Monday, August 16, 2010

I love running!

Okay, my triathlon season is over for the year. I had a great time at River Cities Tri with my cousin Jess. I had a nice, easy week afterward. I had a great massage. I had a vacation to visit more family. All this can only mean one thing for me... It's time to get ready for a fall half-marathon.

Last year I ran the YMCA half-marathon and loved every minute of it (all 148 of them!) but this year I am aiming for a different challenge. I'm going to participate in the Louisiana Trails Half Marathon to benefit Xtreme Missionary Adventures. I found out last year that I love trail running and I'm all for supporting mission work, so it seems like the perfect race.

So, as I transition from a multi-sport focus to a primarily running focus I am reminded of the sheer joy of running. It's my absolute favorite and the fall is my favorite season for running. To keep me in running form I'll be doing more yoga, some Core Performance, and some trigger point work. I hope that you have an exciting fall to look forward to!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Family Reunion Training Camp

This weekend was the most fun I have had in a long time! I am so used to running and biking by myself that having company is a real treat. Friday night my cousin and I had an easy run, then an awesome supper and a great visit. Saturday morning we hit the road to head up to Cypress Lake. We had a short swim just to get warmed up for our bike ride. My cuz is a great swimmer, but this is her first triathlon and she wanted to be comfortable in the lake. She specifically asked me about snakes and I assured her that we had nothing to worry about. As we reached a buoy and had turned to pick our next goal, a head pops up out of the water right where we had just been. We watched it for a while and decided that it was stick... Then it disappeared. We swiftly relocated to a different part of the lake. (I'm pretty sure it was a turtle but we decided that it makes a better story as a snake).

The sky was overcast and threatening rain but we had already decided that we were tough and a little rain was not stopping us. The bike course for River Cities Triathlon is 18 miles and we just wanted to preview the course so she would know what to expect. We took a wrong turn right out of the park and ended up doing about 20 miles but as I have mentioned before, we are tough, so that was okay.

Then it was time to go find some great Indian food and head home to dry ourselves off. We planned to run later than night, but there really WAS a family reunion and we had to make a showing. How else were we going to tell our relatives about punching snakes in the face and getting tattoos and gold teeth?

We were so busy fighting off reptiles that I didn't get to take any pictures! But, she'll be back in three weeks to become a triathlete. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Training Camp Weekend

There are about three and a half weeks until River Cities Triathlon! My cousin is coming up from South Louisiana for a weekend of training. She will come back in August to do her first triathlon, the 30th anniversary of River Cities Tri. To help us prepare for our, in her words, "herculean athletic achievements" we will go to the race venue for a swim/bike/ run. Tonight we are meeting another cousin for an easy, gabby-type run. (You know how girls are.) Look for pics and highlights next week.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sunrise Triathlon 3

Triathlon has been my metaphor for life these last two years and Sunday was no exception.

The swim was great, I was faster than last year and ended up getting second in my age group for my swim time. My transitions were also pretty fast. That is pretty much the only good news, though. The bike started off rockin' and then the headwind slowed me down. I need to do more drills on the bike and longer bike rides. I do ride a clown-cycle (Hybrid), so I can't really compare my times to others riding TT bikes, but my time this year was slower than last year on the bike. The run was also slower for me this year.

The reason for this, I think, is two-fold. First, it was much warmer this year than it was last year, about 97*F. Second, I have not gotten this taper thing figured out for my body. I never seem to have a good race after an easy week.

So, just like life the race had it's up and downs. But considering the alternative of NOT being able to do my sport, a bad race is still a good day!

P.S. Please pray for my friend's daughter Alli, she is fighting childhood cancer and specifically now a low white blood cell count.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I had a swim focused week last week. My son was enrolled in swim lessons at a local university and I took advantage of that fact to get in four swim workouts this week. Yes, FOUR! Usually I only swim one day per week because I am so far away from the pool. (Rural life, while lovely, does have some disadvantages.)

I was so proud of my boy, he is going to be a great swimmer and his confidence in the water really improved. I am also hoping for big swimming improvements for my next sprint tri on Father's Day.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tri season in full swing

As the mercury climbs here, triathlon season is here in a big way. Since my school is out for the summer, I was able to get in two good weeks of training. We also have gotten in lots of family fun and the summer still stretches out before us with lots of possibilities.

My next triathlon is set for Father's Day, Sunday, June 20th. Since I have already given my husband his father's day gift per my inability to keep a present for more than a week, I won't have to worry about giving it to him before the race that morning. This triathlon is a local sprint triathlon set at a swim club and is very beginner friendly. I am looking forward to it since I have had improvements already this year and expect more as the season progresses.

The farmer's market was a bust, two trucks selling watermelons and peaches. Maybe that will also improve as the growing season progresses...

Thursday, June 3, 2010

It's been awhile!

Um, I have been eating, but never got around to posting about it. The last few weeks of school were so busy I was meeting myself coming and going. In May, I completed my first two sprint triathlons of the season and performed better in all three sports as compared to last year. Now, school is out for the summer and I will be able to really concentrate on my training and nutrition. I'll keep you posted...

Oh, tomorrow the local farmer's market opens and we are going to check it out!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

All about the food!

I think that my training is starting to come together. I am hanging in at 20 miles per week of running, one day of swimming, two - three days of riding, and throwing in some strength training two or three days per week, too. (Did I mention that I am doing REAL pull-ups now, not girlie ones, even!)

The next piece of the puzzle that needs to fall into place is to zero in on my nutrition. I have been getting so much inspiration from Zen and the Art of Triathlon podcast! Look for lots of pictures of food and posts about food. I would love some comments about what you are eating, too.

Also, please check out my article on Thanks!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sick this week, but better

I had some minor bug this week that made me run a low fever and feel bad for about 3 days. I feel better now, and that is the first time I have been sick in about 2 years so I am grateful. I did take 3 days off because I was running a fever. I just rested and I probably needed it.

Now, I am thinking about my Spring races that are just around the corner. On April 17 I will run my first 5K in awhile. Orlerr keeps telling me that I will run a sub-25 minute 5K, but I don't think it will happen this year. I do hope to beat my best time, which is 27:11. My base fitness is a lot better this year than it was last Spring, so it's a possibility. That race will be a test of how fast I am running right now.

In May there are two sprint triathlons that I plan to do and I am looking forward to those. My swimming so far this year has been about the speed that I left off with last year. I don't think I will improve my time much in a 400 m swim, but we'll see. I haven't ridden outside yet this year, but with the time change and the nicer weather I should get out sometime soon.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 8, 2010

My Training Week

Last week was a big one for me. It was the third week in a row of progressively longer training and this week will be an easy week. This coincides nicely with my spring break from school, so I can take it easy with my family.

Monday - This is usually my rest day, but I did an hour on the trainer
Tuesday - 5 miles of running, alternating easy and hard miles
Wednesday - Master Swimming
Thursday - Another hour on the trainer
Friday - 4 mile easy run
Saturday - 3 miles of running and another hour on the trainer, this time with drills
Sunday - 8 mile long run

That was about 8 hours including my strength training and 20 miles of running. It was a good week!

Friday, March 5, 2010

How much can you handle?

Part of the reason why I like triathlon is because it shows you what you are made of, mentally and physically. This season, I want to see just how much training my 2010 self can take without breaking down. I found out last fall that 20 mile running weeks were just about perfect for me, but I was not swimming and was biking only for cross training/ recovery purposes. This spring, I want to keep up my running mileage, while adding back swimming and amping up my biking.

Of course, in addition to my physical limits, I also have work and family responsibilities that have to come first. Triathlon can be a selfish sport, but I'm not out for faster times this year. I want to find that sweet spot where I am as fit as possible while still meeting the needs of those I love. I don't think that these are mutually exclusive goals. Training gives me more stamina for LIFE and LOVE. Being outside by myself gives me time to think, to pray, to dream, and to appreciate the abundant life that I have. I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Running From My Problems

I am a self confessed optimist. My friend Hope has even accused me of "farting rainbows". I do tend to look at the positive side of things. And my faith in God is where this attitude comes from, I have no doubt. But the last few months have been one crisis after another for me, my family, and my friends. Probably the same could be said for the the whole world, I know.

One part of me thinks that there is no reason to cheer up because the next storm is just over the horizon. I know that this is faulty logic and the other part of me knows to trust and be patient. I think triathlon helps with the latter line of thought. Aside from the endorphin boost of exercise, training gives you a feeling of control over at least a small part of your life. I can do everything in my power to keep myself healthy so that I can take care of others when they need it. When the pressure builds up and I need to get away, I have my running shoes and they can help give me some space between the rock and the hard place.

Keep running, my friends, we have a lot to be thankful for.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pray for Allie!

My friend's little girl, Allie, has just been diagnosed with cancer. I don't want to share any details without family's permission, but please pray for her and her family. Thanks.

Friday, February 5, 2010

I'm in Love - With Trail Running!

That's not a lake above, that is the trail that I ran on last Saturday. Imagine 10 miles of that! I loved it and I can't wait to go back for more. Temperatures were in the thirties, but once I got going, I was shedding layers like an onion. The whole experience reminded me of walking through the woods with my dad when I was a little girl.

You can see in the photos my before and after shoe pictures. I tried to waterproof/ insulate my shoes with duct tape, but it wasn't happenin'. One trick I did learn from Jeff and Eric at The Age Grouper was to put sandwich bags over your socks. I didn't realize how much this was helping to keep my feet warm (NOT dry, nothing could have kept them dry!) until I lost my left shoe in a puddle at mile 6. When I pulled my shoe out, the baggie fell out and it was too gross to put back on. The difference between my right and left foot was incredible. Right foot: wet, warm, comfortable. Left foot: wet, icy, yikes!

In two weeks I will back on the trail for a 6 miler at another park. I love it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Weekend Trail Run

Saturday I will be attempting my first trail run, a 10 miler. I am looking at this as more of an adventure than a race because I have no idea what to expect. The location is 90 mintues from my house and I have never been there. I'm taking my camera so you can expect some pictures on Sunday. The trail is reported to be easy enough for beginners, but still challenging for veteran trail runners. We'll see what happens. Have you ever run trails? Please leave a comment.

Oh, please check out my articles on Thanks!

Monday, January 18, 2010

This week's training

This week was very busy at work and I had to shuffle some things around to get my time in. I bought a medicine ball to add to my core routine. You know you are a triathlon geek when you go shopping all you buy is a medicine ball. No clothes, shoes, etc. just workout gear.

Monday is usually my rest day, so I rested. Or tried to, but I had to go to a PTO meeting. Tuesday I did some speed work, but was very tired so I cut it a little short. Wednesday I rode the bike trainer for about an hour. On Thursday I had to stay late at work so I use the elliptical machine when I got home. Friday we had a Run at Work event so I ran three miles. Saturday I ran my books to the library and back for 2 miles, then rode the bike trainer again later. Yesterday I did my 9 mile long run. My long runs are getting faster!

I am participating in another 10 in 10 challenge to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. It is harder this time, I am close to my goal weight. I'll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Did you ever try something not really thinking you could do it, but then you did? I applied to be the Endurance Sports Examiner for my local area on and they said I could do it! So I will be writing little articles a few times a week about the local endurance sports scene. If you are into that sort of thing, please read my article or subscribe to my feed. Also, check out these awesome examiners:
Brian and Steve.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Love this website!

Okay, this has nothing to do with triathlon (or DOES it?). I'm a teacher so I get a nice, two week break for Christmas. I'm also a little type A, so when I am home for too long I start looking for projects around the house to work on. I found this fantastic webite called Home Sanctuary. Basically, Rachel Anne's take on housekeeping is to make it managable so that you can focus on what really matters: family. Everyday she posts some little chore and if you are consistent, your home really starts to look great. (See it is a little like triathlon.) She doesn't have a post yet about the piles of technical fabric that have to air dry in my laundry room, but everything else is covered. Check her out and become a Company Girl.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Goals for 2010

I'm a simple girl and all I really want in life is love and good health for my family. But, if you twist my arm, these are things I want for my sporting life this year.

1. I want to break 27 minutes for a 5K. I'm no greyhound, but I think it can happen.
2. I want to average 18 mph on my hybrid. Riding this bike is like running with a weight vest. If I can do 18 mph, I have paid my dues and deserve a "real" bike.
3. I want to do more longer distance running races. I don't have marathon aspirations, but I want to do more halfs, 10 milers, etc.
4. I want to lose 10 more pounds in the 10 in 10 in 2010 Challenge!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ice-buster is More Like It!

We are spoiled here in the southern states with relatively mild winters, made up for with virulent summer heat. So, I was unprepared for riding in almost freezing temperatures today. (Note to self, purchase cycling gloves and those shoe cover thingies). But, it was wintery fun at the 2010 Dustbuster Du!

Last year I was so embarrased to bring my cheapo bike (see photo below). I was so sure that everyone was an absolute expert and it was very intimidating. I realize now that all of that was only in my head. This year I racked my heavy beast right long side those speed machines like I belonged there. And I did. So did everyone else, no matter their gear, fitness level, or goals.

It was a foggy morning and on my warm-up jog. I could easily convince myself that I was the last survivor on the planet. Visibility was about 20 feet. The first run section went well. I got pretty warm and took my fleece gloves off in transition. I regretted this about 20 seconds later when I started riding my bike. I just pulled my jacket sleeves down over my fingers and got on with it. It was cold, but I just told myself that I was having an EXPERIENCE. The sun came out to burn all the fog away and warmed me up a little bit, too. The first half of the second run I couldn't really feel my feet, they were so cold. I felt good the whole time, maybe too good. I always tell people "good job" and cheer for them. I notice I am about the only one doing it. Oh well, you can take a nerd out of high school...

Oh, here are my results:

1.5 mile run - 13:36 (9:04 pace)
11.9 mile bike - 45:29 (15.7 mph)
1.5 mile run - 13:27 (8:58 pace)

A little bit better than last year - yeah!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Dustbuster Duathlon Tomorrow

Tomorrow will be my first race of 2010! Yes, it's early and nobody is in shape yet. That's why it's called the "Dustbuster". It will bust the dust right off you bike, your body, whatever! This duathlon is short: a 1.5 mile run, 11.8 mile bike, and 1.5 mile run. People come from all over the south to participate with super nice bikes. Last year my bike had a kickstand. When I came in from the bike someone had taken my spot on the rack, so I put just popped out that sweet kickstand and off I went. Well, I removed the kickstand this summer so I will have to be a little bit faster this year to keep my spot on the rack.

Last year I ran 9:22 pace, biked 15.2 mph, and ran 9:30 pace. This year I hope to do a little bit better. I have certainly put lots of running miles on my legs this fall, so maybe that will help me. I'll let you know.