#GivingTuesday

It seems kind of funny to me that we have a day that is dedicated to giving. It is certainly a beautiful notion and a wonderful way to kind of level the playing field after a whirlwind weekend during which the average American consumer goes hog-wild spending and splurging on personal wants/needs. I am always blown away and filled with pride at the amount of funds I see friends and strangers raise for their particular causes of passion on this day each year!

However, what would happen if the world celebrated #GivingTuesday every month? It doesn’t have to be a big gift…as Ride to Give has always said…”Give a Little…Change a Lot”! What a gift to not just your particular cause to receive a monthly gift but also to yourself. I know I feel honored and my heart feels full when I am able to make a donation to a cause that is near to my heart. It’s like therapy for the soul to be apart of something bigger than the cup of hot chocolate or the dinner at Chipotle that I would have spent the money on.

As I prepare for the holiday season ahead I started listening to Christmas songs–my radio station, Sound of Life began their seasonal music on Thanksgiving and I’ve heard one particular song several times. “One Last Christmas” by Matthew West epitomizes why I am apart of Ride to Give. We don’t always help children and families with terminal diagnoses, we’ve made a difference in the lives of so many families with so many different needs and circumstances, but what a powerful song about how “giving a little” such as by putting out some Christmas lights in October, can “change a lot”.

By giving a monthly gift of even $2.50 you are helping make this a reality for all the children we help throughout the year. You are helping us provide home revisions, essential medical equipment, service dogs, equipment and services that can improve a child’s quality of life, airfare and transportation costs for families to travel for specialized medical care, and more!

The Ride to Give Army is large and wide spreading! We’re always growing but the list of children and families who need our assistance is also always growing. Our goal of this holiday season and particularly this #GivingTuesday is to get 33% of the RTGA supporters to make a monthly commitment for the 2017 season. Even $2.00, the cost of one Starbucks coffee (and a tiny one at that!) will make a huge difference in our efforts.

I LOVE my team. The people I’ve gotten to race with and know through my involvement in Ride to Give have given me renewed investment in this journey I am on. These men and women I race with and raise money alongside are phenomenal people with a beautiful shared mission.

If you make a monthly donation to RTG by following this link to our website and fundraising site (amount doesn’t matter), and send me confirmation of your monthly donation (screen capture of your confirmation page) to keeppacingcoaching@gmail.com you will receive one entry into my December Giveaway Contest.

I just made my $10 a month donation…who will join me?

“He was weak but he was smiling

Like there was nothing even wrong

They said he wouldn’t make it

Looks like he got to see it after all”

Take it All. Take it All Away.

How a Box of Diapers Kept me Afloat and Sent me Sailing

Let’s back track first…don’t be offended. Don’t be hurt. Don’t think you’re not my friend because I chose not to tell you in the moment or even months after the fact. Don’t feel like you were kept in the dark and didn’t know what was going on or that I kept a giant secret from YOU. I didn’t tell anyone. It has NOTHING to do with YOU personally.  And honestly, I’m not telling anyone now either. I don’t need any sympathy. That’s not why I wanted to write this down and put this out there—I’m good with all the aspects of my life right now…most days I’m at peace with this chapter of my life.  I’m happy with where life has led me despite the ups and downs. However, I guess at the end of the day, when I decided to write this I realized I just wanted to write down my gratitude for this split second decision that seemed absolutely looney and made me wonder about my sanity. Because had it not been for this box of diapers…I don’t know if I’d be quite as at peace or if I’d be on this journey I’m on now.

 

So then, back to it: It’s no surprise that life was full of it’s challenges over the past few months—losing my father in April and filing for divorce in June (July). But that wasn’t really the start of it all, the downward spiral started ahead of all that, in March.

 

On what would have been a terrible and miserable day in March regardless of this news (my Dad’s oncologist put him on hospice and gave us a limited timeline proclamation), I was at my own doctor’s office, as they were still trying to determine why my liver enzymes were through the roof.  My doctor and a nurse came into the room and he immediately asked the question, “Is there a possibility you might be pregnant?” the doctor asks. My quick response was “NO” but the doctor didn’t seem satisfied with that answer and he asked again “no possibility?” Of course there was a possibility, but I told him that I was pretty confident I was not, having just had had a random extra period and acknowledging the fact that we were living between two residences and there was a very small chance that we could have even managed to conceive a child (without intending to mind you).

 

The doctor then stopped my chaotic, spiraling world for a brief moment when he indicated that my blood work and urinalysis revealed elevated levels of hCG, indicating pregnancy. Some further testing that day in the office revealed the catch, I was not pregnant. At least, not anymore. Turns out the random extra period I had had, was not so much a period, but a miscarriage and my body was still sorting this loss out behind the scenes. From being told I was pregnant to being told I was not, took maybe a total of about 25 minutes and honestly I wasn’t much phased. Right there and then in the doctor’s office by myself, this information didn’t seem to register as momentous. I hadn’t known I was pregnant. We obviously hadn’t been trying to get pregnant. My life was in a messier chapter than I had ever dreamed so…really we weren’t in a place to be pregnant. It just seemed like trivial information. The doctor asked me what I assume might be routine questions following this type of thing…”Has there been any new or increased stresses?”…How could I not answer honesty…”Maybe. I haven’t seen my husband in weeks—and I don’t really know where he is. My dad’s been sick for a long while, but things aren’t looking terribly optimistic there either.” The doctor and nurse just tucked their lips and nodded. Ha. You could read their expressions like a book. Last thing I needed was someone who didn’t even remotely know me feeling sorry for the shitty hand I had drawn and I left the office still feeling fairly indifferent.

 

But later that day, in the car driving around getting errands run and checked off the daily to do list, I found myself crying. Crying over something I didn’t even know I had had. Crying over something I needed someone else to tell me I had lost. I found it totally silly that I was crying over this, but somewhere deep inside me I was also devastated. How could I not be, I guess? I had a husband, we thought we had this perfect little family. I knew Sydney and Cadel would have been the best big brother and sister and would have loved the baby. We had names picked out. The baby would have had the thickest blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes. The baby would have been so smart, so gifted and so very loved and spoiled. And you don’t get to know how many chances for that you will get. And even today, 9 months later, if I think about who that baby might have been, even with everything so different then it should have been, I still am devastated all over again.

 

I went home that day and begged and pleaded with the person I needed to tell, to come home so we could talk. He did. When it was convienant for him. When he finally got home I was just trying to keep myself together enough to get Cadel and Sydney out the door and off to Wendy’s to pick up a birthday snack for Cadel’s 3rd birthday and the first words out of his mouth, after having not seen him for days were “I’m not sure I’m really a partnership kinda person. I just don’t know if marriage is really for me.” And just like that my breath was stolen from me for the second time that day and I knew I couldn’t bring myself to share that we had lost a baby. I mean, what was the point? If he didn’t want to be in a marriage or partnership with me, why would he have still wanted the baby we had always talked about having some day? Why would he be upset that this was how things had played out? So my tears that night went unexplained. He apologized and “took back” his statements later that night…but…that didn’t seem like something you just say…and I remained silent…hell I could cry all I want as there were 900 other things to be crying over at that moment anyways.

 

So, since he didn’t know, I chose to tell no one. It didn’t seem right to tell anyone else when the one person who should have been there and known did not. When it became more apparent that that situation was not going to change, I felt like I HAD to keep it a secret. I didn’t want to hear “well, I guess it was for the best” from anyone. I already hear “thank goodness you two didn’t have children” enough, I didn’t want to ever hear anyone say that it was a blessing or a good thing to have lost a baby given the circumstances. I know obviously that life would have been far more complicated and messy had we had that baby but, I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that it may have been a blessing. So staying silent seemed like the best choice.

 

A few weeks later I was sitting on my couch, life not giving me any reprieves from the sadness and downward spiral of everything around me, and a local friend posted on a local yard sale page. She was selling an entire box of cloth diapers “everything you would ever need to diaper a baby from infancy to potty training” and without even thinking, without even considering what I was doing, I bought it. I needed diapers right? I planned on cloth diapering right? She was so nice. She gave me a reduced price. She was excited that I was the one getting them. Maybe 40 minutes later it hit me like a sledgehammer to the gut. Wait. Wait. What. The. Fuck. No. I didn’t need diapers.

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Several weeks passed before I went and retrieved the box of diapers. I obviously wasn’t in a rush to get them and the seller wanted to rewash them and box them up. I considered “changing my mind” on the purchase, but at the time I still didn’t want to tell the seller how I bought diapers for a child that I would never have. I didn’t want to tell her that I bought them in grief. I didn’t want to tell anyone any of this because again…the person that I should have been telling wasn’t there to tell. The person who should have been stopping me from buying boxes of diapers or at least helping me understand why the hell I was buying things I didn’t need, was only available for a text message here or there. The person who should have been drying these tears that wouldn’t stop coming nightly, was the one causing half of them. So I had to pick up those diapers. I just had to go get them and not have to explain to anyone. Keep them tucked away in secret so that no one else knew I had bought them.

 

But…sometime between that crazy late night purchase and the day I ventured out to pick them up, they became this life boat to me. This little buoy out on the horizon that would keep me afloat…I just had to get my hands on them. That sounds crazy right? A box of diapers I didn’t need and wouldn’t need for the forseeable future was giving me new direction and hope?

 

You see, one night I was driving home from visiting my dad in hospice and crying because we knew our time was so short but also because life just sucks sometimes right? He was in so much pain but such a fighter. He asked about my husband daily until he physically couldn’t ask anymore. And every day I made excuses for him “he’s busy at school,” “this semester is kicking his butt,” “he had a project and couldn’t come home this weekend” so as to not let my Dad know how my world was crashing down. I didn’t want him to think he had to fight to stay longer just because I was a mess. I wanted him to feel like we were all okay. That we’d be okay. He deserved to be able to find peace after so much pain and fighting. But that night, driving home I realized, how fucked up this all was. For whatever My dad would never have chosen to leave me, to leave us. He was being TAKEN from us. He wanted to stay with us so badly. He fought for 21 years to stay with us. He had surgeries and chemo and radiation upon radiation to buy more time without ever questioning if that more time was 3 months or 3 years. He denied pain medication for as long as he could bear so that he would be “with us” longer. But this, this person I was making excuses for, he was CHOOSING to leave. He was CHOOSING to not be home and be with me and with us. He was CHOOSING to drive down from school to do a bike ride, earn some spending cash at the bike shop and drive right back up to school without stopping in to see my Dad or me claiming he had school work to attend to. The situation became glaringly obvious. Everyone deserves to be with someone like my Dad. Someone who loves you so much they’d put everything else aside to gain one more day with you. And it was that realization that made those diapers this bobbing buoy in the distance. The baby we wouldn’t have, was TAKEN from me, from us. My dad was TAKEN from me, from us. My husband, my best friend…he CHOSE to leave me, to leave us. From that moment on the box of diapers in the distance seemed to serve as a reminder of this profound difference between someone being taken away versus someone choosing to leave and while it still sucks…it made it easier to make the hard decisions that would follow.

 

So the day came to pick that box up and I parked my car, walked up the sidewalk without hesitation and handed over more money than might seem reasonable for a box of diapers that may never be used. I walked back to my car carrying that box, feeling strong for the first time in a long long time. I can’t say there wasn’t some sadness or more tears when I opened the box and saw the perfectly adorable diaper covers that I could envision on maybe baby Oliver or would it have been Cadence? There totally was. Plenty of tears.  But that same day I also got on the treadmill for the first time in months. I put one foot in front of the other and ran 3 miles. I realized, moving forward meant making new memories and you know what they say “every mile a memory”, so I started moving forward, mile by mile. The box of “useless” diapers sat on the corner of my couch for about three weeks, 21-days, before I finally repacked it and moved it to the attic. By then, I had been set free. I didn’t need the daily visual reminder of what I was running away from and what I was running towards anymore.

 

Sometime along the journey I did decide to just send him a message and let him know just quite what all we had lost in losing ourselves and the “us” we had promised each other, because I felt strongly that he should know one way or the other despite the way things were. I guess part of me thought that the glimpse of what I’d been through for us, alone, might draw his heart to change. Of course it did not. My sharing this information with him (months post facto) didn’t change the outcome and I didn’t expect it to, heck I didn’t even hope it would, but it lifted the restriction I put on myself to not share with anyone until I had told him, and while I haven’t told anyone (until now), it was liberating to not have it be a secret burden to harbor. So I’m now literally hundreds a miles past where I was back when I first picked up that box of diapers and stepped back onto that treadmill, and literally a much lighter person in body and spirit, I have no regrets. This has been my story, my journey. Was it supposed to be a journey taken alone? I don’t know. But it worked out and I just wanted to be able to share with those out there who find themselves in similar desperate dark times, that there is healing in the miles.

 

So now this box sits nicely on a shelf in my attic, tucked away for maybe a day that will never come. But I am thankful still. Like the tool kit I carry on the back of my bike, while I may not need it on any given ride or day, I’m always thankful to have it with me, it can be a lifesaver and certainly can make or break your journey on race day. So who knows if this box of diapers will ever come off that shelf but it has already served its purpose well, it was a part of the journey I needed to take and as far as I’m concerned, looking back from where I am now, it saved my life. Over the past 9 months since I bought that box of diapers, I’ve watched every ounce of who I had become over the past 4 years fall away from me as if I was slowly taking off a disguise I hadn’t even known I was wearing, I’ve found myself healing in every way possible. I would have gotten to meet our baby sometime in the next few weeks. Amazing how fast nine months fly by. Amazing how much can change in nine months. Amazing how strong you can become in nine months.

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Blessed how when it all is taken away how opened up one’s eyes can be…

 

Ironman Coeur d’Alene: The Prelude

So back many months ago—almost 9 months ago now I guess it would be, I signed up for my 2nd rodeo. Everyone had told me that IMCDA was beautiful; challenging hills on the bike (and run) but nothing I wouldn’t be able to handle and just scenic for miles and miles. My motivation behind a second IM was simple and twofold: 1. I wanted a 2nd chance at my age group awards and this was the last year in the 25-29 age group where I felt I could kinda stand a chance and 2. I wanted a better finish line photo (I know I know how silly).

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So now in the aftermath I can honestly admit that even as we packed our bags and prepared to head to Idaho I knew that probably both would not be achieved but you still go and give it a shot right because even without a better time or better photo you still can become a 2x Ironman and…that’s more badass than a 1x Ironman.

Anyone who has read my reports and posts from back when I was preparing and reflecting on IMAZ know that that year was insane and my training was nearly nonexistent but that I was blessed and surprised to have done as well as I did on what was a nearly perfect weather day in Arizona. I had had high expectations for my ability to train more appropriately this time around. I had thought we were at a more stable point in our life (not newly weds, not selling a house, mom is cancer free, etc…) but I think the bottom line is that life is NEVER truly as stable as you imagine it is and I may NEVER truly have the time to train the way some people do for these types of races and honestly I am quite alright with that. So this is my way of saying that yes once again I headed into a full Ironman on a minimalists training regimen…I felt a bit more confident about this race versus Arizona simply because it wasn’t my first time going the distance and I had definitely done more running in the past year (and past few months) than I had prior to IMAZ so at the least my marathon would be stronger than it had been. I again had never hit the bike mileage in my training but at least what riding I did do was in the mountains here in NY and it was pretty comparable to the race profile for CDA. My swim training had almost been nonexistent but…I knew I wouldn’t drown and even without the training could get it done in under 1:20 or so.IMG_2733

So when we were about 2 weeks out from race day of course the Facebook training page chatter began to mitigate from
training days and plans to full on paranoia about the weather forecast. Everyday someone (or more like 10 people) would post their chosen weather sites predictions and the initial 10-15 day predictions were calling for a hot day (read high 80s to low 90s) with minimal chance for wind or rain. It looked pretty enjoyable and I began my packing feeling pretty good about what lay ahead. However, each day as the race got closer that definition of “hot” was defined a little bit more and by the time I was making my final preparations we were talking about a high of 106-108 on race day with full sun predicted. The WeatherBug application on my phone had gone from a picture of a sun and welcome little cloud to a sun with a cheerfully cute looking cactus sitting alongside of it and this had me starting to sweat.

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Sad puppies as I started to pack

Packing was rough this go around…I just had a hard time getting everything together and just getting the task done. I have been traveling a lot lately and I knew our pup dogs were very aware that this time the whole family was leaving them behind and I had this intense sense of guilt leaving them behind…especially since we’d be gone for 8 days this go around. We got the job done though and I followed my same OCD packing regimen as previously and somehow this time it seemed we had more room in our luggage and were even able to pack a bike pump in our suitcase which made life easier once we arrived in CDA.

Here’s a breakdown of my packing and what I brought in each bag (I only post this for reflection sake if/when I do #3 because apparently this is a sickness that just can’t be quit AND because before my #1 I really had scoured the interwebs for a detailed list of what everyone might be putting in their various race day bags):

So I pack my large suitcase with seven 2 gallon bags, one for each race day bag (Race Morning, T1, Bike Special Needs, T2, Run Special Needs and I also put all my “On Bike” items in a bag and have a miscellaneous bag for training while in town and in case I change my mind on anything prior to race day). When I shared my prepacking pictures with the Facebook group I was apart of they seemed to have a mixed bag review from “AWESOME” to “HOLY OCD” but this works well for me and insures that I don’t forget anything and makes packing the race day bags once there very simple:

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Everything spread out on the bed to get sorted and get this thing underway!


Race Morning Bag:

-Skinsuit

-googles

-cap (for prerace swims)

-sunscreen

-body glide

-bag balm (much more effective than ANY chamois cream I’ve ever used especially since it doesn’t wash off in the water during the swim)

-Udderlysmooth chamois cream

-deodorant

-Garmin 910xt and quickrelease strap

(wetsuit (sleeveless) was packed separately in suitcase)

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-helmet

-bike shoes

-socks

-individual chamois butter packet

-2 Powerbar fruit squeezes

-flask (and 3 GU roctanes)

-skratch labs raspberry drink mix packet

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On Bike:

-2 cambelback insulated water bottles both with packets of Skratch Labs inside

-aerobottle and straw

-Saddlebag/Toolkit (tire tools (2), 1 spare tube, CO2 nozzle (can’t fly with C02 cartridges)

-bento box

-3 GU chomps packages (watermelon)

-1 Skratch lab Chomps (raspberry)

-Fuel belt flask and bike mount (w/ 3 GU roctane gels)

-enduralytes (baggied supply for 7 hours)

-2 Alleeve pills wrapped in washi tape

-chamois butter individual packet

Bike Special Needs:

-ziploc bag (for a PBJ sandwich)

-chamois butter packet

-powerbar fruit squeeze

T2:IMG_2778

-running shoes

-socks

-2Toms Blister shields (1 for each foot)

-body glide

-hat/visor (brought both)

-cooling towel

-running belt (with pouch and bands)

-race belt

-flask (w/3 GU roctane gels)

-ziploc bag for PBJ

-1 Powerbar Fruit squeeze

-2 GU chomps packs (watermelon)

-skratch labs drink mix packet

-enduralyte capsules (baggied supply for 5 or so hours)

-2 Alleeve tablets wrapped in washi tape

-baggy of gummy bears

-5-6 peppermint mints

Run Special Needs:

-socks

-2 2Toms blister shields

–I may have put more in my special needs bags had they still made the promise to “try” to get the bags back to us but I think maybe all IM races have done away with that now and just dump the bags and given that I didn’t stop for either last time I didn’t want to put anything of any value in them…because if I did I would feel like I needed to stop for them and didn’t want to put myself in that position—

My last bag, the miscellaneous bag just held a bunch of extra nutrition packets and chaffing prevention items and just other random things that I thought I “might” want to add to quantities in the individual bags, but nothing that wasn’t previously put in the other bags. I also put duct tape (pink argyle) in this bag to cover my transition bags in for easy identification.

I also have a bag that I put my race day attire in and my baggy of tritats just to keep everything in one bag and place.

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Team Ride to Give Kit!

All this stuff along with my bike pump and 3 awesome (if I do say so myself) Sherpa bags fit into a large suitcase that still managed to be only 42lbs when we flew out.

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All the bags packed and ready to load into the suitcase

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Wetsuit wrapped and packed and Sherpa bags added and we’re ready to go!

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Steven packed up my bike (Maisy) the day before in a borrowed bike box that a friend graciously let us use for the trip. Fortunately, this bike box actually was a foldable box? and not like a totally solid box with the wheels and all so it actually was only “oversized” and not “oversized AND overweight” once it was all packed and getting checked in at the airport. The only issue was obviously that we had to get it from the car to the airport without wheels. Being just the two of us and having three suitcases, 2 backpacks and the bike this was no easy feat but it was manageable and to have the box not be overweight and cost us an additional $75 on top of the $75 for being oversized made it worth it.

We were flying out for Idaho on Tuesday June 23 out of Newark which is an 1.5 hour drive from my parents home. My parents were also flying out from there but their flight was at 7am whereas our flight was at noon (don’t ask how we all were flying from the same place, to the same place and ended up on two different flights) but we didn’t want to have two cars down there and both have to pay the parking fees and all that so Steven, myself and the pups headed to Pine Bush Monday night after work and after final packing, cleaning of the house and getting all the animals staying at home (Johann, Bach, Anna, Maggie and Hilda the guinea pigs, Mogie the bunny, and Popcorn the sun conure) set for the week. We stayed over night there so that we could be on the road at 3:30am and said goodbye to our sweetest little fur babies (tears involved…don’t judge me!).

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saying goodbye Tuesday morning </3

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All of our stuff…waiting to check in our baggage

We dropped my parents off at their terminal and then navigated to the economy lots and got parked and lugged our stuff to the shuttle and then into the terminal only to find out (after waiting on a significant line) that we can’t check in baggage until 4 hours prior toIMG_2807 our flight…we were there 6 hours early. So we literally sat staring at the Southwest check-in counter for 2-hours as we couldn’t really do much with the amount of checked baggage we had with us. You live and you learn I suppose. We flew from Newark to Chicago Midway and then onto Spokane and arrived a few hours after my parents who had just stayed around the airport. I guess one of the biggest disadvantages to flying your bike with you versus shipping it via UPS/FedEx or transport is that you have a giant bike box that you need to stuff into your rental car and that significantly dictates what size vehicle you can rent. My mom had arranged the rental car many months prior to the trip and hadn’t really thought about the box and luggage situation and had reserved an economy-sized vehicle for a great deal. Unfortunately, when they arrived and asked for a larger sized vehicle it was a costly change and we literally got the only larger vehicle that was left. The Spokane airport is a good 30-40 minute drive to Coeur d’Alene so we didn’t have much options such as taking a cab or something with the bike and luggage and just meeting them there…another you live and you learn instance :-/

Oh! And as we landed in Spokane and I turned on my phone I received a dozen messages and facebook tags from friends who had learned that IM had bumped up the race start time to 5:30 versus 6:30am in order to get us out and moving an hour earlier to “beat” the heat. Great in theory for the super fast folks and the professionals who would be done practically before noon but not exactly brilliant for the age groupers who would now be finishing the bike and starting the run in the full brunt of the day’s heat.

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We were the first gondola of the day!

The first night we stayed outside of Spokane in a hotel as we had rented a house in Coeur d’Alene from Wednesday-Tuesday and we were a day early. This was fine though because it allowed us to spend the first day, Wednesday exploring Spokane, which was a fun and relaxing way to start the trip. The Ironman Village didn’t open until Thursday so there wasn’t much rush to IMG_0616get to CDA anyways. We spent the day checking out the downtown Spokane area including Riverfront Park where we took a gondola ride, a train ride and went on a carousel from 1909 in addition to doing some walking around the area. We stopped in a run shop in downtown to pick up a handheld water bottle (a bottle with the hand strap) for the run since I couldn’t find mine before we left and I knew I’d want to have water to carry between aid stations if we truly got to experience 105 degrees on race day). The kids working in the shop responded “Oh….we’re really IMG_0656worried about that” when we told them we were in town for the IM. Thanks for the confidence! Haha! They were busy setting up for Hoopfest and the city genuinely seemed like a really nice place to live and work.

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We all nabbed some rings on the carousel!

We headed towards CDA sometime after lunch and stopped at Cat Tails a small “zoo” of primarily large cats that have been rescued from various situations. It was a very nice but very small little display but the zookeepers were very nice and informative.IMG_0679

The drive out to CDA from Spokane was gorgeous! Views for miles and just beautiful scenery everywhere you looked.

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Our rental house of Foster Ave

IMG_0712We headed towards our rental house and found it without trouble. It was a terribly cute home on Foster Ave, which is about .71 miles from the swim start. The house met all of our expectations and I would recommend renting a house for race week to anyone after this great experience. The only forseeable (and later realized) issue was that the house had no AC…as 105 degree temps is NOT the CDA norm. After we had toured our home for the week and brought in all of our luggage, Steven assembled
Maisy and we made a grocery list. Mom and I walked down to the waterfront and the boys drove and we then went searching for where the IM village would be…we found it without much trouble inside the park where they were in full set-up mode but otherwise the town was pretty quite and it seemed as though maybe we were one of the first folks here in town. IMG_0723

The lake front was breathtaking and the small beach area was crowded with locals and families cooling off in the lake and the first indication of what was about to descend on this town was the large number of folks donning wetsuits swimming out along the buoy line.

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Guess this is about to get real?!

We ate dinner the first night in town at a restaurant on Sherman Ave called IronHorse. It was decent, nothing to write home about but in retrospect if might have been the best meal we had in town the whole stay. I was disappointed with my first “Idaho potato” experience as I had ordered a meal that came with mashed potatoes and I am 100% positive that they were box potatoes. After dinner we headed to the grocery store, which was only about 2 blocks from our house, and we stocked up.

IMG_0715At this point speculation on Facebook was beginning to increase as the temperature predictions were remaining steady at the 105-108 mark depending on who you asked. There was speculation that the race would be run as a 70.3 or even cancelled. I won’t say that this got my hopes up, but…those prerace nerves certainly make 70.3 sound enticing and I let it get in my head that it wouldn’t be a full Ironman on Sunday. I think many people probably did the same. There were many people who adamantly wanted the race to remain 140.6, and that is totally understandable, especially if you’ve trained appropriately for a full all year long. That’s a lot of money, time and effort to go into a race that turns out to be not what you had planned or paid for, I get it. I was very worried about the heat because at this point we hadn’t even seen 90+ degrees during our trip and even 89 degrees in the sun was feeling pretty brutal (despite all the “it is a dry heat” statements). I hadn’t trained in the heat at all really outside of having done Raleigh 70.3 in 95 degree heat a few weeks prior so I was worried just about the effects of that long exposure to that type of heat and how it might throw a wrench in my day. I guess the biggest fear really was that with Hoopfest going on in Spokane (brings in ½ a million folks) that there might not be enough medical support to handle the influx from both events plus the typical medical emergencies that would have occurred with or without us all being in town. Rumors were flying left and right with something new being mentioned every hour it seemed. From the notion that the whole event would be cancelled to we’d only do 1 loop of the run and so on…I don’t know…I knew I had to still go about things as if we’d be doing the full. Obviously IM doesn’t want to cancel the event or even change the event because they have a lot of time and money into the event and being that they make a ton of $$ off of people getting to complete their events (merchandise and so such) they weren’t really looking to cancel unless the town really said it had to be. Plus this was one of the prize money races for the professionals so I’m sure WTC wasn’t hoping to pay out the prize money for ½ the race.IMG_2717

I also handed out my Sherpa bags to mom, dad and Steven before we went to bed for the first time in CDA. I was pretty proud of my bags, but the heat made some of the items pointless (ponchos for instance) hah!

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mom resting at athlete briefing :-p

Thursday morning I went down to the water and swam a short and quick little swim of about .50 mile just to get in the water and do something. We got to check in that opened at 9am about 15 minutes early and there was already a crowd lining up. As per usual, check-in went super quickly and smoothly and the swag was awesome. A GREAT bag this year! While I was checking in, mom and Steven had gone and bought me “you better do this damn thing” gifts. Mom got me the IMCDA name shirt, a long sleeve workout shirt, the IMCDA water bottle and a car sticker. Steven bought me the beautiful M-dot necklace I had eyed after IMAZ <3. We walked around the village and noted that there were far less vendors in the village for this race than there had been for IMAZ but I guess that’s to be expected it’s a considerably smaller race to begin with (less than 2,200 registrants). The first athlete briefing was getting ready to begin so we found a spot in the shade and sat through that to get it over with before heading back to the house to get on with our day.

IMG_0734We had a nice lunch at ihop on the outskirts of town before heading to Wallace, Idaho, which turns out is where Dante’s Peak was filmed. It’s a really weird little town not far from CDA with a few little things to checkout including Oasis and a silver mine. The boys were dragging and the head was turned UP (but sadly it was still barely breaking 90 at this point) so we mostly just meandered here and there but didn’t actually take the silver mine tour or the tour at Oasis.IMG_0741IMG_0741

We headed back to CDA to meet up with my family from Boise that was coming into town and staying with us for a few days! Dinner at home, catching up and a board game (Killer Bunnies!) was how we rounded out the day! IMG_0746

The next morning (Friday) I went out for a bike ride along the centennial trail (opposite direction of race) and my legs felt GREAT! I only rode about 12 miles or so. I stopped to watch the folks who were out swimming—CDA tri team had a few kayakers out in the lake and a larger boat out marking the spot where we would swim to on race day…from the shore that day it looked pretty far, especially considering we’d have to do two loops. While standing here I overheard a few people chatting while getting ready to swim and their chatter was more uncertainty regarding the fate of the race. I headed back to the house to get ready for the day as we had plans to go to Silverwood Amusement Park and Boulder Beach Water Park (same admission for both parks) (I know…maybe if I spent the days leading upIMG_0754 to the race relaxing….but if they cancelled the race or I didn’t finish the race and had not seen anything or done anything then the trip would have really seemed like a waste. At least this way the trip was ALSO a vacation). At home everyone was up and getting ready and we were out the door at about 10am to be at the park for opening at 11am. The park was pretty impressive—I’d recommend if you’re going to be in town for a few days prior or after race day to give it a whirl as it really is a very beautiful park with something for almost everyone. Given that it was hot as could be (or so we thought) the water rides and water park were a huge hit but the rollercoasters were also pretty impressive given that the park itself looks relatively tame and family oriented versus the “thrill seeker” type park. My husband is a big ride guy and he seemed to have enjoyed the roller coasters and my cousin’s family includes an 8 and 12 year old and both also LOVED the park (even said it would be worth the 7.5 hour drive from Boise to do again). We stayed at the parks from 11am to 530pm and then headed back towards CDA. When we got in the car at the end of the day our car thermostat was reading 100. The Italian restaurant we had thought we’d try ended up having a 2.5 hour wait, which wasn’t going to fly so we found ourselves at the tried and true Olive Garden for some pre-race carb loading.

After dinner my cousin Jeff, mom, Steven and I drove the entire bike course for a preview while the kids, Christine (Jeff’s wife) and my dad went to the house and onto the beautiful playground down by CDA resort (which was also a huge hit). Riding the course was definitely helpful…I liked knowing what was to come, but it also unleashed some of those prerace butterflies. The climbs on 95 weren’t “steep” persay but they were endless and even approaching sunset it was blatantly obvious that there would be NO shade on this 44 mile loop (done 2 times on race day). When we got back to the house I started to prep my bags and bike as Saturday morning we would check in the bike and Transition bags.

IMG_0769Saturday morning we all went down to the village around 10am and I checked in Maisy. At IMAZ this was quite the process…the bike check in line was forever long but here there was no wait! In we went and got her racked and dropped off my bags.

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IMG_0768 IMG_0767 IMG_0765From there I did another swim…another .75 miles as they were setting up the race buoys while my mom, Jeff and the kids swam as well. After our swim they all went out on a 90 minute boat cruise but Steven and I thought that wasn’t in my best interest given that it was predicted to be 101 and the boat cruise was right at the hottest part of the day. So we went for a walk (and the finish line chute was set up!) and onto lunch (Mexican!) and then back to the house for a delightful 2 hour nap. When they all got back we went to the movies to see “Inside Out” and escape the heat…remember the house has no AC so by now we’ve begun melting in many rooms inside the house also. Super cute movie and I think popcorn was a great prerace snack. Back at home my mom and Steven made me a noodle, broccoli and grilled chicken dinner, I showered, got my hair braided and we attempted to be in bed by 9:30pm.

Talk about the worst night sleep possible! I estimate I got less than 2 hours of sleep. It was 94 degrees outside when we went to bed at close to 10pm so the window fan in our bedroom was of no help. The ceiling fan attempted to give some relief but not much can be done when there is just no cool area to be had. Steven was also not feeling great and was miserably uncomfortable from the heat so between him moving around and attempting to sleep downstairs and my discomfort from the heat it just was a miserable night or restlessness….but no time to complain or dwell on what can’t be changed…it’s time to be an Ironman!

Product Review: Wahoo Kickr Initial Impressions

It wouldn’t be fair to do this review based on one ride would it? That’s why I changed it from a formal review to the initial impressions; however, having said that I can not imagine my impression of the Wahoo Kickr is going to get anything but better with more time and experience on it and playing with the different software options….take that for whatever it’s worth!

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So my husband came home with a Wahoo Kickr maybe 2 weeks ago. I had been drooling in secret (and then a little bit less secretively) over the idea of a trainer that mimicked courses and that offered the opportunity to experience rides hundreds of miles away from where we live for quite some time. I do a ton of my riding on the trainer and while a trainer is a trainer is a trainer may be true….when we start to dream of the idea of riding courses from the comfort of your living room…and trainer is no longer just a trainer. The Wahoo Kickr caught my eye about a year ago when I stumbled across an ad for it on the sidebar of Facebook and took a little look-see. I had heard of the Computrainer and know several triathlete friends who frequent computrainer studios to ride courses and get these insane workout sessions with a few close friends on computrainers set-up in front of a large TV.  This seemed great in theory but in reality it really defeated the point of riding the trainer. The point for me of riding on the trainer is I can get a ride in during the wee morning or evening hours from the comfort of my home while not having to travel out into the cold or snowy roads to get to my ride. It also allows me to be present in my home with my family so if there is something that needs to be attended to I can pause my workout and take care of it before resuming. For me, when training for IMAZ last year and now for IMCDA I know that training will take me away from home plenty and riding on the trainer allows me to reduce some of that time away and even get a workout in while catching up on some of our shows together. So then of course you consider just owning your own Computrainer…but that just seemed so out of that obtainable level  that I never even really considered it as a possibility…when I stumbled across the Wahoo Kickr I fell hard and fast. The Wahoo Kickr  isn’t by any means “cheap” but was certainly more within the realm of my pocketbook than a Computrainer set-up and while the price tag is ALWAYS a consideration when making a purchase…even after just one true ride on the Kickr I am deeming it an investment well made.

As a cyclist (especially one with a die-hard cyclist husband) there are always going to be equipment and gadgets that catch the eye and seem awesome. Many of them we will likely own or minimally try out and that is only after my husband spends weeks perseverating on them and researching them and informing me of all the features that make it something “WE HAVE TO HAVE!” However, the Wahoo Kickr was MY discovery, which makes me a little giddy to begin with…in fact….my discovery is now being sold at the bike shop my husband works at simply because I mentioned it to them as something that they should carry. And guess what? They’re selling them (as opposed to having stocked a bunch and collecting dust on their ginormous boxes)!

So what was there to love sight unseen?

The price. $1099.00 is the going price (without discounts from your bike shop/race team/whatever). High yes…but not ungodly high and easily $600.00+ cheaper than the BASIC computrainer set-up.

The Design: I love the idea of a trainer that allows you to remove your back wheel. I feel like it’s such a waste to put 500 miles over the winter/season on your tires just grinding on a plate while you ride your trainer. This might not be a huge deal to everyone (and yes I know some people buy a cheap trainer wheel for their trainer rides) but the benefit of direct resistance–no tire to dampen the resistance is also noteworthy. You can’t beat the real feel of the Superfly Wheel. Plus, I think the lack of a back tire significantly reduces the noise level of the trainer simply because there isn’t that rubber on metal friction the ENTIRE time you’re riding.

Power: The Wahoo Kickr is a power meter…it calculates power during your rides. I have a Quarq so this wasn’t necessarily a selling point for me but we actually sold my husband’s Quarq to buy the Wahoo Kickr and it’s awesome that he will still be able to train with power when it really counts. Ultimately, the best place to have accurate power is on your trainer because you’re not going to be drafting in a pace line or having to worry about stop signs/red lights/traffic/etc…so completing a workout on the wahoo kickr, riding a course that you know or that is an appropriate fit for the workout you have planned will allow you the most consistent ride and best ability to hit your power marks. I always had a hard time doing my power tests on the road because there wasn’t any place where I could ride 20 minutes without turns, traffic signals or worry of traffic/turning vehicles but yet doing a power test on the regular fluid trainer I had just didn’t feel the same. I’m excited to do power tests this winter on the Wahoo Kickr.

Applications: Okay so this is the true selling point…The Wahoo Kickr uses applications on your iPad or iPhone (not included in price of trainer) and now some android compatible devices also, which it bluetooth connects with…to allow you to ride actual courses. There are plenty of applications and options (TrainerRoad, CyclopsVirtualTraining, VeloReality, Kinomap, PerfPro Studio, PeriPedal, iMobileIntervals) to get you started riding online databases of courses, designing your own courses and more! Some of these applications require a monthly subscription fee to access the videos and courses but many have free trials so you can play around and select the one that is best for you or you could always float around also…do a month or two on one app and then try out another. The prices are nominal (similar to your monthly Hulu or Netflix subscription…i.e., $6/month).

Course Options: So if riding courses isn’t enough…you can also import ANY data file from your favorite training program whether it be (listed on their website):

– MapMyFitness.com
– Runkeeper.com
– Nike+.com
– TrainingPeaks.com
– GarminConnect.com
– MapMyTracks.com
– 2Peak.com
– RideWithGPS.com
– dailymile.com
– Strava.com
– Dropbox.com
– MyFitnessPal

OR

upload files from your garmin itself (for instance, go out and ride your weekly group ride course and then save it for a rainy day)

and ride that course (without the visual feed) right from your living room. The options with this feature are ENDLESS. For instance, I have not found a video/course of IMCDA yet in my searches BUT I did locate someone who raced IMCDA last year and had a Garmin running. He was able to send me the garmin file and now I can ride the course anytime I want. Obviously having the video feed and being able to watch on your iPad or beam it up to your television via Apple TV, is nicer and lets you really feel like you’re on the course and riding outside, but there is definitely some merit in being able to experience the course one way or the other. Think about the benefits of being able to ride say the Battenkill Road race course all winter long from your living room and what confidence that would give you going into race day?! I expect the same confidence boost from being able to ride the IMCDA course on a regular basis (and obviously I will keep looking for a video feed to accompany the course).

Okay, so all that was fine and dandy and plenty enough reason to love the Wahoo Kickr in theory…but does it hold up? It is the real deal?!

YES!

Last night, with my Corned Beef and cabbage dinner simmering on the stove I hoped on the bike that was nicely strapped into the Wahoo Kickr and booted up a 19.6 mile course somewhere in Maryland on the Cyclops Virtual Training application. The elevation gain looked manageable (around 2000ft) and I set out for a ride. Within the first 15 minutes I was SPENT. In the past, I realize now, I chose to do trainer workouts because they are easy. Mentally hard, but physically easy. It’s flat. There is no wind. There’s nothing to think about but pedaling. That will not be the case any more.

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Not the best picture but a look at the set-up. iPad plays the course feed–this course I was riding with some guys from the Kelly Benefit Strategies team. Normally the view is from the road…right behind the pack you’re riding with but there are a few instances where there is an ariel cut. The side bar on the left shows your speed, distance, distance to finish, grade and power.

You hop on the trainer and don’t even think about your shifters (unless doing an interval workout or whatnot), but here I found myself having to shift every few minutes to accommodate the grade shifts in the course. There were some big (15+% grade) climbs on this course and I found myself in my smallest gears and out of the saddle trying to keep up (i.e., not autopause the course hah). I’d get to the top of a climb and find my HR higher than it’s been in weeks (maybe months) and feeling like I had legitimately just tackled and conquered these hills and mountains.

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When I finally got under 4 miles to go to the finish I was ecstatic! That same excitement that you get when you’re on a long ride outdoors and you start to recognize the landmarks and realize you’ve seen this before and must be headed back towards the car!

 

 

Anyone who knows me also knows I am a terrible shifter. I am forever in the wrong gear at the wrong time and dropping chains and all that fun stuff so I do think this will be helpful in that regards as well…I’ve certainly improved in this area in general since moving to NY out of necessity but it’s nice to not lose that feel over the winter while being stuck riding inside.

 

 

 

 

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Love the ability to ride inside AND get a good workout while still spending time with my family (even the furry members).

 

 

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The final climb to the finish…”ME” all the way at the bottom with the 18% grade looming…in my LIVING ROOM!

 

By the time I finished those 20 miles I felt more accomplished and spent than I have on any recent workout indoors or outdoors. I spent the last half of the ride giddy with excitement over the possibilities this new training tool lends to our training in general! For the price…I don’t think you can beat this as a training tool. To have power, natural resistance and be able to actually get a legit course ride in from in your living room to me seems pretty priceless at this point.

 

 

 

And there is only going to be more to come! They are currently finishing some programming on Zwift which is going to be a video game essentially that is played from your Wahoo Kickr (and other similarly enabled trainers) where riders can race head-to-head. My husband is amped up about that and while I’m not one for video games really…I can’t deny that that seems like a pretty cool way to get in some of those boring winter indoor miles and still get that competitive aspect of being out on the road or in a race.

While my husband should have waited till Christmas to bring home the Wahoo Kickr…I am excited to have the extra 6 weeks of training time on it and can’t wait to try out the other applications and software that is available! Keep in mind that this is just a review based on ONE ride on the Wahoo Kickr…but like I said before…I am SOLD on this baby and expect my new found love for a piece of bike equipment to grow as the miles pass by!

 

 

Meals on the Go: Mason Jar Salads Conceptualized

So I stumbled upon the idea of Mason Jar Salads many many months ago while browsing Pinterest or maybe saw it posted in one of my Home Organization Facebook pages that I am a member of but either way…I’ve had this idea of awesomeness planted in my brain for many moons and yet never got around to giving them a spin (and for all the stupidest reasons…like not being able to remember to look for Mason Jars while out at the stores).

My best friend used mason jars as part of her wedding centerpiece back in June and was talking about them randomly one day recently and how they were being stored at her parent’s house and I jumped on the opportunity to snag a few of those jars for my own :). However, I then had to wait until we saw each other to actually get them into my hands, which took us out another few weeks… I finally got them this week and was surprised by their size…I guess I hadn’t actually remembered what her centerpieces looked like but then again I didn’t really know what size jar you were supposed to use for these salads so I took them home and set to work searching on Pinterest for ideas. Turns out the smaller (1/2 pint) mason jars will work….but obviously will be a small salad) but the most commonly recommended size is the quart. Also….a valid point to make is that most of the reviews and tutorials that I read make a small note that “wide mouth” mason jars are better but I would like to make that a BOLD and HIGHLIGHTED note. It is exponentially easier to do this if you use the wide mouth jars so do yourself a favor and purchase the wide mouth mason jars!

Okay so I bought quart (wide mouth) mason jars at Walmart today (my best friend had given me 4 1/2 pint mason jars but while reading all these articles on Mason Jar Salads the ones she got me just looked so small and as if they wouldn’t work–more on that later). I got 12 I believe for $10.00 which I think was a decent price as even if I turn out to not love mason jar salads they have a million other uses anyways. I also went salad crazy while shopping for groceries today: cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, grape tomatoes, lettuce/spinach, cucumber, 2 types of salad dressings, feta cheese crumbles and fajita chicken strips. And I set to work as soon as I was home and had put away the other groceries. I decided to make 4 jars to start since it is already Wednesday night and I am not 100% sold on the 7-day guarantee.

The bottom layer is your salad dressing. A serving of salad dressing is 2-3 tablespoons so I actually measured out my serving of dressing for each jar. Make sure when you are pouring the dressing into the jar that you pour it in the center and it doesn’t splash up on the sides as that pretty much defeats the point. I decided to make 2 using a lite raspberry vinaigrette and 2 using a lite catalina. All the reviews say that vinaigrettes or thinner dressings are good options as they essentially pickle the vegetables that sit in the dressing. The creamy dressings work also but the reviews just indicate that the thinner dressings have a nice effect on the vegetables that sit in the dressing.

The Second Layer is your heavy and hearty vegetables such as cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and peppers. Not gonna lie…I used a bit of all of those vegetables in mine :). These vegetables are considered ones that won’t get “soggy” per say by sitting in the dressing for several days and ones that will pick up the flavor from the dressing nicely since realistically they will be marinating in the dressing. I went heavy on this level as I wasn’t planning to use much above this level and also because I realized now that the quart jars are very large and as such there is a lot of surface area to fill in order to keep the smaller items in the upcoming layers from falling down into the dressing. This layer is really the most important of all as it is what separates the dressing from the layers that would be adversely affected by the dressing.

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The Third Layer would be your lighter or less hearty vegetables. I didn’t use any of those this time around but this layer would have included corn, sprouts, green beans, mushrooms, zucchini, and avocado. This layer is a second layer of defense between the dressing and lettuce but ultimately you wouldn’t want these softer vegetables marinating in the dressing either.

The fourth layer is your pasta and grains. I don’t typically use pastas or grains in my salads but if you do this is where they would go. You could use pasta, rice, quinoa, or couscous at this layer. There are tons of options for this level.

The fifth layer is where you toss in the proteins and cheese! I don’t normally use anything in this layer either but I was inspired by some of the recipes I stumbled across while looking up mason jar salads and put in some fajita chicken (pre-cooked) and feta cheese crumbles to this layer.

The sixth layer is for your lettuce, nuts and seeds. This is the layer that you put the items that would wilt of get soggy if they were exposed to dressing. This is still YOUR salad so use whatever greens you would have used if making a regular salad. They all would work just the same. I used a mix of romaine and spinach (mostly because I couldn’t find any blend that I really wanted today). It seems like a unporportional amount of lettuce compared to all the other yummy goodies in the jar but I think I will prefer it that way anyways. I stuffed the lettuce/greens in and then put the cap and seal on the jars and tossed them (gently and while keeping them upright) into the fridge.


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I’m not gonna lie…I am STOKED to eat lunch tomorrow! I HATE preparing lunch each day…over the years I have looked for ways to streamline lunch making process from making multiple sandwiches at the start of the week to packaging snacks for the entire week in one sitting…but my best intentions to eat salads or other healthier options always failed secondary to having to put the time in every evening to prepare the next days lunch. I am hoping that this will work the way all the reviews indicate it will and that this will be a viable option for preparing nutritious and healthy lunches at the start of the week.

**Once I get into the swing of things with this I’ll report back on some A+ recipes…I did find some ones that looked particularly delicious but I wanted to give a basic salad a go to start 🙂

Paved with Good Intentions…

So I posted before I left for Texas about all the things I was going to do to insure that I didn’t miss my workouts and have a completely wasted week. I left for Texas with a whole week of good intentions planned and feeling very optimistic about staying on track. I quickly learned that this wasn’t to be….I didn’t sleep well from the very first night on…and the gym at the hotel did not open until 6am each morning…so while I was awake at 4:30 and 5:00am each day I couldn’t go down to the gym until 6am and often times that turned out to be too late (as our days started right around 6am almost all week long). I hadn’t been prepared for those additional obstacles and I let them get me down and block that road of good intentions. I only got in one actual workout the entire time I was in Texas.

That was a bit of a bummer…however, I was cognizant of that throughout and made a more conscious effort to move throughout the day. I wore my Fitbit One all week long and attempted to hit the 10,000 step mark minimally each day. By wearing my FitBit I was able to keep track of that pretty religiously and that certainly helped. (P.S. FitBit needs to come out with their new products ASAP. I’m sick of waiting for their new line and I am extremely disappointed by the vague “early 2015” release date they announced) In addition, I was extremely aware of my meal choices throughout the week. I stuck to my $20 a day budget (actually stayed closer to $15 each day) and only purchased dinners. I ate at the hotel for breakfast, choosing to eat a half of a waffle (belgian) or a half of a bagel and/or fruit each morning along with 26oz of water. For lunch I had PB on a bagel thin or something similar. Dinner I ate what I wanted in most cases but elected for healthier sides (corn on the cob vs french fries) and made sure to drink plenty of water (26-40oz) with the meal which helped me to keep from eating too much. I stepped on the scale when I returned home yesterday and was happy to see a .5 lb loss. Not as great as I would have hoped (but actually weigh in day is normally Wednesday) but it was a weird week and for not having worked out anywhere near what I had the previous weeks and for being on “vacation” I am happy to report a weight loss as opposed to a weight gain.

I’m nervous about the amount of endurance and cardio I lost especially with the upcoming races including a 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks, 5k in 2.5 weeks, 7k in 4 weeks another 13.1 miles in a little over a month and a 5-mile race right before Christmas. I have a big upcoming 6 weeks of races and I hope that my lack of running this week doesn’t throw me off terribly. I plan to jump back into my training plan full force tomorrow though and not let this past week even weigh on my mind. No point looking back…as we are always moving forward.

I’m happy to be back home and back to a routine but I have instantly been reminded that it is significantly easier to be on your own making healthy decisions than it is to be among friends/family when planning meals and making healthy food decisions. My husband and I are notorious for making poor food choices at home…especially when we have no groceries and need to pick up something quick. Since I was gone all week apparently grocery shopping was not a priority so I have yet to eat a home cooked meal since coming home and I won’t even mention what last night’s dinner was but just know it was not even remotely a healthy selection but it is what my husband was craving and I let that be an excuse for us both to eat it. That is something we both need to seriously improve on…just because I want Mexican or he wants pizza doesn’t mean we need to indulge. The biggest thing is that I feel like a bad wife/mean wife if I deny him the things he wants and I know he feels the same way so I think we need to think of ways to help each other be better partners by helping each other be more healthy and make better decisions. When we are in a meal planning routine it’s not as big of an issue but we all know there are times when we fall out of that routine.

Week of October 20th Recap

As I’ve detailed before, I keep a pretty intensive paper binder for tracking and organizing my workouts and planning out my season. When I was working with a coach I used training peaks and I did like that program and how at the end of the week you had a color representation of your success (green completed workouts indicating that you hit all your workout goals). However, since I am training largely without uploaded data at this point in time (not using my Garmin often) it seemed kind of counterproductive. Maybe once I get to training outside a bit more again I will get back on there to look at my actual files and data. But….I did want to have some evidence of my season here on my blog too so I am going to do a quick week recap.

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So this is what my week looked like….all in all I’m happy with how my week went. I was very disgruntled yesterday about missing my 25 mile bike ride but on the other hand I am VERY happy to have hit 26+ miles (I actually just realized I didn’t write in my actual completed run workouts as I went over my .25 and .50 mile on two of the runs) on my runs this week without much trouble at all. The bike I am not too too worried about because I will have plenty of time once the weather gets nicer to train outside. Over the Fall and Winter my goal for the bike is really to just get some consistent time in on the bike (and 2 times a week is far more consistent than 1 time every other week which is not far from the past reality for me). I am a swim procrastinator as you can see. I had scheduled to swim Monday and Friday’s as those are my early work days anyways and swimming in the morning really doesn’t entail me getting up significantly earlier than I would anyways. However, Monday’s are also what everyone expects a Monday to be…hard. And I ended up bailing on the early morning swim call and then successfully pushed it back until it couldn’t be pushed back any further (swim times are limited to school days)…but it got done and I call that success on most levels :).

This current week is going to be a struggle with traveling and all the added things I need to get done this week before I can leave that are threatening to get in the way of my workouts before I even begin my travels this week. But I am hoping to maintain some consistency and at least get most of my workouts in this week. This week is a scheduled lighter mileage week anyways so I have some optimism that I will be able to get it all in and done! Happy training all!

Run/Walk Workout #21: Scale New Heights

Warm Up

5 minutes or .25 mile walk/ez jog

Main Set

Repeat this entire set x# of times in order to achieve the desired mileage/distance

.25 mile ez run @~75%, 0.0-0.5 grade

.25 mile @ (1) 1.0% grade, (2) 1.5% grade, (3) 2.0% grade, (4) 2.5% grade

.50 mile @ ~85%, 0.0-0.5 grade

Warm Down

5 minutes or ~.25 mile walk/ez jog