Thursday, January 30, 2014

Do you know how to hurt?

After every race, I always ask myself, "Did you go hard enough? Do you have too much left in the tank?" Mind you, this thought is for A races, the races I either want to PR or come as close as possible. If I feel as though I could keep running or am not fairly exhausted after a tough effort, I know, it wasn't tough enough and I didn't get to the right level of hurt.

This is what elite and pro athletes do at every race. It's easy to watch pro's and think, "It must not hurt them as much as it hurts me." This thinking is a load of crap. It hurts just as bad but they have learned to ignore it better and for a longer period of time. And as the saying goes, they embrace the suck.

I have seen myself in more than one race, back off too much, I'll admit it. I did not push hard enough because I didn't want it to hurt. I would get close to holding a very painful pace and I'd just give up. My mind knows what's coming. PAIN. I know it, and I slow down. We humans aren't predisposed to endure pain. We have a headache, we take an aspirin. We start to hurt during a race or workout and we make excuses.

"I can't run that fast."

"My legs just aren't strong enough."

"I'm too tired."

Bull crap. Stop with all the excuses. I know the difference between actual exhaustion and being a pain chicken. Yes, that's right. A pain chicken. That's trademarked. ;)

I know I'm not alone on this as I've seen friends and fellow athletes do the same thing when I know good and well they've got more to give. Think of this post as a little tough love. I'm going to use it on myself too.

In almost every article I read about pro athletes they have something that helps them get past the pain. No, not drugs. (Well not drugs in most cases. Ahem, several TdF winners.) It's usually a motto or phrase that helps them stay focused on their goal, and not their pain. My favorite is one I learned from a cyclist friend, Casey, who told me about the German cyclist Jens Voight. He literally tells his body to shut up, specifically his legs. His catchphrase, "SHUT UP LEGS!" (This article is an awesome homage to Jensie.)

Ok, but they are still pro's right? They are more inclined to push past the pain then us average joe's, right? Well, probably. But, the good news is that in my very small amount of google researching, I've learned there are ways to improve this pain thresh hold and they don't include walking on coals or taking punches to the gut.

Since I am working on this whole pushing past the pain stuff with you guys, I'll show you the articles I've found that offer some great advice and tips on how to increase your pain tolerance.

I hope these help. Now get to work!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

That loving feeling

After my two week break from running, post Jacksonville Marathon, I was and still am trying to find my running love. My 6.34 mile run on Saturday was a great start, to say the least. I felt great, the weather was good, and my friend Meghan was perfect company. I was feeling the love that day for sure!

I'm trying not to over do it because my heels are still a bit grouchy, although not nearly as bad as they were pre-marathon. Part of me thinks that cycling is helping strengthen these baby cows of mine, which in turn, is helping my ankles and heels. I'm not rocket surgeon, but I'd venture a guess that cross training helps in more ways than that.

While my Saturday run was pretty great, I just didn't want to run yesterday. So, I did what I always do when I don't want to run. I ran really fast. This seems counter intuitive, but in my brain, the faster I run the faster it's over. I did an accidental four mile tempo run and scolded myself accordingly afterword. This is not how one doesn't over do it.

Liz Lemon agrees.
In any case, I'm still finding myself ready to ride my bike and swim and dragging my feet when I know I have to run. I'm sure it's post marathon training that's doing this to me but I really need to get over it. I'm going to start bribing myself or something. I know the love of the run will return and I hope it's soon because I have shit to do!

What do you do when you've lost that loving feeling?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Last Week's Workouts

It's certainly Monday, isn't it? I'm feeling the weekend workouts and had to have two cups of coffee this morning to get my act together after spin class. I am loving my Monday morning spin classes becuase I always go with a friend or two and then after, my mom cooks me breakfast while I get ready for work at her place. I work about 40 minutes from where I live and spin is close to my mom so this works out perfectly. Having breakfast made for you is always tastier than making it for yourself, right?

Here's how my last week shook out:

Monday - Spin.

Tuesday - I was really pooped from the Frogman 5K still, so I opted for an early week rest day.

Wednesday - I've been slowly bringing my run back in and this little three miler was nice.

Thursday - Trainer. I watched the second episode of HBO's True Detective. Still really digging it. You all watching it too?

Friday - On my quest to seek out my strength training home, I tried Orangetheory Fitness. I wound up being on the treadmill for 26 minutes doing intervals. I read that there was treadmill work but I didn't realize it was that much cardio. I really loved the class but it's not quite what I'm looking for. I was sore from the strength portion of the class, got in a great workout, and would definitely recommend it if you're looking to supplement your workouts or need a new one.

Saturday - I headed over to meet with Meghan to run some of her long run with her. Actually, this was my long run too, all six miles of it. We wound up running a tad over six but I felt great and am glad to have such good company!

Sunday - A group of us, all coached by Coach Steve, met up at Flatwoods Park to get in our long bike rides for the week. Flatwoods is a seven mile loop and we knew we'd be in for some tempo riding out there. The wind was tough in spots and we took turns pulling, even though Steve did the majority of it.

This was a tough ride for all of us and I was ready to be done when Steve said, "One more loop." Fortunately, he let us do the last loop easier and I was pooped when we got back to our cars.

Post ride breakfast/brunch at Panera.
My rides are getting longer because I do have a 70.3 to get ready for in nine weeks! Time to ramp it up.

How was your week? Sticking to those January goals?

Friday, January 24, 2014

I'm a trier.

Guess what day it is? Guess what day it is? No, not Wednesday, you silly camel lovers, it's FRIDAY! I love Fridays, but I think the vast majority of us do. I'm way excited about the weekend! But first, a little review...

Now, you all know that I'm a "trier." I will try any exercise or healthy product at least once. I've tried almost every protein shake you can think of and if there's a new fitness workout trend, I'm usually game to look ridiculous and test it out. Remember when I did that belly dancing class? Like a giraffe on skates. Good times.

So, of course, when my buddy Terence started using Isagenix, I told him I'd love to give it a try. I'd seen a bunch of friends tweeting and facebooking (Is that a word?) about it and as you know, I'm a trier.

*Terence was kind enough to give me a few samples and I have taken entirely too long in getting this post up. Sorry T! But, better late than never.

Isagenix is a company that features lots of weight loss supplements as well as snacks, mini-meals, performance products, and a skincare line. In addition to my friend Terence, another friend, named Rich, uses these products and his transformation has been amazing to witness.

Terence gave me a sample of the Isalean Pro shake (pictured above) and the Want More Energy Drink Powder in Orange. I tested the shake after a run while I was training for the Jacksonville Marathon and while I wasn't thrilled by the flavor, it was filling but didn't have a ton of calories. I'm a fan of any recovery shake that isn't a billion calories. I want to get my muscles fed but I still want to eat a solid meal after a hard effort workout. Terence assured me that the reason I didn't love the vanilla is because it wasn't chocolate. Ha! That definitely makes sense. 

I really liked the energy powder mix and drank that before some early morning swims. A bit of a kick in the pants before a workout always helps and the orange flavor wasn't overpowering. And guess what? This product has no caffeine, just vitamins to get you going. I was happy about that because I could still drink my coffee after my swim and not fear my heart exploding. Bonus! 

So, if my review has peaked your interest on Isagenix, head over to Terence's blog and give him a shout. He's got lots of great information on there about Isagenix as well as his own journey as a running blogger.  

Have an awesomely fantastic weekend friends!

*I was given free samples from Terence to test out. I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. If I didn't like something I'd tell you. In which case, skip the vanilla and get the chocolate.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Don't be the carnage

Man, this week is FLYING by. I'm still basking in the glow of my 5K swim. I may get a shirt made that says, "I swam a 5K." I know this isn't a big deal to for real swimmers, but dang, it's a big deal to me. I love it.

I swear I'll stop talking about the swim in a week month or so.

I've got a really fun weekend planned and I may just go to the Gasparilla parade. Tampa has a big, huge pirate party this time every year and I haven't actually been to the parade in a few years. I used to go every year back in my early 20's. You know, when hangovers didn't last 48 hours. Ah, those were the days.

I'm thinking this year, I'll go, see the crazy 20-somethings and remind myself why I'm happy to be 33 and no longer trying to make a drunken "Arrgh" sound sexy. Haha.

In addition to pirates, there will be workouts, of course. Thus far, my three bike rides a week has been going pretty well. We had a cold snap and I was trainer bound this morning. That trainer is the pits. I'm looking forward to an outdoor hammerfest with Coach Steve on Sunday. Well, maybe just the outdoor part.

Coach Steve has a phrase when it comes to triathlon that I'm going to implement and repeat now and again on this here blog. It's a Coach Steve original and it makes a lot of sense: "Don't Be the Carnage." He basically wants his coachees to hold it together for all three disciplines so at the end of any race they aren't, well, "carnage." Hopefully these hammerfest rides help get me past being the carnage at Ironman Chattanooga. Only time and training will tell.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Giveaway winner and last week's workouts

First up, the giveaway winner for the Disney Dopey distance challenge pendant from Milestones Sports Jewelry and Apparel is...drum roll...

Amanda, I will email you and put you in touch with Milestones. Thanks for entering everyone!

On to the workouts from last week...

Last week was a bit lighter than I intended because I wasn't quite sure how much rest I'd need before Sunday's big swim. I think I did a fairly good job of getting in some quality workouts without over doing it.

Monday - Spin class at my favorite spin studio. BIG screens with LOUD music videos. It basically rocks and the instructors always give a killer workout session.

Tuesday - Trainer. I watch HBO's new show True Detective and it was pretty awesome. It's dark and gritty and everything you'd want from a detective show. Oh and the trainer was the same, boring and tough.

Wednesday - Swim. Got in a final morning swim just to loosen up before Frogman.

Thursday - Ran. Finally! After two weeks off, this was a good little run. I kept it very easy and relaxed.

Friday - Rest day!

Saturday - "Long" run of four miles. Hahaha. I found out that two weeks off makes running a tad tougher. I wanted to run five but decided at the half way mark that doing four was good enough.

Sunday - Frogman 5K Swim.

How was your week?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Tampa Bay Frogman Swim Report

I have done a lot of racing in my short time as a runner and triathlete. After most every event I feel proud and happy to have completed whatever distance I've chosen to complete, or try to complete, that day. I am happy to tell people I ran a marathon or completed a triathlon and feel good about it. It is a bragging right, after all. I have no shame in saying that. However, there are times when I run a 5K and while I feel good about it, I know that at this point in the game, a 5K is pretty do-able for me. I'm not scared of the 5K and I don't feel quite like a rockstar after I run one. Which leads me to this Tampa Bay Frogman Swim. This is by far, without a doubt, the toughest thing I have done to date. I never feel badass. It's just not in my nature. I usually feel goofy and happy and those other Disney character names, but badass? Nope. Never. That was, until yesterday.

I swam a 5K. I swam three point one miles. It wasn't fast and I didn't win, but for once, I feel badass. At least for now or until I run into a wall or trip on my own feet.

The Back Story
The Tampa Bay Frogman swim started five years ago by some military men and Navy SEAL's to raise money for an injured SEAL officer and his family. It began with nearly 40 swimmers and has become so popular they now cap the event at 150 swimmers who pledge to raise money for the Navy SEAL Foundation. My triathlon coach, whom you see me refer to as Navy Steve, has done the event all five years. I've gone to watch this event the last two years. The first year I watched, looked pretty awful. It was cold and the swimmers looked disoriented coming out of the water. The second year wasn't as cold and folks looked a little better from the three point one mile journey. I suppose this is what finally led me to register, that and Coach Navy Steve giving me a bit of prodding.

I think registration opened in July or August and I hit the website immediately. The swim sold out in five hours and I felt ready for the challenge.

Fast forward to a few months ago, I was training for the Jacksonville marathon and the 5K swim simultaneously. This was good and bad. It was good because the swim training was forcing me to cross train. It only became bad as I hit taper and that normal marathon training fatigue. I didn't train as much as I should have but I knew that going into the swim and I had a feeling I could finish, barring hypothermia and shark attacks (or shark fistfights). I was definitely nervous heading into this event. It was uncharted territory and distance for me. I didn't sleep a wink the night before.

Race Day
Early Sunday morning the S.O. and I woke up and started getting ready. The best part about this 5K swim is that every swimmer gets a kayaker. Due to the currents and course across the bay, I'd say it's absolutely worth it and needed. If it weren't for the S.O. guiding me, I'd still be in the ocean.

On the way to the swim start, I was more nervous than ever. I had to hit a potty stop before we even got there. And as soon as we got there I checked in and went straight to the porta potty line. My friend Tim calls them "fear poops." Haha. Gross, sorry.

My wave didn't start until 8:40 AM and since we got there around 6:45 AM we had a lot of time to get the kayak ready and chat with friends. Navy Steve's kayaker, who's been with him all five years, was kind enough to lend us her husband's kayak so we didn't have to rent one.

Esther, Navy Steve, me, and the S.O.

Me and my faithful, amazing kayaker.
As you can see from our clothing, it was chilly out. The air temp was in the 60's and the water temps were high 50's, low 60's based on what I was told. In this particular swim folks are allowed to swim with fins, booties, and gloves if they choose too. The folks who wanted to swim without wetsuits had to be given clearance by the event officials. (Yes, those people are crazy but amazing swimmers who are training for the English Channel.) I chose to skip the fins, gloves, and booties. I can't wear them in my Ironman so I decided I would go without.

My nerves started calming a bit as more friends showed up and I got to see them and snap some pics. I was thrilled by everyone who showed up to see us all off. I cannot thank them enough for coming out in the cold morning to basically wave goodbye and then hang around at the finish line for a couple of hours as we all came in. There's not really any spectating spots because the course runs along a bridge and in the middle of the bay.

Training buddies Tori and Meghan.

Coach Steve and his coachees.
I was really thankful that Coach Steve was in my wave. I think when I registered I thought I'd be swimming a lot faster than I actually did and put in a much faster time. Oops. He and Esther (his kayaker) were super helpful to the S.O. and I. I wasn't really sure how it worked but they explained that the swimmers take off in the front and then their kayaker has to find them. This seemed a little tricky but the S.O. and I kept an eye on each other before our wave went off.

Kayakers looking for their swimmers before start.
As Coach Steve and I entered the water, I wasn't too cold and only got a few shudders as the water entered my wetsuit. Fortunately, I had drank a lot of water beforehand and I went ahead and warmed myself right up. Wink, wink.

I turned and waved to the S.O. and then I was off.

I'd say the first mile went by fairly quickly. I was staying within my time goals of about 30 minutes per mile. I'm totally estimating here because I didn't wear a Garmin so it could have been closer to 35 minutes. This part was easy to navigate and I swam by myself with a pack of other red caps for a little while until we spread out some. After a few minutes, I saw the S.O. come up on my right. He knew I needed him on the left but it was cluttered with kayakers and swimmers so he had to slow up to let me get in front of him and then he maneuvered to my left.

The course seemed straight forward when I looked at the hand drawn map, but when I look at a google map, it looks a bit more scary. Glad I didn't look until after. The image below is what I created. I'm not great at maps. It's very crude and definitely not exact but it's close enough.

Mad map skillz yo.
At a little over halfway, I was starting to feel fatigued and fortunately we hit the sandbar I had heard about. As soon as I could stand, I did. At this point quite a few of the blue caps from the wave behind me had caught us and we all took this opportunity to walk and take a gel and drink some water. I started to get cold so as soon as we got deeper water, I started swimming again.

I think at the two mile mark I was really feeling the fatigue. I knew my stroke was getting slow and ugly. I stopped to rest for a bit and the S.O. told me I was slapping the water with my right arm. I told him I knew, and I was tired. He said I was doing good and asked me if I needed anything. At this point we'd talked a few times. Mostly, I told him to stay closer to me. I kept thinking he was kayaking away but it was I who was swimming like a drunken seahorse. The current was just sort of pulling me around.

I took my friend Kitty's advice to count my strokes. It helped pass the time and calm me down. I started over and over and over. It was a big help even if I never got over 300.

I'd look over to my left to breathe and see the S.O. looking around and think, "Why aren't you watching me!" I'd get a bit panicky and then realize I wasn't exactly moving very fast and he was probably bored staring at the back of my head and side of my face. A person thinks odd things while swimming for this long.

I didn't see any notable marine life, other than these clear, blobby jellyfish that don't sting. I tried to research what they are called but am still not quite sure. They had no tentacles and definitely don't sting because I swear I touched a few dozed while out there. I told the S.O. those times we talked that I saw them. Alas, no sharks were punched.

I never felt truly scared because there were always kayakers and swimmers around. It had thinned out a lot by this point but I was never far away from at least two other swimmers. The toughest part of this swim besides it being a 5K, was that you swim directly into the sun. I couldn't see the buoys until I was running straight into them. I am pretty sure the S.O. and another kayaker laughed at me as I careened into one that sucked me in like a damn vortex. I just could not see a darn thing!

Swimming in the open water is so hard because of the inability to track time and distance as you go. Unlike running and cycling you always know how much farther you have by simply looking at your watch. Plus, you can watch the miles go by on the landscape. Swimming is just stroke, stroke, stroke, pop up, look around, no land ho? Keep swimming.

I felt like I was never going to see the finish. And for the last 40 minutes I was really struggling. As we got toward a turn buoy heading toward the final final turn buoy, the current got obnoxiously strong. I kept getting pulled to the right, when I desperately wanted to go left. I was having a hard time sighting and staying next to the S.O. He told me to just swim to him and then when I could see a marker, I swam to that. It was a really rough twenty minutes. A few more dudes from the wave behind me seemed to swim by with no trouble. Show-offs.

The S.O. told me the final turn buoy was up ahead and I, again, couldn't see it. I swam and swam and swam with a current this time (hooray!) and ran straight into it. Again. I'm a buoy magnet. (As a side note, I was not alone in this buoy bumper car game. My friend Ryan had the same trouble.)

When I made the final turn toward the beach I could hear the people there cheering and it still seemed so far away. I think it was maybe 200-300 yards. It felt like an eternity. I swam until my hand scraped the ground and then I popped up. I was spent. I had nothing left and didn't even try to run through the water. It was still above my ankles and I just walked along, sloshing as I neared the first volunteer.

Me and the S.O.

Bless this volunteer. He asked if I was ok. Lol!

There's a smile!

B.o.B. is tired.
I was so relieved to be finished and so happy to hear the shouts from the beach. I had no idea what they were saying but I knew there were family and friends waiting. Again, I had no desire to run it in, so I didn't. The S.O. and I low fived and parted as he went to dock the kayak. I walked up the beach and high fived volunteers and got my awesome Frogman military coin.

"Hands on hips tired" is my new yoga pose.

Coin close up.
In addition to the coin and stellar goodie bag (water bottles, sunglasses, lip balm, etc) I got what has to be the coolest hoodie and t-shirt EVER.

Intense, right?
Since this post is already as long as Anna Karenina, I'll try to wrap it up. Sorry!

After finishing we took one thousand photos and I'm so happy my mom came out to see me finish! She was so cute and excited and yelling for me with my friends. I think it took me about 1:55 to finish. I was way off what I wanted and what I think I can do with better training. The open water is a great equalizer and very humbling. I am in awe of folks who do this year after year (that's you Coach!) and those who come in with times like 1:06! I am also forever grateful to those Navy SEALs who gave the ultimate sacrifice and for whom this event is truly dedicated to. Their families will recieve help from the foundation, and that's an awesome feeling. I raised over $1,100 and am really thankful to those of you who donated.

I'm not thinking this will be an annual event because that's how tough it was for me. I may consider it again in a few years but I will definitely keep supporting it and those who swim and fundraise. I feel that my Ironman swim in September will require more training but this event gave me a lot of confidence for it. I mean, it's a short 2.4 miles, right? Kidding, kidding.

Thanks for reading and cheering me on. Today, I'm badass.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Three Things Thursday

Happy Thursday buddies! This week has not been going so fast and I'm so ready for the weekend! As a reminder, my giveaway for the sweet Disney Dopey Distance pendant is still going on. Be sure to enter HERE. Now on to the three things!

1. My Frogman 5K swim is THIS weekend! I am quite annoyed with Mother Nature because she basically switched my marathon weather with my Frogman weather. It's going to be chilly on Sunday. Thank God for wetsuits. While I know I can finish, I don't think I'm in as good swimming shape as I'd like to be. I blame the marathon for that. Fortunately, this isn't a race and it's for a great cause so I'm just happy I can get out there and swim with behind Olympic phenom Brooke Bennett and up and coming National team swimmer Becca Mann. The race starts in waves and I'll get to start with my coach, Navy Steve. I'm pumped to swim with him, even though he is going to beat me...

Swim Course.

2. I ran today! I haven't run since the marathon on December 29th. Mostly, I was taking a break because my heels needed it, however, I did enjoy just not running. I ran three miles this morning and it was nice and brisk outside. It felt good to get out and enjoy a quick, little run.

3. Speaking of running, did you all see that Chicago Marathon is now switching to a lottery and qualification by race time? It's true. And it makes me a little sad because Chicago was on my list. I imagine I'll still enter the lottery or try to qualify at some point to run it. I suppose the big picture is that it will eliminate all those crazy registration issues folks had and it shows that our running community just keeps on growing. That's gotta be a good thing. Thoughts?

Have a great day peeps!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Did you Dopey?

Did you run the Disney Dopey Challenge? Do you feel as though you should wear your medals everyday? Because I know I would want to! However, that is some SERIOUS heavy "medal" to wear around on a regular basis. My Disney Marathon medal from 2009 has a lot of weight so I imagine all those additional medals would be a bit on the hefty, break-your-neck-wearing-a-lot side. Well, guess what? I have a solution!

My always awesome friends at Milestones Sports Jewelry and Apparel have created a little sumthin' sumthin' that you can wear everyday to remember all the fun miles of the Disney Dopey Challenge. You should be proud of them!

I present the Dopey Distance ring pendant:

How perfect is that? I'm sorta jealous. Not gonna lie.

Milestones has offered me one to giveaway and they are throwing in a nice cord for it (retail value $34.99). Wanna win one for yourself or a Dopey friend? Read below on how you can win it!

Ways to Enter
1. Head over to Milestones website and tell me which pendant is your favorite (1 entry).
2. Re-blog this giveaway (3 entries).
3. Follow me on Instagram - @discombobruns (1 entry).
4. Follow Milestones on twitter - @milestonessport (1 entry).
5. Follow Milestones on Facebook (1 entry).
6. Comment on this blog on how your Dopey Challenge went or who you'd gift this to. (1 entry).

I'll choose the winner next Monday night and present the winner on my blog, Tuesday. Good luck and have a great Tuesday!

*Winner will be chosen at random using The deadline to enter this contest is Monday, January 20th.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Biking and swimming

I'm shamelessly stealing a format for weekly workouts from Meghan because I like how she posts her weekly workouts from DM, and imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I've decided that I'll be doing this on Mondays from here on out. At least you know what to expect from me from now until Ironman Chattanooga. And of course, this will help me stay on track.

Monday - In the AM I did a 2,050 meter ladder swim. After work I did a trainer ride for an hour. I watched Downton Abbey and did some one leg drills. I can't remember which leg right now but one of them definitely doesn't have the same power as the other. I'll be doing more of these.

Tuesday - 9 Round cardio kickboxing/boxing class. This class was only 30 minutes but I was pretty sore two days later. DOMS anyone?

Wednesday - Another swim/spin day. I swam 2,500 with a different master's group and this one tends to push me a bit more. In the evening I could only make it through 50 minutes of sitting on the trainer. Coincidentally, Downton Abbey was only a 50 minute episode...

Thursday - Rest day.

Friday - 3,300 yard swim. I got pretty tired toward the end. This weekend's 5K is going to be a challenge.

Saturday - 1.5 mile open water swim with my Frogman buddies. This swim was TOUGH. The water temp was 58 degrees and the current was intense. Thank goodness for my new buddy Dan who hung with me and gave me a push at the start to get going.

Sunday - 28ish mile bike ride at Ft De Soto Park with the gang. Ft De Soto is notorious for big head winds and conversely big tail winds. It's a nine and a half mile loop so you can get in a solid ride without being too far from your car. Plus, it's fun to go as fast as you can with the tailwind even thought the head winds are a bitch. 
Me, Meghan, Tori, and Genna

I'm happy with this week and I hope to keep up with my trainer rides and cycling. It's my focus for 2014. If you noticed the absence of running it's because I was taking a little time out from it in order to get these heels happy again. They are still bugging me a bit but I may give running a try later this week. I'm not planning anything hard or long but it is probably a good idea to get some blood circulating. We'll have to see how it goes.

Before I sign off, I gotta say congrats to you crazy Disney runners. I loved seeing all the pictures and man you got some sweet swag! If you didn't get enough already, I'm hosting another giveaway from Milestones tomorrow. Stay tuned....

Friday, January 10, 2014

Cycling Cadence

I've done quite a few posts on swimming and running but not too many on cycling. Cycling has always been my Achilles Heel and I'm trying to change that in 2014. I've already made the goal to get my tuckus on my bike (or any bike) at least three times a week to reach this goal. Of course, in doing so after having not ridden in quite a while, aforementioned tuckus is ouchie.

Last night, Meghan, Tori, and I attended a flat repair class at a local bike shop and I think it helped calm our fears of changing a flat. I have done it before, but it was in my living room while watching a Youtube video. I imagine during a race, I'll be a wee bit more stressed out. However, the class was great and really informative and I like learning bike mechanics. I feel so much cooler when I use the actual names for bike parts versus saying, "you know, that back piece, near the wheel."

There's still so much about cycling that I don't understand and it can get very technical. I saw an elite friend post on facebook about a trainer workout and I had no clue what he was talking about. I don't know a think about watts or power. I did get a cadence meter because I've been told numerous times that I'm not keeping a high enough RPM (revolution per minute). (For other non-cyclist-techies, this basically means the rate at which I'm pedaling.)

I am what some may call a "masher." For some reason, this is just what has always worked for me to get my speed up. In reading more about cycling, this is not as efficient as being a "spinner," a cyclist who races on low gear with high cadence. It's way more scientific than what I am laying out here and if you are interested go read THIS article.  

Since the Internet is such a magical tool, I've found some cadence drills that I'm going to work on to get myself closer to being a spinner. I found some HERE and HERE.

And because I am like a little kid when it comes to wanting to learn bike stuff, please, please, please let me know what else works!

Happy Friday friends! Keep kicking butt Disney runners and good luck to anyone else racing this weekend!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Three Things Thursday

Happy Thursday homies! I'd like to say good luck to alllllllllll the peeps running at Walt Disney World over the next few days. My social media has blown up with the Mouse and I love seeing all the photos! Keep 'em coming. Now on to the three!

1. Drainer Rides. I've ridden the trainer twice this week. This is HUGE because I haven't been on a trainer since 2012. I'm not kidding. Fortunately, I've started watching Downton Abbey and it helps pass the time. I love the subtle bitchiness! Those Brits know how to criticize using Greek mythology. I have made it for an hour as my longest "ride" thus far. Here's hoping I can keep up this trainer streak well into the year.

2. A step toward strength training. In my efforts to find some sort of strength training, I reached out to some personal trainers, found a pretty inexpensive boot camp, and actually tried a circuit class at 9 Round (holy eff I'm sore!). I'm not sure which I'll end up sticking too but at least it's a start.

3. #Raceshirtaday continues! The Race Shirt-A-Day Challenge for January has been super fun so far! Please feel free to join us on Instagram and wear those race shirts that are all sad and lonely in your shirt drawer. I'm @Discombobruns on IG. Make sure to use #raceshirtaday so we can stalk see each other!

Have a great Thursday friends!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Starting 2014 with a bang!

We're almost a week into 2014 and so far, I'm kicking butt with my goals. I know, I know. A whole week? Damn, I'm amazing. Haha.

Let's see, today, I slept in with a cold little pup (it was a crazy 37 degrees here in Florida this AM) and may have let him sit on the nice warm couch for a minute or two....
Lloyd loves this blanket.
Saturday morning, I went on my first outdoor bike ride in a very long time. I was so happy to meet with Patrick, Tori, and Meghan. We didn't ride far or fast but it was perfect to shake out the legs and get ready for a big 2014 triathlon heavy season.
Meghan and I had already peeled off some layers. Tori is the smart one.

It was the S.O.'s birthday this weekend so on Saturday night we celebrated by going to THE best restaurant in Tampa, Bern's Steakhouse. They have a DESSERT ROOM. A room for just DESSERTS. It's heaven. And don't get me started on the steaks. I have been logging my calories into My Fitness Pal and it was scary to enter what I ate that night. Oh well, it was totally worth it.

In the world's most valuable wine cellar.
And finishing off what's starting out to be a stellar 2014, I got my first book for the year. It's already a page turner and I was sold as soon as I read it was sort of sci-fi. My inner nerd girl may have squealed.

I'm also doing pretty well with tracking all the things! Here's hoping I can keep it up as things get hectic. I hope you all are having a great first "real" week of 2014. Catch ya on the flip flop. Stay warm!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Obligatory 2014 Goal Post

I admit that I am THE worst goal setter of all time. It's not that I don't follow through with goals, ok it's that too, but it's mostly that I just don't bother setting any real ones. First of all, they stress me out. Looking at mileage numbers for the year gives me sweaty palms. Second, I never make time to track the goals I make in the first place and I lose all sense of goals come mid-February. Go me. Third, I normally set some abstract goals, like "be a better person" or "don't crap your pants during a run again" but I think that's where I am falling short. I need to be more specific.

Since I've been blog stalking every one's goals and what not I was trying to think of a way that I could work on goal keeping without it becoming overwhelming and making me feel like a loser if I can't keep them all up throughout the year. I'm not sure I can actually do this but I will at least start by writing them down and reviewing them with my monthly stats post. If they just all of the sudden just disappear, you'll know I said eff that shiz ate Taco Bell. Heh.

Ok. Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Goal: Eat at home more. To achieve it: Try to cook dinner at least three times per week.

2. Goal: Bring lunch to work more. To achieve it: Maybe three times per week on this one too? 

3. Goal: Read more. Oh, dear lord, I need this. I love reading. I'm thinking this is going to be tough come serious Ironman training time but I'll see what I can do. To achieve it: Not sure. Buy books? Poop more? Any tips here guys?

4. Goal: Ride. My. Bike. This goes without saying because I stand to make up the most ground on the bike this year. I want to commit to at least three times per week on the bike. The trainer totally counts. To achieve it: Hire triathlon coach who requires weekly reports. HOORAY! I already did this. Get used to me talking about Navy Steve again. He's going to make me ride my bike. A lot.

5. Goal: Strength train. To achieve it: I'm working this out still. Possibly hire a personal trainer, work with friends who are trainers, or find some sort of classes that help me out.

6.  Goal: Save money. To achieve it: See goals 1 & 2. And also, pay myself first. No more buying magazines every time I grocery shop!

I think that's enough. I think these are manageable. I think the hardest ones are going to be number one through six.

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 - A Year in Review

Happy New Year! Here's a look back at 2013.

The Stats
Miles Run: 1,099
Miles Swam: 45
Miles Cycled: 624

A pretty light year in everything but running. I knew after a big 2012, I'd be taking a step back in 2013. Although, in looking at it now, I still got a lot accomplished and had a blast!

January 2013
Ran Ragnar Keys and took a blog hiatus. 

Team Running Down My Leg

February 2013

I came back from my blog break and supported my favorite guy and many friends at the inaugural Best Damn Race.

Nanci and I
March 2013
I make my return to running and realize coming back from a break is tough. I get to see my favorite Redhead at our friend Riki's wedding and have a blast running the Sarasota Half Marathon with Nanci and Caroline.

Me and Red
Me, Nanci, and Caroline
 April 2013
Run the Irongirl 5K, mourn with the world at the Boston Marathon tragedy, and complete the St. Anthony's triathlon as a relay.

May 2013
Celebrate my nephew's first birthday and take a vacation with the S.O. to Puerto Rico.

June 2013
Meghan and I go on our first of what will be many bike rides together, I move in with the S.O., I DNF a sprint tri after THREE flat tires, I decide to run the Jacksonville marathon because Chicago falls through, I run a hot Father's Day 5K, and I buy a fancy new tri bike. June is a BIG month apparently. 

Meet my new Cervelo P2: Amanda
July 2013
I race the Top Gun Sprint Triathlon for the 4th year in a row and follow it up with another sprint triathlon the very next morning.

I love this group! (And Tim for taking the photo.)
August 2013
Register for the Frogman 5K swim and start base building for Jacksonville. Realize it's gonna be a hot month of training, and race another sprint triathlon. 

Steph and I got to watch dolphins literally swim with the wave in front of ours.

September 2013

October 2013
Run, a lot, volunteer at Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life, swim in the University of Tampa Master's Swim Meet, spectate for the S.O. and many friends at the Marine Corps Marathon while dressed as the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 

Me, Meghan, and Tori

The lovely Caroline and Stay Puft
November 2013
Run a 5K and half marathon as training runs/pacer, rock my Spandits!, spectate for Meghan's first 70.3 and rock Stay Puft with Tori the banana. Lose my wiener at the Women's Half Marathon and PR my 5K at the Turkey Trot. 

Pacing Big Sis to a new PR
LOVE my Spandits!

My little wiener, Kat.
December 2013
Run some more, make some cookies, host a giveaway, meet MEB, and FINALLY run my marathon.

Marathon #7 is in the books!

Whew! What a year!