Friday, February 16, 2018

Team Amazing Day Run Camp

In my January recap post, I mentioned the possibility of doing run camp with Katie and her Team Amazing Day people. I promised if she didn't fill it up, I'd take one of the open spots, so, well, I took it.

Run camp was a completely different experience from SMASH camp - mostly in that it was a lot less crazypants - but that doesn't mean it was better or worse. I actually really enjoyed the low-key nature of it and the wide range of abilities there.

Camp started Thursday, February 8, with a shakeout run up in Boulder at Tom Watson. It wasn't long and I didn't even do the whole thing - ran out and then walked back - but enjoyable.

On the way back.

We then all went to Modern Market for dinner, and then I drove back home.

This is where my day got fun ... before I left for Boulder, our neighbor smelled gas and called Xcel out. Apparently it was coming from (so we thought) this chimenea thing that we inherited when we bought the house - valve was loose. Well, I got back from Boulder at around 8, 8:30pm ... and Xcel was back in front of the house. Thankfully I got back, because what was actually wrong? The gas line that was installed when two owners previous converted the fireplace over from wood-burning decided to start leaking. We're not sure if the pipe is corroded or what, but yeah. So we no longer have a working fireplace or chimenea for the foreseeable future. It was also good that I got back because due to the leak, Xcel had turned off our gas. If they had been gone when I got back? No gas until early the next week (when I would have been out of town anyway). The Xcel guy was super helpful, getting our gas back on, getting the pilot lights on our water heaters relit ... and helping with a leaking faucet on the outside of the house (because of course Brandon was out of town for all of this).

That whole story is to say that I didn't even get showered and in bed until around 10:30pm. And I had to be up early enough to be up back in Boulder at 8am the next day ...

... I did wake up, thankfully, but quite tired. Friday, February 9, was hill day. We went for a shakeout run in the fog first.


Next was the actual workout. Katie found a hill off 51st (near Boulder Reservoir) for us to do repeats on - four rounds of 30/60/90s (30 seconds up; walk/jog back, 60 seconds up; walk/jog back and so on). This is definitely a workout that I can take with me and do on a hill we have nearby. The 90s started getting super hard by the second round, though ...

Photo courtesy Katie. Doing hill repeats in the fog.

After the run, we had a bit of time to grab some food (and for me, sweet, sweet coffee) before heading over to RallySport for some swim instruction. I was super happy to be able to swim in the outside pool (with snow! and steam so that I couldn't see the other end! #triathlete) for my warmup before my one-on-one instruction (which was first).

Took this after I was done, but this is where I swam.

I got some good drills and tips from Katie that I'll use going forward and I might actually hire her for some separate instruction (because we know I need it). I didn't swim too much after (as I'm not swimming much right now), but it was awesome.

Katie doing her thing on deck.

Post-swim, I actually hopped on over to Skirt Sports to buy some longer pants (a new Tough Girl, actually), since I sometimes don't know how to dress for the weather. Oops. (It was colder than expected that day.) I then joined everyone over at Protein Bar for some lunch and then it was back to Rally for a run mechanics session with Charlie Merrill. The session was good ... but I do feel I didn't get all the gait analysis that some others did since I went first. Everyone who went after had their stride changed up a bit and I didn't. I know what's wrong and what I need to change, but I don't know. I just felt I missed out some.

After that session, Katie talked to us some about both success and sports nutrition, with good nuggets of information shared during both segments.

We had an optional group dinner at Roost Longmont (which I went to) ... after which it was snowing for half of my drive back home. It also meant that after showering, another day back in bed by 10:30.

Saturday, February 10, was long run day. We met at Katie's at 7am (which meant I had to leave my house just before 6 thanks to the snow). The run was 60-90 minutes, depending, and I went 60. I also put on the HR for the first time all camp, which meant that I did 4.28 miles in that hour.


It was teens and snowing. Weeeee!

We all got back to Katie's, got some coffee, I changed clothes ... and then it was off to find more food (and, in my case, more coffee and to fill up my gas tank) before back to Rally with a session with Erin Carson. I know I've mentioned Erin on here before; she's awesome. Brandon was actually landing at DIA during this session ... but I told him I'd pick him up after it since I did NOT want to miss it. I did, however, skip out of the little strength routine Katie was leading everyone through after Erin's bit so I could fight through the snow and ice to the airport.

While I was doing that (in shitty, shitty conditions), everyone else was swimming more. I got Brandon, we went home, ate something ... and very seriously considered not going back up to Boulder for the final session that day. However, we fought the crappy roads (the storm had moved east - which is weird for Colorado - so while Denver roads were fine driving up that morning and got terrible in Boulder ... everything was terrible driving to DIA ... and driving back, Denver was shit while Boulder was okay) back to Rally for a session with sports psychologist Julie Emmerman. Julie had a really good interactive session regarding comfort zones which made us think quite a bit.

Katie had gotten some delicious Kim and Jake's for us to enjoy afterward, so we had our cake and drove back home.

There was officially a final run Sunday morning, which I was going to skip anyway to go curl ... but I had to skip all of it in order to catch a flight, as we were meeting my brother and sister-in-law and their two kids in California to crash their trip to Disneyland.

All in all, run camp was great, and I regret nothing for going. I really do enjoy the camaraderie of camp and I should probably try to do more!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Back with Skirt

Given other stuff I've posted this year, you probably already guessed this, buuut ...

... I'm baaaaack!


Yep, back as a Skirt Sports Ambassador Captain! If you look over to the sidebar, I have a new code - 306Geis - which is good for 15% off any full price item over at Skirt Sports. They're tracking referrals this year (use my code! it's good all year!), but if I'm going to get something out of it ... I have no idea what that will be. If anything. But if you use it, YOU benefit from wearing awesome comfy Skirt. And if you don't like Skirts, their capris are super comfy and awesome. AND THEY HAVE POCKETS, which is seriously the greatest thing ever.

But I won't be upset if you don't ... because you gotta wear what you like to wear. Just know that I like Skirt. And have been wearing it for a decade now ... and exclusively for running for eight years. EIGHT YEARS, man, it's crazy how time flies ...

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

January Round Up

First things first ... as you might have noticed ... new look 'round here! Got bored with things and decided to change it up. It was one of my goals, if you recall. I'm also going to not blog in as tiny of a font. I may go back and edit old posts. Maybe. I'm also kind of lazy (and, more accurately, my newish laptop is a bit touchy), so probably not. Who knows.

Anyway, we're already through January. I know, right?

Swimming: 4200m (2.61 mi)
Cycling: 34.68 mi
Running: 26.22 mi
Lifting: 13 sessions (3:36)
Other: one bowling session (:45), five curling sessions (5:30), one elliptical session (:25), one rowing session (:15), two yoga sessions (:32)

The month started off decently well ... and then Brandon got sick and I think I got a touch of sickness from him and it all kind of went downhill from there. I haven't swam or ridden my bike in about two weeks. Of course, last time I tried to swim, I almost puked in the pool, so there's that. Running was going well (slow, but well) up until the last week or so. I got back on the ECFit lift party train ... before missing a session ... so I got back into lifting thanks to the TIU dailies (also the reason I have so many lifting sessions). Those daily lifts have saved my butt when it has come to getting in SOMETHING as opposed to nothing.

Curling is still a thing. We grumble slightly, but it's a thing.

February, I have small goals. Instead of planning the whole month out in advance like I've been doing, I'm going to do it week-by-week. That will allow for a bit more adventure (which I'd like in my life).

I would also like to hit a few mileage goals - at least 5000m in the pool, 50 miles on the bike, and 30 miles running. Obviously I'd like to hit way more than all of that, but that is the bare minimum I want to see. 

I am probably doing run camp (or ... most of it ...) with Katie and the Team Amazing Day peeps in early February which will also include a bit of swim instruction. We'll see.

I am definitely going to Disneyland alongside (but not technically with) my brother, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew ... which will mean a lot of walking around and not training. Which will be awesome.

February is usually kind of a miserable month, but who says it has to be? Let's change that internal narrative ...

Friday, January 26, 2018

An Ode to Skirt

As a fun thing this year for being a Skirt Sports Ambassador*, we get to do challenges to earn fun things. So, you might see a teensy bit more Skirt-related things on here. Don't worry, I won't spam you, because selling isn't my style. Besides, if you've been following for any length of time, you know I've been wearing Skirt for ages and ages - way longer than I've been an ambassador.

Free Verse Skirt

When your first Skirt

Is not actually a skirt
But a shirt
It seems like it might be
For a collection to grow.
Alas, no. It is entirely
For I am
Proof positive that it
Silly, really, how a
Simple race shirt
(thanks 2007 Tri for the Cure)
(my first tri, by the way)
Can start an
Obsession, just due to knowledge of a 
Thing that
Silly, really, how a need to feel
Pretty can grow into a
Spiritual Movement, or
At the very least,

The race tee in question.

* As an ambassador, I get a discount. As an ambassador captain, I get a tiny allowance. As the new ambassador year rolls out, I'll get a new discount code to share, which, if you use it, will end up being good for me. Somehow. Not sure of details yet. And good for you, because you'll be in super comfy Skirt. And if you're a male of the species? They make stuff you can wear too. Like the super soft neck gaiters they make in collaboration with BoCo. The husband loves his and wears it proudly.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

WRtW January Event

So hey, it's been a while since I've gone to a Women Run the World event at Skirt Sports ... I missed the one in September due to travel and then I'm not sure if there was anything the rest of the year or not.

In any case, they're now every-other-month events, with the format switching up a bit.

January's event, to kick of 2018, was actually a film screening of Beauty Mark, a film about body image and loving your body, made by Diane Israel, a former professional runner and triathlete.

It also had a lot of great food*.

Beauty Mark is a very powerful film. It essentially chronicles Israel's journey through sport and eating disorders, the resulting screwed up body image, and how body image is so screwed up in so many of us.

I took some general bullet point notes through both Israel's comments and the movie, and I'll share most of them here:

- early badass woman in triathlon

- reading a book on mBraining - essentially, we have three brains - our head, our heart, and our gut, and in those, you can align those for creativity, compassion, and courage

- you come home to your body to serve others (must be well in body before can help others)

- she was 28 and her body was destroyed - trained so hard and didn't eat and was so, so skinny

- why so scared of fat?

- so many people (in fitness as pertained to this movie mostly) have a bad body image

- eating disorders - including exercise-induced bulimia, where you exercise your food off as opposed to throwing it up

- distorted body image

- grew up with unhealthy messages - needed to be perfect in father's eyes; wasn't the perfect boy the parents wanted; mother was beautiful and may have been a bit crazy but she was beautiful and that's all that mattered

- stopped eating as a way to quiet inner voices/control what she could (at age 12)

- Israel went on a journey in making this film, trying to better her own self-image, searching for enlightenment ... learning that there is no true destination, and that getting to live is the gift/reward

- be who you are and people will love you for being who you are

The full, fleshed out version of the film (we saw a 50 minute, edited, educational version) will be available on Amazon Prime in a few months. Given that so, so many of us have some sort of distorted body image, I would HIGHLY recommend watching it when it's available.


* Food was thanks to MAD GreensBhakti ChaiSka BrewingJackson's Honest, and the best, Kim and Jake's, who provided not only cake, but gluten-free rolls which were AMAZING.

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Goals

Originally, I was hoping to race an Ironman this year.

Unfortunately, with finances and other life plans, it's not going to work out. But you know what? That's okay. Mostly because this means I am 100% for sure doing IM Wisconsin in 2019.

However, this year means that it is the year of CONSISTENCY and BASE BUILDING.

I want to go into next year with a super solid base, being able to dive right into IM training without having to rebuild myself up. As mentioned in my previous post, I didn't take the end of the year completely off like normal, so I'm already in a good place.

So that means ... my main, number one, SUPER BIG MEGA goal, is, therefore, to be consistent. Put in the work, day in and day out, for it is the consistent small efforts that produce big results.

I have a few others, though ...

- Break my 5K PR of 26:27. It turns 11 this year, and that is unacceptable. Also, since I'm not doing anything long this year, I can focus on speed. Plus I have a zillion opportunities to get this one since from essentially May through October, there's several 5Ks every weekend. I will achieve this goal by:
- running consistently 3-4 days per week
- keeping up with the HR training
- adding in hill work
- mixing in track/speed work in the spring

- Break 2:10 in the half-marathon. I have never officially done this (Garmin sez yes; official results sez no), and would like to. I will probably only get one shot to do this (planned as of now), but that makes it fun, right? I will achieve this by:
- doing the above
- adding in tempo work on longer runs ... or long-ass track sessions
- actually DOING my proper long runs

- Have faster swim times in tris. My pool times are getting better, but not in the open water. Dislike. This needs to change. This is also not super specific as swim times vary from tri to tri based on mat placement. I will hopefully achieve this by:
- swimming a lot
- swimming consistently - 3-4 days per week
- incorporating speed work and band work

(If that all doesn't work this year ... get a triathlon-specific swim coach to help me out for next year.)

- Average 18mph (or greater) on the bike in at least one tri. I've technically done this once in a duathlon, but it quite possibly was a freak occurrence. To be faster at the longer distances, I first need to be faster at the shorter distances. My bike was a pseudo-strength once; it needs to be again. I will achieve this by:
- gaining strength on the bike through climbing
- doing focused trainer work ... even when it's nice out

And ... even though it's not technically related ...

- Give this here blog a facelift. I'm kind of bored with the way it looks so I'd like to redesign some stuff. Not going into details of how to achieve this because I'm not yet entirely sure what I'd like, but it needs to change. It'll be obvious as to when I do this, clearly ...

Okay, so those are my goals. I'll be putting up the tentative 2018 race calendar on the sidebar soon.

Do you have goals for 2018? Feel free to share below!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

December and 2017 Round Up

Let's get the December numbers out of the way first, shall we?

Swimming: 6700m (4.16 mi)
Cycling: 40.89 mi
Running: 23.05 mi
Lifting: 12 sessions (5:07)
Other: two curling sessions (2:00), three elliptical sessions (1:10), two hikes (1:30), one rowing session (:10), one stepmill session (:15), one stretch session (:10), one yoga session (:16)

This month had a lot of stumbles in it. Life had been going really well ... but I got a teensy bit sick and then holiday stress and boo. Five off days, a lot of missed workouts ... but! I didn't end up taking half (or more than half) of the month off like I usually do, so that's a plus. Also a plus: lots of random extra activity beyond the swim/bike/run. 

The main downsides to the slide were the run - missed more runs that I would have liked - and the lifting. I missed a few of my ECfit lifts and so went back to the TIU for the end of the month. 

As for the whole year in general?

Numbers-wise, I had my second-biggest year swimming ever ... probably mostly thanks in part to my swim streak in February. It didn't really reflect in racing much ... which means I definitely need to add some speed work (and possibly more technique work?) for next year.

Since I've been truly keeping track of things (2010), it was my fourth-biggest year in terms of bike miles. I'm super happy I got back over 1000 (third straight year for that), though I'd like to continue to add more miles to the bike (as always). As a sneak peek into next year's plans, I'm not planning on doing a race longer than an Olympic (which, for me, tends to be a lower bike mileage year), but I'd like to definitely ride more than I did this year.

Running ... was a fairly disappointing year. 5th out of 8. I never tend to run much, but I really probably should change that, especially if I'd like my run to get better. I'd like to think that I'm getting on the right track with the HR training, but we'll see how it goes ...?

I lifted a LOT, particularly in the latter months, and I am loving it. Really hope that continues to be a thing.

For goals ... I had one big goal for this past year - to enjoy the process

Did I?

... I think so. I think this is going to be one of those constant, evolving, fluid things. I think it will take me a whole lifetime to get to. Fitness is not in my genes. My family (or at least the last two generations or so ... mostly on both sides ...) is a fairly lazy and sedentary one, particularly past 35. I turn 35 this next year and while I'm trying to get into a consistent rhythm, it's still hard to fight nature. 

That being said, I've enjoyed hikes with friends. I'm starting to enjoy the plod runs I'm doing. I have a quick 8 mile/30 minute ride that I do that does bring me joy. I'm realizing that, if I don't feel that great, if I can force myself to exercise, it makes me feel tons better. It does, it truly does. I just need to remind myself of that a bit more often.

Did I hit my goal?

Technically, no, but I think I'm well on my way, which is okay, because it was a more fluid goal than I originally thought.

Back Friday with 2018 plans and goals!