Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Adult Spring Break : Triathlon Style

Everybody needs a spring break right? Just because we aren't in college anymore doesn't mean we shouldn't get some beach, frosty beverages,  a tan, and some sunshine? I wish it still worked that way.  Getting old sucks! Either way I had my little piece of spring break in Panama City Beach. Amidst heavy half IM training, I definitely needed a change of training scenery and figured a little sunshine/beach time wouldn't hurt.

I headed to PCB to spend the weekend with one of my favorite spring breakers and girly triathletes

We spent Saturday rocking out a 63 mile ride at the Tour de Ranch with some solid rolling hills that included about 3000 feet of climbing. Not bad for Florida right? We were nice enough and even pulled some boys along for the ride :) It turned out to be a beautiful day and fun ride that included minimal mechanicals, bike short tan lines, and frosty electrolyte beverages. We thought we would be crazy add a little T-run too. So out of control right? 

Then the real spring break began! The day was topped off with some beach time and then official adult beverages. I'm not going to lie... I did feel pretty old amongst a bunch of 20-something year olds.  Either way both Chloe and I were rocking our bikinis way better than the college girls were rocking their freshman 15.  I'm thankful for that ;) 

Despite our attempt to hang, we were both done after one cup of frozen daiquiri and after a few free samples. Rookie mistake.

The next day Chloe and I woke up super early to rock out our long runs. Our long run was a very educational for sure. We learned a lot of spring break lessons. A few include:

-If you get super drunk and your friends can't find you and you have no idea where your hotel is.... the beach access makes for an AWESOME place to sleep:
-We later learned that running or "cardio" is the shizit..... (after being hit on by some college kids drinking natty light) at 6 am. At least we still look like we are in college right?

And that is a wrap of 2 days of solid training and spring break! Definitely not the spring break I used to have, but not bad for being a thirty-something weekend get away right? I'll take it :)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tropical Trails

Although my first "Florida winter" has been a little disappointing with lots of days below freezing-- over the past weekend I was lucky enough to head a few hours south to Melbourne, Florida. My husband had a work thing for the weekend and I figured I would tag along to get in some warmer training.

Like most places I go, I love to get in touch with whom Scott calls "my internet friends" before hand to set up some training. It's always way more fun that way! What better way to meet new triathlete friends and explore new places? Lucky for me I was able to set up a solid ride with Emily Nelson along the beautiful eastern Florida shores.

It was a fun 40 plus miles together with lots of girly chatting, sunshine, and palm trees. I was so thankful I had some fun company! Per coaches orders, I added another hour on and traveled along a gorgeous road called the Tropical Trail with a some speed intervals and lots of wind :) Luckily the breathtaking views kept me distracted through my power intervals and I nailed my wattage goals.
I don't think it gets much better than this! 

Post ride I napped some beachside and woke up to this! Hello best rainbow ever!
Sunday, I cranked out a slightly chillier 10 miler along the coastline solo.

And that my friends is a solid training weekend wrap! I'm so thankful for new friends, beautiful creation, and time away with my best friend. Cheers to many more tropical trails and travels in 2014 :) 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013: Lessons Learned and What Lies Ahead

I love as the year ends and we all get a little down time to reflect on the the good, the bad, and the ugly of the past 365 days. For me, some of my favorite highlights include:

1. Traveling to Scottsdale to work for MLB and experience all of the awesomeness that Arizona had to offer.

2. A few days later, flying to Boulder to spend the weekend with my awesome Rev3 teammates :)

3. Moving to the sunshine state!

4. Snowboarding with the family in Utah and introducing Scott to real powder.

5. Trying out the dark-side and experimenting with CrossFit in addition to the old swim-bike run.  And seeing the benefits of pay off via short course racing!

6. Spending lots of beach time with my other half!

7. Getting a new orthopedic job.

8. Making new friends and still being able to catch up with old ones.

9. Winning my first local CrossFit competition (5k gone bad).

10. Crushing my olympic distance PR and placing top 3 OA in several races.

Despite so many blessings, 2013 ended on a rough note for me. Not to focus on the negative, but more importantly to learn from the past... some of the tougher times included:

1. Geo-bachelorette-ing it again for 3 months during the summer to move early for a job that in the end didn't pan out. Worst idea ever by the way :)  I had a tough time being away form this guy:

2. Moving again and of course the challenges that come with it...

3. Suffering through a nasty, nagging Grade II gastroc tear and missing 2 big A races.

4. Starting over once again at a new job.

5. Surviving the holidays alone without family and vacation. I won't lie many tears were shed :(

I will keep those to a minimum :) For me, the challenges painfully teach me far more than the good times. And as much as it sucks to go through the rough patches, they somehow always make you that much better of a person. Your perspective through these trials, will ultimately make or break you.... 

Some of the lessons that I ultimately learned the hard way were:

1. Family should always come first. Jobs will come and go. Family is constant.

2. Despite what we may all think, there is far more to life than triathlon. Scott has to remind me all to frequently, that I am not getting paid to be a triathlete. (despite all of my awesome sponsors). I continually ask myself, what would I do if this were taken away? Happiness should not correlate with one's success or failure at the sport. Instead, we should cherish and enjoy what our bodies are capable of. Training should never feel like a chore or job.

3. Cherish the awesome people in your life including family, friends, co-workers and never take them for granted. Positive people will make or break your day :)

4. Hard times will show you who your true friends are. I have to thank everyone that reached out to me over the holidays. There is no way I would have survived without you.

5. And I'll end with one of my favorites~This is something I continually remind myself when times get tough. There is somebody up there with a plan.... (Jeremiah 29:11)

With that said, I'm heading into 2014 with lots of faith, hope, and a refreshed perspective. I hope 2014 brings you many blessings!

Friday, December 6, 2013

2014 Plan

Ragnar Ultra Relay Miami-Key West

Wildman Triathlon-March 15th

Florida 70.3-April 13th 

Gulf Coast Tri 70.3-May 10th 

Tri Jax Series 

Siesta Beach Triathlon-June 29th

Destin Tri 


Will I see you at any of these races? 
As for sponsors, I unfortunately won't be rocking the Rev3. Although I have thoroughly enjoyed representing what I believe is the best race series out there, I wanted to give the torch to somebody new. With my new job, my husbands deployments, and physically being far away from most of the races, I didn't want to commit to something that I can't deliver 110%. Talk about a tough team to leave :( The rev3 peeps will still always be near and dear to my heart. 

In other news, I will be representing a new brand that I've been a fan of for years....

Betty Designs!!!!
So excited to be part of such a bad a$$ group of girls who are both stylist and fast! 

And as for coaching, I am stoked to back with one of my high school friends and now pro triathlete-Chad Holderbaum. 

I am getting excited for next year, how about you? 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rev3 FL:Going Out with a Bang

Although I had a break hrough with my Olympic distance PR, 2013 has been a wash overall for high quality racing. From the start of the year I was plagued with sickness, job hunting, moving several times, and then finally starting a new job in a new city and being vacation-less again. I put the icing on the cake with a grade II calf tear :)

Sounds like a lot of whining right? I guess I can just call it a growing year? Either way the ups and downs reminded me once again that there is far more to life than just triathlon.  And more importantly, you can't base your happiness on racing or doing well at racing.

With all that said I went into Rev3FL with a healthier attitude, a new found perspective, and excited simply just to be racing!

The swim was a pretty straight forward tear drop-rectangular course mostly parallel to the beach. I went out hard, reminding myself that it was only an olympic distance race and there wouldn't be a lot of room for error. Chloe and I went out together and then she definitely dropped me maybe halfway through. I just tried to stay focused but knew that I had been already passed by a lot of purple caps from my wave.

Going onto the bike, I caught Chloe as she mounted her Duchess and I mounted my SeƱorita :) (our QR names). The bike overall was pretty uneventful. I focused on strictly keeping up my power numbers and riding a clean race. There were lots and lots of turns so it was somewhat hard to ride as steady as I would have liked. On the bike, I passed a few women but had no idea where I stood in the overall standings. As I headed into T2, I was probably 5 minutes behind where I wanted to be but was pleased and ready to finish hard with the run.

After exiting T2, the sun started to beam down and make it's presence known on the unshaded course.  And simultaneously my Garmin 310xt decided to blow up both physically and electronically. According to garmin, I was rocking some 5:30 miles and all of the metal components that hold the watch in place are still somewhere around water stop #1 :) I felt pretty awesome but not quite 5:30 awesome. As I neared mile 1, I finally learned that I was in 3rd place overall. And lucky for me, I was quickly closing on #2. As the miles seemed to drop quickly, I just kept praying that my calf wouldn't act up. Thankfully it never did :) Yay compression! With the out and back course I finally saw #1 about a good 600 meters in front of me. She looked strong as well. I tried to focus on my race and just finishing strong. I never did catch her but was very pleased with ending with a 2nd OA performance and a solid race to finish the year. I also had not 1 but 2 guys compliment me on my bike pacing post race. I'm not sure if they were thanking me for the draft or if the power is actually paying off? Either way I will take it as a cycling compliment this time around :)

I loved ever minute of Venice, Fl and would go back in a heart beat. The volunteers were an amazing group of high energy snowbirds. Loved it!! I highly recommend this to anybody looking for a fun one to end the season on. It was such a fun weekend with all of my teammates and again another job well done by rev3!

Cheers to 2014 :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rev3 South Carolina Race Report

I was fortunate enough to head up to beautiful Anderson, South Carolina a few weeks ago with my good friends Chloe, Kristen, Summer, Ryan Oilar and of course the Rev3 crew. Although I'm an east coaster, I have never been fortunate enough to spend much time in this area. And let me tell you it is gorgeous! I've never seen more cotton fields and confederate flags in my life :)

Going into the weekend with a severe grade II calf strain, I changed my OLY distance race to an aqua bike half. Not worth taking a chance in my opinion. For awhile, I was contemplating on whether or not I should even do anything. I kept reminding myself it was ONLY a training weekend. In the back of my mind, I though the Miami 70.3 was still in my future. I had high hopes that it would still happen.

Anyway it was an amazing weekend with great friends. It definitely didn't feel much like a race weekend....more of a girly-triathlon weekend. In fact, there isn't really much to say about the race itself. My mantra was "take-it-easy... DO NOT race... don't let your ego hurt your calf". It worked for the most part.

Both my swim and bike were pretty slow. And as I ran barefoot through T1 I experienced a few sharp calf stabs that quickly reminded me that I was still hurt. Those few sharp pains successfully created enough fear going on to the bike to hold back the adrenaline. But wow was it humbling.... I have never done a race half-heartedly or hurt before. Luckily the beautiful, challenging, and somewhat technical course helped distract me..... and helped me focus on enjoying the training day and gorgeous creation around me. After the first half of the course, I was pain free and sick of getting passed and decided to kick it up a small notch. In the end, my time was still embarrassingly slow. On a larger scale, I stuck to my plan and didn't hurt my healing body. I would call it a "W" for the day.

If you are looking for a late season half I highly recommend this race. The swim, bike, and run course are all gorgeous this time of year :)

Although this definitely wasn't my race, I'm thankful for the quality time I was able to spend with these rockstar ladies ;)

Down for the Count: Injury Prevention 101

Over the past weekend I was fortunate enough to head to Pittsburgh to see the family and run one of my favorite road races: "the Great Race". With my mid-summer move, I backloaded my tri season like a champ and totally trained through it. I wasn't about to miss a workout for a "C" race. I thought maybe a hilly 10k would be a good training run.

And hello biggest mistake ever.... This is super embarrassing but I now have a grade II calf tear on my hands. I'm not sure how it happened but I think the hilly course just took it's toll on this flatlander :( I started experiencing sharp, stabbing pains at about mile 3 and somehow thought it would be ok to run through it and to run another 30 minutes post run to make sure I completed my scheduled workouts.

How does on go from heavy 70.3 training to tearing my calf at a silly 10k?

It happens.

(Even to those of us who should KNOW better)

Last week I was pretty much pain free with several hours of biking/swimming. I figured I would try to test it out Sunday for a long run and made it less than 2 miles before I started suffering sharp/stabbing pain. Again, still not the smartest idea.

With that said, here are some tips I thought I would share for dealing with an injury:

1. Rest with onset of a potential injury-One day off will not make you lose your entire years fitness.

2. When training for a long race 70.3 and beyond it is not worth it 6 weeks before to participate in any kind of C race.

3. Training through an injury does not make you tougher.

4. Let pain be your guide NOT your training schedule.

5. With a tear or severe strain, do not stretch it until pain free at rest. Why would you want to pull on healing tissues?

6. Graston/ASTYM and foam rolling work miracles to both involved and uninvolved areas.

7. Listen to your coach/PT/MD-as much as you think they are sabatoging you, they are ultimately the voice of reason.

8. Trying to be the stereotypical-type A over achiever triathlete will likely get you nowhere.

9. Be creative.... For me with a calf injury I'm spending extra time on core, upper body, swimming with a pull buoy. There are still ways to work out :)

10. And PTs still officially make the worst patients ever just as an FYI

Hope this doesn't happen to you!