Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WRtW April Event

We were back to all female speakers for April's event, which was pretty awesome.

The first speaker was Jackie (Jacqueline) Ros, founder of Revolar, a safety wearable for runners and everybody, really. Her word was confidence.

She developed Revolar because her little sister is a sexual assault survivor, and a phone often isn't fast enough to call for help ... particularly because 9 out of 10 times, your attacker is someone you know, and safety isn't black and white. With a touch of a button, you can have a friend virtually walk you home and map your run. You can press it once to check in, twice to make your phone ring - convenient excuse to get yourself out of a situation where you feel off - and three or more presses will send for help.

Ros chose confidence as her word because she believes it is the number one thing holding women back. We have an unconscious bias, saying sorry for having an idea when we should own that. For her, confidence has overwhelmingly been the thing that has gotten her foot in the door.

As a start-up/small business owner, naive confidence has been the best thing on the planet. She had no idea that building a hardware company was so much harder than building a software company, which is also why it's been harder getting investors.

 photo apr_wrtw_zpsf5fc52lh.jpg
(The tiny white thing at her waist is the Revolar.)

The second speaker was Laurie Nakauchi, a teacher and ultrarunner, who chose superpower as her word.

Nakauchi, an ultrarunner who has finished 11 Leadville 100s, said that she was terrified when she was first going to speak, but knows that you have to step into fear.

She picked her word for two reasons:
- We're really good at pumping each other up, but so hard on ourselves - why do we do that?; and 
- As a teacher, she always teaches that we have superpowers and kids always believe it, but adults? Not so much.

We need to realize what our superpowers are. We don't often take the time to figure out what they are, but we can never use them if we don't know what they are.

Her superpower is the power of "Why not?", saying "why not?" when someone suggests something to her. It's how she got into her first marathon and long distance running, how it got her into ice hockey, how she got involved with the Iditarod, and how she and another friend (or two) became the first women to run the Colorado Trail.

 photo apr_wrtw2_zpsnwqfyezj.jpg

The final speaker was Siri Lindley, world champion triathlete and coach, who chose gratitude as her word.

Her talk was amazing and contained a lot, so I'm going to do my usual and condense it down to bullet points.

- The reason for her writing her book (Surfacing) was to help people.
- She was riddled with fear and anxiety as a kid, but at the same time, had an incredible imagination with incredible dreams.
- We can be so paralyzed by fear that it can hold us back from doing anything great.
- Our mind is here to protect us from pain and fear and failure, but it's not the voice we should always listen to in our lives.
- We are so amazing as human beings; we have hearts as gifts. We can do anything we want in our lives. Fear is okay; bring it along with you, but do the thing anyway.
- When we fail/fall is when we figure out what we're made of and how we can be better - failure is a gift.
- Tony Robbins - growth leads to progress; progress leads to happiness.
- A bad race is needed to catapult you to the next level; look at bad races as opportunities to learn and grow.
- Where focus goes, energy flows; you truly create your destiny with how you think.
- We owe it to ourselves to step into the unknown, take a chance, and strive for something way beyond ourselves because if it is important, we will get it.
- She is so grateful for everything that has happened in her life. When struggle comes her way, it's okay, because she knows that something amazing is going to come out of it. If you keep your mind on that fact, the struggle is easier to bear.
- Focus on what you have and not on what you don't have.
- Saying eff it and doing it anyway is an empowering thing.
- Often times, it's when you least expect something amazing to happen is when that something does ... but you have to hang around long enough for it to happen.

She mentioned something at the end of her talk that reminded me of a message that Jen Szabo had last month - we sometimes need someone to believe in us first ... but we have to feel it ourselves for it to come to fruition.

 photo apr_wrtw3_zpsuoeqgr0r.jpg

I should mention ... because I've forgotten to thus far ... is that if you ever want to listen to these talks yourself, they are always posted live on the Skirt Sports Facebook page during the event and then in the video section afterward. I highly, highly recommend listening to Lindley's talk, especially.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Training in Tucson

I've been hoping on pulling off a Tucson training camp for B and I for a few years now. We were kind of hoping for one in May, but logistically, it wasn't going to work out. 

(I maybe might be going to a paid camp in August, but that's not 100% sure yet.)

Since we wanted a vacation anyway, and Tucson needed to be a thing for both of us, we went down last week and obviously brought bikes and things to get a bit of training in.

It wasn't heavy - a bike, a trail run, and a hike - but it was good. The trail running also taught us that we have some work ahead of us before Pikes Peak Ascent.

 photo 4-5ride_zpso0iahdfu.jpg
On the Tucson loop trail.

 photo 4-5ride2_zpsrgkjehfd.jpg
Bike selfie. (SMASH kit, obvi.)

 photo 4-6hike_zpsoktxsshw.jpg
On our trail run on the Phoneline Trail in Sabino Canyon.

 photo 4-6hike2_zpslfzktkbu.jpg
"This shit is hard." Rocking all the Skirt (plus SMASH socks).

 photo 4-7snp7_zpsqn6nbsyp.jpg
Next to a saguaro in Saguaro National Park. SMASH tee and Lioness skirt.

We didn't bother with swim stuff because Brandon has been doing PT for a shoulder issue and wasn't cleared to swim at the time of the trip and I didn't much care about trying to figure it out logistically (things you don't bother with when you're not on a swim streak ...).

We didn't get in quite as much training as we'd hoped, but all in all, it was a nice little trip with some wonderful time in the sunshine. As well as a stop at SMASH HQ to buy stuff and talk with Hillary, because of course.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

March Round-Up

March, I'll say right now, numbers-wise, was a disaster. Read on ...

Swimming: 3100m (1.93 mi)
Cycling: 45.83 mi
Running: 15.61 mi
Lifting: five sessions (2:16)
Other: one barre session (:35), three walks (3:57), four yoga sessions (:54)

Back in February's recap, I said that March might be a down month, and I was apparently definitely not kidding. I obviously didn't plan on it being this down, buuuuut ... life is a bitch sometimes.

There's a possibility the swim streak ended up killing me mentally; I had this huge goal and I hit it and without anything else on the horizon ... I think I came out of it with a letdown. I may have spent so much mental energy getting that streak completed (which I did, yay) that I needed a mental break.

So I took one. And it lasted most of the month.

The other thing that didn't help was that Brandon got injured. We're not sure it was swimming or work or yard work (killing this spiky bush of doom in the backyard), but he strained his rotator cuff and has been doing PT on it for most of the month. Since he really hasn't been able to train when he's home, it's been hard for me to go do it without him. We'd been training separately some throughout the first few months, but we were doing it at the same time. This is a poor excuse and I should have just gone anyway, but brain chemistry is a funky, fucked up thing.

I have stubbornly planned out April, although it's definitely not as structured as the first few months were and has a lot more flexibility. Hopefully it works ...

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.

 photo mar_wrtw_zpsvhfefpos.jpg

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.

 photo mar_wrtw2_zps3fxukyjw.jpg

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.

 photo mar_wrtw3_zpsr8qy3q3c.jpg

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.

 photo wrtw_feb_zpsdojtuhi7.jpg