Danksin Triathlon Race Shots!

Finding the next adventure!

Today I am sitting at my kitchen table with a big glass of red wine and box of crackers. Can you tell what kind of day I had? I am supposed to be cooking dinner shortly for Kevin and I, I am exhausted beyond belief. Work was physically exhausting and mentally draining today. More physical than mental. The good part about my job is that I'm constantly moving, the bad part about my job is that sometimes that means heavy or tough patients for extended periods of time. Being a physical therapist is a workout!

This morning I made it to the gym, first workout since my triathlon (read about it HERE). I did an easy elliptical workout, followed by a short 1 mile run. While I was running I was thinking about how much I've changed over the years. I realized that I finished my first 5K (Susan G Komen race for the Cure 2006) in the same amount of time that I finished the 5K during my triathlon. Which by the way was after a 1/4 mile swim & 12 mile ride with killer hills. Oh, and I just had major foot surgery 5 months ago, I've only been able to run for 21/2-3 months. While I'm still disappointed to not be able to get the mileage in since my endurance has decreased so much following the surgery, I'm amazed at what I can still do. I can't wait to tell my surgeon about it when I go to see him in a few weeks.

I'm inspired for my next adventure. Looks like the next major adventure is the New Orleans Rock N Roll Half Marathon. My college roomie is in! Now I'm checking to see if our 2 other friends from college are interested, and we can make it a reunion! One of them said she's not sure about the running, but is in for New Orleans.

Kevin was an awesome photographer for my triathlon this past weekend, but he was really quiet like something was bugging him. On the car ride home, he told me about how he feels like he's not a part of my lifestyle since he doesn't do any type of racing. He said he wants to do a triathlon, but isn't big into running. I thought maybe an Aquabike would be a good thing for him, he loves to cycle. I told him I don't want him to do it just because I do, but only if he really wants to.

Don't forget about my giveaway for a triathlon charm bracelet bead! Go HERE to check it out & comment to enter!

Off to finish dinner, good night!

Inspired Endurance Giveaway!

Some of you may know, that I'm in the process of making myself a pandora race bracelet. I'm getting a charm to symbolize every race I've participated in, but it has been a little tough. For example, I haven't found a turkey for my turkey trot that I do, and I'm using a color bead to represent my Hartford Half Marathon. I really wanted to find a special charm to represent my Triathlon, my biggest challenge so far.

Then, I stumbled across the site Inspired Endurance. They make gorgeous race jewelry, including customizable pieces, charm beads, necklaces, earings, everything. They have ones for runners, cyclists & triathletes. AWESOME! I contacted Marie at Inspired Endurance because I thought that this would be a place that would interest all of you, and she was generous to send me a beautiful triathlon charm for my bracelet to review and one to give away to one of you!

Swimmer, cyclist, & Runner around one bead

I want to start by saying that the customer service was amazing. Marie responded immediately to my email that I had sent, and sent out the charms wicked fast! I received them within 3 days, I love when items I'm looking forward to arrive quick. She did warn me that the charm was a little big on a pandora bracelet, but it looks great in between the wooden or colored beads. I waited to put mine on my bracelet until after my race, when I could call myself a triathlete. Right now I have it next to my breast cancer bead for my Susan G Komen 5K and I plan to put my blue Hartford Half Marathon bead on the other side. I absolutely love it ( and a ton of other things on their site), and am so happy to have it to celebrate my accomplishment!

My pandora charm bracelet

How to Win
6 chances to enter, please leave a separate comment for each

1. Mandatory- Be or become a follower
2. Link this contest on your blog
3. Add me to your blogroll
4. Post the link to this contest on facebook or twitter (1 for each)
5. Visit Inspired Endurance (HERE) & tell me what you would love to own!

    I'll select one random winner on October 4th! Good Luck!

Finished! Race Report Danskin Webster Triathlon!

Saturday 9/25/10 - Packet Pickup
Left at 10am for Webster! packed up the car, and picked up Debbie. For some reason the GPS took us through some backroads instead of the masspike, but we got there eventually. Picked up our packets at the tent, then went inside to get our swim caps and race tanks, and listen to the informational/motivational meetings held by some seasoned pro triathletes/ironwomen. They gave us some tips for things like putting on the swim cap, passing bikers on the road and making the transitions run smoothly. Got some free goodies, bought a couple Bondi Bands and a neoprene chip strap, then headed out to check out the course. We didn't get our swim in, but felt the water and confirmed wetsuits was a spectacular plan, and saw where we would swim and transition. After that we checked in at the hotel, drove around, went to the mall/killed time until dinner at Outback.

Sunday 9/26/10 - Race Day
Danksin Women's sprint triathlon
1/4 mile swim, 12 mile bike, 3 mile run

Getting marked up with my number
Woke up early, put the gear on and headed out of the hotel. I brought my own organic wheat bread, organic peanut butter, and bananas and made breakfast before we left. Headed the race site, where we had to park in the neighborhood across from the park and walk over. Thankfully I had Kevin to help me get my stuff over there. Got there a little after 5am, transition had just opened. Got a pretty sweet spot close to the bike enter & exit chutes.  We got marked up and laid out all our gear. I spied a bunch on the other girls to figure out what I was doing, how I should set up, etc. Heres what I came up with:

Running shoes, race belt, tank, cycle shoes, socks, sunglasses, glide, goggles. I put my helmet on my bike, and wetsuit over the bar. 6ish we put on the wetsuits and headed to the beach around 6:30 so they could give us last instructions before we headed out into the water. The swim didn't look too bad from the shore.

Me, Debbie & Barb geared up for the swim

My Swim wave

The water wasn't too cold, but I was definitely was glad to have the wetsuit on. I positioned myself to the right side, and back of my wave to start. Sally gave us a mantra to say to ourselves along the way. "I am a wicked good ::insert sport here::" I didn't use it too much on the swim, but definitely later on in the course.  Somehow I ended up at the front end of my wave, even though I felt like I was struggling. Every time I saw the buoy, I was praying it was the one for us to turn back to shore. I passed a few people on swim noodles, some people from the wave before me & the wave before that. I ended up finishing the swim in 11:46. As soon as I got out, I started to strip down, I ripped off my swim cap, goggles, and starting unzipping my suit. I saw Kevin on my left as I exited the water.

Coming out of the swim
I got to my transition spot, my legs a little wobbly. My feet were numb from the cold water. I saw Debbie at her bike stripping down too (she was the wave ahead of me), I finished peeling off my suit. I put on my socks and cycling shoes, headband, sunglasses, helmet, tank. I ate a couple sport beans, then headed out for the ride.

Not Going to Lie, the ride was TOUGH! The hills were worse than anything I've ever ridden on. I repeated my mantra "I am a wicked strong cyclist," up the tough parts. The worst hill, was so steep about 90% of racers walked their bikes up it. I am proud to say I rode the entire way. A couple other hills people walked up, I cruised (I mean struggled) by. We did have a couple downhills, mostly past mile 5. I found it tough to really pick up speed on the downhill while trying to maneuver around people. My back was killing me the second half of the bike, I knew it would cause me trouble in the run.The last leg of the bike overlapped with part of the run course, then it was back toward the beach. Saw Kevin on the way in, but he didn't catch a shot quick enough of me. My overall bike time was 53:19.

My back end as I raced by

Pink shirt in the back is me at transition
I got off the bike, my legs initially felt rubbery, feet still numb. I racked my bike, changed into running shoes, put on my race belt & grabbed a few sport beans and took off. There was no "run out" sign, so I thought I was going the wrong way & started to turn around, but the volunteers guided me in the right direction. Kevin met up with me along the start of the run for a few good pictures.
blowing kisses on my way out

I'm not gonna lie. The run was tough. Not too many hills, just a few little ones, but I was struggling hardcore. My legs left great. It was the left side of my low back & my lungs that felt like they were gonna die. My heart rate stayed around 171, as it had been for much of the race (not great!). After the 1 mile mark, I had to pull over to try & stretch my back, but it didn't work so well. I looped around at the halfway point, and a little after that, saw Barbie heading toward the halfway. I kept chugging along, checked my watch, I might actually make my 1:45 goal! I walked up one hill, then jogged the rest of the way. Realized that when I had longer strides, my back hurt less. Saw Debbie on her way to the halfway point on my way to the finish. Kevin caught me as I was almost to the finish.

Almost there!

Sprinted the last bit to the finish! My run time was 34:44. I was surprised that I wasn't going slower. Crossed the finish line, sweet! Barbie finished a couple minutes after me (her swim wave was one after me). Debbie finished a little after that, we got some food, then headed home with a new title of triathlete!

We finished!
1:45:28, 2:00:56, 1:42:38
Packing up & heading home
Overall I had so much fun! I'm not even feeling as sore as my half marathons. I think I'll be ok at work tomorrow (luckily my student will do most of the work haha), and I can't wait to brag!

My Overall Stats
Total time: 1:45:28
Overall place: 346/657
Athena Division place: 16/35
Swim: 00:11:46
Swim rank: 186
Trans1: 00:03:02
Bike: 00:53:19
Bike rank: 346
Trans 2: 00:02:35
Run: 00:34:44
Run rank: 422

Now it's time to start thinking about the next adventure. Planning my next half marathon with my college roomate. We're trying to pick one possibly near her in TN next spring, but are having a little difficulty figuring it out. My next race will either be the Hartford Half 5K or the Manchester 5 mile turkey trot on thanksgiving. I want to pick out a few more to round out the list until St Pattys Day race in march.

I'll post my first giveaway tomorrow to celebrate my triathlon finish! Early to bed tonight!

This is it!!

It's here! Race weekend!

I can't believe that this time has flown by so quickly. Not only does it seem like not that long ago that I had my bunion surgery (a little more than 5 months!), but it feels like yesterday that I decided to train for this race. Now after all those hours of training, and money spent on equipment, I am getting ready for an extremely "big" moment in my life. I can't wait to call myself a triathlete!

The race is Sunday morning. We decided to stay overnight nearby since we have to be out there for race packet pick up on saturday, and my friend debbie and I want to try and get a swim in at the lake the race is  at. We are leaving tomorrow morning around 10, will get there around 11/11:30 to get race packets and go to the seminars they are having on what to expect, etc. Then we will try to get in a swim before heading to the hotel. Haven't thought about dinner, maybe I should google healthy places to eat nearby.

Tonight, Kevin dragged me out to Oktoberfest in Springfield for an hour or so, and now we're back home so I can pack & get a good nights sleep. Check out my gear all laid out to pack, so I don't forget anything!

Now I haven't worked out since my double session on tuesday (AM run, PM outdoor ride), I've been reallly tired & busy. Hopefully its not too much of a taper? I'm sure it will all work out fine.

I will be back on either sunday night or monday to post results, pictures, race recap & announce the fabulous giveaway to celebrate my achievement! Wish me luck!

Big E!

Today is my WI day, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a loss of .5, down to 184.5. After the weekend I had with overeating (why does that always happen?) and lack of exercise I thought it would be a gain. I have been on track this week since I know my race is this weekend & I want to be feeling good. Tonight, I am hitting up the Big E with some coworkers. For any of you that don't know what that is, it is the biggest fair in New England. They have state buildings for all the New England states with food & products, and TONS of other fait like stuff. I am planning on some (organic) American Flatbread Pizza from Vermont (YUM!) and possible a beer, we'll see.  wish me luck!

I didn't make it to the gym yesterday morning (too tired) or evening, since I decided to go scrub shopping! It has been well over a year since I bought any new scrubs to wear to work, and a few were getting pretty ratty, so I went to the scrub store & bought 4 new pairs. Then I of course needed new shirts to go with them, so I ended up at the mall & hit the jackpot at Aerie. I had never been there before, but American Eagle's underwear/loungewear/sportswear store was great. Lots of fun colors and styles. I think I may need to head back there for some cute workout gear!

Hopefully I can drag myself out of bed for a workout tomorrow, race day is 3 days away!

What do you think?

After searching around online at flight prices for the A1A marathon in Ft. Lauderdale I started to get discouraged. Turns out that week is february vacation for schools and flight prices are through the roof. I decided to search for a race a different weekend & found THIS.

Flight prices are MUCH lower, and its a new place I've never been. Maybe its time to spread the word to my friends and see who else is interested? I always thought the Rock N Roll series would be fun & it is fabulous that it supports the American Cancer Society. Have any of you run a race in this series? If so, what did you think, worth it?

Help a Runner Out!

I want to start off by mentioning that fellow runner Courtney at Run Courtney Run is fundraising with Team in Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. As a fundraiser she is having a MEGA raffle with TONS of fabulous running and fitness goodies HERE. She still has $1600 to raise by Sept 27, so please help her out & donate a tax deductible gift to a great cause, and possibly win yourself some goodies!

Today has been a good training day. This morning I woke up for a short speedwork run at the gym doing intervals. Tonight after work, I seriously contemplated going scrub shopping instead of out for a bike ride.  Then I thought I remembered the forecast picture from the news showed rain tomorrow. So home I went to go on my ride, maybe scrub shopping tomorrow. 12 mile ride, with a bunch of stops at lights & a stop when I almost lost my water bottle and cage.

Time for Gossip Girl from last night and a shower, then Biggest Loser Premier! night!

Give it another try

I've never been the type of person to just give up. I was really bummed after saturdays wetsuit trial. When my friend Deb suggested I skip out of work early today, and we go swimming again, I adjusted my mondays schedule and told my boss I had an "appointment." We wanted to go to a lake/pond that was closer than the last one, and ended up driving out to Belchertown, but the pond was closed for the season to swimmers. We ended up at the pond in Ludlow we thought was off limits because of the boy who died earlier in the summer. But when we got there, there were no signs to steer us away, and I quickly stuffed myself into my wetsuit & in we went. Now, I should mention that I googled some help on open water swimming tips and talked with the ironman physicians assistant that I work with. I tried to relax & swim easy, and guess what? It worked! I felt sooo much more comfortable swimming and I feel so much better for sunday. I'm hoping that we can get a little practice in on saturday at the race site too.

This morning I went for a gym run. It was actually a nice morning, I considered running outside. I decided that since I would need to put my fuel belt together, and I was short on time, it wasn't worth it. I managed 30 min of running at 5.8mph with only 1 rest break walking halfway through. Felt great after the finish!

Checking over my work schedule, I noticed that I am only on for backup the day of the Hartford Half Marathon, so I am thinking that I could make it to the 5K. They have a new course this year, with the Full, Half & 5K all starting from the same start. My brother & friend Ashley are running the Half, so it would be good to cheer them on too. My goal in the next 2 weeks is to pick out a list of races to do over the fall, winter, and early spring.

Stay tuned this week for a wonderful giveaway that all you triathletes would appreciate!

tougher than I thought...

Saturday morning I packed my "tri" bag (I'll take a picture of it during race weekend), got my wetsuit & bike ready, and jumped in my friend Barbie's ride. She drove me & my friend Deb to Russell pond for our first open water swim. We shimmied into our wetsuits, grabbed the goggles, and waded out into the water. Brrr! a little chilly, but not unbearable. The wetsuit was so buoyant (I went with the ORCA one), and warm, I felt pretty good. There was a small swimming area, so we decided to swim laps in it. Let me just say, open water swimming is a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I felt like I was working so hard, in fact my heart rate was skyrocketing up there. When I got home, I googled some tips, and basically what I got out of it was to try and swim as effortlessly as possible and not worry about speed. I'm going to creep out of work early tomorrow (3pm) since my caseload is light, so we can all go practice another open water swim.
Me, Deb & Barbie after our swim!

The roads around the pond made us nervous to ride on. Narrow, sharp, winding roads with steep hills. Barbie mentioned a park nearby, so we went there. Unloaded the gear from the car, and Barbie had a flat. She decided to run while Deb & I rode. Problem was, the area was so flat, and filled with people we  felt like we couldn't really work hard enough or pick up enough speed to get anything out of it. We took off a little while later for home.

Overall I'm reallly glad we went with the wetsuits! and I definitely need to get some more runs in. I had to work all day today, but I am going to the gym in the morning for a run, maybe a ride too. Especially since I just ate a mint chocolate chip sundae with reese's pieces my roomate brought me home.

I decided today that I really wanted to make something with Quinoa. I have a HUGE bag of it I bought at Costco that has barely been used. I just don't have any recipes for it. I googled around and settled on this...
Quinoa & Butternut Squash Gratin 
by Stephanie Gallager (HERE)
8 servings, 5 points each

what you need
1 20oz. package of peeled & cubed butternut squash or 1 1/2 # whole
1 cup organic quinoa
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil divided
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp shallots
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1 slice italian bread
salt & pepper to taste

Make it

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg F
2. For pre-cut squash, pierce package with a fork and microwave for 4-5 minutes until tender. If using a whole squash, peel & cube, and place into plastic bag and seal. pierce with a fork and microwave as above.
cooking in the saucepan
3. Rinse quinoa and place in a large saucepan with squash, water & salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 min. Until all water is absorbed and quinoa blooms into spirals.
4. Meanwhile heat 1 Tbsp olive oil, with shallots for 3 min. Add garlic and gook 2 min. Pour over quinoa and squash, mixing thoroughly. Add egg substitute, 3/4 cup of the cheese, salt & pepper to taste.
5. Transfer to baking dish. Pulse bread in a food proccesor or blender until bread crumbs form. Sprinkle remainer of cheese and bread crumbs over the gratin. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil.
finished result
6. Bake 35-45 min until top is golden brown

I thought it was delicious, I love butternut squash. It was just enough cheese, and the quinoa combination was just fabulous. This will make for excellent leftovers after my swim tomorrow night. Wish me luck!

Why Tri?

As I've detailed in a previous post, I started learning to run because of marathon weekend at Disney World & my desire to get that elusive mickey mouse medal. Probably a year after my running journey began, I head about triathlons. It sounded like a challenge. I had been a lifeguard for 5 years in my college years, and was a pretty strong swimmer, and now I was a decent runner, but one thing was missing. I didn't know how to ride a bike!

Well, I knew how to ride a bike, but I hadn't ridden one since my early biking days as a kid, when I had a white with grey & pink splatter painted Huffy that I rode around the neighborhood. I couldn't even decide if a triathlon would be for me, since I didn't even currently own a bike. I put a triathlon on my "to-do someday" list, and moved on with my running. Last year, I started seriously thinking about it again, but the bike thing was really getting to me. I decided to buy a road bike & woah, did I realize they were expensive!   I wanted at least a year to learn to ride it before trying to do so in a race type setting.

I was not anticipating a triathlon this year. I rode my bike once in april, then had major foot surgery April 19. I was in a special boot, unable to fully weight bear for 2 months, out of work for 3 months. I was originally told that I wouldn't be able to run for 6 months (I had a small panic attack & cried), but I started at an easy jog about 10 weeks post op. As I worked up my jogging, I started looking for a 5K to do in august or september. When I had trouble finding one, I happened to peek at the Danskin Triathlon website which I had visited in the past & realized they had the new england race in late september.

I figured since biking & swimming were low impact activities on my foot, the running combined with them would be ok. I contemplated signing up for a week, then bit the bullet & signed up for my first Triathlon! While I've spent a lot of money, and maybe haven't trained as much or as hard as I would have liked, I'm really excited for it all to be here.

I'm a competitive, goal oriented person. Having races to look forward to motivates me. I like having that deadline, the knowledge that someone is waiting for me to finish a race. Now lately, I'm motivated by all of you keeping me on track (don't count the cake I had at lunch today!).

I'm off to pack for my practice run tomorrow. I tried on my wetsuits and came up with a winner, I'll update you all tomorrow on that, and how the rehearsal went!

Where to go next?

Yesterday I had a great run. I ran at 5.8mph on the treadmill, which is faster than my speed pre-surgery. Maybe my bad foot was holding me back before? I was wicked tired this morning & skipped my morning scheduled brick, which means I DEFINITELY have to get up tomorrow no matter how tired I am. I did WI today, at 185 again, no change from last week. After the foodie weekend I had, I'm lucky. I need to work harder this week.

Heres this weeks journal, didn't track every day....

Tomorrow, I want to talk a little about what got me interested in running and triathlons, since people have asked me a bit of that lately. Also a little about the race (where it will be, the distances, etc).

Kevin and I talked about our next vacation this past weekend. We both love to travel, our favorite places so far being our most recent trip to Cancun, Mexico & our Royal Caribbean cruise we took almost 2 years ago. What tops our list?
  1. Southern Cali - we have a friend in San Diego we'd love to visit
  2. Mediterranean cruise - LOVE to go to greece, italy, spain, turkey!
  3. Australia
  4. Aruba - Hoping on this for the Honeymoon
  5. Another cruise to anywhere
  6. Florida is always a cheap option for us
Hopefully we can save up a little cash & book a trip somewhere for this winter. We usually try to go away once in winter or once in summer. Last winter we went to Disney with a large group of friends for marathon weekend, where he cheered us on to complete the half & we all cheered on our friend Ashley who did the full. I love getting out of new england!

Kevin is making dinner now, Teriyaki chicken burger from Stephanie Cooks (a different Stephanie, not me!) check them out HERE . off to eat, YUM!

11 days left until it counts!

Skipped my morning workout today. Yesterday I hurt my back at work lifting a patient, and I was hoping  that with a little ice & sleep it would feel better in the morning. No such luck, and since I didn't want to completely throw my back out with 11 days until race day, I slept in. Luckily at work, said patient moved a little better and one of my coworkers was able to put me back into alignment. Tomorrow I am planning on a swim and a little strength training.

Lucky for me after all the wetsuit drama, I got my shipping confirmation emails from both companies with the estimated arrival for both on friday. Just in time for my wetsuit trial! Now, we are trying to figure out where to do our trial. Originally, we were going to swim at a pond in Ludlow, but they aren't letting swimmers in since a boy drowned there. We're still looking for a new place to go.

I stepped on the scale today for a peek (I know I shouldn't but I can't help it!), and I was happy to still see the 185 from last week. Now, I still have a few days to drop it lower for a loss on weigh in day. I feel like nutrition wise I have been doing pretty well, I need to keep up on the exercise and stay focused on my training.

On that note, I made a yummy dinner tonight. Eggplant Parm with eggplant & basil from my backyard garden!
Delicious dinner!
   Eggplant Parmigiana 
from weight watchers
4 servings, 3 points a serving (I had 2 tonight!)

what you need
1/3 cup seasoned breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp italian seasoning (I also added fresh basil)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 medium raw eggplant
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 cup canned tomato sauce (I used homemade organic)
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

How to make it
1. preheat oven to 350 deg, coat 8x8 baking dish & cookie sheet with cooking spray & set aside.
2. Combine bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, italian seasoning, and garlic powder in a medium bowl & set aside. Remove skin from eggplant and trim off ends. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices.
3. Dip eggplant first into egg whites and then into bread crumb mixture. Bake eggplant on cookie sheet until lightly browned, about 20 minutes.
4. Place a layer of eggplant on bottom of baking dish, then add 1/3 of tomato sauce & 1/3 of mozzarella cheese. repeat with 2 layers in same order. Bake until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling, about 10 minutes more. Slice into 4 pieces and serve!

Now, I'm sitting back, enjoying a glass of wine, DVR of bachelor pad & dating in the dark & planning my weekend. Have a good night!

Wetsuit Anxiety....

Today began like any other monday. Scratch that, like a monday should be since I actually made it to the gym this morning. I got in a great 20 min speedwork run, working on intervals of 7.0 with recovery at 5.5. Did the elliptical a little after since I had more time for a total of 500 calorie burn. Had a good breakfast, packed a good lunch and everything was going ok......

 That is until my friend Debbie who is doing the triathlon with me (not the preggers one), informed me that the wetsuit rental was really $40/weekend & not $30/weekend, as we were originally told. Since we were planning on a run-through this weekend with wetsuits, that would be an $80 total. She told me she looked online & ended up buying one for about the same price. I started to panic! I've already bought so much for this one race. I do plan on doing more Triathlons in the future, but I really did not want to add any more expenses. But paying $80 for something you don't even get to keep seems, well kind of stupid to me. So I came home & panicked. Luckily my friend Amanda(triathlete) & Brian(Ironman) were online, and helped me narrow the field down to 2 wetsuits.

Xterra Volt

                                        Orca Wetsuit

I was in a panic from 5:30pm when I got home from work, until 7:45pm when I actually placed my order. A good chunk of that time was asking my friend Amanda more general Triathlon questions since she has completed the same course I'm about to do. Which one did I order? I ended up ordering both, then I will return the one I don't like or doesn't fit. The trouble is, since I decided so late in the game to buy one, I had to pay LOTs extra to ship the Xterra, The Orca did ship for free. I need them by friday to decide which I want to use for the practice run on saturday. I still feel slightly panicky... did I make the right decision? I'm worried about fit for a chubby girl like me, and the pink one is super cute, they ended up being around the same price after adding on the Xterra shipping fees. wish me luck!

I didn't even eat dinner until 7:45pm, after the orders were placed. I'm probably under points, even though I chowed some Popchips Barbeque Potato Chips, but I didn't bother to count, & now I'm too stressed to bother. I need to unwind so I can sleep tonight and get to the gym for another run in the morning. Hill workout tomorrow!

Amazon Sale!

Just wanted to alert you guys about an email I received from Amazon.com. They're having a big fall sale, and looking at the fitness gear, they have everything on sale from yoga mats, clothes, and equipment. My recommendations? Foam rollers, moisture wicking clothes, and a yoga mat for stretching. Visit the sale HERE. I do get a very small percentage of items that you buy, which will help to fund our first giveaway! enjoy the goodies :)
J Fit 36-Inch Extra Durable Hi-Density Foam RollerYogaAccessories (TM) 1/4'' Extra Thick Deluxe Yoga Mat - Dark Purple

Babies & cocktails...

Babies. It seems like just as the weddings are slowing down, the baby showers begin. Today I spent the morning at brunch with my work girlfriends for Debbie's baby shower. I had plenty of Bellinis, an omelet, potatoes, and fruit, plus a little dessert.

All the current & former Healthsouth girls

The preggers & Me!
Came home tired, and decided on a nap instead of a run. Plus who wants to run after downing a bunch of cocktails at 11am? Tomorrow is another day! I managed to make it to the grocery store to get supplies for some healthy eating this week.

Its the final 2 weeks before the triathlon. My focus is going to be on running this week, since I feel like that is my problem area. I haven't done a swim in almost 2 weeks & I'm hoping to fit one in wednesday morning. I'm starting to think about my packing list since I'm doing a dry run on saturday, I figure I'll do a dry run with the checklist & packing too. Heres what I have so far:
  • compression shorts, sportsbra to start
  • wetsuit
  • cycling/running tank
  • long sleeve race top in case its cold
  • cycling shoes
  • running shoes
  • flip flops
  • goggles
  • body glide
  • socks
  • towels
  • small bowl for water
  • racing sunglasses
  • hairclips, ponytail holders & elastic headbands
  • post race clothes
  • waterbottles
  • sport beans
  • fuel belt
  • bike
   Anything else you can think of?

I am the blog of the week at Forward Foot Strides! Check out Katherine's site for fabulous giveaways & running words of wisdom.

New Tri wear?

I decided that after my post on exercise yesterday, I HAD to get up and fit in a good workout today. I decided to do an outdoor bike-run brick since I haven't done one outside yet, and it is a beautiful day (the downside of training at 5am is indoor training). I laid out my running shoes & fuel belt by my front door. I put on my tri suit (long sleeve over top for the bike), got my racing shades, helmet, shoes, bike & water bottle, and headed out for a ride. I did 10.36 miles, slower paced because I hit a TON of stop signs/lights, and there was a lot of traffic. I came home, stashed the bike in the garage, changed my shoes, put on my fuel belt, and off I went. Even though I huffed & puffed through my run, I came home to map it out and was pleasantly surprised to see I went almost 2 miles at a 10:17 pace, which is pretty quick for me. I'm glad I did the bike-run outdoors, it was good to practice that transition. My legs felt great, just the endurance that is still working its way back.

getting ready to head out

Came home and made myself a Banana Almond Smoothie from Jillian's Master Your Metabolism Cookbook which I love. Banana, milk, almond butter, flax feed, vanilla & ice. delish.

I decided something about my outfit. I LOVE my TYR compression shorts. But the top, I just don't feel comfortable in. I was running and I felt like all my fat was just pouring over the top of my fuel belt. I know the tank is meant to be tight, and I am working on losing the weight, but I just felt disgusting. Now that I am swimming in a wetsuit, I think underneath it I will wear a sports bra & the compression shorts, then put on a tank or tee for the bike/run after. Any suggestions? My coworker has Women's UA HeatGear® Tank Tops by Under Armour  & they are cute, so I'm thinking of checking those out. Maybe a field trip to Dicks Sporting Goods is on my agenda today. Also wondering what people wear for underwear during the race? do they go without? Since I'll be swimming are there kinds that dry quickly? advice appreciated.

Last night I went to Brewfest with Kevin & our friend Evan. $30 admission for all you can drink samplings of over 20 microbrews. I told Kevin I would be the responsible one and drive. I probably had 4-6 samples, and Evan made us these fabulous "pretzel necklaces", which people kept trying to buy off us. Afterwards I drove them to taco bell (don't worry I didn't get anything, YUCK!), and we went to Evan's house for a quick dip in his hot tub before heading home.
Beer & Pretzels 
Tonight I have nothing extravagant planned. Maybe we can get some takeout sushi or something and relax. You may have noticed a couple changes on my blog. The first is, since I've been browsing through other blogs of other inspiring people, I have found a few that do giveaways for fitness & running equipment. I want to share those with you, since everyone loves free stuff, so check them out on the right side of the page. The other part is, that I want to be a blog that does giveaways too! Maybe thats a lofty goal, but I want to share some of the fabulous products that are out there with you guys. You may see some advertising on my site now, pretty much I have signed up for this as a way to make some money to begin funding giveaways. So when you click on a advertisement in my blog, it helps me earn money to pass along goodies to you guys. Also, having more followers, or visitors will entice people or companies I am hoping to supply us with some fun stuff. Don't be concerned, I'll still be blogging about all the same things, but isn't a freebie every now & then awesome? Have a fabulous saturday!

More Pain = More gain?

This week I wanted to talk about exercise.  Everyone has heard that exercise is an important part of living a healthy and active lifestyle. The American Heart Association recommends getting 30 minutes of moderately intense activity daily. As the next season of Biggest Loser begins, we know that the torture Bob & Jillian put them through is a big chunk of how they lose the weight. I know that eating healthy, and keeping portions smaller are big parts of the picture, but so is exercise.

Lately I've seen a few posts on the Weight Watchers 20s board on getting started with exercise. Asking about running habits, C25K, zumba, biking, etc.  I think when you are first getting started, people get discouraged if they can't do a lot. The way I think of it is, if you are walking 20 min a day now, that's 20 min more exercise than you were getting before! Start slowly & talk with your doctor before starting if necessary. With my profession in life, being a physical therapist I know that certain physical impairments can make exercising difficult, but exercise is good for everyone. It is what I preach to my patients every single day. Start with what you can & increase from there. Get support from your doctor, a physical therapist or a personal trainer if needed.

I never really exercised until college. Well, I was a cheerleader in high school, but I was a HEAVY person. At college my best friend and I discovered the gym and dropped some weight. I never thought that I could be a runner. I HATED to run. When I was at Disney World January 2006, and saw everyone walking around with their post race medals, I just had to have one. I promised myself that I would get back home & learn to run. I also rejoined weight watchers after that trip.

I started running a little at a time. 1 minute run, a couple to rest, then increased it as I could. That spring I ran my first 5k, about 3 months after starting running & I finished in under 36 min. That lead to a few more 5ks, then I signed up to do the Hartford 1/2 marathon in 2007. Unfortunately due to family issues,  I ended up skipping out on it, but decided to run in the Kona 1/2 marathon in june of 2008 with Train to End Stroke. A cause I'm passionate about because of my family & my work, I raised over $5,000 & with the help of the program & my trainer at the gym finished my first half marathon. Since then I've complete 2 other half marathons and have been training for my first triathlon.

Now, with all that running and exercising you may wonder, "why is she still struggling with her weight?" For me, weight control is always a tough thing to deal with. My nutritional balance varies where sometimes I'm right on track, and then I'll go completely off program for a few months. Sometimes, I just don't have the motivation to work out. I LOVE exercise, and I feel great afterwards, but sometimes I get in a slump where I'd rather just sleep in. I'm in a slight slump this past week.

I skipped my workout this morning. My race is creeping up (2 weeks away!), and I should be more focused than ever, but I find myself dragging. My goals this week:
  • Get in all my scheduled workouts
  • Eat clean & healthy when possible (track it allllll)
  • Get to sleep earlier at night
  • Not let stress get the best of me
Tonight we are heading to Brewfest (fabulous microbrews), then hot tubbing at a friends house. Tomorrow I have an unexpected day off, so I'm planning an extra workout I think. Maybe all 3 sports even. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend filled with exercise and fun times!

Also check out Running Diva Mom's blog for a fuel belt give away!

And..... Keep on Keeping On for a giveaway on the most stylish way to display your race medals! If I don't win, I think I'll have to buy one!