Tuesday, April 30, 2013

RTC Sprint Recap ...

Date: 4/27/2013
Location: Richmond, VA
Weather: 53 degrees and sunny
Time: 1:18:12
Swim Split: 7:54 (400m)
T1: 2:13
Bike Split: 40:00 (20K)
T2: 1:23
Run Split: 26:44 (5K)
Category Place (Athena): 1/8
Gender Place: 50/161

The Good:

The Course: The RTC Sprint had a new venue and race course this year and I went into the race not knowing much about it. The pool swim was amazing. The bike course was flat to rolling. And the two loop run course was flat and fast. It was a racer's (and first timer's) paradise, as long as you were cool with the open water style pool swim.

The Swim: I know a lot of people dread pool swims, but the RTC Sprint brought a new twist to the swim. The course mimicked an open water swim.

the first wave making the first turn ...

Buoys were set up in a 7'7" pool and swimmers were sent out in waves of 10 every 30 seconds.

That me waiting to start ...
And we're off ...
This format replicated an open water swim very well (face kicks and all) and I hope to see it at more events.

My Splits: Other than my transitions, I raced really well. Going into the event, I expected that I would finish between 1:20:00 and 1:25:00. But, after I came out of the water ahead of my seed time, I decided to ignore the clock (I didn't race with my Garmin) and push myself. Ultimately, it paid off and I finished in 1:18:12 feeling crazy confident about Rev3 Williamsburg Olympic in June.

That's my "I just killed it" smile ...

Winning: I was totally psyched to find out I had won the Athena division and taken home this sweet bling.

But, I was even more excited to see that I would have finished 7th out of 23 in my age group as well. I'm pretty sure I've never placed that well before.

My new kit: Thanks to an early morning hand delivery, I was lucky enough to be the first member of Team Rev3Tri to rock our 2013 race kits.

They're pretty badass, right?

The Bad:

Mounting and Dismounting: It's no secret that I am not a master of cycling. In fact, I really struggle on downhills and turns (they scare me). And I can't seem to get the knack of mounting and dismounting with any sort of speed. Need proof? My average on the bike was 19.2, but when you add in the time that it took for me to run to and from transition and to get on an off my bike, my average was brought down to 18.6. Obviously, I need some work.

Transition: My other major time suck was transition. In T1, I couldn't decide what to wear on the bike so I put everything I had on and then immediately decided to take it all off. Add that to the battle I had with my socks and I could have easily shaved 45 seconds to a minute off my T1 time.

And if we're being honest, I wasted a good 30 seconds in T2 eating and drinking. I didn't want to die on the run, so I figured I had better refuel a little. I know I probably would have been fine without anything, but I didn't want to kick myself later.

The Ugly:

Ugly? Yeah, there was nothing ugly about this day ...

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

one size fits none ...

On most days, you can find me in workout gear. It doesn't matter if I actually have or plan to workout. I live in spandex and I am OK with that.


You see, every once in a while, I need to dress like a responsible human being. I have meetings. And events. And appointments. And not every occasion calls for sweat-wicking compression gear.

When these occasions arise, I have a few outfits I rely on. Most of them include a pair of jeans that I have been holding onto for seven years (they've been discontinued for that long). The rest utilize a pair of slacks that I love for their vibrant color. Until I started training for Cedar Point FullRev, these pants fit me perfectly. Then over the course of the last 10 weeks, my quads grew by two inches to 24 inches around, which if you ask me is just insane. I know know people who have waists that size.

Anyway, thanks to my monster quads (and my own internal demons) I really started to hate the way my clothes were fitting. And then there was the issue of all of my shorts, which had now become suctioned to my thighs. Things were getting ugly in my closet and it was beating me up. Bad.

Instead of trying to come to terms with clothes that I now hated, I decided to just suck it up and by some new ones. I went in with high hopes. I figured I'd size up from a 6 to either an 8 or a 10. No biggie.

But, it was a biggie. I gathered every style of shorts in the store in both a size 8 and a 10 and headed to the fitting room. I started with the 8s. I pulled them up and buttoned. Despite fitting throughout the butt and leg, I was uncomfortable with the crease they were creating at my midsection. So, I did the obvious thing and sized up to the 10. When I put them on, they were noticeably looser in the butt and leg (giving me complete saggy ass), yet there seemed to be little to no difference at the waist.

Frustrated and knowing that sizing up to find the waist fit that I was comfortable with would leave me with a horrible fit elsewhere, I walked out defeated.

Then, as I was about to leave, I turned towards the men's section. I looked at my mom and said, "It would be insane for me to try on men's pants, right?" She said, "No," and I went searching for a pair that I might be able to pull off.

Five minutes later, I was walking out of the store with two pairs of men's shorts. I was happy to have clothes that fit and completely demoralized that I had to shop in the men's department to make it happen.

Now, here's the thing. I know I don't have a "typical" body type. I have no waist. I never have and never will. Honestly, I am a sizing nightmare (if you go by standard women's sizing). My chest measures 37". My waist (at the smallest part) measures 34.5" and my hips measure 37.5". I'm proportional. If you like straight lines.

The thing is with women's sizing I am all over the board. Just look at this chart. It assumes that you have a waist and thus, clothes are cut for people who have a waist. People not like me.

See? On this (and most) charts, I fall between a 4 and a 6 based on my hips and I am a 16 based on my waist. How is that even possible? And why aren't designers/stores offering more things in an athletic cut? I can't possibly be the only one with this body type.

Now look at the men's sizing for the same store.

It's cut and dry. No messing with hip size. You just find your waist and go. Which isn't really even accurate, since my waist measures between a M and a L, yet the shorts I left with were a size 31, which is actually a small. So apparently, I am an XL woman or a S man. Makes total sense to be.

Do you have sizing issues like me or are you actually able to put on a pair of skinny jeans and go?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Flying Pirate Half Marathon Recap

Date: 4/14/2013
Location: Kill Devil Hills, NC
Weather: 55 degrees and sunny at start
Official Time: 2:10:45
Unofficial Time (a.k.a. Moving Time): 2:07:10 (I chilled in the bathroom for a while)

The Good:

Girl's Weekend: This race had been on my schedule since last September when Kim suggested it to G, Erika and me. Within moments, it became a Girl's Weekend. When we weren't racing, we were catching up, learning about Virginia and North Carolina history, eating and exploring the sights.

Our attempt at a self portrait at Cape Hatteras Lighthouse ...
A trip to the beach ...
Our accommodations, courtesy of G ...

The very fancy packet pick up ...

It was awesome and I loved every second I got to spend with these ladies. Seriously, who says you can't meet people on the internet?

Z2: Due to some unforeseen issues (more in a sec), I was not able to pick up the pace as I had hoped to. However, this race turned into the perfect Z2 training run. I ran controlled and consistent and I could have ran for much longer. Sure it was a racing fail, but it was a training success.

The Course: I loved this course. Like super loved this course. The first nine miles or so were flat and shaded. The next three miles were on "packed" dirt/sand. For the most part I didn't mind this or the rolling hills that accompanied it. Then there was the last mile. Pure torture. But, since I loved the first 12 miles so much, I'm just going to ignore that the final mile ever happened.

The Bling: I'm kind of obsessed with it.

Finishing: Thanks to "The Ugly" part of this race, I was ready to be done. The last mile and stomach cramps had me praying to be done. Plus it meant, I got to hang with these ladies again.

The Bad:

Costume Contest: There was a costume contest associated with this race. When I saw it mentioned, I thought nothing of it. After seeing the epic things people come up with as running costumes here in Richmond, I didn't think we could ever stand a chance. But I was proven wrong. It was nothing but a lame fest. The four of us could have easily won and shared this trophy throughout the year.

The Drive to the Start: G was awesome and hosted us at her dad's place in Buxton. Unfortunately, we didn't look at how far Buxton was from the start of this point-to-point race. Not that it would have really made a difference, but I would have loved a later wake up call.

Bathrooms: There were too few (and too far between) on the course. Some days I might not have cared, but this day it was my biggest grievance. Water stops weren't much better.

The Ugly:

Mile 13: Let me say this again, I loved this course. Mostly flat in the first half. Gentle rollers in the second. But mile 13 was a nightmare. Picture a narrow trail with light to moderately packed sand covered in pine needles and then add hills. It was slow going. And ugly.

Bathroom Issues: Honestly, sometimes being a female sucks. Just prior to the start of the race, I was hit with my period and some serious cramps. Unsure as to whether or not the cramps were caused by my new "running mate" or by a need to use the bathroom, I started the race. By mile two, I knew I needed to find a bathroom. When I got the opportunity (between miles four and five), I thought the feeling had mostly passed and I would be fine. Little did I know, I was severely mistaken. I thought there would be a bathroom at the mile six water stop, but I was wrong.

I started contemplating asking spectators if they happened to be close to home and if I could use their bathroom. There was no where to duck off the course and honestly, without toilet paper, I really didn't want to. Right around that time, I saw G on her bike coming the opposite way.

Immediately after my first bathroom stop. I was feeling much happier then.

I yelled, "When was the last time you saw a bathroom?" She said she thought it was at about mile eight - over a mile away. It turned out the bathroom was at 8.6 and it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen. A few minutes later, G caught me exiting.

Too bad this isn't closer. I was totally making a frown face.

I felt much better, but I knew I was going to need another bathroom, which unfortunately didn't show up on the course until mile 11. The rest of the day was merely a continuation of my stomach troubles, when I got home (feeling completely off) I took my temperature and was running a 100.4 fever. Guess it wasn't my day.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Three Things Thursday ...

Training and Blogging - I've thought a lot about chronicling my training for Rev3 Cedar Point here. But every time I consider it, I walk away thinking, "I wouldn't want to read a recap of every single workout someone else does, so why would I want to do the same thing with my own?" Ultimately, I end up walking away from my computer and writing nothing. Honestly, things are pretty ho-hum around here. No drama. No excitement. No fails or big wins. I am just coasting along at this point. The training during this base period (which ends in one week) is very comparable to what I do year-round. Other than the fact that I am living in Z2 for all of my workouts, things are pretty much status quo.

Skewed Perception - Sometimes I wish I was a kid. Not because they are young and carefree, but rather because they've yet to have their views tainted by the world around them. Everything is fresh and new and honest to them.

For the past few months, I have been doing my best to eat a ton, well, at least enough to keep up with my training, which is growing increasingly harder as my volume builds. Anyway, despite all of the training and mostly clean eating I do, I can't drop a single pound I have gained over the last 18 months. In fact, I've gained more. I've stopped going on the scale, because I don't want to know what it says. I hate how my clothes fit, even though I'm still wearing pretty much all of the same clothes I always have. It's defeating.

I know the logical arguments. Trust me, I do. But, that doesn't make it easier to take in.

But, yesterday, I got a kick in the pants from Dizzle. She was home sick from school and we were talking about subjects that interest us. She said rocks and gems. I said nutrition and exercise. Then she turned to me and said, "I know you like those things Mommy. It's probably why you are so skinny."

Huh? It's not the first time she's said that to me recently. It's just the first time I actually heard her. She can see me better than I can. It kind of make me think again.

Hanging with Dizzle earlier this week ...

I started to notice the changes which probably contribute to at least some of my weight gain. I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window and I noticed that not only are my quads monstrous balls of muscle, so are my calves. They are ginormous. And this morning, I sat on my bed putting on my socks and in the mirror I could see how muscular my biceps and forearms are. When I flex, it's kind of scary. But at the same time, it's kind of badass.

I know I should just stop fighting what my body wants to do. I need to get my head in line and realize all the strength my body has, even if I never have a six-pack. And I have a seven year old to thank for that.

Sisters - Apparently, yesterday was National Sibling Day. I missed the memo, so here's my belated virtual hug to my two sisters, who happen to be two of my best friends.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break Run Around ...

About 10 minutes ago, I sent my older two back to school after nine and a half fun-filled days with them. Usually, this is where I'd make a sarcastic remark about how "not epic" it really was, but for some reason (probably due to a change in perspective which I'll discuss at a later time), I honestly enjoyed every single second of spring break.

There were no meltdowns (at least none that couldn't be quickly extinguished). The girls were fine doing everything or nothing at all (honestly, we did a lot of everything). And on more than one occasion, I sat apart from the girls, listening to them play, thinking "Wow. They really are best friends." It was blissful.

We started break with an Easter egg hunt with G and her kids. It was hysterical to watch a group of 4-12 year-olds running around aimlessly looking for eggs that were so obviously out in the open. Maybe it's all the adrenaline that make them blind to what's right in front of them.

Later that afternoon, we came home to a set of passes to the White House Easter Egg Roll sent to us by the people at Honest Tea. Apparently, there is a lottery each year for tickets, but with over 300,000 applications and only 35,000 tickets, it can be difficult to get your hands on some.

We decided to leave the house by 6 a.m. in order to be there relatively close to the 8 a.m. start time. Unfortunately, thanks to a faulty GPS, my weak bladder and a long walk with three slow walkers, we didn't actually arrive at the White House until after 9:00, at which point we waited and waited. We had heard a rumor that our VIP passes could get us in without the long wait, but since we were unable to find a volunteer who actually knew what was going on we stood in a monstrous queue for nearly an hour - fine for me but tortuous for the girls.

right before we got in line ...
Once we were allowed to enter, all the frowns disappeared. The lawn of the White House was filled with activities and games for the kids. They did everything from the Egg Roll to running an obstacle course to dissecting lima beans. It was cool for them, but even cooler for J and me. We understood how amazing this experience was, they just thought it was fun.

seriously impressive ...
Our crew waiting to participate in the Egg Roll ...

After we left the White House, the girls and I headed to New Jersey to visit my mom and to surprise them with an overnight trip to NYC. We spent 30 hours running around the city, spending an ungodly amount on everything from breakfast to museum admission. Seriously, I can't fathom how expensive it would be to raise a family of five while living there.

Anyway, during our trip we took the girls to Times Square, chowed down at Carmine's and explored every corner of the American Museum of Natural History.

Dizzle's first view of the city. Walking up 42nd street ...
Sleepover time ...

Lunch at Carmine's ...
Candy stairway at Dylan's Candy Bar ...
The girls were amazed by everything from the skyscrapers to the endless supply of sugar at Dylan's Candy Bar and toys at F.A.O. Schwartz. In fact, when I asked Dizzle what she liked most about our visit, she said, "I loved everything about New York, except that all the bathrooms are so small."

After four days of traveling, we finally returned home to finish out Spring Break. We spent the rest of our vacation frequenting the library and several parks. I showed the girls how to make homemade pizza and meatloaf and they showed me that they can handle more than I usually dish out to them. I think we all woke up this morning feeling like we had grown over the past week and that we had accomplished so much. And while, I love that I am going to get a little break today, I was really sad to see them go back.

*disclaimer: While I did receive the tickets to the White House Easter Egg Roll free of charge, the opinions stated here are entirely my own.

Friday, April 5, 2013

March Rewind ...

Miles Run: 102.12 miles. My first 100+ mile month in FOREVER.

Bike Miles Rode: 224.1. All on the trainer.

Swim Meters Completed: 19586 meters or 12.1 miles. Seeing huge payoffs thanks to the increased swim volume here.

Rest Days Taken: 6. Including 4 days in a row for my sister's wedding.

Highest Run Mileage Week: 3/25-3/31: 28.4 miles

Highest Bike Mileage Week: 3/25-3/31: 58.9 miles

Highest Swim Volume Week: 3/11-3/17 and 3/25-3/31: 5000m or 3.1 miles

Long Runs Completed (10+ miles): 4

Current Book: Right now, I am reading Prodigy by Lu. But I also finished a few other books in March. (Note: For those of you who have asked, if it's on this or any of my lists, I would recommend the book. If I don't like the story or the book doesn't grasp my attention, I don't bother finishing it, thus it wouldn't be listed here.) 

  • Where it began by Stampler
  • The Year of Learning Dangerously: Adventures in Homeschooling by Cummings
  • The Wrap Up List by Arritson
  • Varient by Wells
  • Reached by Condie
  • The Bar Code Rebellion by Weyn
  • The Best Night of Your (Pathetic) Life by Altebrando
  • If We Kiss by Vail
  • Kiss Me Again by Vail
  • Legend by Lu
  • The New Rules of Marathon and Half Marathon Nutrition: a cutting edge plan to fuel your body beyond the wall by Fitzgerald
Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Food. I just can't get enough of it.

Current Colors: Shimmer Green and Blue. Just like in my Rev3 Shimmer Suit ...

Current Drink: Hot tea with a touch of sugar. It's freaking cold here right now.

Current Song: Thank You - MKTO.

Current Triumph: I crushed my swim this morning. 2500 meters continuous in 49:01 - My first sub 50:00 time for that workout and a 3+ minute PR.

Current Goal: Be a better me. Each and every day. And tackle my 2013 To Do List head on.

Current Blessing: Health, happiness and love. I've got all three.

Current Excitement: I get to race this month! First, on April 14th, is the Flying Pirate Half. Then, on April 27th, I kick off my tri season with the RTC Sprint.

2013 To Do List:

  • 140.6. That is all. - Registered.
  • Make time for strength training. Don't let training loads eliminate strength workouts completely. And stick to strength training in a group, it keeps you accountable. - Yeah I kind of sucked at this in March. Only one true strength training session.
  • Switch to time-based/HR training. Despite my knowledge of training paces, I have a hard time sticking to them. I'm hoping this will help me train more effectively. - I love it and I hate it. 
  • Log 4,500 cumulative run, bike and swim miles. Up 485 from 2012. - As of April 5th, 740.72 miles logged.
  • Race a 10K with a finish time much faster than your very dated current PR of 53:17. I never managed to register for a 10K in 2012 and I'm not sure where it will fit in this year, but it's on my radar. - No progress on this one.
  • Set a new PR in the Half Marathon, currently 1:57:06. I totally blew this one in 2012 and will likely only have one good shot at it in 2013.- Registered for Flying Pirate Half in April.
  • Run a 5K with Dizzle and Doodle, even if that means tricking them into it. - The kids have been running quite a bit recently. Probably going to aim for the fall.
  • Eat like a gluten-free athlete. After struggling with health issues much of 2012, removing the gluten has been key in alleviating the symptoms. Don't be swayed by the lure of wheat. Or cake.- On point, like usual.
  • Find the race day (and training) nutrition plan that works for me.- Eventually ...
  • Consume no more than 18 desserts from Shyndigz. This number worked well in 2012 and helped me cut back on my serious cake addiction. Plus, their gluten-free menu is limited, so I shouldn't be tempted as often. - As of April 5th, 8 desserts consumed. Only one birthday left in our family this year, so we should be cake free for a while after that.
  • Drink at least 100oz of water per day.- Oh, heck yeah!
  • Only say yes to the projects you REALLY want to work on. An honest no is much better than a halfhearted yes. - Check.
  • Stick to our budget. We've lived credit card (and credit card debt) free for five months. No reason to go back now. - Double Check.
  • Ignore your impulses. Take time to process the true value of the things you are filling your space/life with. - Yes and no. Lots of pondering this one recently ...
  • Figure out what to do with my hair. Keep the mohawk or grow it out. I'm taking opinions on this one.- I am really going to grow it out this time.
  • Continue to balance family life, training and now, work.- Check.
  • Prioritize and be a good example for the people in your life. - Like quadruple check!
  • Help and support J and the kids in reaching their goals. We are a team and that must always be the primary focus of our lives. No one should have to sacrifice so that someone else can reach their goal. If a balance can't be found, it's not worth pursuing.- I would never waiver on this one!