Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Year in Review

2012 was a great year.  It was the first year I branched into the triathlon world and quickly found my new addiction.  I ended up completing 4 tris this year, and it was great!  Here are my top moments, from my perspective of 2012:

BEST RACE MEDAL:  I'm all about the race bling.  I think that I was most excited about my first tri medal EVER (even though it was my fourth tri) at Ogden Valley Sprint.

HARDEST EVENT:  I must say Wildflower Pedalfest.  I know that I was prepared.  I had no idea how hard getting my arse and bike up Big Mountain would be.  I have never been so wasted (tired) after a race/event.

LEAST FAVORITE RACE:  Meh, I loved them all for various reasons, but I could have taken or left the Daybreak Tri.  It was just okay.

FAVORITE EVENT:  St. George 26.2 continues to be my favorite race.  I love everything about it. From the organization, the course, the crowds, everything.  And to crossing the finish line at a marathon never gets old, and no other finish line compares (that I have done anyway)

FUNNEST EVENT:  Bear Lake Brawl Oly.  So much fun to be there with my new found TriBuddy peeps! We stayed in a cabin, cheered for each other, and hung out afterward.  So excited to do that more in 2013!

BEST PERFORMANCE IN A RACE:  I can't top St. George 26.2.  I mean really?  A PR by 21 minutes and a course PR of 27?  Nothing else I did this year compares to that.

WHAT I LEARNED:   I love triathlon.  I love my bike.  I love open water swimming.  I love pushing myself to the limits. I'm a strong swimmer. I'm a crappy runner.

FAVORITE TRI ADDITION OF 2012:  Other than acquiring my chariot, I have to say finding my tri group, TriBuddies, was the best thing to happen to me.  I love having friends with the same interests, and people that I can talk races, injuries, chafing issues, or training plans all day long and they actually can relate :)  So excited for upcoming events with them!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day!  I started my day by sleeping in (if you consider 6:30 am sleeping in) then hit the scheduled Insanity Workout for the day - Max Cardio Recovery.  The word "recovery" should be taken VERY lightly there.  It was 45 minutes of strength/yoga style stuff that kicked my trash.  I finished a half hour ago and my quads are STILL burning.  I will probably attempt a 3-4 mile run later this evening, to help counter today's calorie overload!

BUT...I did get on the scale this morning and found I finally broke past 151 on the scale leaving me at 150.5.  I haven't seen anything under 151 in well over 8 months! WOOHOOO!

I have so many things to be thankful for, but since this is a sports/training/running/triathlon/fitness blog, I will focus on those kind of things I am thankful for today.

Number 1 - I am thankful for my body.  I am thankful that it is healthy and strong and can take the abuse that I regularly put it through.  I seem to like pushing the limits on things, with a "Go big or go home" attitude.  I am not good about easing into anything, often leading to my own burn out, injury, or frustration.  I am thankful for my body for taking this abuse and it keeps going!  I am thankful for the fitness I have that I am able to go and do the things I love...swim, bike, run, Insanity, run and play with my kids like I am their age, or just put up with the demands of working full time and being a wife/mom/sister/friend.  I am amazed at the human body and its capabilities and so grateful for my health!

I am thankful to have discovered triathlon this year!  I feel like I have been in the sport for much longer than I have, probably because I have always been interested in it, studying it, etc, and just barely this year tried it!  It seems like the Women of Steel Tri, my first, was just a month ago!  As much as I loved running in my pre-tri life, and I still do, triathlon has brought me more challenges, fun, friends and experiences than I could have even imagined and I am just one season into it!  I already have tons of big ideas for 2013, none of which are official (in the form of a registration that is) but I can't wait to see what it brings.

Have a great Thanksgiving!  Be safe, and Happy Training!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Fit Test #3

So, today was the start of Week 6 of Insanity, thus the third Fit Test.  Here are the results:

Switch Kicks:  108...up from 105
Power Jacks:   53...up from 51
Power Knees:   89...up from 86
Power Jumps:  37...down from 44
Globe Jumps:   12...same as before
Suicide Jumps:   21...down from 22
Plank Jacks:  49...down from 53
Lower Plank Oblique:   60...up from 58

I was up or the same for most of these.  This was done at 4:00 in the morning, and I was sore from last week's work outs.  And, I can't hide the fact that I did pretty much skip Week 4, though I did a good job making up most of those work outs last week.  So, it is what it is.  In other news, I did lose weight last week, and am down a total of 8 pounds since starting this whole thing.

This week starts the beginning of Month 2, which everyone I know that has done Insanity has told me is by far the worse. Apparently the work outs are longer, and harder.  I am hoping that is true, as I still feel that I need my butt kicked.  I did the Fit Test this morning, and will do the official first work out of the week tonight after my son's choir performance.

Happy Training all!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Life happens

Well, this was supposed to be week 4 of Insanity.  I only did one of the 6 workouts this week.  I had a week of several early morning meetings and then class this week with some projects due, and then the other mornings, lets face it, I was too damn tired to get my fat apple out of bed.  So I hit the work out today and it killed me!  I guess that is what I get for taking a week off, I don't just get my butt kicked like normal, I get killed!

Luckily with looking at the calender, this coming week is supposed to be a "recovery" week with some light yoga every day, and nothing too bad.  I have decided to make up the workouts I missed in the mornings, then do the yoga in the evenings, and be back on track.  It isn't too hard to double up on these work outs if some of the recovery ones are the second one of the day.  Stupid me for slacking off though!

In other news, I have decided to try a new product.  I am doing the Total Lean 7 day FAST from GNC.  I think the reason this appealed to me is that I have hit a weight plateau, and needed something to kick start it. This is a cleanse, but not one where you stop eating.  You still stick to a 1500 calorie a day diet (for some this may be a huge restriction, but it is what I have been aiming for) but you use their protein shakes 2x a day, plus some vitamins, and other stuff as well.  I will let you know how it goes, it starts tomorrow!

So back on the wagon for me.  I really enjoy these work outs...when they are done:)  I just had a crazy week, was lacking in motivation, and now to get back at it :)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

She's missed me....

It has been way too long since I have been on my Chariot.  I can even tell you what times in the past 2 months.  Since Wildflower Pedalfest, which was August 18, I have been on her two other times.  The Bear Lake Brawl, and the Ogden Valley Tri.  I aggravated my shoulder pretty good on the Pedalfest, so I stayed off to let it heal only getting on for those other two races, then once those were over my focus turned solely to the St. George Marathon, and then to Insanity.  So, long story short, she has been neglected.

I got up this morning and did two Insanity work outs, but as the day went on, it was just gorgeous out, and I knew I wanted to get out.  The fam was all occupied, I got the clearance to be gone for a bit from the hubs, and I got her out, checked the tires, and headed out to Antelope Island.

I couldn't have asked for a better ride!  The weather was awesome, it was only windy a long the cause way (but really, when is it NOT?) and there were buffalo all over.  It was sunny, and I thoroughly enjoyed being on my bike.  I did notice my shoulder getting sore, but I didnt' care. I noticed that the biking seemed effortless after 3 weeks of Insanity!  Seriously, an hour and a half on the bike, it seemed so easy compared to what I have been doing!  I didn't push it too much, but it was great.  Hopefully this will continue and I will see improvements when I get back to swim and run as well!

The forecast is calling for cooler temps and snow next weekend, so this may very well be the last outdoor ride for awhile.  I am hoping because I have been such a good girl this year, that a bike trainer is in the works for Christmas, and once Insanity is over, I can ride the Chariot inside in the mornings :)

But, I think she has missed me as she was so good to me today.  And honestly, I have missed her as well.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Fit Test #2

Well, today marked the official two week mark since I started Insanity, and you know what that means!  Fit Test time!  Here are today's results:

Switch Kicks: increase by 6
Power Jacks:  51...decrease by 4
Power knees: 86...increase by 8
Power Jumps:  44...increase by 3
Globe Jumps:  12...same as last time
Suicide Jumps:  22...increase by 2
Push Up Jacks:  53...increase by 19!
Low Plank Oblique:  58...increase by 19!

So, as you can see, I was up in almost every area.  And for the couple of areas that I wasn't, oh well!  Win some lose some, right?  As for my weight, I didn't see any change this last week.  No gain, or loss, but I think I am losing inches as even though the scale is the same, some of my jeans feel slightly looser.  I'll take it!

My thoughts so far isn't much different from before.  This is hard stuff.  It is nonstop, and even though you have "breaks" they aren't near long enough.  I wore my heart rate monitor the other day, just to get an idea of how many calories I am burning on average.  My heart rate averaged 175-180 for the 38 minute work out, and that means I burned 550 calories in that time, or 710 an hour.  Not bad!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fit Test #1

With me starting Insanity this week, one of the ways to measure progress that is built into the program is with the Fit Test.  According the the calender, if you are following the 60 day format, you will do this every 2 weeks to measure progress a long the way.  I did this test on Day 1 before actually completing any of the work outs.  For the purpose of documenting my progress to world as I go, here are my results from that first test.

Switch Kicks:  99
Power Jacks:  55
Power Knees:  78
Power Jumps:  41
Globe Jumps:  12
Suicide Jumps:  20
Push Up Jacks:  34
Low Plank Oblique:  39

The goal is to see how many of each of these you can do in one minute.  That is my initial result, and I was sore just from doing the test!  I have thoroughly enjoyed these work outs this week, but they are no joke!  Today's "recovery" day was nice.  It was still tough but not as butt busting as the other days have been.  It was more of a yoga, stretching, with some resistance work kind of thing.  But the good news is, I am already down 3 pounds since starting on Monday!

Happy Training All!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

An INSANE start to the off-season

Well, the time has come for me to finally do it.  I have always wanted to, though it has scared me in the past. But, the timing has never been right for a 60 day commitment.  Well, no more excuses, it started on Monday!

What did?  I started Insanity on Monday.  I have always wanted to.  It is just in the past I thought it would be too much with all my swim/bike/run training.  I have had several friends that have all done it, and have talked about how intense it is, and I didn't want it to take away from my tri training.  I decided that this off season is the time to do it.  I gave myself a week to recover from the marathon, and started it this week.

Thoughts so far?  WOW!  The first day was "just" a Fit Test.  I was sore and dying from it alone!  It was 25 minutes of several exercises where you see how many you can do in one minute.  I was dripping sweat and woke up the next morning sore, and I hadn't even OFFICIALLY started the program!  I have done the scheduled work outs for the past two days and HOLY MOSES, it is intense!

It reminds me a lot of the sports conditioning you see football players and other athletes do.  I am sure they are some of the same drills.  Thing is you do them over and over again, and faster every time, with very short breaks in between.  The advice that many have given me that I should only do what I can and don't even try to keep up is so true.  Even the people on the video in the background can't keep up with Sean T!  While I am doing it, I wanna curse at the screen, throw things at him, you name it.  But when you are done, you feel like such a rockstar!  I am so excited, yet scared, of what the next 57 days will bring!

I am not following the exact diet plan, though I am sticking to the fundamentals of it that suggest 5 small meals a day and I am sticking to the caloric recommendations it sets and using the Myfitnesspal app to track my calories.  I have lost a pound a half since Monday morning, so we will see how this goes!  Progress and updates to come!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

St. George 26.2 - Race Report

Where do I start?  The race I have anticipated the most this year has come and gone, and what a day it was!

Lisa and I headed to St. George as soon as we were able to drop my kids off at school on Friday morning.  It is about a 5 hour drive down there, and I was wanting to get there as soon as I could.  I love the expo for this race, and I knew I wanted to see as much of it as I could.  The drive down was fun and went fast.  Tons of laughing and joking as Lisa and I tend to do when we get together.  Ken and the kids couldn't join me as Ken couldn't get off of work and we didn't want the kids to miss a day of school either.

At the expo, I picked up my packet and shirt.  This year's shirt was way better than last year and it actually fit!  Last year I was so disappointed that the shirt didn't fit.  This year not only was it cuter, but it fit well.  I was excited to see that the swag bag was not just a ton of race advertisements, but actual samples I will probably use, like Clif Bar, protein shake mixes, chap sticks, etc.  Yeah!  Of course the system for picking up packets was smoother and uneventful..I am telling you, the organizers have everything down to a science, it was all smooth sailing, and so easy!  Not the lines or frustration I have had with other races.

We then took the chance to browse the expo.  I loved the vendors!  They had a ton, and of course, my Happy Place was there...the Salt Lake Running Co.  They had all of their gear marked down and then it was buy one get one free, so SCORE!  I got a couple of running skirts for next to nothing.  I also bought a running jacket with the marathon logo on it, and a few other things.  It was so much fun!  We then went over and enjoyed the pasta dinner.  It was great as always!

We then went to the grocery store to get some bagels for the morning, then it was early to bed for my 3:30 wake up call!


I got on the bus at 4:00 am.  That is when the first buses leave, and they put your name in a drawing for cool things if you are on the first buses to leave.  I probably didn't get anything, but I didn't care.  I got on the bus and had some older gentleman named Bill sit next to me.  He was super nice and we had great conversation on the way up.  He has done several marathons, but this was his first year doing StG.  I told him about the course, how it was my favorite race, and we had a good time.  Once up to the start line, I went and got a survival blanket and parked myself down next to a campfire. I visited with other runners for awhile and made a couple of bathroom breaks.  I made sure to take my water, and banana and bagel even though I wasn't particularly hungry or thirsty.  Before I knew it, it was almost start time!  I wasn't sure what my strategy for this race would be.  They didn't have a 4:45 pacer, as I was hoping.  They had a 4:30 and a 5:00 hour guy.  I just decided to run by feel, and try to hold back the first half for a negative split.

Then the gun went off!  I was excited to get going!  It was still dark and pretty cold.  It was somewhat windy, but it was a tail wind, so no problems with that!  I then noticed that there was a pacer near me.  I hadn't paid much attention to them at the start since I knew they didn't have the time I was wanting, and it was the 3:45 guy.  Yeah right!  No issues with them passing me!  Then I saw the 4:15 guy pass me a few miles in.  No issues with that either.  I decided to hold back and the first few miles were nice, the sun was coming up, and it is a great part of the course.  As we approached Mile 6, I could see Veyo in the distance.  It is a beast, but I was up for the challenge and told myself that no matter what, I was NOT walking any part of that hill.  I would do it smart by not going too fast to kill fuel for later, but I would not be walking it.  We ran through the small town of Veyo right before the hill and the crowds were out in full force.  They had to be barricaded off to the sides and it was so much fun!  They had a brass band there, and plenty of people bundled up to cheer us on with cowbells, blow horns, you name it.  You kind of feel like a rock star at places in a race like that.  I still get teary eyed going through crowds like that, it is so nice to be on THIS side of the barricade, where they are cheering FOR you!  I still feel that I spent so much of my life as a spectator, it is fun to be on the other side :)

As we got closer to Veyo Hill, many people were walking it.  I settled into a good, consistent, but maintainable pace as I started up the hill.  I felt good the whole time, focused on my breathing, and leaning forward while looking up.  Before I knew it, it was done!  Really?  It didn't seem that bad!  Better than I remember it!  I passed tons of people on that hill, and it was good to hit the top where it is still a gradual up hill, but the worse was behind me.

The next few miles were uneventful.  At about Mile 10, the 4:30 pacer group passed me.  This bothered me, even though I thought it was completely out of the realm of possibility to keep up with them.  I decided that I would keep them in sight, not letting them get too far ahead of me.  For the next 5 miles, I did just that, I was able to keep the 4:30 pacing group within sight, even if by a hundred yards or more.  However, when we got to the 15 mile mark and aid station, I had caught up with them!  I figured at this point it wouldn't hurt to try to stay with them.  I knew it might be too fast, but so what if I had to let them go ahead again?  I talked to the pace leader and she said that they were about 8 minutes past the gun time, and I knew my watch was about 4 minutes past gun time.  I told her I would join the group for as long as I could.

This proved to be so good on so many levels.  The pace leader acted as a coach, and she would tell us to loosen our arms, take deep breaths, focus on form,etc. The other people in the group were fun too.  We were running about 2-3 minutes ahead of schedule, so she was even telling us to slow down at a few points! I was doing self inventories a long the way, and I was feeling great!  I couldn't believe that I wasn't feeling fatigued, or too fried.  I was almost anticipating hitting the wall, as my longest run had been a 18 miler, and it was four weeks ago.  But, it never came.  I kept up just fine with this 4:30 pace group and was feeling great. I was enjoying the company of the other runners, and the crowds were starting to pick up again as we made it into town.  At about Mile 22, the PL (pace leader) told us if we were still feeling good to go ahead and run AHEAD of her.  Well, I was feeling okay.  No, not just okay, I was feeling REALLY good.  I was excited that I knew this was a PR race for me, and other than the back of my one hamstring that was starting to ache, I was doing great!  So another girl and I that had been in the group together took off ahead of the PL.  We passed through the final aid stations and talked the whole time.  We both were going to PR this if we kept going like we were and it was fun to run together, since we had both left the pace group.  I just kept pushing and the crowds were thicker, and the cowbells and yells got louder.  It was just plain fun!  I finally rounded the final corner and could see the finish line in the distance about a quarter of a mile away.  I figured I still had some gas left in the tank, and I just went for it!  It felt good, and next thing you knew I crossed the line.  I immediately hit the stop button on my watch, and could NOT believe what it said.  4:32:01.  ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?  I knew that this was a PR, but I had no idea how good it would be!  This was 25 minutes faster than last year at this same race, and 21 minutes faster than my previous marathon record, which was 4:52 in Ogden.  I was so excited! I immediately lost it, so excited and proud of what I had accomplished.  I knew how my latest runs had been, and they hadn't been great.  I had been lucky to pull an 11:30 mile on my long training runs, and with that pace, I should have been WAY slower than 4:32:01!  I figured out the pace for that and it is an average of 10:20 a mile.  For 26.2 miles.  WOOT WOOT!  I can't tell you how good this felt!  Words can't describe how good this race felt all the way around!

This marathon, I felt great the whole time,  I felt strong, and I never hit a wall.  I honestly think I could have gone farther.  Maybe it was pure adrenaline, but I could have kept going.  I loved every part of this race, and I love how it felt to finish and realize that I had done so well, beyond what I would have EVER thought possible!  I seriously didn't want to leave that "Athlete's Only" area of the finish line, because I wanted that feeling to last forever, it was THAT good.

I did catch up with Lisa, I  went and had the back of my medal engraved with my name and finishing time.  I ate some food, but honestly, my stomach was a little queasy, so I didn't want to eat much.  Then it was as simple as head back to the hotel, grab a quick shower, a quick lunch, and then head home.

- I would say that the success of this race can be attributed to one thing possibly.  Even though I have not had great runs lately, I have done TONS of cross training with my tri training, and those benefits apparently do cross over to the other sports.  I mean, if this result was based on my run performance alone, I would have been lucky to finish before they closed the course.  I really think that the strong swimming and biking I had over the summer contributed to this time.  They HAD to have, otherwise, the running alone wouldn't have done it.

-Another possibility that may explain this result is that I did a 4 week taper.  I hadn't wanted to, but I really wanted to do that Ogden Valley Tri that was 3 weeks prior to the race, so I called it good with my last long run of 18 miles being the week before that.  My body had a good amount of time to rest up and repair prior to this race.

I don't really know, but these are some things that are different from previous marathons I have done, and apparently, they worked!

I loved this race.  Everything about it.  They have this whole thing down to an art form as well as they organize and pull everything off.  The volunteers are amazing.  The expo is amazing, the organization is phenomenal.  The course is hard, but gorgeous.  They really know how to do an amazing race.

I really thought this would be my last marathon for awhile.  Yeah, not so much.  I loved this one so much that I am going to make it an annual thing if I get in through the lottery.  If I don't, that is fine too, but I am at least going to try for this one every year.  It was amazing, and I loved it.  And if I can do this kind of improvement every year, I figure in about 4-5 years, I will be at a Boston Qualifying time!

Sadly enough, this was the end of my 2012 racing season, so for me, it is time to recover from this marathon, reflect on the season, and set goals for next, as well as a tentative race schedule.  I have tons of ideas, I just have to prioritize what I want to do most and go from there.

Happy Training all!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

There is beauty all around...

I have really had my interest peaked in trail running lately.  I have several friends through my tri group that do it, and with all of the fall colors being at their peak right now, any excuse to get into the mountains will do.  I had a terrible last few days at work, and I decided last minute to take a mental health day from work and finally go and hit the trails to see what all the fuss was about.  I checked the weather forecast and it was a great day to do it...sunny and 70 degrees!

I enjoyed my morning of sleeping in, then took the kids to school.  I had already called a sub the night before and had stuff ready for the little cherubs to stay busy with all day.  I packed what I thought I might need in a bag and then headed right to Salt Lake Running Company for some trail shoes.  I knew I was going to get some nature therapy today, why not retail therapy as well?  HA!  Any excuse to hit the Running Co!

I found some great shoes, and headed right up to Snowbasin where I had looked at some trails on line.  I also talked the night before to a friend of mine that is an avid mountain biker and he recommended the Green Pond Trail Loop.  I easily found it, parked my car, and then headed out.  The trail was full of people hiking, mountain biking, etc, but it wasn't too crowded and most of the time I felt like I had the whole mountain to myself.  It was exactly what I needed today.  I was not out for a time, or anything other than to enjoy nature, get a good work out, and relieve some stress.  Well, I accomplished all of the above.  I made sure to take the time to look around me and enjoy the AMAZING scenery around me.  I stopped to take pictures whenever I felt impressed to do so.

The actual running was awesome.  I fell into a good rhythm and found that it is definitely more challenging than regular running as you have to navigate the ever changing terrain beneath you, but I felt like a rock star as I cleared logs, boulders or creek beds a long the way.  I enjoyed the challenge and it didn't take long for me to be dripping in sweat.  It was a great work out, but I didn't feel like I was getting my trash kicked either.  I kept hearing my watch beep as I hit each new mile.  I did end up veering off the trail and did a pretty decent ascent up to this awesome clearing where I noticed I had gone just over 3 miles from where I had parked.  Knowing that I have my marathon in just over a week, I didn't want to overdo anything, so I decided that was a good half way point then I headed back to the car.

I loved this run.  I can see why so many people love trail running!  Who wouldn't love having the mountain to yourself?  Or running through canopies of changing fall leaves as you kick through them at your feet?  I quite literally came upon a herd of 8-10 deer and I startled them and they ran around me to get away.  Scared the crap out of me as well since I didn't feel them there, but how cool is that?

Now I can see myself looking for any excuse to get up to the mountains.  There is already discussion going on the TriBuddies forums about a possible run Saturday...count me in!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


T minus 11 days until the St. George marathon.  This isn't a race that I REALLY wanted to do, I didn't have my heart set on it at the start of the season and honestly through my name into the lottery thinking I was really good either way with whether or not I got in, and half way hoping I would not.  After all, the training is a beast!  I have gone back and forth since I found out I got in on whether or not I REALLY want to do it, and even considered backing out a couple months ago.  Read about that here.

Well, I have put in the work, the long training runs, and I even feel somewhat more prepared in that I have also cross trained a ton with the triathlon training, and am feeling really good about this race.  I have had some good runs lately, and am just feeling good all over about it!

Who am I kidding?  I am so excited!  I am proud of every race that I have completed, but NOTHING is like 26.2.  There is something in finishing a marathon.  It is such a challenge, such a huge accomplishment, that even though I have completed three others, it is still humbling, and exhilarating all at the same time to think about doing it again.  You have to respect the distance.  If you are not prepared, it can get very ugly.  

And, of the 26.2's that I have done, St. George is my favorite.  They have it down to an art form.  It is like the Holy Grail of Utah races, and I am so fortunate to be able to conquer this beast yet again.  I am in the taper mode at this point in training for it, so I am putting in the work outs knowing that the worse of the training is behind me.  Bring it on!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ogden Valley Sprint Tri

 What a way to end my my tri season!  Ogden Valley Tri is a race I squeezed in last minute, and I am so glad I did!  It was fantastic!  It was a sprint tri, and it was the longest one I have done.  This had a 1000 meter swim, a 16 mile bike, and a 4.1 mile run.


I drove myself up to Pineview Reservoir nice and early. I woke up at 5:45, and left by 6:30, getting up there just after 7:00. I had a bagel and some water for breakfast.  Nothing major, but it is nice to get something in my stomach. Ken and the kids would come later since it didn't start till 10:00.  They only offered same day packet pick up and since I had no idea how many people were doing this race, I wanted to make sure I was there early to avoid lines, etc.  When I got up there, this was the view from the start, as the sun was coming up.  Looking like a great day!

I was the first person to pick up my packet.  They handed me my envelope, and a pretty cool t-shirt and my race numbers.  Then I headed to body marking where I had my embarrassing moment of the day.  They had some young dude, very nice, and pretty cute doing body marking.  Well, guess who forgot to shave last night as I had planned?  Yeah, somewhat embarrassing, but NOTE TO SELF:  SHAVE!.( I usually do for the record, but being a back in school and back to my crazy life, it had been a couple days).  I was very happy to see that my race number was 688.  Not that it REALLY matters, but I do have this thing for even numbers, so I considered this a good luck omen for the day.

I then texted one of my TriBuddies, Jordan to see if he had arrived yet, he had and I went over and met with him and Josh.  They are in my group, but I had never met them, just knew that they were doing this race.  It was nice to have people that I know, and we visited, joked around, checked out the lay of the transition area.  I made sure I knew where all the important areas were and walked myself through them, the swim in/out, bike in/out and run start and the finish.  I got somewhat disoriented at the Brawl a few weeks ago, so I wanted to make sure I knew where I was going.  I had my banana, and a half hour before the swim start I had my 5 Hour Energy. I don't usually use the stuff, but a friend I know uses them before races and says that they give an extra boost, so I did.  It seemed to help!

I then put on my wetsuit, and headed down to the beach for the swim start.


I was really looking forward to the swim.  Any of you that have been reading this blog this season know that it is my strongest of the three sports, and I love it.  And I was excited since this is the exact beach that my weekly Pineview swim with the Buddies has been all summer, so I was comfortable knowing the beach, and the water.  It was a gorgeous morning for a swim.  I could tell that this was going to be a good start to the race.  Here was view from the start:

Walking down to the beach I wanted to check my watch to make sure it was good to go.  I have recently acquired the use of a Timex Global Trainer.  I was excited to use it for this race, though not totally familiar with it yet, I wanted to make sure it was good to go.  I set it up and it seemed to be.  Boy, is that thing huge! But, my Garmin died a long time ago, but I know it was equally big and bulky.  Small price to pay for technology!

Before I knew it, the men were in the water.  They started promptly at 10:00.  They waited until the fastest male had rounded the second buoy, then they started the women.  I made sure to be out in front, and I hit the start button on my watch as the gun went off.  I immediately realized that this was the craziest swim start I have ever done.  It was more of the stereotypical "washing machine" start you hear about with triathlons.  I guess that I have been lucky till now in having a pool swim, some time trial starts, or more easy going starts than this one was.  It was NUTS!  I just wanted out of the chaos so I booked it (probably too fast) to get through the women in front of me.  I was relieved to find some clear water for once and I started feeling like I had started off to fast.  My heart was through the roof, and I reminded myself to breathe and try to calm down, but not slow down, if that is all possible at the same time.  I rounded the first buoy and was feeling good.  I then had a hard time seeing the second buoy due to sun glare, so I just did my best to follow the swim caps ahead.  This worked well, but as we rounded that buoy, I started to feel disoriented.  We were supposed to do two laps around the buoys, and I didn't remember seeing there being such a big space between the two that were closest to shore.  I just kept following swim caps and figured that many people couldn't be wrong.

As I started my second lap, I hit more washing machine chaos.  I had just caught the stragglers from earlier heats, the men, and I had to fight my way through them.  I loved the ego boost of passing some men, even if they were the slow ones :P.  This time I felt like I had calmed myself enough from the first round of craziness and I was ready for this.  I got through them, and before I knew it I was passing the third buoy and heading to the swim exit.  I knew that my heart rate was pretty elevated, I just wanted land and air.  I was dizzy, and had swallowed a ton of water.  But it turns out, I kicked some butt on that swim.

FINAL SWIM TIME:  22:57...third in my age group on the swim.  I'll take it :)


I headed up the beach and up a little hill into T1.  I was pretty tired, so I took this time to try and catch my breath, let out the belches that come from swallowing that much water, and get the top half of my wetsuit undone.  I thought that this time would suck, as I didn't feel that I was going that fast.  I also struggled to get the dang suit off, so I wasn't thinking I was doing that great.  However, with the final results it showed I did quite well.  FINAL T1 time: 3:15...also third fastest T1 time in my group.  Yeah buddy!  Off to a GREAT start!


As I was leaving T1, I was excited to be on the bike.  After having that shoulder issue from Pedalfest and then having it aggravated again at the Brawl, I haven't been on my bike in almost three weeks. I knew that this might not bode well for me, but I was excited to jump on my chariot again.  I got clipped in fairly fast, and was off.  I then noticed as I was on the main road that my bike computer wasn't working.  What the?  I fumbled with the buttons, and though it was on, it wasn't getting any read on the distance, or speed.  Dangit!  How was I going to know how fast I was going?  I knew that data would be on my watch, but that is on my wrist in smaller print, not right in front of me like the bike computer.  I decided that I would just have to suck it up on and go on my perceived effort and how I was feeling.

I loved this bike course in that I am familiar with most of it.  The first third of the course was part of the Ogden Marathon course, and then parts of it were in the Ragnar relay.  I enjoyed the scenery of the changing colors in the mountains with fall, and loved the fact that this was a course with some light rolling hills, but nothing too major.  I passed some people, and had a hand full pass me, but nothing major.  I loved the entire ride and felt great and comfortable the whole time.  I was excited to round the final bend on the dam, but also sad to have the bike portion done.  I never know how the run is going to go, so I hoped this wasn't going to be the end of a great race so far.  I had done well on staying hydrated on the bike, even though I didn't feel that I needed it, I just wanted to prepare for the run.  Worked quite well actually!

FINAL BIKE TIME: 55:16 for an average of 17.8 mph...and 9th in my age group for this part.


Pretty uneventful transition. I thought it went fast, but apparently not as fast as I thought. My time for T2 was 1:36...11th in my age group.  Something to work on!


I left T2 feeling good.  I didn't have the lead leg feeling and I was happy to be in the final leg of this race. I felt that I had a great day so far, and I was ready to go hard on the run and hopefully show improvement from past races.  I had a Gu right as I left transition, and washed it down with a quick water.  The run portion started  on the road and was there for about 3/4 of a mile, then threw something at me I wasn't expecting.  It veered off onto a trail, where it would stay the remainder of the 4 miles.  It wasn't just a dirt sidewalk kind of trail, but like a hiking kind of trail that runs along the shoreline on the east part of the lake.  I am not a trail runner.  This is something that has interested me in the past, but nothing I have done.  The trail was pretty, and it was narrow, but there was lots of ups and downs and it was rocky in many places.  One bonus of this trail was it was also largely shaded.  I found myself doing well, feeling great and LOVING this run!  I decided then and there that trail running is definitely in my future.  I glanced at my Timex several times to get my pace and noticed that I was averaging 10:30 a mile, which is great under any conditions for me lately, but on a rocky trail, this was awesome!  I loved every part of this run and was sad to see it end.  I felt great, and knew that I had done well, for me anyhow.  I made sure to enjoy the final mile of the run, enjoying the view, listening to the finish line in the distance, and getting excited to finish.  When I got to where the trial hit pavement and the final part of the race, I did a suicide sprint to the end.  It felt awesome to finish like that.  FINAL RUN TIME was 44:11...this was #9 in my age group.  For 4.1 miles of trails, I am VERY happy with this time.


After the race, I was happy to see the kids and Ken at the finish.  Ken is a rock star for coming to all my races and entertaining the kids that get easily bored.  He has only missed one or two of my 17 races so far, and I love him for it. I couldn't to this with out his support.  As much as my kids DON"T like coming to races, I enjoy having them there.

I was excited to see that as I crossed the finish line, they handed me a finisher's medal, pictured right.  I was thrilled for this because as this the fourth tri I have done, but the FIRST to give me a medal.  Coming from my running back ground, I am used to getting one at most races that I do.  I couldn't be more proud of my first tri medal ever!  Yeah TriUtah for doing medals!  Stupid thing to care about, but I am all about the race bling!

I went and gave my family a hug, showed them my medal, and grabbed the good food they had at the finish.  They had tons of water bottles,  fruit, cookies, and anything you would want.  I snuck a few for my hungry and impatient children.  I went to see if they had the results posted, but only for the top 3 in every age group.  Dangit, I would have to wait until I got home to see the final results online.  I ran into a few people I had met before the race (people are always SO friendly at these things).  I could tell that Ken and the kids were ready to go, so I didn't visit for too long and then I grabbed my stuff from transition and we left.


My final time for this sprint was 2:07:17.  I placed #7 overall for my age group.  I was only 7 and half minutes behind #3, so if I had been that much faster I would have podiumed. I have been like this for every tri I have done this year, and although I love that I am doing well, I hate being so close but not quite there yet.  I am determined to change this next season :)

LESSONS LEARNED:  I think that what I took away from this race is that I am reminded once again that I need to work on speed.  I have always trained for distance, and not speed.  I am going to focus on these short distances in the future and work on getting really fast at them.  With my new watch, I am hoping to really work on the run.  I am going to practice transitions in my drive way to shave off any time that I can in the areas that should be easy.  I am glad to see improvement though overall

This was a great race.  The venue was spectacular.  I loved that it was kinda like a home town race in that I was familiar with the area and most of that course.  TriUtah does a wicked good job of putting on a race.  The best organized tri I have done yet.  Everything went smoothly, the course was well marked and they remembered little details like cowbells handed out for the spectators.  My kids LOVED that.  I will definitely do this race again.

What's next?  T-minus 21 days till the St. George Marathon.  I can't wait for that!  Though I am sad that it is my season ender :(

Happy Training all!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Man vs Mud Run Report

This really a race report best done by pictures.  I know this is two weeks overdue, but with being back to school and class, it is what it is.  Anyhow, any write up I did any way wouldn't do it justice to just SEEING what it was like.  It was unlike any race I have ever done, and it was purely for fun.  I did it with some great girls, and it was a blast!  Some parts were just plain nasty, but I have to admit, it does feel pretty rock star like to army crawl through mud :)  I would do it again, and plan on it next year!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Annoying injury

My training is at a bit of a halt, thanks to an injury.   Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!  I hate begin injured!  I put the blame on Pedalfest a few weeks ago.  When I first got my bike, I would get pain in my shoulders or neck.  The more time I spent in the saddle, the better it got, and I was told this was normal in getting used to my bike.  It is supposedly "normal" until you build up those muscles in your shoulders.  I would say that next to getting my  butt comfortable in the saddle, it has been a major issue with not completely LOVING my bike.  Don't get me wrong, I do love my chariot, but it is a love/hate relationship because of this discomfort.

Anyhow, I was starting to live with minor discomfort when I got off the bike, or stayed on it for more than 2 hours or so.  Anything under that was pretty much fine.  Then I did Pedalfest where I was on my bike for 6 hours.  My longest previous ride had been 3 hours or so.  Big mistake.  I knew about 4-5 hours in that my shoulders weren't happy, and mainly my right side.  I finished the race, took some ibuprofen, and have been applying Bengay.  I stayed off my bike completely because of this pain all of last week and it started to feel better.  I did some swimming and was fine, and it was just a little sore, so I didn't think anything of it.

Then I had my Oly distance tri Saturday.  That hour and half on the saddle for the bike portion did me in.  I finished fine, but my shoulder really hurt on the bike, and I was so glad to get off because of it.  It bothered me some during the run with the motion of swinging my arms back and forth the way you do when you run.  After the race and since then, it has felt like a pinching feeling at times, a burning feeling at other times, or just a dull throbbing pain at others.  All in the same spot on my right shoulder.  After looking at a diagram of the muscles in that part of the body, I am pretty sure you could say it is my rhomboid muscle there that is completely ticked at me, and it sucks!

At this point it hurts to carry my purse, lift things, or really do much at all with that arm.  I am unsure what to do about it.  Most of the time when you are injured, the doctor simply tells you the typical rest, ice, compression, elevation stuff.  But I have been doing that for a week and no improvement!  Luckily, I don't have anything for a few weeks, other than a mud run, so I am going to focus on running at this point.  Well, considering my splits from all of my races, this could be a blessing in disguise!

In the meantime...

Happy Training all!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Bear Lake Brawl 2012

This was a great day any way you look at it. It was my first Olympic distance triathlon, it was in a gorgeous location, I was with my friends from TriBuddies, and HELLO!  It was a race day!  Doesn't really get any better in my book!

Beautiful day for a tri!
Ken and I had planned on camping at the state park that this took place at, but then had the invitation to stay in the cabin with some of the Buddies.  I was so glad we did that!  The cabin was amazing, Ken and I had the guest house (yeah, that kind of place!) to ourselves, and I actually slept really well!  I NEVER sleep the night before a big race, so that was a nice surprise!  We got up at 4:45 to make sure we were there in plenty of time to set up our transition areas, here the briefing, and not have that rushed feeling on an already crazy morning.  We ended up setting up transition in the dark, but it was all good.  Great to have a good racking spot though!  This was on of the first tris I have done where they didn't limit who was in the transition area, so Ken was able to help me set up and he proved to be a great race assistant!  After I had everything set up, we waited on the beach for my wave to start (wave #9).  The sprint distance athletes went first, then the Oly distance folks.  The waiting went by fast, and it was fun to watch people, mingle on the beach and think more about my race.  I had a few goals for myself pre-race:
1)Race comfortably hard in all three sports, but save enough for the run.
2)   Hydrate well on the bike.  I didn't do this at Daybreak back in June and paid dearly on the run
3) Average 16-18 mph on the bike at all times
4) Give my run my all, even though it might hurt ;)

Waiting for my wave to start
The sprinters are off!
Brandy and I at the start
Tracey, Kathy, and Kirsten
The Olympic virgins!  This was all of our first Oly distance
Finally, they called our wave at about 8:45.  The water was much warmer than I thought (it was only 45 degrees outside, so we thought we would freeze in the water) but it turned out to be perfect.  I had brand new goggles (I know, I know, nothing new on race day...I wanted to make sure they wouldn't fog up!) and when I was warming up for my swim I noticed how clear this water was!  Bear Lake is a favorite spot for many because of the gorgeous water, but this was unbelievably clear!  Loved it!

I wasn't sure where to seed myself for the swim.  This was the first OWS race I had done where there was a mass start, whereas Daybreak had been a time trial start.  After talking with Brandy and James from my tri group, they said that knowing my swim ability, they would be right out front if they were me, as swim is my strongest.  I was intimidated by this, but decided to take their advice.  I went right out front and it proved to be good advice!  I never got passed and had clear water the whole time.  It was a great swim.  No, it was an AMAZING swim.  The Oly distance people had to do two laps around the buoys for a distance of 1500 m. I did well at sighting and staying straight.  I LOVED how even at the buoys far off shore you could see all the way to the bottom.  The water was gorgeous, a perfect temperature, and I loved every second of it.

SWIM TIME:  32:38  This includes the T1 time as well since their timing mat broke, but I know when I came out of the water my watch said 31 something...only one minute past my 30 minute goal!
Our wave starting

Running to T1, one of the first in my age group out of the water :)
Not sure on my time here as the race result website admits that their transition area mats were not working properly and they can only report split times and total times, and the transition times were added to bike and run.  But, it seemed slow to me as I had a heck of a time getting off the dang wet suit as shown in the pics below.

I really wanted a strong bike.  I really wanted all three to be strong, but I knew I had a good swim, and now I wanted a good bike, because I know I struggle with the run.  I had talked with my Dad earlier in the week (my go to Cycling guru) and he said that it would be cool if I could average 16-18 mph on the bike.  I knew the bike course as it was the east side of the lake, and I had run that for my first half marathon just over two years ago.  I knew that it was relatively flat with a few rollers, and as long as the wind wasn't bad, I should be able to hit that goal.  I felt great heading out of the bike, here I am clipping in leaving T1.

I headed out on the bike, and immediately got up to my desired speed.  The roads were flat, and it was really nice, not too hot, not too cool, and I was ready for a great ride.  I tried to stay in my race "zone" but also took the time to enjoy the scenery around me.  It occurred to me at several time during the ride how lucky I am to be able to do this.  I am thankful for good health and a body that would allow me to race they way I love to do, and to do so in such amazing places with amazing people.  I was having one of those "all is right with the world" moments.  I made sure to be hydrating well and watch my bike computer to make sure it didn't get below 17 mph.  It only did one of two times on some of the climbs on the hills, but the lowest I saw it get was 13! 

I hit my goal of hydrating well, finishing off my bottle of Ironman Perform.  I thought it was more efficient way of taking in calories and hydration than using water and Gu.  I'm still not graceful enough to do a Gu on the bike without almost crashing!  Though I did also take a Honeystinger Waffle.

Coming around the final turn of the bike portion, and feeling good!
 TOTAL BIKE TIME:  1:32: 40 for 25 miles, but this also includes the T2 transition time :(

T2:  I felt T2 went well, though I was confused for a few minutes about where my rack was.  Once there, I was pretty fast in switching to my running gear and heading out.  Wish I knew the exact time!

Heading out of T2 on the run
I started this run thinking, "Oh boy, here you go, you suck at this, so try to suck less than last time."  I then realized those were the self defeating thoughts that would do me no good.  I made a point to think about how far I have come in that just over two years ago, this was the location of my first event EVER, the Bear Lake Half marathon.  I reflected on how I was now doing tris, had done a few marathons, and have had an amazing journey the past two years since then.  It immediately lifted my mood and I knew that I was going to give this my all.  The Oly folks had to do two loops on the 5k course.  The first mile was rough, but not as hard as I would have thought as I was anticipating the lead leg feeling from just getting off the bike.  I quickly found my pace and made sure that it was do-able, but hard as well.  I wanted to push myself.  I really felt good.  I thought about how I was not dehydrated as I had been at Daybreak and was glad I had taken in the fluids I needed on the bike, and it was paying off for me now.

The run course was good, it was mainly through out the state park and only about a half mile of this 5k loop was on the high way outside the park.  I made a point to call out to other runners and yell, "Good job" or "Almost there" and was in a great mood.  Even though it was a hard 10k run, I felt good and enjoyed it. Though I didn't know my pace, I did sense it was better than Daybreak, and I was happy with that.

TOTAL RUN TIME: 1:06:58, though again, this may or may not include some of T2 time.  Wish I knew for certain.  Anyhow, that averages out to a 10:47m/m pace.  Not great, but not too bad either.  I have to remember that this is following a one mile swim and 25 mile bike!

Making the final turn into the finish, and feeling strong!

Yay!  Finish line sprint!
Post race was awesome.  This is really the first event that I have done that I have had friends along with me, racing for me and cheering for me.  It was great!  I can't say enough how much I love my tri group.  They were along side me on the course, and we supported each other and cheered on each other every step of the way.  They are great people and it adds so much to a race to have people a long with you!  Here are some pics from the finish where we are all comparing notes from the race, and cheering others on as they finished.  It was so much fun!

 Kirsten in our group took first in her age group, she was shocked by this, and it was her first Oly distance as well.  She was so cute up there!
All the Buddies at the finish, happy with how we did, and glad it was over.  Three people in our group had podium positions today!

I ended up having a total race time of 3:13:58.  This was within the margins I set for myself, even though I really wanted to do closer to three hours.  I knew that was a very ambitious goal, and since this was my first attempt at this distance, I knew I had to have realistic expectations of myself.  It was a guaranteed PR either way though!  I also hit everyone of the goals I set for myself!  It was a good day!

-Olympic distance is fun
-I still need to do more bricks
-I really need to work on bike and run.  Speed for both.  I think this means just more time in the saddle, but for the run, I am going to work on speed instead of volume for next season.  I have always focused on distance and not speed, and that is what plagues me in these tris!

This was a great event.  I loved the location.  The organization wasn't amazing, but it wasn't as bad as I had heard either.  I was peeved at no race medal, as I am all about the race bling.  I have now done three triathlons with no finishers medals for any of them!  The shirts were cute, but too big.  Overall, I would totally do this event again, and will probably come back next year.

Man vs Mud is next Saturday, then the Ogden Valley Sprint Tri on September 15.   Still training for the St. George 26.2 as well.

Happy training all!