5k:19:17 @ Dublin Shamrock 5k 2011
10k: 41:01 @ Scheel's Turkey Trot 2010
Half:1:30:07 @ Oakland Half 2012
Full: 3:12:57 @ CIM Marathon 2013
70.3: 5:20:07 @ Vineman 2012
140.6: 12:14:21 @ IM Coeur d'Alene 2013
Category Archives: Uncategorized
Week four bled together with week three.
Full of life stressors and the unfortunate accident (thankfully everyone is ok and healing well — thank you for your kind words), it’s more prevalent than ever that training isn’t just physical.
In fact, I’ve been reading one of the best training books I’ve ever read, The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. While I’m still in the early pages of the book, Dr. Philip Maffetone paints one of the clearest pictures I’ve encountered regarding endurance training.
The true holistic approach to developing endurance is one in which all aspects of the athlete are considered — these are the triad of structural, chemical and mental fitness and health.
Dr. Maffetone goes on to explain that this approach to holistic training can be represented as an equilateral triangle. The two obvious sides of the triangle are the structural (physical and mechanical aspects, e.g. muscles, joints, etc.) and chemistry (bio0chemical reactions, hormones, food, etc.).
But the one side of the triangle that is gaining increased awareness in my life is the “mental and emotional” side. This is the side that “incorporates our behavior through the activities of the physical and chemical brain.” Among other things, we’re talking about moods, anxiety and stress. It’s not about fitness, but health, which are two very different things.
While I’ve only scratched the surface of the book (and I’ll leave it to Dr. M to further elaborate), it made me realize that I need to stop neglecting this part of my endurance triangle as it is just as important. Being cognizant of the stressors and mental well-being in my life are critical and directly effect my athletic performance. It’s not just the hours I put in, but how I take care of the other two triangles.
The proof was in the pudding when I tried to run shortly thereafter Chicken Face’s accident and my heart rate was through the roof and I simply couldn’t get it down. Week four’s workouts tended to follow this pattern, but they are also what bring me the biggest stress relief.
So as I look down the path of the rest of my training cycle for the season, it will still be about quality over quantity and getting the workouts in, but it will also be about taking care of the entire triangle and making changes in my life to do so, even if they do make people raise their eyebrows and ask, “Why?”
Then I’ll just smile.
I closed out week 4 with:
10.45 hours training:
4,750 yards swimming
66.1 miles cycling
18.7 miles running
15 minutes core and rolling
I haven’t posted since early January.
It hasn’t been for a lack of adventures — far from it. Over the past two years, I trained, got injured, trained again, raced, recovered, moved, started a new job, trained, ran a marathon PR, traveled and more.
I’ve enjoyed amazing runs with some of the best friends I’ve ever had and I explored new countries with the love of my life…with a little work mixed in.
Oh and did I mention the food in Europe?!
I am extremely lucky for these amazing opportunities and my husband who supports me and my nomadic tendencies (with a few hearty arguments along the way). Overall, I’ve done a decent job of keeping my mind busy – especially since Ironman.
Yet ever since that big race, that deep, inner motivation and athletic happiness gauge that used to overflow on a daily basis was waning. I was still happy, yet that “X factor” just left me a bit nonchalant and unfulfilled with where I was — I didn’t even admit to the funk I was in until Saturday.
I decided that February would be my New Years — my fresh start.
I needed to figure out what it was that I was missing, and I also decided that I am going to reprioritize/change some personal/life things over the next year. Not just about my own athletic endeavors, but choices that will help me beyond “Page the athletes” and into the “Page the wife, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, etc.” Redefining who I am outside of my sports and career. Let’s just leave those there.
As for the athletic side, I decided to change coaches and start a new journey toward Ironman 70.3 — Lake Stevens. My former triathlon coach was GREAT, my last running coach didn’t fit my style, and this time around, I just knew I needed something different. Someone who would be “all up in my shiz” and help me build both physical and mental confidence — enter Sonja Wieck.
My first, weekly GoSonja Google Hangout. Sneaky screenshot style.
Saturday was my first Sonja workout and consisted of a 2 hours and 15 minutes “test ride.” In other words, “let’s see what I’m working with here.” I finally got a Cobb saddle and was equipped to do an actual workout (not just spinning because it hurt too bad to go into aero with the other saddle).
I mustered up my gear, fuel, electronics and enough entertainment to get me through the workout. Unsure of what to expect, I just hopped on and followed the cue sheet.
Over two hours later, sweat literally pooling, my legs pushed to a limit they haven’t been to in a while…I smiled. There I was, solo in my apartment, smiling ear-to-ear and I pumped my fist in the air — I kid you not. It was the first time that I can recall that the “X Factor” was back. I’m sure it was the result of an overwhelming endorphin high, but whatever it was that I was missing, it was overwhelming my entire being.
I called Chicken Face while riding my endorphin high and he was a bit confused with my inexplicable glee. I continued to ride that high the entire weekend…into the BARRE3 class (bad idea), onto the Sunday test run, and meeting me here, as I write this post.
As I try to wrap my brain around what “clicked”, I can only guess that it’s partly due to a few things: my 2014 “life reprioritization” and its associated intention.
I know and am ok with a full Ironman not being in the books for 2014. Instead my intentions will be on my family, friends and focusing on half Ironmans. My intentions are no longer to get in as many new adventures as possible, but to enjoy the now and those that I am with.
We are always seeking for more, more, more (myself included), but what about what we already have? What’s in front of you and the beauty in the daily nuances, the sweat you’re shedding at that moment and the people who want to share those moments with you. I intend to make them and those moment a priority — over everything else.
While the list of things to do is still a mile long, I have to take a break to share some very exciting news.
Unlike every other person in my Facebook newsfeed, no, I’m not pregnant. No, I did not buy a house. No, I did not win Mega Millions. Who are we kidding, if I won Mega Millions you’d likely not hear from me for a very, very long time.
But I do feel pretty lucky in that I am joining the Coeur Sports 2014 Elite triathlon team!
I am excited to join this new family of incredibly talented female athletes and to join a company that has entrepreneurship, mentorship and a drive to dream big at heart.
Does Coeur have great products? Of course! Do other teams have solid gear? Most definitely! But I wanted to share why I made the jump to be part of this new family. Yes, the free gear is awesome and makes my life that much easier – I would be lying if that wasn’t a great perk. But more than the product, it’s the people.
If you’ve followed me from the beginning of my triathlon journey or if you’re new here, I don’t hide my triathlon fears. From my (still present) open water anxiety issues, to my first group ride fears, to lacking the self-confidence, to be calling a Fred and then the Wall Street Journal posting about my “Fred” experience – making a jump into a new sport is flat out scary.
But through social media, I found myself tweeting, Facebooking, and emailing a handful of inspirational (that adjective is an understatement) women who in my eyes were the epitome of “kick ass.” Even as a noob, they never shunned me or mocked my questions (as I have been so often in the past), but instead they took the time to listen, invite me on adventures, connect me with the right people, comment on my blog and cheer me along the entire way.
In a world where women far too often fail to support each other and in a sport where competition is at its core, to be welcomed, mentored and supported is refreshing, reassuring and appreciated.
So when some of these same women invited me to join the Coeur 2014 Elite team, it was clear. Yes, the product is top notch, but even more than that, I want to surround myself with these types of people. The kind that aren’t afraid to start from scratch, the kind that want to dream big, and most importantly, the kind that welcome the newbies, ambassadors, elites and pros all with the same open arms.
I can’t wait to see what 2014 has in store and I hope you have the happiest of holidays.
It’s true, every blogger has a list of their recommended holiday gifts, and I too have the same. I contemplated writing a post about how I loathed joining the gift guide bandwagon, but then writing a post about the loathing the proverbial bandwagon means that I’m joining the bandwagon of those writing about how I’m just another blogger with just another gift guide. Totally makes sense right? Someone get me another eggnog! Wait, I don’t even like eggnog.
Thus, to be a total holiday rebel, I’m going to play a mind-boggling card here and just say here is my list of some of my favorite things that would make a great runner or triathlete gift. Also, please note that I personally own or have tried everything on this list so they are TSATS tried, tested and approved!
1. You Got Chicked T-Shirt, $29: You might get some strange looks, but explaining what “Chicked” is brings a whole new level of pride. I got this shirt after IMCDA and I wear it confidently at least once a week.
2. Black Diamond Sprinter Headlamp (Titanium), $52: Captain Obvious reporting here: it’s freaking dark and cold this time of year. Tell your secret Santa, or yourself, that you care about their wellbeing and don’t want them getting hit/attacked/injured in their athletic endeavors by gifting this headlamp. It came recommended to me by my ultra-running friends so you have multiple stamps of approval.
3. Air Stability Wobble Cushion, $15: What the heck is this spikey blue thing? It’s a balancing/strength training tool and your ankles will thank you for it. Buy one. Use it. Don’t get injured.
4. Cards Against Humanity,$25: If you haven’t played Cards Against Humanity yet, gather your most non-judgmental friends, grab some booze and get playin’. Added bonus: you can even make/print your own cards here.
5. Rose Gold Nike+ FuelBand, $169: I wouldn’t say it’s a tool to help you train in a specific sport, but it’s a great way to simply empower you to move more. Even though I train for multiple sports, I still work in a cube and when I see that I haven’t moved more than 5 minutes within the past hour, it’s pretty enlightening. That’s where the Nike+ FuelBand comes in. Whether it be via Sessions or challenges with friends, it’s a great motivator to get up and get moving, plus, the limited edition Rose Gold band makes for a super sleek arm party.
6. Patagonia Ultralight Down Hoodie, $349: Full disclosure here – I did not pay full price for this jacket. In fact, my mom bought it for me for my birthday, at the Patagonia outlet, where it was not only discounted but she received an additional 40% off. However, this jacket is nothing short of amazing. It’s light, I don’t feel like a marshmallow in it, it keeps me incredibly warm, and it rolls up into a little ball. Perfect!
7. Oakley Radarlock Pitch Sunglasses, $300: I didn’t know what good cycling glasses were until I found these. They are worth every invested penny. Trust me on this one.
8. Barracuda Goggle, $17: These goggles were recommended to me when I first started swimming and I haven’t found anything better since. They fit my wide face, don’t give me a headache and leave minimal goggle marks.
9. The Complete Runner’s Day-By-Day Log 2014 Calendar, $10: I try to track all of my miles online, but there isn’t anything quite like pen and paper. This is a great log for newbie runners to document their training.
10. CycleOps Fluid 2 Indoor Trainer, $280: So you really want to impress the cyclist in your family this holiday? Then up your ante and get them this trainer. For bonus points, get the climbing block too!
11. Homeland, $29: During last year’s trainer rides, I was all about my guilty pleasure, SMASH. But if I had been watching Homeland instead, I would have demolished my rides out of pure intensity and anticipation. Get the DVD series, watch from the beginning and be prepared to praise Claire Daines as a brilliant actress with some really strange facial expressions.
What are you hoping for or gifting to your favorite athlete this year?
It’s no secret that running is beneficial for both the body and mind. But as I’ve harped about before, it’s not just the mind-clearing, heart-pumping endorphine-loving reasons I love running, but for the places it can take you and the sights you’ll see…thank you, Dr. Seuss. This past weekend provided this exact adventure.
I made my way home to Reno, NV to meet my brand new niece for the first time (I’m not posting more photos as I don’t know if my sis is ok with it). She’s everything you could have imagined and I can’t wait to spoil her like every good aunt should. I also got to see my favorite chunky monkey:
Prior to meeting my niece, I woke up early to go running with my brother-in-law as I figured he could use some fresh air in between all his new daddy duties. We met bright and early at my parent’s house and made our way to the trail (which I clearly did not take enough advantage of when I was growing up).
While Reno is far from Portland’s lush green scenery, it felt like the mountains hadn’t turned totally brown yet and instead were graced by deep yellows and crisp air. It felt chilly yet awakening…until you started running.
Why. Can’t. I. Breathe.
Need. More. Oxygen.
My 7:34s that I was busting out in Portland and California? HA! Nowhere to be found here as I gasped for air and struggled to keep up with my BIL. Running in Reno is running at around 4,300 ft. elevation and boy did I feel the difference. The 18-22 miles that I was supposed to run? Uh, ya. That turned into 13 miles.
But it was still worth it as something completely new happened during that run…
As I was catching up to my BIL I saw him stopped at the corner calling for his dogs to come. I approached him, he pointed and there it was. A gigantic (yes, this is the appropriate adjective here) black bear. It was far enough on the hill to not be a danger, but close enough for us to have to call his dogs in, stop and watch it pass.
I’ve seen my share of wildlife on the run and even more roadkill on the bike, but never before had I seen a bear. It was unreal. I was jumping up and down saying, “Oh my God! Oh my God!”
I tried to capture a photo but it doesn’t do it justice, so instead, here is our, “Oh shit we just saw a giant black bear while running” face:
If you’re curious about what to do if you approach a bear in the wild, everything you need to know can be gleaned from this masterpiece:
It’s basically: make that bear your bitch. Punch it in the face. Wrestle it to the ground. And then steal it’s picnic basket. Or you can read the full, real article here (which is actually kind of confusing — stand tall, play dead, fight back, no, wait, wait, climb a tree).
Anyways, we then continued to make out way through the trail and I continued to complain about the lack of oxygen – I had to make up some excuse for my horrid performance.
Regardless, it was a gorgeous morning full of adventure that reminded me of why Reno is great. Hopefully it’s a peek into why Reno isn’t just a sketchy downtown, but actually an outdoorsman’s dream.
Now tell me – any wildlife stories of your own? Tips on what to do when you approach wildlife while running?
Last week, I stalked social media for sneak peeks into the action from friends.
I fell asleep eager for those racing the next morning.
I dreamt (I kid you not) about it.
I woke up and immediately checked in on the action.
I constantly scanned for news and heard about the record-breaking performances.
Whether it was friends kicking-ass with sub-10 finish times, or Mirinda Carfrae demolishing the race with a new course record and the third-fastest overall run (2:50!), or seeing social media buddies posting about spectating the race, I couldn’t take all of this Kona excitement.
I can honestly say that I don’t think I’ve ever followed a sporting event that ignited my passion quite like this past weekend. The sport that I’ve grown, and am still growing, to love is complete with some of the world’s most dedicated and passionate athletes performing amazing feats of human willpower and physical aptitude.
I have to be honest, I did go and scope out how much time I would have to drop if I ever wanted to get to Kona. But by the time I’d be able to do another one, I’d be aging out of the 25-29 age group and into a much tougher age group. But what if? What if?
With my mom in town this past weekend and her by my side and on a bike, we trekked to my new favorite paved trail for my long run. The weather was perfection, the fall colors were so pristine that it almost seemed fake, and 19 miles flew by. I loved being with my mom and finally getting back to the long distances where you can experience more than a handful of emotions and thoughts, and longed for the long training days and recovery nights.
Someday, one day, I’d like to be back on the path to Ironman. We’ll see what it takes to get there, but for now, I loved every second of watching amazing people accomplish the unbelievable this weekend.
Weeks 7 and 8 marked the jump from the base phase of training to pre-marathon training. It also marked what I what I would call the, “Oh shit. Summer is over. Here comes the rain…” phase.
Luckily, Chicken Face and I missed Poseidon’s rising in Portland and celebrated Nicole and Mike’s nuptials in San Diego instead. I’m intentionally not posting any photos of the stunning bride and instead here’s the “I only know three people at this wedding…but whatever” face.
But as the mornings get darker and my days of California sun are waning, I’m reevaluating my running wardrobe (enter the purchase of this new jacket and these running tights), gathering my early morning running determination, and amping up my mileage to run my first 16 miles since IMCDA.
Also of note is my mad salad stacking skills. When it’s by size and not weight, I accept the challenge of stacking the most in the smallest container so I can be cheap.
Fall is here people. Let’s DO THIS.
Mon., 9/23: 30 min. easy run + cross train
Tues., 9/24: McMillan’s Fartlek Workout: 15 to 20 minute warm-p + Fartlek Workout: 6 to 8 times 2 minutes at 5k effort with 1 minute recovery jog + 15 to 20 minute Cool-down
Wed., 9/25: 40 min. easy run + Athletic Yoga
Thurs., 9/26: Accidental rest day
Fri., 9/27: 16 mile run to work
Sat., 9/28: Wedding dance-off
Sun., 9/29: Post-wedding 5K (cutest idea ever)
Mon., 9/30: 30 minute easy run + Cross Train
Tues., 10/1: Nike track workout. What this photo doesn’t show is the ridiculous hail storm we ran in.
Wed., 10/2: Trail run with Jen (who looks just like Heidi Klum..I hate her already. KIDDING!) + Athletic Yoga
Thurs., 10/3: 40 minute run
Fri., 10/4: Swim
Sat., 10/5: McMillan’s Progression Run: Run the first 3rd of the run easy, the middle 3rd – medium, and the last 3rd – medium to hard.
Sun., 10/6: 3 miles sprinting trying to find Jen at the Portland marathon, missed her, then running 5 miles to the finish line to ensure I wouldn’t miss her finish. So basically, just running around the marathon course in search of Jen.
Congratulations! You read the most random post ever.
Now it’s your turn: tell me something totally random.
As you may be able to tell, the frequency of my blog post have decreased, but I thank you for hanging in there with me as I get adjusted to this new little situation of mine. Patience, dear friends, patience.
Photo courtesy of Alyssa. I’m the giant on the left.
I’m working to find my way in my new city with new friends, maintain and sustain my life back home in California, go out and experience this new adventure as much as possible, all while getting settled at a new job and training for a marathon. Long story short, it ain’t easy and my legs are taking their damn time.
I had, and still do have, quite ambitious goals for my half and full marathons this year, but I may be realizing that it might just take a little more time than originally anticipated. I’m still coming for you, CIM, but I’m already on a hunt for a spring marathon that may be better fit for goal domination. It’s frustrating, but at the same time, I’m ok with it. If there’s anything that I’ve learned over the past year and a half is that patience truly is a virtue. I know if twill all pay off in the end.
Now to forgive my laziness, the past almost 20 days have been full of running and traveling fiascos (including a last-minute trip back to California to see Chicken Face and friends), and I’ll forgo the weekly recap, but rest assured that there’s plenty of mileage happening and I ran my farthest since IMCDA last weekend: 15 miles. Like I said, slowly but surely.
Right before the California downpour.
Liquid courage at the Shark’s Game.
Followed by exactly what I needed…R&R at the pool on the first day of fall.
Let’s talk about patience…when did you have to exercise extreme patience in training?
This is not a tale of a romantic weekend, or how a lovely prince swept the princess off her feet. Instead it’s a tale of how grown adults can experience feats of grandeur yet crumble with child-like tendencies spurred by the often joked about, yet very serious, “hanger.”
This past weekend, Chicken Face came to visit for the first time since I moved to Portland. (For those new to the blog, Chicken Face is my husband. I know, the nickname makes zero sense and there is no amazing story. We’ll just have to deal with it.) I wanted to make sure that the weekend gave him a hint of the amazingness that Portland is, especially its outdoor splendor.
I ideated a few hiking options, but reconsidered when I was informed that my initial choices might be plagued by too many people. Instead, a friend referred a hiking spot called Dog Mountain. With minimal investigation, we decided that Dog Mountain it was! (I would later learn that my friend described the hike as “tough”; which I apparently glossed over.) We were eager to explore, catch up and take in the scenery on your less than average hike.
After a morning walk, coffee and muffin, we trekked out to the trailhead entrance full of zeal and conversation topics. Fully aware that the start of the climb would be steep, I honed in on my poison oak scanning eyes, hoofed it up the trail, and we still found ourselves chatting and enjoying the moment. YES! THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I HAD ENVISIONED!
While the trail isn’t too long (~3.5 miles to the top), you must remember, I’ve been training for an Ironman for the last two years. My hill training was frequent, but mostly with the power of two wheels underneath me. I can’t say that I have the glute strength of all of you amazing trail runners out there, because it didn’t take long until we realized that this trail was 3.5 miles, yet 2,800 feet of up-ness.
We huffed and puffed, yet enjoyed our climb to the top. Hurrah! It was a beautiful, fun, gorgeous day that I got to spend with my man. Perfection!
But soon my little fantasy was over as I learned that the climb up wasn’t the hard part. Nor was the way down. In fact, all of it paled in comparison to the rage that was growing in my belly and slowly taking over every part of my being.
My chai and muffin weren’t enough, we idiotically failed to pack any snacks, water wasn’t cutting it for me anymore and it wasn’t long before I became hangry. Chicken Face joked at first and said something along the lines of, “Man up. You can survive three weeks without food.” I don’t think he knew the wrath that my hanger could bring. If you don’t know what hangry is, please learn it now:
Hangry: When you are so hungry that your lack of food causes you to become angry, frustrated or both.
Sure some people joke that they love food and get upset when they are hungry, but I kid you not, this was a full-steam hangry attack that took a turn for the worse. Time seemed to pass slowly, any fun that we were having was quickly evaporated, we grunted about the never-ending steepness of the trail, and soon I would easily fight a tiger for a bite of anything. (I keep hearing that, “Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb” SouthPark song in my head.) And yes, I am well aware that this may be a more serious issue with myself and I need to be very conscious to always keep my caloric intake at a certain level, this IS why I kept Costco-sized tubs of nuts in my locker in high school.
All joking aside, it then got pretty serious as I became really dizzy and needed to balance myself on Chicken Face on the way down. Apparently my husband is a super trooper because he wasn’t phased by his hunger outside of the norm. As soon as we got in the car, my eyes closed and I got quite nauseous on our drive to find food, not able to talk or think about anything other than food. We stopped at the first place we found, where I chugged an orange juice and quickly devoured my sandwich.
So as you reach the end of this blog post, you may be questioning yourself and asking, “Did I just read an entire post about someone who got dangerously pissy and hungry?” You better bet you ass you did. BUT! STAY WITH ME! I have to have my final Jerry Springer closing/PSA: this applies to life, to running, to cycling, to training: FUEL DAMMIT.
I don’t quite understand those who refuse to fuel while training then wonder why they bonked, and this hiking experience was the friendly reminder that this doesn’t just apply to serious training. Tough love and a good reminder for myself: fueling is a biological necessity that increases with exertion. And if you’re still upset with the nature of this blog post, well it’s just that, a blog post, not a WSJ article. Roll with it.
So where was I?
Oh yes, tell me I’m not the only one who has ever had a complete hangry meltdown?
Week two of CIM training made my heart smile.
Monday was my birthday where proceeded to invite three new friends who had never met each other to dinner. Nothing quite like, “Hi. I’m new. I don’t want to celebrate alone so will you go to dinner for my birthday with me?”
Awkward birthday selfie. We failed to take any other photos.
Thankfully, all four of us hit it off big time (if I do say so myself) and I left the date feeling like I just went on a really great date (thanks for the perfect comparison, Kitty). A big thank you to Jen, Antonia and Kitty for making my birthday so much fun.
The rest of the week was a bit of a re-awakening of my legs and the fast-twitch muscle fibers that are hidden deep, deep, deeeeep underneath all that Ironman training. During these first couple of weeks, Coach Greg doesn’t have me doing any speedwork per se, but rather getting the legs moving a bit more and a bit faster.
These workouts have included “stride” workouts. According to Coach Greg, “Strides are NOT all-out sprints but are short periods of faster running starting at around 5K race pace and getting faster to around mile race pace (95% of top speed).” Coach Greg even has some stride training tips on the “tips” section of his site. You can watch them here (click “The Best Workout You’ve Never Heard of – Stride Training”). Feeling my legs slowly come back with care and intention feels great. I know with this approach I’m not pushing anything too much, but gradually easing back into things.
Over the weekend, I flew home to Nevada to celebrate my other sister’s baby shower (and my soon to be niece). Of course, this trip home included quality time with what I’m sure is the cutest five month old ever and my hairy little baby.
I’m working to find my place in my new work world, with new friends, with new legs and a new goal. It’s taking time and hard at times, but making the most of it.
Mon., 8/19: Core and Upper Body
An hour of a little birthday cross-training.
Tues., 8/20: Stride Workout
Wed., 8/21: Eliptical, Lifting and a Little Yoga
Cross-training day, obviously.
Thurs., 8/22: Stamina, Lactate Threshold Run
Leveraged Coach Greg’s pace calculator to determine my steady state pace for this five mile workout.
Fri., 8/23: Long Run
With weekend travel plans, I got in 10 miles with a new friend. Mel has solid speed and an admirable half marathon time of sub-1:30, so I was happy to run with her to keep me focused yet distracted enough to get the miles to fly by.
Sat., 9/24: Baby Shower!
Sun., 8/25: Recovery Run
30 minutes of lugging gifts while running to see my in-laws and Lola.
I just have to share my new shirt.
Love, love, love it — even if it is from the men’s section.