Friday, June 28, 2013

Airport 5k Recap

One of the things I mentioned in my Summer Goals was to run a few 5K's and try and get some speed back in my legs. First there was the MedVed ALS 5K, and the following weekend (this past) was the Airport 5K.

I did this race in 2010 as well, so I sort of knew what to expect. The race takes place at the Greater Rochester International Airport (hence the name, durrr). You actually get to run on one of the side runways...pretty cool, I know. The course itself is fast and flat but it does have 2 hairpin turns, which are not my favorite. But the out &backs on the course give you lots of people to look at and cheer, one of the best parts in my opinion.

This year the race featured a special guest, perfect timing considering she JUST broke the all time scoring soccer record a few days prior.....Abby Wambach. Abby is our "hometown hero" or "local legend" if you will, originally from Rochester but has been vital to the Olympic and US Soccer team. Abby didn't run the race, but she did lead the start and hung around with everyone before/after the race as well as handing out awards.

Abby Wambach of the United States reacts during her match against South Korea Thursday at Red Bull Stadium in Harrison, N.J.
After breaking the all time scoring record....(NPR) I mean this woman beat Mia Hamm's record, and well....I spent most of the 90's and early 00's wanting to be Mia this is BIG.

As for the race itself, I really wasn't sure how it was going to go. For the 5k the previous weekend I had pretty fresh legs and that was definitely not the case this time. I had over 75 miles in for running/swimming/cycling for the week before this race even began. I did about a mile warm-up and stretched as best I could. It was already super hot, and the runway doesn't offer any sort of shade (obviously). There was some stellar competition there though, so I knew that would make me go faster during the race.

The moment the race started, you could really feel the runway headwind we had. Drafting was huge in the first stretch. I saw even top runners doing it, find someone and let them break it for you. I set myself behind a taller guy (perk of being short) and it definitely helped but I wasn't so close that I was imposing on him. I did have a girl come up next to me and draft so close that she kept stepping on my feet. She was literally right on top of me, we kept bumping. I'd move trying to shake her and she'd follow, at this point I seriously considered "accidentally" letting my elbow fall backwards but decided against it. Finally I got so annoyed with her leeching off of me so I picked up the pace for a few seconds and ran to the other side of the runway, thankfully she didn't follow. 

First mile was 6:16, I saw that and was actually happy that I went out more conservatively than the week prior; although I didn't know if I was going to hold it. This was actually the only time I looked at my watch during the race.

Miles 2 & 3 were kind of a blur, the sun was blazing and the wind wasn't letting up. I just told myself to keep going and wait a little bit to push to the finish. With about 1/4 mile to go I started picking it up, and before I knew it there was a girl right next to me(NOT the same girl who was drafting earlier). Let me tell you, I DO NOT LIKE GETTING OUT-KICKED. I'm pretty sure I said "Oh, HELL-NO" but I am not sure if I said it out loud or in my head (I have a feeling I said it out loud because after the finish I went to high five her and say nice finish and she walked away, whoops.)
I'm really proud of this picture, my short legs served me well. 
FYI those shorts are amazing. +Saucony Run Lux II shorts, super lightweight & perfect for hot weather, probably my new favorite shorts.

When I got close enough to see the clock it was just hitting 19:00, I still had a little ways to go but was shocked to see I crossed in 19:17. I figured I would be under 20 but didn't expect faster than 19:30 considering my first mile. That girl and I duked it out the last little bit, but I was lucky enough to be able to beat her by a nose. 

I ended up in 8th place, and 3rd in my AG. When I say there was some AWESOME competition there, I meant it. The top 4 girls ranged from 17:02-17:40, the Rochester running scene is just damn fast and I love it. 

The post race was great, they had arranged for a bunch of different food trucks to come and also had other companies donate things as well. Tim Hortons was even giving out free Iced Cappuccinos, this made me uber happy: caffeine and something to cool me off! And of course there were lots of carbs, YUM!

Overall I was really pleased with this race, its a fun course and my time was definitely not what I expected coming off a 19:24 the week before. I also got to spend some time chatting with my friend Joe at the race, as well as doing a cool down run with John's brothers girlfriend (mouthful, I know) Katie. I'm bad about cooling down unless I have someone to do it with me, although I hardly call it a cool down when we were in the blazing sun still. 

Have you ever gotten the chance to run on a runway?

How do you feel about drafting? Is there a different between drafting, and TOO close?

Are you good about cooling-down after a race?

What is your favorite post-race snack?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Boston, Triathlon Training and Life in General.

My mind has been going a million miles a minute lately (unfortunately my feet haven't been following), so today is just a few things spilling out of my head. 

Related to Boston Marathon
The memorial was removed from Copley Square this week, all of the items are going to be cleaned and archived. Runners World also reported "a Remembrance Committee will be formed to help establish a permanent memorial or some type of event or structure to honor victims and survivors". Some runners were upset that the memorial was removed before the One Run For Boston running relay reached Boston, but they are still running for a great cause and that is what counts. I think that removing the memorial doesn't mean forgetting, it means moving forward in honor of all those affected.
Image from Runner's World Article
For those of you who don't know, Monday is going to be a big day for many. The Boston Athletic Association will be announcing the September registration dates/procedures for the 2014 Boston Marathon. Seeing as the interest in running the race has drastically increased, registration dates/procedures are going to be key for those (like myself) who will be trying to register. I plan on stalking watching the B.A.A website on Monday while waiting for the information to be released.

Related to my Training
Last week was a big training week for me, and I got through it pretty well (a few naps were necessary). This week I actually backed off a little Monday-Wednesday, I listened to my body and that's what it told me to do. I'm not in pain, I am not even crazy sore, but I am tired. I know that training for a half-iron distance triathlon is supposed to be tiring, but with less than 3 weeks to go I WILL NOT risk burning out or getting injured. The good thing is though, I backed off of my running and cycling for 3 days but actually swam all 3 days. It's my weakest of the 3 events, so I know that I need to be doing it the most. This weekend I have another long ride planned, on top of a few "dress rehearsals"--wearing my +Saucony Tri-top and shorts on the bike, in the pool and on a run. Hopefully my new racing flats come in soon so I can break them in before Musselman.

On Life in General
Working between 2 offices right now has been, interesting to say the least...but FINALLY we have a set move date so that both of the people I work for will be in the same office. Although this eliminates driving between 2 offices, it also eliminates that extra caffeine I would pick up on the way.

Studying has been going awesome, well as awesome as studying can be. I'm really getting comfortable with my Series 7 information and have been doing well on the practice questions(Kaplan has been AMAZING help, FYI). Also studying for my ACE CPT has been a little much on top of everything else going on, but the good thing about that information helps me with training and keeps me interested. So my 7 studying relates to all the work I do each day, and the ACE CPT relates to all of my training and workouts; so at least I can tie this overwhelming amount of information into my daily grind!

There are lots of exciting things going on with our families right now. My Soon-to-be-sister-in-law is a few days past due with her second child, can't wait to meet our new little nephew! Next week John and I will be going to Cape Vincent in the 1000 Islands to vacation with my family for a few days; (read: I will be holding my 3 month old nephew the ENTIRE time). AAAANNNDDDD just because I haven't shared any photos of my sister's little one you go....
I'm not bias, he really is just THAT cute. Little Alden turns 3 months on Tuesday!

What are your thoughts of the removal of Boston Marathon Memorial?

Are you waiting to register for a fall Marathon until you know what registration dates are for Boston? 
(in attempt to try and qualify before it opens)

What are some random things going on in your life right now?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Finding motivation at IM 70.3 Cuse

I'll be the first to say that training can be hard. 
We put in long hours, hard workouts, push ourselves to exhaustion--
because we love it. 
Don't get me wrong: I don't love not being able to get out of bed in the morning, having to take ibuprofen and wear compression gear like a job...but I do love the thought of pushing myself to that point.

This past weekend, I was struggling with frustration and emotions. 
I had to keep reminding myself why I am tri-ing
Not every workout is going to be great, 
and your motivation will fluctuate...that is life.

Training for Musselman 70.3 has been no exception.
There are days I love it, and days I struggle.
But either way, I still keep the goal in mind and keep pushing forward.
There are days I doubted my ability to even complete my first triathlon, but I did it.
There are days I doubt my ability to complete 70.3 in a few weeks.
But then there are days it just clicks.
The workouts come together, slowly but surely my confidence has been growing. 
Do I think I will podium? Not a flipping chance & I am A-OK with that!
Do I think I can make my time goal? Possibly.
Do I think I can finish? You bet your ass. 

This past weekend I went and cheered at Ironman 70.3 Syracuse.
It required a super early wake-up and a semi-long drive but it was worth it.
My friend Katie came from California to compete, as well as some local friends that were doing it. 
These are all people who have done nothing but support me, encourage me and being there for them was the least I could do.

The weather was brutal; ungodly heat, blazing sun with little to no shade, and it's already a hard course to begin with.
Early morning, before the parking was completely full

 I got oddly excited seeing transition....only a few more weeks until Musselman when I'll be in there getting all of my stuff set up.
Walking down to the swim start
 After the swim, we watched everyone get on their bikes and then Deb and I ran around for an hour. She wanted miles in and I needed time on my feet so it was a nice slow hour of running in the sun. Just having great company to talk to while doing some easy miles was much needed.
After Deb and I's run we went in the water with our running clothes on to try and cool off. My Saucony Run Lux II Shorts were dry super quick after getting out. Light material and hot day helped with that.
Deb's hubby Tom going through transition
Katie about to Dismount
 Being at the dismount line for T2 was extremely helpful. First of all we got to see everyone and cheer our hearts out. Secondly I learned A LOT. Just watching what worked and what didn't (lots of stumbles and falls) was huge. Transitions are going to be important for me to make up the time I am going to lose on the swim. 

How can you NOT cheer for this girl. She was hot and tired, and knew she was going to be slower than her goal but was still smiling. This was her second 70.3 representing QT2 Systems and she did amazing. Katie has always been motivating and inspirational to me, she is an incredible friend and athlete.
Baking in the sun waiting for everyone to come through... glad I wore my Saucony's to kick around in all day!
I owe Katie a ton right now.
Being there for her was easy, and one of the best things I have done in a while.
It was a reminder to me that Musselman is going to be hard, it's going to hurt and I can't control it. I can't control the weather or whatever may happen but I can control how I react to it. Learning to adjust and adapt is huge, and that might mean changing my goal for the race depending on how things play out. 

Just like that weekend I spent at races (but not racing), this was much needed.
Being around friends and athletes, watching every little detail trying to learn things I don't know, and just soaking everything in was huge.

Everyone has seen this...

Well I'm going to add a few things..

If you're looking for...
Helpful tips
A fun day
Great company
Wonderful atmosphere
A boost to get you through training
Something to snap you out of a bad mood
A reason to try harder...

Go watch a marathon, or a half-iron....or hell...even a 5k.

So with less than 3 weeks to go now, I am feeling good.
My workouts have been decent-sticking to the plan.
I've been getting more comfortable in the water (not faster).
I'm really working on fine-tuning my cycling.
And well..running is running. My love.
I am mentally preparing myself, because I don't plan on throwing any temper tantrums during the race...if it isn't my day then fine but I'm going to finish anyways.

Tell me something that has motivated you lately?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Good, Bad & Yummy 6/21-6/23

Another weekend come and gone like the wind. 

I'll be honest, this weekend wasn't fabulous BUT it ended better than it started so I will take it. General frustrations and emotions got the best of me a few times, which just made everything else seem that much harder. No point in sugar coating it all, but like I said....I snapped out of it and ended the weekend on a much better note.

Friday: Work, Lunch with Mom, more work, and errands. 4 mile run fueled by frustration.
Saturday: Airport 5k, 40 mile ride, dinner with John's family.
Sunday: out the door by 4:30 AM to head to 'Cuse to cheer at Ironman 70.3 Syracuse, time with John relaxing when I got home

The Good
*Great to see my mom for lunch on Friday, much needed!

*Did well at the Airport 5k, closer to my PR! Recap later this week.

*I got a 40 mile ride in, super hot but I did it.
(Also tested out my new +Saucony tri-top and it was perfect fit and comfy!)
*On said 40 mile ride, it was my first time clipping in~ no falls(yet).

*I got LUCKY and didn't lose anything out of my bike pack...after realizing around mile 14 that I had left it open....with my car key, money, license, spare tube, and bike tools. 

*Dinner and quality time with John's family was a lot of fun Saturday night. Good food, good company and good conversations :)

*Cheering at IM 70.3 Cuse was serious inspiration/motivation boost (more on this tomorrow)

*Got to spend the day with good friends yesterday who I don't see often. Was spend the day with Debbie while her hubby, and our other friends were racing. 

*Yesterday was 41 years since Title IX was passed. As some who benefited from this as a HS and college athlete, this makes me happy to see women's sports getting more recognition!

*We bought a juicer! I'm excited to have one in the house now so I can do it more often!

The Bad
*My emotions and frustrations got the best of me this weekend...multiple times. I felt like a toddler having meltdowns. 

*Almost got taken out by a construction truck on my ride Saturday (extremely close), this triggered one of the above meltdowns: It wasn't pretty.

*This heat has been brutal, dehydration, exhaustion and sunburn are all in effect. 

*I think my Garmin Forerunner 405 is on it's last leg. The strap is partially broken, and it barely holds a charge anymore :(

The Yummy
*Friday night I roasted a TON of veggies for the weekend.

*Friday night treat for myself? Adult version of cookies and milk.

*I wish I had taken a photo of Saturday's meal with John's family: BBQ Chicken, shrimp, pasta salad, salad, quinoa, with chocolate covered strawberries and Wegmans Ultimate Chocolate Cake for dessert!

*Extreme heat called for ice cream this weekend: multiple times.

*Our first batch of juice from our new juicer was a success, yummy and healthy!

What did you do this weekend?

When was the last time you really let your emotions get the best of you? (We all do it, that is life!)

Do you have a juicer? Any recipes I MUST try?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Summer Plans & Goals 2013

Happy Summer Solstice
Apparently mother nature actually got that memo because it's going to be a scorcher this weekend, bring on the sweat and workout tan lines!

This is so true! Don't focus on getting "bikini ready" or for something specific--make it a lifestyle!
Now that it is officially summer, I wanted to actually sit down and look at what my goals are. I have discussed these with some of you already and have had some good advice on getting through it all and coming out alive and uninjured.

First and foremost, goal is to survive Musselman 70.3 which is in.... oh, ya know...23 days.

I've been training pretty hard, particularly getting more consistent with being in the pool (which is my definite weakness, as we all know). I'm excited for a long bike ride in this weekend, which should be interesting in the heat but it will be good prep in case Musselman is a hot day. I made a big modification to my bike this week...I'm no longer a non-clipper. Erkkkkk, yes I broke down and bought the new shoes, and put clipped pedals on my bike. (Fully expect to see some bruises and bumps on me by the end of the weekend!). As the home stretch towards 70.3 is approaching  I do feel more confident. The power of hard work and positive thinking has been doing wonders for me.

My running goals for the summer are kind of broken up into sections. For the last few weeks, and for the next 3 until Musselman my goal is to build my base back up. I've been having some solid weeks, no crazy mileage but some good consistent running and I am happy with how my body is holding up with everything going on. Once Musselman is over--things are a chchhchhangin, full speed ahead 12 weeks of intense marathon training. My mileage will increase pretty significantly, which is why my base-building the last few weeks has been critical. I have a whole separate post on my plans for during that time, but I'll wait until it's closer. All I can say is...Sub 3:20 or bust!

A side summer running goal is speed: but in the form of using races as workouts. Last weekends 5k, along with 1 tomorrow and a few more throughout the summer will all be speed workouts for me. Races are a great way to be social, get a workout in, and push yourself more than you would solo. One Wineglass is over in the fall, I might put my focus on busting my 2 year old 5k PR that has been taunting me, but we will see!

Strength/Core training: I need to be better about doing these more, including more stretching. I have been making a conscious effort to make the time for it and I know it will pay off in the long run. Even if it's 10 minutes a day, that's 10 more minutes of happy stretched and toned muscles!

Aside from training, summer means a busy time but a fun one!
Wedding planning
Visiting my parent's cottage in the 1000 Islands
Spending time at John's parents on Seneca Lake
Family time with our nephews (2, soon to be 3 of them!)
Possibly a little camping trip with my man
Moving my office (Yay, no more commuting between 2 offices!)
Studying for Series 7
Studying for CPT
Visiting Hollie at some point!

What are your summer training goals?

Any fun summer plans?

Have you ever used races as workouts?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

MedVed ALS 5k Recap

On Sunday (Father's Day), I competed in the MedVed to Cure ALS 5k at Frontier Field in Rochester. This was my third time doing this race, and a course PR for me by over 30 seconds. 

The race itself is just amazing. It's always on Father's day and it benefits such a great cause. ALS aka Lou Gehrig's disease is is very debilitating motor neuron disease. All of the proceeds from the race go to a lab in Boston, MA that is undergoing research for a cure for ALS. There is always a ton of families there, and the race even honors that by doing extra categories "father/daughter, "father/son" etc.

The course itself is hard to run an actual 5k as there are quite a few turns considering it is only a 3.1 mile race. According to my records, all 3 times I have run this my distance has been 3.14 or more, I'm bad at tangent running apparently. [In a short race, an extra .04 or more can mean 10+ seconds on your time....that's a lot of time to add in a 5k]
Despite the turns there are some really cool things about the course. First of all, it's pancake flat which is great for speed. The best part of the race though is the finish. It is an "Olympic style" finish, you run into Frontier Field Baseball stadium, run around the field and finish on home plate. It's fabulous for runners to pick up speed running in the stadium but also great for spectators to watch the finish.

I did this race in 2010, in 21:40 and in 2011 in 20:00. I was unable to do it last year because of my broken foot, so I was really happy to be back this year. 

So onto this year....

I did a solo warm-up run, trying to shake things out not sure how I was feeling. I didn't want to set a time goal seeing as I haven't been speed training, so my goal was to use this as a workout. The weather was actually perfect, the sky was cloudy and a storm was brewing but the cooler air felt nice, as did the occasional mist that happened. 

Start of the race, I am a few rows back so don't bother trying to play where's waldo :)
During the race itself, I just kind of "set it and forget it" with the pace. I picked a few people I knew I could pace off and just kind of went with it. I felt like I was on cruise control and I was okay with that. Physically I didn't feel like I was really pushing it, but I knew that a PR wasn't my goal (nor did I think I was going to come close). 

I went out in a 6:05 mile and kind of backed off a little when I saw that, but still paced off the people around me. There was a girl near me who I tend to finish a lot of races around so I set the goal to not let her beat me. We stayed close through mile 2 (6:18) and then mile 3 I was able to pick it up a little more (6:13) and pulled ahead, definitely cruised through the finish with the last .15 being sub 5:30 pace. 

I was extremely surprised to see 19:24 when I crossed the finish line, that is technically my 2nd fastest 5k time. I ended up in 7th place for women and won my AG (which got my a fabulous gift certificate for MedVed Running Store).

Race outfit for the day was...of course +Saucony
Ignite Short, Ignite LT top
One of my favorite parts of the race though was getting to catch up with my runner friends Thomas and Mary. They are an amazing couple, that have always been amazingly supportive of me [Thomas and his son Zak ran the last 9 miles of the Rochester Marathon with me in 2011 when I was really struggling]. We hung out after the race on Sunday, eating snacks and just catching up on each others lives. Thomas and Zak both ran the 5k and won the "Father/son team time" and both also placed in their individual age groups. This family is one of the many amazing things running has brought into my life. I always refer to them as my "running parents" [we're not actually related], so seeing them on Father's day was special to me.

This was my finish of this race from 2011,
to this day remains as one of my favorite race photos. 

Is there a local race you like to do every year?
Do you have a "running family"?
Do you have a race photo that really means a lot to you?


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why Bother Tri-ing?

You're doing what? That's the usual response I get to training for running races, marathons etc.
Why? I thought you were a runner? Is a response when bringing up anything triathlon related.
Are you a Triathlete? Erm. Um. Trying to Tri. Is the best I can usually muster up right now. 
You don't like running anymore? Very common response when I say I am sipping the triathlon kool-aid
Oh, your Fiance is a triathlete, that explains it: No, actually I wanted to do this before we even met. But yes it has influenced me by being with him. 

I've had a lot of these, especially in the last few months as training for Triathlons has become a bigger part of my life.

Yesterday alone, I was asked 3 times. "Are you a triathlete?"
At the bike store, buying shoes so I can clip in (eeek). I ended up choosing tri-shoes over road shoes after 15 minutes of banter between myself and the guy regarding what would be best for me. 

At the pool, after asking to share a lane with someone. I said I swim slow but I stay to my side, he asked if I was a swimmer and I said "not really", which brings the "are you a triathlete?"

I ran from the JCC(where I swim) on the Canal Path last night, when getting back to my car someone said "didn't I see you swimming inside before, and now running, are you a triathlete or something?"

I mentioned after my first triathlon, that I didn't feel comfortable calling myself a triathlete yet. I still don't, but the more I train for them the closer I get to feeling like one. I'm on the journey to being a triathlete, a runner in disguise if you will. 

So WHY did I decide to make this "transition"?

A little back tracking here, the idea was first planted in my head 2 summers ago. I'm not really sure what it was, but I said "I'm going to do a 70.3", regardless of the fact that I didn't own a road bike, I had never raced a swim or bike, and I had NO background whatsoever to do this stuff. Back then I was in an unhealthy relationship, I used running and training as an escape. The worse the relationship got, the more I ran and worked out. Needless to say when I looked into a 70.3 I picked one out of state. Exercise was my escape, and I knew triathlon training would take up even more time so it seemed like the right thing for me. Thanks to life in general I never did that triathlon, but I did get out of that relationship and found myself in a much better place in life. But putting myself in better life scenarios, I found healthy reasons to run more, and to considering Tri-ing (Not just to use it as an escape).

A New Challenge
Besides using training as an escape, the thought of 70.3 was that it was a new challenge for me. After my first marathon, I didn't feel connected to distance running and wasn't sure it was for me. I struggled with pushing myself. I did my first marathon in the spring, and then that summer I hit my 5k goal of going under 20. The goals were being met faster than I was setting them. So I had to think bigger. I've always loved challenging myself, pushing my limits, and setting goals so this was a good way to really push myself. After getting my BQ this past fall, I knew that I needed to push myself further and that meant taking on something bigger. So in December, I registered for Musselman. I registered without owning a real road bike yet, without ever doing a shorter tri, without a ton of swim or serious cycling experience. The funny thing is though, I wasn't scared, I was excited for a new goal and something big to work for. 

A Couple Thing
My Fiance IS a triathlete (countless Sprint/Oly's, a few 70.3 and even IMLP[which he did with a separated shoulder]), and YES that has fueled my desire to Tri but it isn't the reasoning it all began. His experience and his support has been more than I could have ever asked for. So yes, he has been a driving force behind my running AND my attempts to tri. He supports me in anything I do, and I know that would be the case even if I wasn't tri-ing.

John and I have tossed the idea around a lot that for our honeymoon next year we would like to do IM Cozumel. Training for Tri's is something that we can do together, although that is not the reason I chose to do one, it definitely provides added benefit. When we started dating we ran together a lot, and it honestly helped our relationship grow as fast as it did. Now we can ride our bikes together, go to the pool, and just generally get more time with each other while doing things we love. We both hold pretty busy schedules, so if we can spend time together AND get our workouts in I call that multi-tasking in it's best form. 

I'm Still a Runner
Wanting to Tri has NOTHING to do with not loving running anymore, or not wanting to do strictly running races. If anything my love and passion for running has strengthened through tri-training. By spreading my training out among the different disciplines it makes me enjoy my time running more. Now more than ever I look forward to lacing up my Saucony's and hitting the road with nothing but myself (no bike, no gear). I am learning to appreciate the other disciplines more, but by the time the last few miles on the bike are approaching, I can't help but smiling knowing that shortly I get to do MY thing. 

There are less than 4 weeks until my first 70.3, and with each passing day I feel better about it. Some days I feel stronger than others but most days I feel comfortable knowing that I am going to get through it. I've dealt with a lot in my life, mainly at the fault of myself. I got myself into this by signing myself up and I will get myself through this by working hard and not giving up. I'm NOT a strong swimmer by any means. I don't have the ability to push my limits on the bike yet, but you get me to that run and I can be me and that's a pretty cool feeling. I could let my fear consume me, or I can use it as fuel- just like you can let things make you bitter or better. It's all choice.
I can only imagine how this will all change next year when preparing for a wedding AND 140.6. I'm not scared, I am excited for an adventure, the big life ones I get to take with my best friend by my side.

What about you...
What got you started in your sport?
Do you like to challenge yourself?
If you could pick one crazy thing to do, what would it be?

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

To Wave or Not to Wave

I'm sure you have seen it before...waves on the road. A motorcycle doing the "low five" wave to another, a Jeep driver nodding and steering wheel waving at other Jeeps. There are these little "cliques" on the road, but one that relates more closely to home....the running/cycling wave.

Every morning I get into work with my coffee, grab The Wall Street Journal off the ground and mosey inside. Usually take a quick peek for a few minutes through the paper for any headlines, then toss it on my bosses desk. Today there was an article that caught my eye.

Some wave, some nod, some smile and some just don't acknowledge you at all. Now let me say I am guilty of all of these. Sometimes I wave, many times I will smile and nod as people pass by, and others I am just to damn zoned out to notice what is going on. I have always had a "poker face" when it comes to running, the kind that Heath Ledger would have said "Why so serious" to.

I know that I am more guilty of the "poker face" during races, but I have been trying to be better about it. It has nothing to do with not enjoying what I'm doing (I love running, no dispute there), I just get crazy focused and driven, and I'm honestly okay with that. BUT I am trying to smile more while running, take the time to look around see the sights and the passerbys...I love competing, I love this sport, I love the running/cycling community-- and I want others to see that too.

Last night running on the canal path, I went by quite a few different people and got about 50% waves/nods/smiles which is probably my normal percentage. Some sort of acknowledgement is nice, after all we are out there doing the same thing at the same time....but to each his own. Like I said, I know I don't do it 100% of the time and I don't expect everyone else to either.

There are times (more often with cycling than running) that waving isn't exactly feasible (flying down a hill, dealing with traffic, etc.), and you most likely wont see someone wave while they're in the middle of a hard interval/tempo or hill repeat workout while running. But other times, maybe nod or smile or even muster up the courage to wave, I promise it won't kill you.

Acknowledging another runner/cyclist may seem small but it might be just the boost they (or you) need. In races we have signs and crowd support which help us push when we get tired and lack motivation, but what about training runs? We spend 90% of our time training and 10% racing, yet all of the attention gets put on the racing support. This is where sites like DailyMile are nice, because you get feedback on training (and racing) from fellow athletes which can reinforce all that training and hard work you are doing. Think of smiling/nodding/waving on the roads like your training cheer squad, your in person DailyMile "motivation".

Where do you stand on the waving spectrum? 
Do you smile and nod (I do this much more than waving)? 
Or do you do nothing at all?


Monday, June 17, 2013

Rewinding a little: life, travel and workouts!

Dear Lord where the hell has time been going. I've been slacking on here for a week now, mainly because life happens, but that's kind of the point I suppose.

Last week was crazy jam packed with travel, work, workouts and life.

A mini-scrapbook if you will...

Scenes from a puddle-jumper (Chicago to IA)
Fabulous Cupcakes from a little place in town

Scenes from IA

Lots of things with my name on it all week for work
Scenes from Runs in IA (1x8 miler and 2x5 milers)
En route to airport in IA (thought I was going to get hammered by that storm looming!), from the puddle jumper to Chicago I was able to see all the flooding the weather had caused, and scenes from the 737 that took me from Chicago to home!

Scenes from Sunday: a 5k, spin, coffee, lake, and walking with my was a great day!

The short of it: Last week was great to be away and do different things for work, but nothing beat coming home. I missed my fiance, our home, and my "usual routes" along with everything else. I was pretty tired Saturday and was glad I had decided earlier in the week that doing the Oly-Tri was not going to be feasible after a week of travel (got in late Friday night, and race would have been Saturday AM). Saturday night John and I had a little date night since I was gone all week, dinner/movie/ice cream our typical MO but I love it. I knew I wasn't going to see my dad for father's day (He was fishing a few hours away) but it was still a good day for a 5k, and heading to Seneca Lake to be with John's family.

Back at the office today, or should I say offices.  I won't go into details, it's a little confusing but basically I am working for 2 different people now (but they also work together in a way). It's a step in the right direction for me and gets me more exposure with the things that I am studying for my Series 7 Exam.

I hope everyone had a great week last week and a fabulous weekend for Father's Day!
This is for Dad...
1. We have a good time together
2. He loves me so much he has me tattooed on himself (I'm in the hat) and YES he used to show this to guys who came to the house, I think it is more powerful than the "sitting on the porch cleaning the gun" scenario
4. Marathon #2 finish with Mom & Dad...wouldn't be the runner I am without them, buying my my first sneakers, taking me to practices in high school, all of it.
5. One of my favorite pics of me and my parents, 21st Birthday (9/2009)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Fitness on the Fly

This post was written at a few different times :)
Good Morning! Bright and early here at the airport in Rochester-- 4:15 AM to be exact.

Thanks to 12 different alarms, I got up and made it here in time! I've told you before I am not good in the morning, so this is huge for me :)

I mentioned recently that I would be going out of town for work this week, to a very small town in the middle of Iowa (why company headquarters is there....beyond me).

This is my first 'business trip' so I am excited-- but knew that I needed to plan ahead to make sure I stay on track with my training while I am gone. Here's a few things I did to help prepare myself best as possible.

1. Choose a hotel with a gym/pool. I didn't get to choose mine, but I got lucky in the fact that mine has a fitness center and a pool. I called ahead to find out what equipment they have so that I could be prepared. They have a treadmill and an elliptical and that is about it. So I knew I was going to have to find someway to bike this week, and get some strength training in on my own.

2. Scope out the area. Thanks to the ever powerful Google- I was able to find that the town I am going to be in has TONS of trails and recreational parks that I can run in. I printed maps and brought them with me, and will check with hotel to see which ones are best (safest!).

3. If your hotel doesn't have a gym- find one! Seeing as mine does, but not a bike (I'd prefer not to go 4 days  without biking while being less than 5 weeks out from 70.3) I searched for gyms online. If you are traveling to a large city, finding a spin studio or fitness classes shouldn't be hard but small towns you might have to dig more. I was lucky enough to find a local recreation center that has spin classes ($5 each for non-members...score!!).

4. Ask locals! I didn't have much success with this yet, but when I get into town it may be easier. Scope out a local running group, or ask social media sites for those in the area to give recommendations. Also asking those at the hotel for any recommendations.

5. Be prepared for anything, and bring your own gym. I know packing light is important but so it being prepared- therefore I made sure to pack things to run, bike, swim, and do general workouts in. I brought my own resistance band, and a few of my yoga DVD's so that way I can do those in the room. I planned some body-weight workouts in advance so I know that I don't have an excuse not to do them.

6. Pack healthy/travel smart! In my carry on you will find green tea bags, Lara bars, EnergyBits, Power Crunch protein energy bars, Cocoa Via Packets and other little healthy snacks to keep me from hitting the vending machines in the airport. I am also wearing my Zensah compression calf sleeves under my jeans, my legs will thank me for this later!

7. Plan ahead for healthy eating! I have healthy snacks packed for the week that I can keep in my purse. I also scoped out where a grocery store is near my hotel so that I can get some fresh fruits and yogurts to keep in my hotel room as well once I get there. The hotel provides continental breakfast so I know I can count on juice, bagels, and fruit to stay healthy in the morning. I have NO idea what the company will provide for lunches, so I plan on packing some things in my bag each day so I have healthier alternatives if necessary. I also printed a list of local restaurants and their menus so that I know what my best options are for finding a yummy meal.

Layover in Chicago-- 6 AM-8 AM (local time)
I fully admit to having a "blonde" moment and being confused when flight attendant said local time was 6 AM, forgetting that I had gone back in time an hour. I hadn't planned on this, but minor details I suppose.
Happy to have caffeine in me....Chicago airport had at least 7 different Starbucks that I passed between my terminals...

Here's a fun fact: I'll be flying in a puddle jumped from Chicago to IA! I've never flown in such a small plane before so this will be an adventure!

Landed in IA: time for rental car and journey through IA to hotel! [9:30 AM local time]
At least my rental is something cute to bee-bop in...sun roof and all!
Drive from Airport to hotel was easy, all highway. Blue skies for miles and miles and no city skylines to be seen. 

I did have a good day of traveling, but ready for the rest of the week to get started! 

What are your travel tips?
My mom travels.... ALL.the.time. I don't know how she manages it like she does, I give her so much credit! 

Does your city have any places that visitors MUST go to?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...