike – 161 miles
Run – 43 miles

I actually had to double check that swim number to make sure it was right.  But I’ve been going to the pool at least once a week, usually twice, plus I had the 2.8 miles at Swim Fest tacked on, so I guess 7.2 miles isn’t that far off.  It’s still pretty darn impressive.

Biking and running remains relatively steady, which is exactly where it should be in my training at this point.  I think my biking number will pick up next month as I start getting in longer weekend rides.

Year to Date:
Swim – 21.9 miles
Bike – 921 miles
Run – 224 miles

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woensdag 31 mei 2017

Wednesday Workout Recap

Hey look, a week where I actually got stuff done!  One thing I’m realizing as I do these recaps is that I need to get more strength work built into my plan.

Monday – Sweet, sweet rest day.

Tuesday – Team Fight swim.  Lots of long distance in preparation for the weekend’s crazy swim.

Wednesday – 60 minutes on the trainer.  I don’t know how people train without a mat or towel under their trainers because this sweating is ridiculous.

Thursday – Easy 5 mile run.

Friday – Easy 60 minutes on the trainer.  With the holiday Monday, I was opting to skip my rest day and actually get in an extra day of biking over the long weekend, so I took this one easy.

Saturday – Swim Fest

Sunday – My first Princeton Sports ride of the year.  We did the old Iron Girl course, and that’s 16.5 miles of no joking.  I really like doing these group rides, and because I was putting in so much distance last year, I didn’t do a ton of them.  My plan this year is to try to do the group rides to not only get in the added push of riding in a group and trying to keep up, but also to help support the newbies that will start to show up.  I’ll just do the ride with the group, then go back out for whatever extra mileage I need.  Or maybe I’ll try to get mileage before the ride.  Whatever works for that weekend.

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dinsdag 30 mei 2017

Race Report – 2017 Fort Ritchie Swim Fest

This weekend was the Fort Ritchie Swim Fest.  It’s a really great event and perfect open water practice.  There are three different races in the event – 750m, 1500m, and 2250m.  (Clearly, it’s a 750m loop.)  You can do one race or any combination of the races.  In previous years, I had done the 1500m and the 2250m, but after watching some friends do all three races – the 4500 – I decided that I wanted to do it this year.  That’s 2.8 miles.  That’s a lot of swimming.

My goal for the event was to just finish.  I wasn’t worried about times, because I had to save my arms to get through the final 2250.  So I knew that I would likely be slower than normal, and I was okay with that.  This was an endurance test for me.  And also some quality cold water practice, because the water was 64 degrees.

The first 750 was definitely the hardest, because when I got in, the water was so cold that it literally made my skin hurt.  It took a good five minutes for my face to stop hurting in the water.  Thankfully, the pain did stop and the second two races were much easier, even with getting out of the water and getting back in.  This is a good reminder, because my race this coming weekend is going to be stupidly cold.  At last check, the water was 59 degrees.  Maybe it will make me swim faster?

This event was definitely just a slow and steady, and I’m happy with that.  Yes, my 2250 was 9 minutes slower than last year.  But this year, I did a full 2250 before doing the second 2250, so I think that’s okay.  Leading up to the race, I thought doing all three races was crazy.  I still think it was a little crazy, but I’m pretty confident that I’m going to do it again next year.  It’s a fun challenge and it’s great practice.  If I can get through that kind of swim, my olympic distance races this year (1500m) are going to be a breeze.

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Dancer’s Barre Legs Workout #1: The BOD -Dancing with the Stars’ Kym Herjavec

woensdag 24 mei 2017

Wednesday Workout Recap

geralt / Pixabay

As I mentioned on Monday, this was a really great week workout wise.  That doesn’t mean that all the workouts felt great, but I got them done.

Monday – Rest Day.  I’m really good at these.  I wish I could get more done on rest days though.

Tuesday – Team Fight Swim.  I really enjoy being part of a group swim.  I feel like I push myself harder than I do in a solo workout – especially when I’m the slowest swimmer there.  We’ve got some beasts in the pool!

Wednesday – 60 minutes on the bike trainer

Thursday – 4 mile run.  This one was more sluggish than I like.

Friday – 45 minutes in the pool.  This one was a struggle.  I’m not sure if I was just tired (6am swims are early!) or worn out, but I had to force myself to not bail early.  I showed up, I might as well get the workout in.

Saturday – 25 mile bike followed by a 1 mile run.  I rode the Columbia Tri course for the first time this year and it was awesome.  I really love that course, even though I’ve never done the Columbia Tri.  It’s got some quality hills and is just a beautiful route.  It apparently got repaved recently as well, which made it even better than I remembered.

Sunday – 8 mile run.  Apparently, after riding all those hills, my legs were wholly uninterested in an 8 mile run, and I think it took about 6 miles to actually warm up.

 

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maandag 22 mei 2017

Back to Basics

I had an awesome training weekend this weekend.  I didn’t set any new records, but I got in a 25 mile ride and an 8 mile run, and it felt good to get the mileage in.  It helped that the weather was pretty perfect for both.  Not too hot, not too cold, and the rain held off.  I feel like I’ve been biking in threatening rain a lot lately, which is much less fun than it sounds.  Running in the rain can be enjoyable, but biking in the rain? Thumbs down.

I’ll hit on this in my weekly recap, but after looking at my training on Strava, this was the first week in a while that I had 6 workout days on the schedule and actually hit them all.  Life has been busy and so my training has been less than it should be.  That could be exactly why things felt so good this weekend.  It could also be why it felt like it took me 6 miles to warm up on my run yesterday – my body just wasn’t used to this kind of work.  Or it could have been all the hills I rode on Saturday. Or a little bit of both.

Either way, it feels good to be back.  Now to just get my diet back into order and it should be smooth sailing.  Until something else crazy comes up.

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Body Toning Pilates Workout: Kara Griffin

vrijdag 19 mei 2017

What To Do When a Race Goes Wrong

Tumisu / Pixabay

Apparently, this past week has been a rough one for a number of triathletes.  I’ve seen a lot of people posting about how open water swims went poorly, bike workouts were struggled through, and runs were crushingly painful.  I’ve also talked to a number of people who had bad races over the past month and are feeling down about the rest of their race season, wondering if they should cancel races or drop down to shorter distances.

So what do you do when a race goes wrong?  You don’t give up, that’s for sure.  Just because you have one bad race doesn’t mean that all is lost.

First off, what made the race so bad?  Did you freak out on an open water swim?  Did you struggle through hills on your bike?  Was your bike or run split slower than you wanted?  Did you feel like you were struggling through your entire run?  Were there unexpected aches and pains?

Then figure out why.  And remember, sometimes, it’s just not your day.  You can do everything right and still have a rough day.  It happens to everyone.

How was your training?  And be honest with yourself.  Did you actually put in the work that you should have?  Did you let yourself slack off maybe a little bit too much?  When you skip a workout because you’re tired, are you really that tired or do you just not want to go running?  I’ve seen a lot of people skipping too many workouts because they’re worried about overtraining.  You have to learn to be honest with yourself.

And if you’re getting in those workouts, are you doing what you’re supposed to?  If your plan calls for speed work, are you really putting in the effort?  Are you choosing to ride in a flat area rather than a hilly area? (Which, of course, is a good idea if you’ve got a flat race coming up, but if your race has hills, get yourself out onto those hills.)  Are you putting in the work at the pool or just halfheartedly swimming laps until you hit the 45 minute mark and then getting out as fast as you can?

On the other hand, overtraining is real.  Are you pushing your workouts too hard?  Remember, your long runs should not be at race pace.  You should have some harder workouts and some easier workouts through the week.  If you push to your limit on each workout, you will end up injured or burnt out.

I think keeping a training log is an incredibly important tool in helping you figure out if your training has been where it should be. This doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  You can scribble down notes in a notebook, in a file on your computer, whatever works best for you.  Just something like “This was my workout and this is how I feel.”  You’ll start to see patterns in your training.

On race day, did you follow your plan or did you go out too fast?  When I run half marathons, it’s very easy to get caught up in the pack and start out too fast.  You will see a lot of runners do this.  Hold back and stick to your plan.  You don’t want to use up all of your energy at the beginning and have to slog through the last few miles.  Plus it’s fun to start passing people as they run out of energy and you’re still going strong.  Aim for a negative split (running the second half of the race faster than the first half).

Did you freak out in the water at your triathlon?  This can happen to anyone at anytime, but ask yourself – did you practice appropriately?  Did you get in open water swim practice?  Did you put in the time getting used to swimming in cloudy water where you can’t just follow a line on the bottom?  Did you do any open water swimming in a group?  Even if you’re an experienced swimmer, open water practice will help every triathlete.

Regardless of the answer to the above questions, you should also formulate a plan for how you’re going to get yourself out of an open water freak-out.  A lot of people have a mantra that they repeat over and over or they sing a song in their head.  Some people flip onto their back and float and breathe for a minute or so.  Do what you have to so that you can keep going.  Remember, you are prepared for this swim, and you will get through it.

Most importantly, don’t give up.  If your last race went poorly, that doesn’t mean your next race will.  Do some serious soul searching about what really happened and then do what you need to so you’re ready for the next race.  Everyone has a bad day.  And those bad days just make us stronger.

 

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dinsdag 16 mei 2017

Race Report – Kinetic International Triathlon

Kinetic International Finishers Photo

Photo credit to Keely

Triathlon number one for the season complete!

This was the first year (I believe) for the Kinetic International distance.  I’ve done the sprint here before, and the course looked the same as Giant Acorn (though I think the bike course is reversed from the last time I raced it), so I had a general idea of what I was getting into.  And then the weather forecasts started to roll in.

Once again, I started the season with a cold, rainy triathlon.  But this year, I knew what I was getting myself into.  I was much more mentally prepared for a miserable experience, and I think that preparation made a world of difference.  Also, it wasn’t that miserable.  But I was prepared for this to be a slower race than normal.

Race morning, the temperatures were in the upper 40s, and it was raining.  Great.  Awesome.  At least the 60-something water would feel warm.  Gotta find the bright side, right?  I got in the water as early as I could, probably at least 45 minutes before my wave started.  That’s the great thing about races at Lake Anna – you can get in the water super early and just sort of splash around until your wave starts.  It’s perfect for people nervous about the open water.

I was in the very last wave, which didn’t worry me too much.  This was an international and a 70.3 distance raced together, so that meant I had no risk of being the last finisher.

When my wave finally started, I struggled to find my groove at first, most notably because it was impossible to see the buoys.  The rain had stopped for the most part, but it was foggy and just hard to sight.  Not a big deal all in all, but annoying.  The swim course was a big rectangle, so once I made the second turn to go back towards the shore, things were much easier, though at that point, the wind picked up and there was some significant chop to the water.  I can handle that as long as I can tell where I’m going.

And though it felt like it took forever, I was finally out of the water and on my way to T1.

Swim: 41:24

One downside to races at Lake Anna is the long distance to transition.  It’s paved, which is nice, but it’s just a long uphill run.  Barefoot.  And since it had rained so much, once I got to transition, everything was just a huge mudpit.  I bet the bike tracks were at least an inch deep, probably more.  So that was hilarious to deal with.  No running for me – I didn’t need to find out how much padding my wetsuit would give me if I fell.

I stripped out of my wetsuit, getting it super muddy in the process and tried to clean my feet off to get my socks and shoes on.  (Yes, I wear socks on the bike leg.  I get blisters otherwise and it’s worth the few seconds it takes me.) I also watched a guy cursing at his wetsuit because he was stuck in it.

I opted to not put on my arm sleeves since the rain had stopped and I would rather be cool than overheat.  Plus they’re so annoying to put on while wet.

I definitely wasn’t hurrying in transition, which is probably something I should work on for next race.

T1: 4:39

On to the bike leg.  I was worried that because my cleats were so filled with mud that I wouldn’t be able to clip in properly.  Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad, but future me had some serious shoe cleaning ahead of her.  I headed out on the bike, which starts with a lovely uphill.  Having done the course a number of times, I was ready.

The roads were still a bit wet but not too bad, though I was still glad I had slightly underinflated my tires, especially on some of the speedy downhills.  I had a goal pace in mind and found myself just below it, but I think I tend to overestimate my goal pace in general.  I was also struggling with some tightness in my quads because I was so freaking cold.

I was pretty pleased with how I hung in during the bike, though I wished I had brought some cookies for a snack.  I forgot how much I like snacks on the bike.  Snacks are one of the best parts about biking!

Bike: 1:41:59

T2 went much better, though again, no running through the mud, so it was a slower trek.

T2: 3:15

And on to the run.  This I was familiar with.  It was a two loop course (though they tacked on a tiny bit near transition – I guess the old course was just a little short) with a grand uphill on each loop.  Hooray.  I didn’t even bother to try to run it, knowing it would shoot my heart rate up way too fast, so I just power walked it.  The downside to that is that there are tons of spectators there.  So I just chatted and said I was getting my moneys worth out of the course.

At this point, my upper hips/butt muscles were very tight (actually, using the internet I think maybe it’s my gluteus minimus? Anyone?) and I hoped I wouldn’t be fighting this the entire run.  Thankfully it just bothered me on the hill and then faded.

Because it was still cool, I was able to set into a good rhythm.  Not quite as fast as my most recent half marathon, but that wasn’t done on bike legs, so I was pleased to find a good groove.  I got tons of compliments on my Coeur team kit – it will be on sale next season!   It was awesome to feel so good out there.

The volunteers were spectacular.  As I was coming through, the pizza lunch delivery had just come for them, and I kept threatening to steal their pizza.  The tables were manned by kids with adults supervising, and these kids were great.  Sometimes, kid volunteers get sullen or bored, but I loved the enthusiasm these kids had.

Finally, FINALLY, I was cruising in to the finish.

Run: 1:20:22

Total time: 3:51:38

Not my fastest, but far from my slowest. I was thinking I would be around 4 hours with the weather, so I’m quite happy with this.  And I knew I had a good shot at placing Athena this race seeing as there weren’t a ton of entrants.  I was hoping for second.  First was unexpected and a delightful way to start the season.

Now I need a trophy shelf in my pain cave!

After the race, I got back to transition to retrieve my poor, muddy bike, and noticed they had  put down straw in transition.  SUPER nice.  Of course, my bike still had chunks of mud all over it.  That was a problem for future me too.

And my new tip: Use a blue IKEA bag as your transition mat (or stick it under your mat/towel).  Then when you’re done, you can throw all your gross gear inside it and haul it back to your car and contain the crazy amounts of mud.  When you clean your gear, just hose down the bag too.

 

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Full Body Sculpt & Burn Workout: Body by Becky

maandag 8 mei 2017

So Much Work, So Little Time

This is a fair approximation of how I felt at the end of last week. stux / Pixabay

It’s been an insane two weeks.  We had a big work event that involved four days of travel last week, and I’m still not sure I’m fully recovered.

It was definitely an awesome event, but the lead-up and execution was incredibly stressful and meant a lot of overtime.  That also meant a lot of missed workouts, which probably didn’t help my stress levels.

This season, I’m really working to prioritize my health.  I don’t want to risk letting myself get run down and then prone to getting sick.  So I’m making a point to try to get 8 hours of sleep a night.  I’m really getting closer to 7, but even that’s a big help.   While things were crazy, I also made a point to not push workouts.  For example, I had a trainer ride to do and it was clear that I just didn’t have the energy to get it done properly.  So rather than destroy myself, I just took it easy and tried to not worry about it.

Of course, I have a race this weekend, so I am a little worried about it, but I’ve decided it’s better to go into the race healthy and well rested and slightly undertrained than totally burned out.  At least that’s what I’m trying to tell myself.  It’s easier said than done!

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Belly Dance Workout for Beginners: Cardio Fat Burn- Leilah Isaac

maandag 1 mei 2017

April Mileage Update

ImageParty / Pixabay

Continuing on my trend of MORE DATA for 2017, I’m still tracking all my mileage.  I was a little afraid of this number because the past week has not been great for me.  I had to put a lot of extra hours in at work, and since I’m really trying my best to stay healthy, I prioritized sleep over workouts.  It’s not an ideal situation, but I’d rather go into my first race of the season slightly undertrained but healthy than properly trained but risking injury or illness.

Work will ease up after this week, and I’ve got a race and Swimfest this month – so there will be plenty of swimming happening in May.  So very much swimming.  Quite likely my highest month, if I make it to all the workouts.  Which I intend to, barring injury or illness.

March Mileage
Swimming – 4.4 miles
Biking – 178 miles
Running – 47 miles

Not my highest totals, but not far off.  Considering this includes some missed workouts, I’ll take it.  I’m really surprised at how many bike miles I put in every month.  Of course, much of this is trainer riding, which doesn’t exactly equate to outdoor miles, but it’s how I get in my mid-week workouts.  Plus I really love riding my trainer.  Somehow, it’s a very different type of suffering than a treadmill run.  It’s also a very disgusting sort of workout.  Seriously, make sure you have a mat or a towel under your trainer, because the sweat is really impressive.

Year to date
Swimming – 14.7 miles
Biking – 760 miles
Running – 181 miles

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Pilates Cardio Circuit Workout: 15 Mins- BeFiT GO

woensdag 26 april 2017

Wednesday Workout Recap

I saw this cool bird while out on my Sunday run. He seemed pretty unconcerned by all the people and dogs passing him.

It’s as if my brain doesn’t realize that I have a race coming up pretty darn soon.

Monday – Rest Day.  I’m really good at these.

Tuesday – Team Fight Swim.  So many sprints.  I definitely pushed too hard on these.

Wednesday – Switched it up since my bike was in the shop.  Did Thursday’s five mile run.

Thursday – Went to get my bike from the shop, thanks to traffic, I didn’t get home until late.  But at least they managed to figure out the clicking.  Apparently continually splashing Tailwind from my terrible aero bottle is not so good for a bike’s inner workings.  But $35 later, it’s all fixed.  And I have a different aero bottle.

Friday – Swim in the morning, then a super long day at work.  Hooray for morning workouts.  Though I was still an old lady and went to bed early.

Saturday – Weirdly, I couldn’t sleep Friday night.  I don’t know if it was stress from work or what, but around 3am, I gave up on the plan to get up early to go to the Key to Keys sendoff at 6:30 in Baltimore and turned off my alarm.  Due to weather, I then did 30 miles on my trainer, which is not ideal.  I was also totally exhausted, so it took FOREVER.  But I got it done.

Sunday – After a proper amount of rest, I went on an 8 mile run.  This went much better.

The post Wednesday Workout Recap appeared first on Elbowglitter.

dinsdag 25 april 2017

Open Water Practice

This guy might be at your open water swim, but he looks friendly enough, so it’s probably okay. ArtsyBee / Pixabay

It’s that time of year!  Open water race season is starting.  And with that comes open water swimming practice.

If you haven’t already figured it out, open water swimming is very different from pool swimming.  Most notably, you don’t have a handy line at the bottom that you can follow to ensure you’re swimming in a straight line.  In fact, you probably won’t even be able to see the bottom of the body of water.  I know that most of my races aren’t that clean, and even if the water is pretty clear, once you get a bunch of triathletes churning it up, it gets pretty murky pretty fast.

So no matter how much you swim in the pool, I really recommend getting some open water practice before your first race.  I make a point to get in the water before my season starts every year.  I want to get practice in while wearing my wetsuit, and I want to remind myself how much the first minutes in cold water really really suck.  Then it gets much better.

Locally, there are a couple of practice swims that I’m planning to attend.  If you’re in the DC/MD/VA area, check out the practice swims at Fort Ritchie and Luray.  Wave One also has a couple of clinics available.  I’m sure there are others I’m missing.

If you aren’t in the area or can’t make any of these swims, definitely look for a body of water where you can swim before your season starts, even if you can’t swim very far.  Even just swimming around a dock can help you get used to the weirdness of open water.

Barring all of that, if you’re doing a race in a wetsuit, get in that wetsuit and get into the pool!  Unless it’s an outdoor pool that’s still pretty darn cold, you shouldn’t do your whole workout in the wetsuit because you’ll overheat, and no good comes from that.  Even just a few laps are better than nothing.

 

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Legs & Booty Chair Workout | 15 Min: Sweat Factor- Sam

woensdag 19 april 2017

Wednesday Workout Recap

I am really bummed that this weekend’s weather is supposed to be cool and rainy.  I was planning to go ride Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park for their car free day on Sunday, but it looks like the weather is going to be cold, wet, and foggy, and not at all conducive to a good training ride.  I’m going to wait and see what the weather looks like come Friday, but I may give up my spot, try to get in a good training ride Saturday morning before the rain comes, and do my long run on the treadmill (blech).  With race season coming up soon, I want to make sure all of my outdoor rides are quality.  I also don’t want to ride in the cold and wet if I don’t have to.

Last week was kind of hit or miss workout wise.

Monday was a rest day, and we had a Coeur Team Captains call, which was super helpful and a reminder that I’m on a team with some very incredible ladies.

Tuesday was a scheduled swim, but the pool was closed for Spring Break.  I considered hitting the pool before work, but with an 8:00 meeting, that wasn’t an option.  I did a quick run and some strength work instead.

Wednesday I had another FTP test.  I was exhausted and didn’t expect this to go well at all, but I surprised myself.  I wasn’t quite up to my most recent max, but I was darn close.

Thursday called for a five mile run.  I remember when 5 miles was my long weekend run.  Those were the days.

Friday I went back to the pool in the morning for the first time since September.  It was good to be back, though it was also my day off work, so I didn’t have to be there ready to jump in the water right at 6am.  This week is going to hurt.

Saturday I went out and rode 25 miles, my first ride outside this year.  I went for an easy route, just to make sure I remembered how to ride.  Followed it up with a 1 mile run.   I was hoping the ride would be faster, but you can’t win ’em all.

Sunday I had a 7 mile run on the schedule, but I was absolutely exhausted and probably fighting off some sort of bug.  Saturday after my ride, I actually laid down and watched tv, which is something I never do, so I should have expected that I was fighting something.  Thankfully, a full rest day seems to have done the trick.  I mentally struggle with skipping workouts because I feel like I’m just being lazy, but when my body is really pushing back, I do my best to listen.

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