Hello Again…

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No I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth…

Felt like I was about to a few times, but thankfully the planet is round. Phew! Lucky me.

Spring has been crazy busy and to be honest, blogging was shelved. Things have finally settled down and I have a few minutes to catch my breath and get a quick update posted. I know y’all are itching with anticipation!

So what’s been going on??!!!

Well, now that you ask….

A LOT actually!

Around the first of the year, I got together with a few characters and we decided to start a multi-sport team here on the gulf coast. WHO KNEW how much work it would be! I assure you, I did not.

But it was…and still is. This is not a project I would recommend tackling, we basically function in sink or swim mode. The paperwork is ridiculous, graphics/art a nightmare, and trying to get people involved (aside from signing up) is near impossible. Sounds like a party, eh?

And here we are! woo-hoo!

I’m actually pretty proud of what we’ve started and with a good foundation I know things will only grow upward. Crazy times getting here though, that’s for sure!

Check us out:

www.hurricanemultisport.com or

www.facebook.com/hurricanemultisport

Bj7hTuUIAAAXymk.jpg-mediumIn the midst of getting this group up and running there was training and a little (err hilly) half marathon on my schedule. Y’all will be happy to know I did survive, but barely! I’m not embarrassed to say that it kicked my ass. The recovery was worse than my Ironman. The downhill portion was particularly brutal and I was in misery for well over a week. My high hip flexors are still not 100% and they require daily work to keep them supple and happy. Sadly, it was a training run so I can’t even say I ran it fast and that was the cause. It was simply not being prepared for the terrain.

Bad athlete!

That being said, I was very pleased with my “non-rested/tapered”, hilly, windy half marathon time of 2:03 and 5th in my age group. The real purpose was to finalize nutrition and hydration for Gulf Coast 70.3. Mission Accomplished! It was a good day, overall. It’s taken a while to get here, but I feel really good about where my running is right now. And not a moment too soon as race season is literally right around the corner!

I had about two days to catch my breath, wash some clothes, hand out some team t-shirts we were on to hosting our first team pro clinic. Yup!

Go Big or Go Home, right?

Linsey Corbin came to town the weekend after winning Ironman Los Cabos for a few workouts and a whole lot of socializing! Friend and bike fitter, Mark Miller of Precision Bikes in Lafayette, La is actually very close to Linsey and Chris Corbin and was nice enough help arrange the weekend.

It was a whole lot of fun, but took me almost 4 days to recover. Do you see a pattern here? I’ve been doing an awful lot of recovering lately! Let’s hope that works out for me…

A few pictures of the weekend….

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Lazy Magnolia Brewery Tour

 

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Group Dinner

Linsey's post-ironman fuel plan

Linsey’s post-ironman fuel plan

Group Dinner

Group Dinner

Group Ride

Group Ride

Bike Fits with Mark

Bike Fits with Mark

 

 

It was a great weekend!

Mark Miller really went above and beyond to help put this thing together. It’s always such a pleasure to be in his company and when he brings along such gracious people like Chris and Linsey Corbin it’s just lagniappe!

If you ever plan on being in the Lafayette, La area you should take a few minutes to stop by his shop or take the morning to have him look at your bike fit. It’s always time well spent.

So there ya’ have it!

The past six weeks have flown by and the next three will be just as busy.

Following Easter weekend, the season really gets going. We’ve got events lined up for the next three weekends starting with a sprint tri and wrapping up with Gulf Coast 70.3 in Florida.

FINALLY!

This winter seems to be dragging on forever. I don’t know about y’all, but I’m long overdue for a high heart rate and a good sweat in ugly matching spandex…

Bring on the races! :)

Run Happy, My Friends!

happy runner

One…or Two for the Record Books

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The 2014 race season has begun and it has been one for the record books, in more ways than one.

images-2First there was the half-marathon (out-of-town!) that was cancelled after standing in a local restaurant watching the electrical monsoon on radar from 6-10am….HOPING to get a break in the weather, long enough, to eek out a 5k. Nope. Didn’t happen. I would’ve had better luck racing a kayak. This was a first for me.

 

A PR in race cancellation. Go ME!

I suppose the first time is always the hardest.

I still don’t like talking about it. Quite frankly, just thinking about it still pisses me off. Mother Nature and I have been butting heads for well over a year now and it’s getting a little tiresome. Sadly, it’s not likely to change anytime soon either.

1618654_704801236219574_290373926_nNow I’m left to running a local half marathon in 2 weeks. It’s going to be hilly and it’s going to be windy, as it’s along the beach then up and over a few bridges. Despite simply using these 13.1 glorious miles as a fine-tuning event for my 70.3 in early May (pace, nutrition…ie no taper for me), there’s no way to enter into it without some serious reservation. I know the route well and it’s going to be hard. A lot harder than the one that got rained out! So wish me luck and for Gods sake, some decent weather! That which doesn’t kill you, blah…blah, blah :)

sigh…

On a more cheery note, last weekend I finally DID get to race and even set a few records of the right kind!

I officially kicked off 2014 (better late than never!) with a duathlon!!! If you know anything about me, you know I find it totally rude to exclude a swim from any event. I’d just assume swim-run-swim or swim-bike-swim or just SWIM as opposed to anything else, but race directors never seem to approach me for ideas. Go figure??!!

And so the 2014 opener was just that….a RUDE wake up to the season, but man it REALLY felt good to race again!

It was a short event at 2-16-2, but it was challenging. It was about an hour north of the coast and it chocker full of rolling hills. I did several of my long 80-90 mi+ Ironman training rides/bricks out there so I know the roads oh-so-well!  As a side note, it was also the first time I got to take out this lady and put her to good use, along with a new fit which happens to be drastically different from what is seen here…

All KINDS of changes going on!

Jenns Bike

Recovering from Ironman has been a very interesting process with more ups and downs than I could ever try to explain. Regaining any semblance of speed has been difficult and frustrating. One day I’d have some, the next I was too tired to hit my warm up swim set. No way to describe it besides….Ridiculous. It was right around the first part of March that I began to notice a difference though. I could effectively hold a variety of paces, in all 3 disciplines, day after day. I was recovering better, I wasn’t feeling as sore and beat up, my mood was better….and I WANTED to race agin. The apathy was lifting. The bad case of “whatevers” that had seemed to plague me for months was waning. Almost 4 months after IMFL, I finally felt recovered.

And the timing couldn’t have been better!

There really isn’t a lot to say about a duathlon and if done correctly, not much time to think about the finer details much less write about them.

Run hard…not too hard though. Build the bike leg to the point the legs feel like they’re going to spontaneously implode, all while wondering how in the HELL are they going carry you through another run. Then run one last time…like your life depends on it.

Last weekend, I’m proud to say I nailed it. I’m not the best pacer in the world and that recklessness is magnified when I have to sprint. It’s something I’ve been working very diligently on across all three sports this off-season. I’ve been far less dependent on the technology and more on me. I still have the Garmin, power meter, and all that other “stuff”, but I’ve better learned what those numbers “feel” like. More importantly, I’m learning the art of “building” to a certain pace, speed, or wattage. It’s not an easy skill to achieve, but the benefits are well worth it.

My 1st and 2nd run were within 10 secs of each other and I rode well above my FTP for 50 minutes or so. In layman’s terms: I’ve gotten a little stronger, a little faster, and maybe even a little smarter. Naturally, I wasn’t as fast as I wanted to be (particularly on the bike), but for the first time…maybe ever…I walked away feeling like I executed a race properly. Not perfectly, but I acted correctly…with purpose and intent. A definite first for me!

My reward….

I earned 1st in the 40-49 AG and received an awesome gift card to use at our local tri shop! Keep the medals and trophies…gimme cash to spend!! woo-hoo!

More importantly though, I finally got the chance to see where I am now, almost 5 months out from completing Ironman. I recovered really well from the duathlon which was the biggest indicator that I’m finally healed up, back to 100%, and ready to go full throttle once again.

Now if Mother Nature will just cut me a little slack…

But as I listen to the rain pelting the bayou behind the house and wind whipping the trees that doesn’t seem to be in cards anytime soon!

That which doesn’t kill you…..

Run Happy, My Friends!

happy runner

Routine and Consistency

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This is a great 7 minute clip if you have time.

One of the things that really resonated with me was when Alex was talking about his routine and how it’s not always pleasant or enjoyable, but simply part of getting the work done.

I know for me personally, routine is what keeps me consistent in both the training and recovery. Throughout this horrid winter, it has been very difficult to maintain the typical day-to-day flow I’m accustomed to and I can feel the difference in my focus and attitude. I’ve been able to get the sessions done, but everything has been at odd times and I just feel like the ebb and flow has been way off.

Hopefully, with the ground thawing (yes, even way down south we froze over!) and the grass once again turning green, things will finally return to normal!

Routine= Consistency= Success

Swim Happy, My Friends!

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Power On

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The Olympics are over and while the athletes are always the BEST part, sometimes a great commercial airs that really sticks with me.

This year was no exception.

My favorite from the winter games:

Such a great message to young athletes and us older ones as well.

Keep on, Keeping on!

Run Happy, My Friends!

happy runner

 

 

Core Power Fit Kit WINNER!

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corepower 1CONGRATULATIONS to Lynette Berger! She is the lucky winner of the Core Power Fit Kit GiveAway which was selected using random.org.

I appreciate all the entries and would love to hear your thoughts on Core Power as a recovery drink!

Lynette, send me your mailing address so I can forward to it the corporate offices. Remember to allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.

Enjoy your winnings!

Have a good week out there!

Ride Happy, My Friends!

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Core Power Fit Kit GIVEAWAY!

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Oh the weather outside has been frightful! And that’s putting it mildly….

With over half the country under snow and/or with temperatures around freezing, I know we’re all growing tired of Old Man Winter. I admit that I’ve been in a bit of a funk….a hibernation mode if you will. Oh I’ve done my training, but this rude decent of the polar vortex down, into the deep south, has left me lacking the motivation for much else.

Core_OlymSealNeedless to say there is a lot to catch up on around here! And what better way to get that started than with a Monday GIVEAWAY!

Recently, I was offered the opportunity to be an ambassador for Core Power. If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that they have been my go-to recovery drink since way back to their Honey Milk days. It’s not often that I find a product I use 100% year around without fail….no substitutions. This is my post-training drink of choice when real food is not an option.

We all know how important recovery is to maximizing the benefits of each training session. And how essential it is to get your nutrition started within the 30 minute post workout window. Sometimes that can be easier said than done, but this stuff helps you help yourself!

Core Power has created the ideal recovery drink for you! It’s got the science in the bottle, however all that science in the world won’t help if athletes won’t crack the top. Therefore one of the most vital elements of any recovery drink, in my opinion, is taste. If isn’t palatable, then it won’t be consumed. If it’s not consumed, then it is of no benefit.

I’ve personally tried almost every recovery drink out there and Core Power actually taste GOOD! I look forward to finding it in my bag after workouts and I make sure that I NEVER run out. My husband and I keep an ample stock of strawberry-banana on hand and we have no difficulty reordering by the case through Amazon.com

Into to Core Power_thumb[3]

Now I know not everyone may be chomping at the bit to head out and order up a case of something new and untested. Luckily, singles can be found at grocery stores and most Wal-marts locally. Or there’s an even better option….

You can enter to win some right HERE, right NOW! In addition to a few bottles of Core Power, you’ll also get you’re very own fit kit which will include:

  • A Ogio Core Power gym bag!
  • Yoga mat
  • Towel
  • Stability Balance Ball
  • Camelback water bottle

corepower giveaway

What’s a person gotta do to win, you ask??

Well here’s the deal…

  1. Tell me what you’re favorite recovery food/beverage is right now
  2. Like Core Power on Facebook and tell em’ I sent ya’ over
  3. Give Core Power a Tweet and a Follow as well

Winner’s will be drawn at random and will be announced next Monday, February 24, 2012. The Core Power Fit Kit will be shipped to the winning party within 4-6 weeks.

Good luck and try to stay warm out there…

Spring will be here before we know it!

Run Happy, My Friends!

happy runner

A Review: Triathletes Swim First!

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Incase you haven’t noticed winter has ARRIVED!

Damn it got cold! Even way down here in the deep south, we struggled to make it above freezing last week. Burrrr!

However, just like the summer heat….we can’t control the weather and there is work to be done!! Spring will be here before we know it.

Now I realize jumping into a chilly pool MAY not be high on the list of priorities when its sub-zero outside, but its the best time to get some quality swim work accomplished!

And lucky for all of y’all, the ladies over at the The Waterblogged Triathlete have just the thing to help make YOU a better swimmer!

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Triathletes Swim First offers over 100 fresh and innovative swim workouts for everyone, from beginner multisport athletes to Ironman finishers. Anyone who has a goal of an improved swim or just a great overall race day would benefit from implementing these workouts into their current training plan.

Most of us realize that EVERY swim workout should incorporate drills to aid in improved technique and ultimately a stronger swimming foundation. However, this is often easier said than done, especially if you aren’t swimming with a group.

More often that not, triathletes end up swimming countless laps with no objective other than to finish the workout. This book changes that. It gives each and every session a purpose. There are drills to work on the front end of the stroke, body roll/rotation skill builders, sets that focus on kicking efficiency, as well as ones for open water sighting. There are even drills and workouts to assist in wetsuit familiarity!

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This little book has it ALL!

The ladies over at The Waterblogged Triathlete have an extensive background as swimmers. I encourage you to not only investigate their book, but to check out their website. There is a wealth of information over there and by signing up for email notifications, you’ll always get the latest snipet of swim knowledge delivered right to your inbox!

I received a copy of this book last fall while in the depths of IMFL prep and it wasn’t until December that I really got to play around with the workouts.

I do have a coach who writes my swim sessions, but quite often drill sets are optional…meaning I get to choose the drill. To be honest, I know about five off the top of my head and it can get a little old repeating the same ones day after day. Not to mention, rather unproductive. I now have a fresh set at my disposal and THAT is keeping things fresh, fun, and challenging!

Some things I personally like about the book….

  • there are pace charts to help estimate goal times and tips on converting it to yards from meters
  • there are over ten pages of defined terms….don’t you HATE trying to figure out what 3/8/3 means the first time???
  • almost every other page has tip boxes filled with useful information
  • there are pages to write in your own workouts if you are so inclined

Triathletes Swim First can be found on The WaterBlogged Triathlete website for $29.95.  It is also available at amazon.com for the same price OR you can download it to your kindle for $7.99!! The best pool toy you’ll ever buy!

Regardless of the distance you race, being an efficient swimmer WILL improve your bike and run splits. Triathletes Swim First is a great tool to start this process. It’s a fantastic resource to keep your workouts both fresh and productive all season long!

Grab a copy and let me know what you think!

Swim Happy, My Friends!

swimmer

Happy 2014!

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Happy New Year!!

I hope everyone has arrived here happy, healthy, and ready to tackle 2014 head on!

I’m not a huge proponent of New Years resolutions, per say, but I do like to take some time to reflect on the previous year and set some goals for the new one.

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Some are sport related, others are a bit more personal, but each one will hopefully help facilitate positive growth as both a person and an athlete.

I encourage everyone out there to take a few minutes and do the same. You’ll be amazed at what you’ve accomplished and all the possibilities that lie ahead!

Happy New Year everyone!

Run Happy, My Friends!

happy runner

 

 

Ironman Florida: The Final Chapter

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It’s hard to believe its been well over a year ago since we all stood in front of this truck, after a day of volunteering, ready and excited for the challenges lie ahead.

r600x600A year later and an easy hundred years wiser, we all gathered again to celebrate the accomplishment…..and to to pay a bit of gratitude to those who were kind enough to TOLERATE us while preparing to go the distance.

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got cake?

Folks, it is not easy being the one that has to listen to this garbage day in and day out so it’s always nice to say a little thank you. Especially if you have ANY intentions of doing this crap again! ;) But before we celebrated all that was right in the world, I had to attend to 1 looming issue….

a meesly 5k.

Once again, Mother Nature did not fail. A cold front blew in around 2am so the temperatures dropped and the wind howled. No it was not sub-zero and snowing, but just like you northerners have issues racing down here in the deep south come April/May (which really, it is NOT hot), we have issues acclimatizing to 35-40 F in November/December. But at least the rain had stopped!

There wasn’t a lot to this race because I’d had no Zone 4 work in a year. The only Zone 3 I had under me was when I would skate the upper end of Zone 2 during a half-ironman or when I was on the brink of heat exhaustion during summer training. So I really had no idea what to expect other than to not enjoy it one single bit. I find it’s better to just be brutally honest with oneself!

Heading out, I had NO idea what my best stand alone 5k time actually was and I didn’t want to know….I didn’t want it in my head. It wasn’t going to change anything for the better and MIGHT do so for the worse.

As everyone lined up, I picked out a few  people to “follow”, one of those being my husband. The gun fired and we all head out. The advice I was given was to just ease into the 1st mile. From there, instructions shifted to more of a”gimme 2 and make it hurt” approach. For what it’s worth, I don’t know if there is any possible way to ease into the first mile of a 5k, but I certainly kept it in mind.

During the first half-mile, I kept my husband within 100-200 ft, but then he was gone. I was still cold despite a nice warm-up and even though I felt like I was “working” hard, it didn’t feel impossible. Yet! I crossed 1 mile and saw 7:45 on my Garmin. This was unchartered territory outside a sprint triathlon (always run faster off the bike) and since I “eased” into the first mile I told myself, “Carpe Diem! This thing started sub-8 and it now gets to finish sub-8!”

So while I lost my husband (because little did I know he had visions of 22 minute 5k), I did pick out a couple of people who I needed to keep within my sights. There was one person, in particular, that I was keeping closer than normal. When the 2 mile chime went off and I saw 7:51, I was relieved to be holding pace since things were becoming increasingly difficult. Only 1 mile to go! Little did I know, this last mile would be into the wind and up a slight hill…

Ok, maybe it was more of a driveway-ish incline…

The nice thing about completing 140.6 miles is that it sorta gives the feeling of empowerment. That last mile was HARD and I REALLY wanted to stop for a second to reset my stride (excuses?) and catch my breath. In the past, I just might have done it. This time, I was able to think rationally despite both being hypoxic and drowning in lactic acid. I convinced myself that, “NO…stopping is NOT necessary! Its ONE MILE, less than 8 minutes…get over it, get it done!”

And so I did.

Almost a month to the day after finishing my first Ironman, I ran my fastest 5k…..Crossing at 24:29 and surpassing my previous time by 1 minute and 1 second. That effort was rewarded with 3rd in the 40-44 AG, 9th female overall, and 38th out of 200 runners. Consistency is a marvelous thing and I give a ton of credit to my wonderful coach that stresses THAT above everything else.

So what’s a girl to do after a year like this?

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Naturally!

As of Friday, we will be spending the next 9 days at the most magical place on Earth!

Here’s wishing all of y’all a safe and festive holiday season!

And always…

Run Happy, My Friends!

happy runner