Canyon City Marathon-Running on Clouds

CanyonCityMarathon

What a gorgeous, scenic marathon! Definitely, this marathon takes the number 1 spot in my list for beautiful marathons. 

Have you ever ran on clouds? If you have ever had the experience to run at high elevation and surrounded by mountains, you probably have seen what I experienced this last Saturday. As we descended down the canyon in Azusa, California, the paths were clean, the mountains looked pristine, and then as your eyes looked down the mountain, you could see all the fluffy gray and white clouds. It was a run of dreams! I have never had a chance to go to Peru, but I have seen some of the beautiful pictures of mountains and clouds leaving the top of the mountains exposed, as I was running down the mountain, I was thinking that probably that is what Peru looks like. I loved every moment running down that canyon. If I had had a camera, I would have taken a gazillion pictures. 

Running

Running wise--I did AMAZING considering that I did not train for the marathon distance. I actually came into the marathon with 2 training runs, both of them 5 milers. However, I have been attending crossfit religiously and teaching my Zumba class. I finished in 3:46:26, not too shabby for not having trained. However, I did feel my lack of training up every hill. I typically do not walk up the hills when I train, but the lack of training meant walking every single hill. 

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25 things that went through my head during the race and after: 

1.  After getting off the bus--It is so pretty up here. 

2. As everyone around was complaining of the cold--it is so warm compared to back home.

3. Getting ready to start--crap, I am going to run 26.2 miles. I really should have trained. 

4. The first bit of the race--they said it was downhill, this looks like uphill to me. 

5. Oh crap! It is downhill. Hold on knee!

6. Hey, I am running on clouds!

7. Wow, 13 miles done! I feel great!

8. 14 miles...I am tired. I should have signed up for the 1/2. I REALLY should have trained. 

9. I am hungry. Why don't they have real food on this aid stations--steak, steak sounds really good right now, or a taco. Yes, I could go for a taco!

10. All the hills are coming, I can get a break and walk soon.

11. Gosh, I am getting passed on all these hills. I should have trained more. 

12. This water bottle is getting heavy. I am throwing it out at mile 20. 

13. Mile 20 marker! I am almost done! 1 more hour of running and I will be done. 

14. Ok, if I run a 9 minute pace, I can be done in 54 minutes.

15. Passing the Azusa Crossfit--gosh, I wish I was lifting right now.

16. Mile 25 marker--I only have 10 minutes left, even if I walk a little. 

17. I can't walk on the last mile. I must keep running, even if it is at slow pace. 

18. Isela pick up the pace, this is not running, you are barely moving.

19. This mile is taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R!

20. I did it! I finished! I finished and I didn't cry and I didn't vomit and I did it! 

21. I wish they had chairs for us to sit on.  After sitting on the ground for a bit--how in hell am I going to get off the floor?

22. After finding my friend and finding a chair to sit on--I really want to cry now. My legs can't stop shaking, my entire body is in shock and is shaking. I think I am having hypothermia. Thankfully, my friend had already picked up his dropbag and gave me his sweater to wear. 

23. Where is my hubby? Oh, wait, there he is! He looks sore just like me. 

24. We can go to the hotel now...wait, we must walk like 2 miles to the car...shuffle along.

25. Hey, look! We did it! We ran a marathon today!

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Thank you Revel series marathon directors, volunteers, and everyone who took a part in this amazing event. Revel Series puts together some awesome events. They take care of the runners, before the race at the expo, and during the race with their outstanding aid stations, and then after the race with the extras--real food, plenty of food, cool washclothes, massages, shirts that actually fit and little printed cards with the chip times printed. And of course, cool looking medals that you want to display :). 


Best decisions of 2013, part 2

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Zumba with Isela

This next decision took me awhile to come to terms with, I am still trying to do better at it but it is hard. If you know me personally or you have followed my blog for the past 5 years, you probably know that I love being active. I love the feeling I get when I have sweat dripping and blood pumping through my veins and I can barely form a sentence from the exertion--in my head, there is NO BETTER FEELING. 

Due to my love for being active, I decided to start teaching fitness classes. I wanted to share my love of staying fit to others. I wanted to show them that it could be fun. So, I did the most natural thing to do. I became a fitness instructor! I love it, I adore being a fitness instructor. Helping others achieve their fitness goals, working out with them, and sharing in their triumphs has been one of the most rewarding parts of my adult life. 

However, I realized one day that I was putting too much time into this part of my life and not enough into my family. If I wasn't loom knitting, I was outside of the home teaching. At one point, I was teaching 14 fitness classes a week plus subbing other classes. It was 14 hours just teaching, not including travel time. I was gone a LOT!

Mid 2012, I started quitting a few classes. Then in the Fall of 2013, I made the huge jump and canceled all my evening and night classes. It was a hard decision.  I miss my students. I miss seeing their smiling faces and their friendships. I miss seeing their progress and being a part of their lives. 

I currently teach 5 classes, 3 in the morning when my kiddos are in school and two in the afternoon. I am slowly weaning myself off of them and hope to decrease that number down to 2 a week. My goal is to teach only when my children are at school so that I can have more time to be with them at home. 

Little steps...


Work it!

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I saw this picture today, and it was as if it was targeted to me.

It is so TRUE! Today, I didn't feel like working out, at all. I figured I had already ran 5 miles this morning, so I didn't want to go and WOD this afternoon. It meant another shower and having dinner later but as hubby was getting dressed. I couldn't help it. I dragged my sorry butt and got dressed and ready to go to the box. 

As we got to the box, I looked at the WOD and it didn't look so bad. I hate push ups, but that is because I SUCK at them, completely. Anyways, the WOD started so I did my best at it. 

800 m run

50 push ups

40 pull ups

30 sit ups

20 high pulls (35 lbs)

10 ring dips (with a band).

The thing is that as I started, I didn't feel good, I felt sluggish but then as the WOD continued, it got easier. Once we were done, I was feeling super!

The next class arrived and our friends started warming up and one of them jokingly asked if I was going to do it again with them, there were only 3 of them for the class, so I said sure, let's do it!  As I said yes, then my hubby and my friend decided to join too.

We not only did the WOD, we overachievers did it twice! I love it! Alone, I would not have done it at all. But then with my friend there, both of us goofing off and dancing to the music, my attitude completely changed and I felt so much better.  :)

Moral of the story: Work out...even if you don't feel like it :)

 


Paleo...week 4.

I am here on week 4 of this paleo journey. First week, it was kicking my butt energy wise. Now, I am ok with energy but I am starting to feel the anguish from not having sweets. Today, I wanted sweets so badly that I grabbed a handful of extra dark chocolate chips to satisfy my sweet tooth. I am craving Mexican sweet bread so badly...I imagine it with a big cup of Mexican hot chocolate (extra dark and rich and creamy!). If I survive this week without giving in to my sweet tooth , it will be a miracle!

Mexican bread

I am trying to find a suitable recipe for bread. Bread to make sandwiches and use as hamburger buns but I haven't had any luck. 

Yesterday, I ventured to make "paleo tortillas". What a disappointment! I have decided that there is no suitable substitute for a good old fashion, corn tortilla. 

I have also decided that if I had been a "cavewoman" that I would have figured out how to grind the corn and make tortillas. I mean, it doesn't take a genius to grind it between a flat rock and another rock and them mix it with water. Ha! But, apparently it is something about GMOs or whatever. I must research this further. 

As a runner, I decided that I must have some sort of long lasting carb in me so I have given myself the allowance to munch on some corn tortillas or rice the week prior to a race. Hopefully, it doesn't come to bite me in the a$$.  I am now also looking forward to race week even more! Sign me up for more races, hahaha. 

So far, I have seen great progress with the Paleo diet. I am not bloated. My lower abdomen doesn't look like I am 4 months along anymore (just 2, hahaha!). I measured myself around my waist and I have gone down 3/4 of an inch. I can also see more definition in my upper body--my traps look more defined as well as my arms.  Some other things that have happened since I went paleo: I finally got my handstand push ups and was able to crank out 55 in a WOD. The most impressive of it all, I was able to PR my Clean and Jerk by 10 lbs!!! Sitting now at 105, that is 90% of my body weight!  I am definitely thrilled by this gains :). 

Onto a side that I wasn't expecting nor was I ready to tackle. I have also found that it is very  hard to explain to someone why you are on a "diet" when you already  "look skinny". It is even harder to tell them that you cannot eat most of the stuff they offer you.  Sometimes, I think I sound more rude than anything turning down certain foods. How can you say "no" to a large family size Philly Cheesesteak pizza? Do they even know how hard it is to turn it down? It is even more heart breaking when they tell you "one piece of cake is not going to do anything to your body, you will burn it off before the day is over with all that you do"...how can you tell them that it is not about your body,  but, it is more than that, it is a sense of feeling "well", feeling accomplished, nourishing my body so that it works at its top condition. At the end, it is best to tell them a list of things that I can eat--meats, veggies, fruits, nothing processed and definitely no sugar. As they look at you with a face of disgust, you are left with a sad feeling in your heart and a seed of doubt is planted that perhaps this new journey is not the right one.....

Right now, I am looking forward to my next "free meal" where I can just indulge in something other than good carbs...perhaps a Conchita (Mexican bread) is in my near future. But for now, it is me hitting the box hard and running. 

Cheat-day-diet


6 Years and Going Strong

Tomorrow is a special day, not only is it my birthday, but it also marks an important milestone in Happy30th my life. Six years ago, I took my driver's test and passed. With my drivers license, I received a sense of freedom that I had never experienced before while living in Utah. In New York, it was easy to get to places, public transporation is phenomenal there, but not the case in good old Cache Valley, Utah. But on my birthday, six years ago, I was schedulet to take my test and thankfully I didn't crash and was able to parallel park! I got my driver's license, and, with that came freedom! But this post is not about my driver's license. It is about what I decided to do starting that very same day.

I decided six years ago that I was going to join the gym and become healthy by exercising everyday. The very next morning, I was up by 5:30am to attend the 6am spin class. I was nervous and afraid of what the people there would think of me. I was a fat rolly polly and didn't even know how to ride a bike. I was sure that I was going to manage to fall out of the seat and make a fool of myself. I arrived to the gym 15 minutes early and went upstairs to the spin room. Most of the bikes were already taken and some people were already riding. I was sure I had missed the start of the class but there was no instructor there yet, so shyly, I made my way to the back of the room and found an empty bike. I was so chuby and so self-consious of myself.  As class time approached more people started showing up, I was there with my baggy boy shorts and a big tshirt, something to hide the big body that I was carrying around. I knew the instructor as soon as he came in, he looked so happy to be there and greeted everyone in the front row and smiled around the room. I tried to make myself smaller so he wouldn't see me, the intruder in his perfect class, but it didn't work. He spotted me right away and as soon as he placed his stuff down, he made his way to my bike and introduced himself. I felt so ashamed for being there. I was not in shape, what was I going to do in his class other than warm up the seat! He told me that I was going to be ok and just to go slow and rest when I needed. His name was Rod and he helped get my bike set up that first day and a few extra times when I forgot how to do it. This stranger, with spiky blonde hair became one of my favorite people to be around for the next two years! He inspired me in ways that he will probably never know--he had ridden the Lotoja various times and had biked up and down mountains and had so much energy to drive a room full of hard-core cyclists for 50 minutes straight! Every single one of them, rode harder, climbed faster just by him saying so. Did I mention that they were all hard core outdoor cyclists?! Yeah, I happened to decide to join the class where all the outdoor cyclist went to stay in shape during the off-season. The guys with the fancy jerseys and the clip-on shoes and calves the size of big boulders! Yeah! I joined that class...the chubby, rolly, polly amidst the greatest of Cache Valley. Thank goodness I didn't know all this when I joined up, it took me a few months to realize who I was "rubbing shoulders with", hahaha, otherwise, I would have stayed in my warm bed all those winter nights. 

Back to my story of my first day; boy was that an eye opener! I died about 5 minutes into the class. I felt weak and wanted to puke. My heart for sure was having a heart attack and I was sweating burgers by the drops! I was heaving and pouring sweat from every pore in my body. Rod, the instructor,  would look at me from his bike, up on the pedestal, and he would yell my name and say that I was doing great. Hahaha, I would laugh and say in my head "good thing, you can't see me all the way back here". The fact that he took a second every now and then to look at me and tell me those words was the only reason why I stayed the entire time that first class. I wanted to die! When the class was over, my legs were shaking, my arms were shaking, but my heart was racing! I wanted to crawl out of that room and get in my car and never come back! Yet, Rod stopped me before leaving the room and reassured me that things would get easier, to not give up. So, I did, I showed up to the next class, and the next, and the next. 

I stayed in his class for two years straight, 3 times a week, at 6am. He and his motivational class was the first venue that got me in shape. I lost 15 lbs that first year, not counting all the muscle that I gained in my legs. But more than getting in shape and getting a bit of muscle. His class gave me the confidence I needed. I didn't feel like an "odd person" anymore. I belonged somewhere and I knew I belonged in his class. About 3 months into the class, I moved from the back row to my permanent seat, not in the front row, no, I wanted to be in the middle, right in front of the coach, where I could see the coach and see his riding style, my bike was number 23 and after awhile everyone knew it and they left it open for me.  I made friends who would save my bike for me. Friends who would ask me where I was when I missed class. I became one of the group--complete with cycling jerseys, cycling shorts, and clip on shoes, and, wait for it--a real road bike!!! 

A year after I started spin, I decided to put my 1 swim class in college to use, and I began my swimming journey. Instead of getting up at 5:30am, I was up at 4:30am and I would swim before attending spin class. Of course, I would first go upstairs and "save my bike" my putting my towel and spin shoes by the bike. 

I would swim for 1 hour and then hit my spin class. At first, I would only complete about 1,000 yards of swimming in one hour but as time progressed, I got better at it, who whould have thought?! I made friends with swimmers at the pool and I found another place where I "belonged". 

It  has been six years now and I still love a hard spin class. It was my spin instructor, Rod, who first planted the seed in my head to become a spin instructor. I laughed and said that I was too fat to be anyone's role model. I am glad he saw the potential in me that I couldn't see in myself.  

A lot of the time, I feel left out, like I don't belong, but then I go to the gym or to my box, and I feel like I "belong" there, it just feels right. 

Making the decision to get healthy and in shape was the best gift I have ever given myself--the gift of finding a place where I belong. 

In the past six years, I have accomplished so much that I never thought I would have done in a lifetime.

15 marathons (Including the Boston Marathon and next month ING NYC Marathon-both for which I had to run a qualifying time!)

23 half marathons

2 olympic triathlons

4 sprint triathlons

1 half ironman (70.3)

3 ragnars

Various other little races

In addition, I did become a spin instructor, and a group fitness instructor, and a Zumba instructor. I am now leading my own classes, trying to inspire in others what Rod inspired in me my first day in spin class. It has been a lovely six years!!! 


Eating to fuel your body

More opening up....this is starting to be more of a personal journal than a public blog, oy! Clean diet

We all struggle with different things and while I struggle in many areas of my life, I am only prepared to share the vainest one.  When I started working out, I wanted to get smaller in size. I was a chubbette and I didn't want to be a chubbette.

So, I did what I could to get thinner, I worked out.I worked out a LOT. I would get up at 4am to get to the gym, I would swim for 1 hour then I would spin my heart out in spin class, then I would put in 30-45 minutes of lifting (baby weights). I lost the weight within a year. I started running to get thinner, note, it wasn't to get stronger, it was to get thinner. So I ran, and I ran a LOT. I got very good at running, I went from running 12 minute miles to 7 minute miles. But, I reached a point where running was not enough. I was thin but I looked frail. I don't want to look frail, there was no muscle in me, at all! I was just a thin, soft woman. My middle was squishy still (and it still is, ha!).

Then, I finally progressed, I didn't want to be just skinny, I wanted to be both, skinny and strong. Thus, I started lifting heavier, started attending crossfit classes. While I enjoy crossfit, it is not my first love, my heart belongs in the running world. Perhaps it is because I am so small and I know that I stand very little chance to be a "good" crossfitter, unless I eat super clean and get my ass to the box more often and kill myself at the bar each and everyday AND stop running long distance. There lies my problem-I am not willing to let go of the long distance running. I love it. I love the challenge it presents to me and I love crushing my previous times. But, continuing in the long distance means that I most likely won't be able to lift very heavy. But even with lifting, my midsection is still squishy!

I have tried all forms of exercise. I exercise all the time. I exercise hard. I know that I give 100 percent every time. Even when I don't drop to the ground after a wod, I have given it my all. But the midsection still remains squishy!

In the progression of things, you probably know where I am going with this. Yes, I finally realized that no matter how hard I work out, it is not going to matter unless I fuel my body properly. All the delicious tortillas, tortas, bread, fruit tarts, chocolate covered marshmallows, pasta, and rice--all of it is getting stuck in my midsection. Each time I put one of these things in my mouth, I am sabotaging my very own goals. :(

Eating habits are very hard to break. Working out is easy, eating properly is not.

And thus, I start my journey into the next stage--clean eating. I am 4 days into it....it is hard. I woke up with a headache from the no sugar intake. I am cranky because of the no sugar and the no bad carbs.

Again, working out is easy, eating properly is not.


Body Stats


ToolforfatLast year, I had a chance to use this little gadget at the gym that tells me body mass index and body fat percentage. It was neat to have that done and find out more details about my body.

Today, I had the same chance and I ran with it. I entered all my details and I got the following stats:

BMI=20.5
Body fat percentage=18%

Last year, my body fat percentage was 2 points higher and I weighed the same exact weight I am now. Yes! Progress!


I won! An Entry to Highland Ranch Tri

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I am the luckiest person! I just won an entry into one of the Highland Ranch Triathlon Series!!! Thank you so much Sonja and Runcolo.com. Now, I have to decide, do I want to do a Sprint or an Oly? Decisions, decisions?Oh yeah, and I also get to travel!  Colorado here we come :)

I just want to say a huge thank you to Sonja for not only giving me an entry into this great triathlon but also for the inspiration she gives me each day I read her blog. She just finished running 100 miles here in Moab (all in under 22hrs!). Yes, she put a thought in my head that now I can't get out...maybe, perhaps, one day, its possible....


20 miler under the belt...3 weeks left til M-day!

My last 20 miler was surely an adventure. I can really say that I am now a runner. I think the title truly needs to be earned and I believe I have now earned it for sure. I have ran in the snow. I have ran when it is hailing buckets. I have ran when the wind is just crazy as ever that I think that I might as well be tied to a tree since I wasn't moving anywhere. I have ran in the middle of the Utah summers at midday to the point where I thought I was hallucinating. Then this last Friday, I ran in the rain, not a short run, nor did I start running when it was nice and sunny and then it started raining, nope, I got out of my house knowing full well that I was in for a soaking! I ran knowing that probably by mile 10 my clothes would be completely soaked and my toes would be prune-like by mile 5, but I knew that I had to run, I knew that the calendar called for 20 and if you don't give 20 now and go through the pain, the day of the marathon would surely see you pay for not running those 20. Training is hard but I love the process, it truly sets your mind for the worst that may happen during race day. Now, if it happens to rain the day of the race, I know that I have it in me to run it because I have gone through it during my training.

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How does running 20 miles feel like? Let me tell you...at first when you step through your front door, you feel like you have reached the promised land. You run to the sink and get a full glass of water and chug it down without having to worry about the slush effect in your belly. Then after chugging the water, you reach to the pantry and get the protein bottle which for some reason seems super huge in your tiny shaking hands, you pour some milk in a glass and try to stir in some of the protein. You chug that down and then plop yourself down on the floor trying to stretch the legs. As you bend down, you feel your legs heavy as lead. You stretch one leg to the front in a runners lunge and feel the twinge in the inner thigh...owie. Switch legs and then more owie. As you go through the entire set of stretches for a good 10 minutes, pulling your legs one way and then another in an effort to minimize the pain that would surely come if you don't stretch. Then the worst part is yet to come, the cryotherapy! Oh how I hate thee and love thee at the same time.


You fill the tub up halfway with cold water and then you add ice, then you proceed to gently put one toe at a time inside the tub. As one foot is completely immersed under the ice water, you think to yourself, is this really worth it and then you convince yourself that it is and then you put your other foot in. The foot is not so bad so you try to throw some water on your legs trying to cool them off little by little so the shock is not so bad. Ten minutes later and you have finally gotten enough courage to immerse both legs. As you sit there in the cold ice bath, you start thinking of the 20 long miles you have just ran. You think of the pain that hit your right ITBand at mile 15, of the stupid rock that got into your shoe at mile 8 and that you finally took it out at mile 16 because what at first felt like a grain of sand at mile 16 felt more like mount Olympus, and then you think of the fact that you pushed your body through 20 long miles and that it kept up. 20 long miles in just 3 hours. 20 miles closer to that 26.2 miles and it is all worth it.I love running! I have a passion for it beyond words. I love seeing what my body can do, the power that my mind has over it. 

Good running to you all this week!

Picture: Found it via Quadraton  last week :). Some days, I do need motivation like the one pictured to get out there.

PS: Please don't forget to vote for me, Isela, in the Cycle&Style contest :). There are a few days left to vote. I appreciate it tons! Thank you so much!


QOW & Downhill Kiss

First up my Quote of the Week. I found this one this morning as I was browsing through some of my favorite blogs. I follow a lot of women triathletes as they fueled the fire within and gets me believing that I too can excel in the sport. I found the quote through Bree's blog (who by the way is competing in a triathlon in Africa this weekend!...how awesome is that!!!)

“When I stand before God at the end of my life I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say I used everything you gave me”. Erma Bombeck

CyclistSo on Saturday, I called my Brother-in-law to arrange a little bike ride in the afternoon, I wanted him to come along so he could give me pointers and also so hubby and I could hang out with him while we rode. The day was bright and beautiful, perfect for a bike ride! Until we decided to actually go on our bike ride, out in the rural towns of Newton and Clarkston the wind was madly howling. The first 2 miles and I was done for, the little rolling hills always teach me a lesson but coupled with the wind I was in cycling purgatory! Try as hard as I could, I couldn't go very fast. I kept concentrating on pulling up but it didn't help very much. Then finally when I reached the end of the hills and saw the glorious downhill, I shifted and got ready for the downhill ride. With a smile on my face and an excited heart I saw my speed pick up. Suddenly out of nowhere, I hear a loud crack, crack, crack, something was caught in my back wheel's spoke! I knew that if I didn't stop that the bike will stop me in a not so very comfortable way, so I stopped as quickly as I could, not even reaching the end of the downhill. As I stopped, my mind quickly told me, YOU FORGOT SOMETHING IDIOT!!! Sure enough, I started to feel the descend of my body on top of my bike, with my brain screaming UNCLIP, UNCLIP and the legs frozen both from panic and the abrupt halt they weren't functioning, at the last split second out of desperation I lifted my right leg completely up and off the pedal, coming unclipped and barely able to put my hand out to stop my fall (thank goodness for cycling gloves). In all of this, hubby was nowhere to be seen, he was about a mile away ahead of me, in a sense it was best that way as seeing him would have sent me into crying hysterics, instead I had to be tough and fend for myself. Oh I am sure you are wondering that the crack sound was, as I inspected my bike, I found the problem rather quickly, my Garmin sensor on the arm had come loose with the force of the wind and the speed that I was going downhill. I don't know what to do about it now, I love my Garmin as it tells me my cadence, however, it is not worth my life nor a skinned knee/shoulder/arm/face.

After the almost accident, the ride was pretty much uneventful, the wind was still mad at us and kept us from feeling the downhills as downhills but we definitely got a good workout! The next day though, I woke up with my right leg hurting. I think it was due to the force that I put into unclipping my foot off the bike, or just my plain lack of muscle in that area.


Training reports

Some days are definitely better than others, some days you hit it out of the park and some days you can hardly hit it hard enough to go a foot. This last week saw me with Spring Break which in turn means kiddos at home and very little time to train. At first I was feeling so guilty for not getting all my usual workouts in and then by mid-week I realized that it really wasn't that important if I didn't hit my Body Pump classes or my favorite Turbo Kick class, some days, I just have to take it slow and savor the moment. 

Workout

Monday: OFF

Tuesday: OFF

Wednesday:

Got out there and ran 6 miles: 52:54

Thursday:

Taught spin class twice! I taught a 30 minute class in the morning and then I taught the evening class for 1 hour. 25 miles: 1:30. I am really loving leading in the spin class. You get so much energy from the room that I find it easy to push myself more and more.

Swam: 2200 yards. I was able to go to my Master Swim class. I have improved so much in this area, granted, I sucked before so there was only one way to go--up! I recorded my fastest 100yd time yet! 1:35!!! This is almost as exciting as discovering electricity!!!

Friday:

Hubby took the kiddos with him to work and I was able to put in my usual workouts. It was so nice of him to give me the day :).

Swam 2200 yards: An easy day at the pool, lots of straight swimming with drills in between to keep reminding my body of proper technique.

Run: 18 miles. Marathon training sometimes is so evil! I really didn't want to put in the time nor the miles but I know that time put in right now will pay off later. I am six weeks away from the marathon and I only have 2 more long runs to do before my taper. The run went well for the first 5 miles I thought I could go on forever, then the sun came out and I started getting hot. The plan was for me to do a loop twice, stopping at the house midpoint, however, I knew that mentally, as soon as I saw the house, my body would want to stop so I decided to take a run up the canyon. Smart idea however I didn't plan on my water running out. I made my 10oz of water last til mile 10, then I chugged my GU down and the last of my water. I was praying that someone was outside their house so I could beg them for water. Finally around mile 12, I saw a gentleman raking his front lawn. He was so nice and so eager to help me. He brought me the coldest water ever! Not only did he fill my Nathan bottle but he brought me a glass of water too. Not thinking I chugged the glass of water down, which felt amazing going down! After thanking him for saving my life, literally, I started running only to fill the swish-swish of the water in my belly. I made a mistake drinking all that water and I knew it right away. I started getting a side ache and wishing I could stop.

By mile 15, I wanted to stop. I seriously didn't want to keep going any longer. However, home was still 3 miles away so there was only one thing to do, keep on going. I decided to switch from straight running, to run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute. The walks seemed dumb however I think they were the only reason I made it back home. I was starving, literally picturing Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches each step I gave.

Six weeks away is very close...I have two more long runs 20 and 22 before the marathon. I will be better prepared this next time around with my Hydration belt and perhaps a sandwich :).


Before & After

A few days ago we had a fun theme over at DailyMile where we got to post pictures of Before n After. At first, I really didn't seem that eager to post a picture of the before then I started looking at pictures and seeing how much I have changed over the past two years (almost three now) and I got the courage to post them.

Things weren't easy and a lot of work has gone into the little bit of transformation. Unlike many people out there, I was cursed with a body that keeps all its fat around its middle. I have skinny, wimpy, spaghetti like arms and legs and a huge midsection. Losing weight affects me in a peculiar way: I lose all the chubs off my arms and legs, then I am left with a flabby, squishy middle, which is a great on the Pillsbury Boy but not so great on a humanoid like myself.

Beforeandafter The 2007 picture was right at the beginning of the year, if not at the very end of 2006. At this point, I had been running for about 3 months, I was running a steady 2 miles, killing myself doing it too, going an all 11 minute miles. Speedy Gonzales was my name!

Fast forward 2 years and we have the picture on the left, during the Ogden Half Marathon. At this point, I had been working out consistently for 2 years. Running, cycling and swimming. I barely had started integrating some weight lifting in my life. During that half marathon, my average per mile was 8:10, a huge improvement from two years prior.

As I look at these pictures and others that I have taken over the past two years, I can see a lot of change physically, but what you can't see is the mental change that I have undergone.

I always thought that I could never run more than 2 miles and in that picture of 2007, I thought that I was at my max. I thought that I had a body that couldn't change and a heart that couldn't handle very long workouts. What I've learned is that the body is one of the most amazing machines in the world, it adapts, it grows, and as you push it and push it, its endurance grows to match it. I have learned that I have the heart to complete anything that I really dream and yearn for as long as I put the work forward. I have read in many places that running is 90% mental and 10% talent, it is true. I have about .0001% of talent but what I lack in that area, my heart screams to my mind at each step, it is your dream, we can do it, a dream is becoming reality.

My midsection is still chubby compared to a lot of women who exercise as much as I do, but it is not about having a thin waist or a super ripped body. I'll take my body as is as long as it can take me wherever my mind and heart wants to go, 26.2 miles today, 70.3 miles tomorrow, 140.6 in the near future.


Fried Dumplin'

I have to attest that this post has nothing to do with fried dumplins other than I like to eat them and at this very moment they sound like a fantastic idea. SQUIRREL!

Gosh, I do have the attention span of an ant!

RPM Back to the thought, this weekend was a kicked bootie typed weekend, as in my butt is sore and I can't sit anywhere without having to tilt my self from side to side. I ditched hubby for a two day, back to back, 9-hour spinning training. Spinning as in the exercise not the fiber kind. A few months ago my friend Carol from Gold's Gym planted the idea that I should become certified and start teaching some classes. The opportunity came in the form of Les Mills RPM certification a two day course where you basically get a good butt kicking on the bike and are taught everything from bike set up to the magic of coaching. At the end of day one, my butt was sore from wearing the cycling shorts all day, idiot me forgot to put chamois butter, and of course the Bootie Gods couldn't let it slide, my butt that night was sore. Let's just say that A+D Diaper ointment works overnight miracles baby! The second day, I wasn't so forgetful and I brought the butter, a bit late for some of the sore spots but still helped a ton.

I got my RPM certification and now I need to practice, practice, practice, practice and memorize loads of choreography, then record a class video and send it in to get my assessment, which will give me my seal of approval to begin teaching on my own the RPM classes. The training is rigorous but it ensures that all their Les Mills trainers know their stuff by heart and can present the program in a super way! I am so stoked! A goal that I wanted to achieve is almost complete :).

Oh look, the Cycling Magazine arrived....SQUIRREL!

btw: my new PC will be arriving around March 20th...no pictures capabilities til then, my mini laptop has a memory the size of my pinky and it can't hold my Photoshop software, let alone my thousands of pictures...


Drilling it!

I am no Michael Phelps for sure, but I think I am getting the hang of the entire "gliding" thing, now if I can just get the idea of the catch, I think I can be a bit faster. My body is getting used to the rotation and breathing while rotating, rather than sticking my head to the side while my body is facing down. It is not easy for sure and it is going to be something that I am going to have to work on for a long time but it is something that I can fix.

I have to say that the first day that I went to the Master's Swim class, I came home deflated and ready to give up on the entire swimming thing but I think I am getting my mojo for swimming back. I just need to train my head to love drills. Drills are a good thing, it helps our body remember the proper technique and with proper technique I can become efficient.

The mail brought in something that cheered me up too, the last catalog from KnitPicks where one of my latest sample test knits appears on page 10. I knitted the gorgeous knee-high Sayonara Socks. The pattern is quite simple and once you work one repeat of the stitch pattern it is really easy to remember the rest. I had a bit of a problem with the decreases but after contacting the designer, we found out that the book has an errata, but if you have knitted at all, you will find the error easy to fix. I have to admit that these socks were very difficult to mail out as I wanted to keep them for myself. 

SayonaraSocks


On training

PSswimsBikesRunsBanner

Look at me! I am sporting my brand new banner, designed by GreenCouchDesigns! Cynthia is the best graphic designer I have encountered. I giver her a general idea of what I want, she asks me my favorite colors and then she turns around and gives me a complete theme. Thank you Cynthia!

I love my new banner! It wraps everything about my blog-life, triathlon training and knitting. Hubby was being funny and saying that instead of it saying "swim, bike, run, knit" that is should read "swim, bike, run, eat" hehehe. He is so cheeky! 

What do you all think of my new banner?

The last week has been spent on training. Running, cycling, swimming, lifting weights has taken over my life. Even hubbers tells me that all I talk about lately is training and all I ever do is head to the gym. Even my daughter this morning pointed out that it wasn't so cold outside so I could probably run outside but that I didn't have a babysitter so I would have to run on the treadmill. I am tired, very tired! Each day around 8pm I feel that I am just going to drop dead on the bed and sleep, then if I don't go to bed then I get my second wind and I stay up til 1am. Some afternoons, I have even taken advantage of cat naps on the couch. I guess being tired is a true signed of training season being in full swing.

Today, I attended my first Masters Swim class. I signed up with one goal in mind, to become more efficient and learn better technique. Well, I am going to get just that, no icing on the cake either. The coach is great, she knows what she is doing, I on the other hand, don't know anything about swimming. I know how to get from one side to the other and back and forth over and over but not efficiently, so I was told. I have a lot of work to do to get better. On the upside, I have only one way to go--up! Humble-pie doesn't taste very good but it may make me a better swimmer. It is difficult un-learning everything and learning a new technique.

Cycling will increase this coming week and since the weather in Cache Valley is still nasty, I am doomed to the trainer. I don't know how I am going to survive 2+ hours on the thing. I have tried movies, I have tried music but 1hr is the most I can make it. Tomorrow, I am supposed to cycle for 2hrs, I am instead going to go to two spin classes back to back.

In the running department, it is a little tricky. The half ironman is only a half marathon distance, however, I have a marathon mid May so I have to train for that first. I guess I will be running a little more than what the half ironman distance calls for, but it should help in the long run.

On knitting news: the new Lexi bag pattern is over at LoomKnit.com and the new free Pattern of the Month is up!


Bounce Free

Maybe that should read Bounceless...but apparently Bounceless is not a word, hmm! Today, I want to talk about a very important subject to all gals out there, be it a cup size A or a DDD. We all want to run around, jump around, and not get a black eye in the process.

The other day, I was in spin class and I don't know how or why but my sport bra was not cutting it. Each time I pedaled, I just felt everything just bouncing up and down. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful they are bouncing up and down but there is a place and a moment for everything and this is definitely not the place nor the moment when you want to have your wares bouncing free. Wardrobe malfunction is the worst, especially when you are trying to get a good workout. You could run or bike or jump holding them in place with your hands but it is really not so enjoyable nor safe, especially if cycling outdoors. 

The culprit sports bra from that evening has left the building. I am one of those who loves to shop so I am quite good at replacing my sports bras every six months. I wear them a lot, when you exercise 2-3 times a day, that means 2 or 3 sports bras a day, if you only have 3, that means you wash them every day. Total, that may mean 5 washes a week per sports bra and about 120 washes in its lifetime. With these numbers, I have come to realize that I need sports bras that I can count on. Sports Bras that will support, not chaffe, and most of all protect the girls from the bouncing.

In my search for the perfect sports bra, I have found the following reliable products and brands: Moving Comfort and Champion.

Moving Comfort, my favorite brand, hands down.  As a runner with C cups, I need something that will hold and support not only for 30 minutes but for the entire 3 hours that I may be out there running. Some sports bras once they get wet with sweat, they get soggy and they don't support anymore. Moving Comfort bras are not like that, they are breathable (don't get me wrong, the bra will still get wet, soaking wet if you are a heavy sweater) but the fabric will hold its form under the wetness. Not only do they have the most support but they also provide with two different types of support: encapsulation or compression. Encapsulation allows each breast to have its own cup, rather than one piece of fabric for both. It provides a more natural, sexier look. Compression, well, it is the opposite of Encapsulation, you end up with the uni-boob look. My favorite styles in the Moving Comfort line:

Fiona
Fiona--I wore this style when I was a DD and it saw me through those days, now that I am a C, I still love its support and it is my number 1 sports bra. What I love about this bra: the eye closure at the back! Love it. When I am soaking wet with sweat pulling the bra over my head gets a bit tricky, not with this one, I can just reach back and take it off easier. Also, when you are putting it on, you can just bend down and close it at the back allowing your breasts to sit comfortably and more naturally in the cups. Another wonderful feature: the straps are adjustable, not from the back like most bras, but from the front! I highly recommend this sports bra to all my friends. It is the most reliable sports bra I have found in the past 3 years. It works great from running to cycling to even Turbo Kick. Also, I have found not to chaffe at all when wearing this bra. However, when using it during races, I always put a bit of glide around the band and the shoulder straps, just in case.

Cameo

Cameo--The support in this style is compared to the Fiona style I mentioned before, so it is also my second favorite sports bra. Once I lost the weight and I was able to fit into C cups, I relied on the Cameo style sports bra. I love the encapsulation feature and the sleek lines, give me a more flattering look. While I wear it to all my weight lifting activities: Body Pump and weight lifting days, I try not to wear it when I know that I am going to sweat buckets as I have a hard time pulling things over my head and this one doesn't have a back closure, so if I am soaked from head to toe, I need to have hubby help me get out of it. A feature that I love and the reason why I wear it for weight lifting, the racer back style. The racer back style allows me with free movement of my lats when lifting weights, no rubbing of material, no chaffing.

Champion

The third bra on my list is the Champion Seamless bra. I love the seamless feature of this bra. It is soft against the skin and the no seam itching or bothering is wonderful. I wear this bra interchangeably between my short runs and my weight lifting days. I wore it a couple of times on my long runs and I found that the support diminished after my sweat got the fabric soaked. However, not all my training days have long hours of cardio, so it is a great sports bra to have around for daily activities. 

BTW: Champion website seems to be having a sale right now, a lot of their sports bras are $19.99. 

Your turn: What sports bras have you found that you like for your activities?

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Disclaimer: The review is a personal review of these products. No company or individual has provided me with products to review them, nor was I compensated in any form to review these products. They are solely my opinion as a consumer and as you know, we are all different and we prefer/like different things.


Downtime...

Socks

Training was supposed to kick off on Monday, I was good and started the week off right. I lifted weights, did my spin class and a Body Pump Class. Tuesday came and I was good again, I knew I had a doctor's appointment at 9:30am so I woke up early went to the gym to put in 2000 yards at the pool, I was a good trainee and put in 2150. After my swim, I went for a 5 mile run which was completed at a pace of 8:45min/mile.

My training was on track, then 9:30 arrived and I got to my doctor's appointment. It was just a check up on this dumb cyst I have had on my back for a year. She looks at it and says "well, we can take it out right now, it will take 15 minutes tops!" The dilemma was presented: take it out now or wait a full year and get it out during off season. I calculated and figured that season is just starting and I prefer to get things done sooner rather than later. So under the knife I went and I got my first stitches. 32 years old and my very first stitches.

My back hurts like hell and I can move very little without making it hurt. It feels like a truck dumped a ton of rocks on a single little spot. I am sure I have a bruise the size of Texas. The worst is yet to come though,  I have a big @$$ band-aid back there that needs to come off and I am sure tears will be shed when I tell hubby to rip it off, perhaps I should call my doctor for a sedative before I rip it out.

Anyways, my training is now on hold for 10 days. I am not allowed to swim for any reason whatsoever, less I risk infection. I cannot lift weights, this by itself is killing me as I love lifting weights. I can bike and run but I have to take it easy for at least 48 hours to allow the cut to heal a bit and I don't rip out the stitches. Taking it easy is difficult. How do you take days off without feeling guilty and feeling the training slip away? To pass the time, I have been hanging around in Tri forums and websites trying to learn as much as I can...at least in theory.

Another way to pass the time, knitting! I pulled these sockies out and I finally finished the second sock. (I know, it took me almost a whole year to finish the poor mate). Now, I don't know what to do with them. I don't wear any of my knitted socks....weird, but I don't want to ruin them and frankly I can't wear them to run or to train so I'll have to see what I do with them...any ideas?


Workouts, Fears and Knits

Since I signed up all I can think about is the long arduous 70.3 miles: the swim, the bike, the run. I keep finding bumps where I may break and not be able to get up. The run which I thought would be the easiest, now I am thinking that it may not. I can run 13 miles, I know I can, but can I run 13 miles without music, especially after being alone for 4+ hours on the bike. I think I may turn into one of those loony bins who will be singing at the top of her lungs just to keep moving forward. Now the bike, how about if I get lost. I have never ridden by myself, I always have a friend with me. The swim, crap, this part is where it gets scary. How about if I get hit in the face and I get a bloody nose, or worse, I get clunked out, will I drown. Then the next big thing, a wetsuit. I don't own a wetsuit. I have to start looking into getting one and practicing open water swims. In the Utah tundra that's going to mean freezing my butt not to mention looking like a whale in the process.

So many things to think about that I didn't have a chance to think about before. I am double thinking this entire issue...I can't back out now. I am just going to have to buckle down, strap myself to the horse and ride until the show ends. Gosh, I am not feeling at all secure at this moment.

To distract me, my KnitPicks catalog came and I can finally show you one of the knits that I completed a few months ago. It was a fun distraction, the picot cuff, then the gorgeous purples! The colorwork repeat was a bit tricky to remember but once I got the first sock done the second was easy. The little flowers are easy and they truly make the sock! My lovely socks are on page 19 of the Colorwave catalog.

KPSample DSC07762

Lastly my weekly workout report: 13 total workouts. Not bad for an off season week.

Week2

The breakdown is as follows:

46 miles total

Run: 10

Cycle: 36

Lifted weights 4x this week, three times on my own, 1 Body Pump class, 2 Turbo Kick classes.

Goals for this week: hit the pool at least twice, preferably three times. 

Another goal: quit pushing myself down about the 70.3. I need to start believing that I can do it.


Ironman Boise 70.3

 IronmanBoise

I think I am about to die! I just registered for the Ironman Boise 70.3!!! What the heck was I thinking? I have the chills just thinking about it (and no, it is not from that stupid spicy salsa I ate 20 minutes ago, although I am sure it is not helping). I think I am going to pass out. I wasn't this nervous last year when I registered for the marathon...I mean I was but not to this degree. I have only a few months to brush up on my swimming aka improve my technique or get a technique, my cycling sucks so I need to definitely learn more in this area. Oh my! I haven't felt the butterflies this hectic in a very long time...I am so scared!


It Pays Off!

I have been working out so hard this last week that every day come 8pm I am ready to go to bed. Usually my schedule only includes a couple of hours of workout a day but I have been going to the gym and extra hour here and there. Why? Well, I have been eating like a piggy and my philosophy is that if I put it in the tank I should workout even more.

Remember I told you that I started a few new classes, when I started, I didn't know if they would help out in slimming me down. I mean, I workout consistently and my weight has been the same for about a year now but then the other day I decided to measure myself, the last time I measure was at the beginning of December and I thought that due to the holidays and all the chocolate oranges I ate that I would be bigger. Big surprise when I saw my numbers down all around. I went down a whole inch around my belly button and around my natural waist. I am so stoked!

Anyways, if you are like me and are on the fence about trying something new in your workout routine, don't hesitate, try a new class and shake things up a bit. You may get a big surprise next time you take the measuring tape to your waist!

Week1anotherview

Weekly totals

59 miles

Running: 10 miles

Cycling: 48 miles

Total workouts: 12 (Body Pump, Turbo, running, cycling, elliptical, weight lifting)