Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WRtW March Event

This month's Women Run the World event once again, had a man.

The three speakers that Nicole DeBoom rounded up for March were Frank Shorter, Katy Meuer, and Jen Szabo.

Frank Shorter, for those of you who might not know, is known as the founder of the modern running boom. He won the 1972 Olympic Marathon, had a running store/clothing company at one point, founded the BolderBOULDER ... he's a living legend.

The first part of Shorter's talk was a little scattered; it was almost as if he "didn't understand the assignment." I believe his word was persistence, but it might have been consistency. I take bullet point notes during the talks, so that's how I'm going to share his:

- Part of the last all male classes at Yale.
- His book, "My Marathon," was named one of the best NPR books of 2016.
- Lent his name to an event for early childhood education for physical fitness and diet/nutrition - Healthy Learning Paths - the Frank Shorter Race for Kids Health
- Experience in history of women's running/Title IX was one of the best things that has ever happened to women's sports.
- The more consistent you are, the better margin for error. (bolded, because I've heard this advice from more than one professional/former professional athlete.)
- Joan Benoit Samuelsson was competitive back in the day with Shorter and Bill Rodgers.
- Persistence doesn't know a gender; mental capacity to be consistent with training.
- Munich games were his most memorable race - he woke up and knew he felt good and felt better and better as the race went on. He had the strategy to turn the Olympic marathon in to a track race which worked, for at the time, the race was a war of attrition.
- His second best memory was when he lost against (Steve) Pre(fontaine) in a three mile race (or 5000m; wasn't clear) up at Hayward Field in Eugene.

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The second speaker was Katy Meuer, founder of Live Your 10 and a Beachbody coach. Her word was catalyst.

Meuer is a head master trainer for Beachbody. She grew up as an athlete, playing Division-I soccer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her thought was that if she felt she solved a problem, she reached a goal and she would feel enough, that there's one place with no judgement (world of fitness) where the only plus is if you show up.

(more bullet points because holy crap, my notes are scattered)

- Fitness classes are like a fishbowl.
- She did not have love and compassion in other parts of life.
- She had what she calls "destination addiction," it doesn't matter what one is working towards, just that one is working towards something.
- If you have this DA, you can't handle sitting still/waiting.
- She had enough of never feeling enough.
- She spent a year feeling enough in every area of life.
- The hardest part is showing up, but it's still not enough to just show up - you need to check your judgement at the door.

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The final speaker was fellow Skirt Sports ambassador and overall rockstar, Jen Szabo. Her word, obviously, was rockstar.

Szabo believes that we all have an inner rockstar. For her, she came up with this partially because she hears music and lyrics and hears it as poetry. Becoming your inner rockstar isn't a bulleted process; it's being in the moment and not hitting the skip button when you hear a song you don't like.

She went into a run group orientation and went to leave because she felt like she didn't belong. One of the coaches stopped her at the door and called her an athlete. The feeling of liking that designation let her to stay and then kept showing up to run group which eventually turned into branching out into triathlon. As a result, she created a new community through endurance sports which changed her life.

She couldn't do her own self-validating recognition/acceptance of her own self, thoughts, behavior, and feelings, but by becoming her own inner rockstar, it helped her to reinforce her self-worth, meaning of life, and personal identity, helping her accept the space that you're in.

Szabo ended by saying, whether you feel like a rockstar or a roadie, both have to show up for the show to go on, so just show up.

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Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Race #2 of the Season: Chilly Cheeks Duathlon #3

Getting to this about a week late, but eh. I had other priorities.

About a week and a half ago was the final race in the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon series. As with every race, I had been keeping an eye on the weather. It snowed some Thursday after they did the final course update, but I drove the vast majority of the bike course on Friday and it appeared fine. I was riding.

I was also flying solo, as my race photographer had to work. Silly husband. Silly jobs.

The Bike:

We went off in mini waves of varying abilities; I think there were around 20 waves and I went off about halfway through.

As I still wanted to pace the bike steadily, I didn't hammer as much as I probably could have, knowing that no matter what, my lungs were going to hate me when I got off the bike (as they do). That being said, when I saw some of the super speedy guys in waves that were after me, I made mini goals - like, get to x point before he passes you. For the most part, I was very successful with this strategy.

I also rode the course about two minutes faster than back in January.

Time: 39:32 (6th division, 15th gender, 59th overall)


I think I fell over at one point trying to swap out my shoes. Silly frozen fingers.

Time: 1:53 (6th, 24th, 59th)

The Run:

First of all, this four mile run? Was totally over four miles. The four mile marker was even a good tenth of a mile (at least) away from the finish. So I declare shenanigans on that.

That being said ... Not my fastest four miles, not my slowest four miles. I did manage to unintentionally negative split the whole thing (progression run?), so that's a plus. I rarely ever manage to speed up like that in a race, particularly a multisport race, so yay for that. It also means I hit my pre-race goal of smooth and steady on the run, as I posted that I would like at a faster run or at least a better-paced one, and I totally call that better-paced!

The one "negative" (if you even want to call it that) was that I was hoping to make it to mile two before my friend Jeannene caught me (given where she was behind me on the bike and our differing runs ... she's much faster) ... but I didn't quite make it. The mile two marker was almost in sight though.

Time: 46:08 (10th, 28th, 79th)

Overall Stats:
Time: 1:27:35
9/12 division (F30-39)
24/34 gender
72/91 overall

Quite a bit slower than last year (by about eight minutes?), but I was also essentially two months into Ironman training last year, which I am definitely not now. That, and, you know, the extra weight and all. Whatever, I had fun during it which was pre-race goal #3, so that's the most important thing.

And that I went straight to the gym after to get that day's swim workout in.

Friday, March 3, 2017

February Round-Up

Chilly Cheeks recap coming next week. Wanted to get this out of the way first.

So, February ... how did you go?

Swimming: 40000m (24.85 mi)
Cycling: 122.99 mi
Running: 34.38 mi
Lifting: nine sessions (3:28)
Other: 14 yoga sessions (2:57), three barre workouts (1:55), one walk (1:02)

The swim streak ... kind of killed me. I had some 10, 12 hour weeks which for me not in an Ironman year and still a good seven months out from my 70.3 is RIDICULOUS. Stupid swimming. I also missed two workouts (one bike and one run) which I'm sad about, but they were also during my down week so okay, I guess?

In general though ...

- HOLY CRAP I managed the swim streak! I swam all 28 days which I am super proud of myself for. Plus I technically played by the leap year rules because I had a swim on the 1st, too.

- The bike hasn't seemed all that great - crying twice thanks to Coach Troy will do that ... - but I was (spoiler) faster at Chilly Cheeks #3 than I was at #2, so there's that

- Running ... is off and on. Legs want to do high-8s, low-9s ... my lungs want to sit somewhere in the high-10s to 11s. Story of my life.

- Keeping with the strength, though I probably need to quit lifting in my basement (that is, mostly body weight). I just get anxiety at my gym so really I need to try hitting up different 24s to lift at.

- I've been happy to add in barre workouts (at home DVD), even though I'm not entirely sure if they're working ... yet ... and I'm stubbornly sticking with the damn yoga.

March might be a "down" month because I probably won't be swimming nearly as much (my right arm is gonna love me now) and I'm going to stick with similar run mileage because I always tend to pop my mileage up before the shorter runs are "easy" ... basically, I'm going back to how I used to run back in the day for a month. The one thing I'm really going to aim for is a better bike month - instead of planning general time on the bike, I've either got a specific trainer workout scheduled OR an outside ride. 

Here's to March!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

WRtW February Event

Was going to post the Chilly Cheeks recap, but I didn't want to let this get pushed to mid-March. So you'll get that next week.

WRtW = Women Run the World, as a reminder.

Also known as Second Tuesdays at Skirt Sports, even though this event was on a Thursday because the second Tuesday this month? Was Valentine's Day. 

Anyway, we heard from three speakers again as well as got to enjoy cake, thanks to it being Nicole DeBoom's birthday the next day. Mmm, cake. Besides their story, each speaker also shared three important things/pieces of advice.

The first speaker was Kara Berryman Burns, founder of ReSTART Denver and a former addict. Kara's path started when she was younger, becoming addicted to alcohol and then dropping out of school. She then became addicted to meth, got pregnant, got arrested, had her daughter and managed to get clean, but relapsed (if your core belief is still that you're not good enough, you won't succeed) and was indicted. A judge during one of her sentencing trials was a bit lenient, believing in her, and that belief was the catalyst in Kara starting to believe in herself, and also to listen to the voice in her heart - NOT the one in her head.

She shared three reminders for all of us:

- There aren't any mistakes, just opportunities to learn.
- Don't listen to the negativity.
- Everything worth fighting for is hard work.

The second speaker was Karen Peterson, who shared her story of using trail running to fight depression and anxiety. Her talk was a little wandering and not too coherent, but her story is basically that she started running as a response to bullying. Therapy wasn't working - she could talk and talk, but wasn't getting any change/it wasn't leading to any change. A lot of what she mentioned with depression and anxiety did resonate, though - don't we all wish we were the person we are on Facebook/social media? And we have an awesome life, so it makes no sense to have a sense of worthlessness overtake us (and yet it DOES).

Her three things were ways to connect trail running to feel more hopeful:

- Mindfulness (you can't space out on the trail or you're going to fall).
- You have to keep moving forward (which can mean playing the, "what feels good game." I connected with this with Ironman; okay, what doesn't hurt right now? My ears? Awesome. Go ears!).
- Gravity is tough (if you can imagine yourself floating, if you can think of yourself as being lighter ... you will be).

The final speaker was Dr. James Rouse, founder of Healthy Skoop, a plant-based nutrition company (primarily protein-type powders). Honestly, he was my least favorite of the speakers this month, probably because he got a little political (... Boulder ...). In any case, he talked about hope and how catalysts for hope are the most powerful organizations because people follow hope, and how delusional optimism is a fabulous form of hope. He also came from four generations of alcoholics, but saw Jack LaLanne on TV and thought he was the greatest thing (all motion creates positive emotion). So, we should move our bodies and be pollinators of hope, and that self-care and self-love really is a form of social activism.

His three points were:

- Let yourself connect with the good right before your eyes (ask yourself, what would love do now?).
- Give yourself a digital sunset (make your sleep awesome).
- Sleep naked (you will fight aging when you sleep and you will have better dreams).

Plus, you know, Kim and Jake's.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Chilly Cheeks (#3) Race Goals

Side note: I'm going to try for a bit more quality as opposed to quantity over here ... for a couple of different reasons, but partially so I don't feel guilty if I miss a post or two thanks to exhaustion. Silly swim streak ... I still have February's Women Run the World write up to do/post (probably in two weeks), but since this race is Saturday ...

Race number two of the season is tomorrow; the third race in the Chilly Cheeks Duathlon series. The weather around here has been gorgeous ... and then the snow rolled in yesterday. Which, I mean, we needed the moisture, but I would much rather race in 40s as opposed to 20s. Oh well.

Race #3 is a bike-run format, so 10.8 mile bike followed by a four mile run. I was able to get out and drive a bit of the course today (bought a State Parks pass) and unless it stays super stupid cold and everything ices up, I should be riding my bike tomorrow. There are very few snowy spots that pop into the road (and easily avoidable), but there are quite a few spots with wet pavement, so it'll be interesting to see what they're like in the morning. I might get there even a bit earlier than normal so I can drive around and see what the conditions are like.

Obviously I'd like to ride my bike, but if it's going to be stupid icy? Not gonna risk it.

That being said, my goals for tomorrow are as follows:

- Pace the bike steadily. With the probable cold temps, my lungs aren't going to like the conditions. I've got more bike miles under me than I did in January, but I have only been outside once since then and riding inside and riding outside are two very different things. 

- Smooth and steady on the run. I will probably undoubtedly have to walk more than I'd like in the first little bit because that's always my life getting off the bike, but I would, if I could, like maybe a marginally faster run. Or definitely a better-paced one.

- Have fun. Clearly these are very similar to January's goals, but I'm treating this race the same way I did January's - this isn't for me to crush, it's for me to get some race experience and to justify my sweats and the treats after. 

Back Wednesday with how it went!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Swim Streak Check In/Thoughts

We're at the 15th of February, so just over halfway through the month and since I've already swam today, we've also just passed the halfway point of the #SMASHswimstreak!

I'm at 20700m and, if all keeps going to plan, should be at 40k by the end of the month. Which is ridiculous.

Since this is the first athletic streak I've been able to successfully do (so far), I've had a few thoughts:

- Holy crap am I itchy! All this time spent in chlorine means that I've kind of been constantly itchy for the past few weeks. Living in a dry climate in winter in general doesn't help, but the pool is making it so much worse. I've been slathering myself in lotion every day and drinking a crap ton of water, but OMG THE ITCHY.

- My new Finis paddles (along with my pull buoy, when called for) are my new best friends. Seriously. I had a pair of Strokemaster paddles that I'd been using, but I'm pretty sure they were too big/advanced for me. I'd seen the Finis ones on several people and asked for (and got!) them for Christmas and I am in LOVE. 

- It took about eight days for me to need a 4-500m warm-up in the pool to start feeling good ... which usually takes me a few MONTHS to need while in IM training. 

- I kind of constantly smell vaguely like chlorine. It seems to be unavoidable.

- Getting in the swims has been surprisingly easy. I'm actually looking forward to getting to the pool. Working on getting in everything else, however ... that's been a struggle. I mean, I've managed, but it's been hard. And I've had some shitty bikes and runs.

- I am seeing new dents in my back/shoulders that I don't think I've ever seen before.

- I handle arm fatigue waaaaay better than I handle leg fatigue. And if the shoulders get really cranky, I try to find a way to make sure there's around 24 hours between swims (so if I swim at 7am one day, make sure I'm not back in the water until 11am the following day) as that seems to recover me enough.

- Best of all, the swim hunger? The I-swim-so-I'm-ravenous-the-rest-of-the-day feeling? If you swim every day, it's not as big of a thing. Which makes sense, since apparently that feeling is due to changes in body temperature so if you're in the water all the time, you're more adapted? Or something? I don't know. I just know that I don't always want to eat everything in sight this month because of swimming, so that's good.

15 days down, 13 to go!!

Friday, February 10, 2017

On the Skirt Box

If you read this blog - or even if you know me - you know I love me some Skirt Sports. Comfy, cute, real, inspiring ... what's not to love?

And maybe after hearing me yammer about them for ages, you're possibly thinking of trying Skirt yourself? But maybe you have no idea where to start. Well, that's where the Skirt Box comes in! 

The general gist is:

- You give them your size and whether you like patterns or solids;
- You talk with a Skirt concierge (personal shopper, if you prefer) to give your credit card info ($10 concierge fee);
- You get your Skirt Box!

If you love a Skirt, that $10 goes toward the cost of purchase, which is pretty awesome. And if you love more than one style, you get a discount if you decide to keep them. Really, click the link to get all the details.

The real question is, which Skirts do you get? Well, you get five to try:

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The Lioness;

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The Gym Girl Ultra;

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The Happy Girl;

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The Lotta Breeze Capri; and

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The Tough Girl.

Want to see them all together? I know you do ...

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From shortest to longest. Also my varying and weird facial expressions.

For your reference: I'm 5'9" and am wearing a large in all styles. My personal favorites are the Lioness and the Gym Girl. I don't run in the Happy Girl, but I do love it for travel. The mesh on the Lotta Breeze doesn't work for me for running - I prefer the Jette Capri - but it's cute to just wear around! The Tough Girl is great in winter, but I run so hot that I rarely actually wear it!

So, give the Skirt Box a try. It's basically risk free, and while I can't guarantee you'll love at least SOMETHING, I'm pretty sure that you will.

* Disclaimer: I WAS NOT PAID FOR THIS. I am a Skirt Ambassador so I do get a little something something from them for that and a little extra for being a captain, but I did not have to write this. I just chose to because I think this concept is freaking AWESOME. I will also NOT get any kickback if you choose to order a Skirt Box or anything else off their site. I pimp this out willingly because I heart it so much.