Friday, January 30, 2015

Yay, Skratch Loves Us Too!

So the official word came down over the wire this week for both of us ... We are also official Skratch Labs Taste Agents!

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If this came down the line, I had the cheesiest idea for this post ... and since I don't have Photoshop on the lappy (... not like I remember how to use it from that one week or so on it in cs101 in college ...) ... you see my mad MS Paint skillz.

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Anchorman, I didn't like you all *that* much, but sometimes, your quotes come in handy ...

Even happier is that Skratch came out with COOKIE MIX and our friend Nic (who, weirdly enough, works there now) is bringing me some! COOKIES! 




(blog post so titled because I mentioned Skratch in a "things I love" post last year.)


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On Priorities

Last year 'round these here parts, I set a goal to blog about twice a week which ended up being Mondays and Wednesdays.

It was good for the most part; it got me back to writing on here and sharing the things that were going on. Blogging naturally fell by the wayside when traveling, but I do think the plan helped me stay on top of race reports (which was AWESOME) and helped me get a bit creative sometimes (resorting to poetry ...).

But ...

What about those weeks when really, I had nothing to say? Sometimes, the grind is just that - a grind. Right now, in these cold winter months, a lot of my training is indoors. I don't run with my phone and I really don't want to fill this blog with just run selfies.

So ... I've been thinking. 

Right now, I'm just too pudgy and slow. I hate the way I look right now, I hate the way I feel the extra weight when I run, I hate the stomach my knees hit when I ride ... I hate things not changing.

As a result, I'm going to make that a priority. Training, helping myself to become healthy again, helping myself get to a point where I can start to unlock the potential I know is within myself (or, conversely, learning that I am as good as I'm going to get) ... that needs to be my priority.

If blogging falls by the wayside ... so be it. I'll still get on here for race reports, for training days that inspire me, for thoughts that pop in the process, for exciting news. But I don't want to have me sitting, staring at my laptop, thinking of things to say, forcing myself to sit down and blog about something, anything, be more of a priority.

Here's to change, here's to being awesome, and here's to figuring out our priorities.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Unable to run

For those of you who know me well, you know my relationship with running.  For those of you who are new to my life, I'll give you a brief synopsis.

Running and I have a very love-hate relationship.  During a season, I will generally go through 3 to 4 swings of loving running and hating it.  There are times during the year I love getting my shoes on and pounding out some miles, and other times where that front door might as well be the Berlin Wall.  You get the idea.

Right now, whether or not I want to run, I can't.  I'm sidelined with a case of plantar fasciitis. It started a couple weeks ago, when I attempted to run on the treadmill in Billings, and while the pain has lessened a lot over the past week, I still feel a very slight pressure in my heel. It's like a pebble is embedded in my heel.  And needless to say, it sucks.

This year so far has been pretty good.  Aside from this and a bike crash last week, it's gone pretty well.  Work has been acceptable and this last week off has been great for recharging my batteries.  And the thing is, I know I'll bounce back from this.  I'm looking into some PT options and deciding if that's the route I'll need to go.  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Newsflash: Ice Is Slippery

A lesser goal I have this year is to be able to get outside on my bike every month this year. In Colorado, this is very doable. It gets a little hairy a few months (mainly, January and February), but this past Sunday, we were able to get out for a nice ride.

As nice as it was, there was still some ice out on the trails ... and poor Brandon took a spill about halfway through our ride.

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See that ice patch behind him? No way to avoid it.

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Someone is now a bit muddy ...

We didn't let it discourage us (much) - it just slowed us down on the ride home since he was banged up a bit (but not broken!).

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Hanging out on a bench.

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Tri dino Gustave tagged along in a plastic bag so he wouldn't get gross.

The current forecast is to be nice again this weekend, so hopefully I'll have more pictures to share next week.


Monday, January 19, 2015

TBD is Also Team TriSports!

Okay, so Brandon officially broke the news last week, but whatever. Clearly you need to read my comments on this too ...

If you've been a loyal follower of Team Baby Dino for a while, you know we love TriSports. 

In which we get wetsuits - April 2010
In which we buy new bikes - April 2013
In which we visit them pre-IMAZ - November 2013

(We also volunteered at their run aid station in November 2012, but that blog post was stupid.)

Although we love being a part of Team MaccaX, our global tri team, we decided to take the plunge and apply to a few other teams as well. One, for a local tri shop, we didn't get. We were kind of expecting that one, but it still hurts - you put yourself out there and rejection can feel personal.

Another one is for a brand ambassadorship that we're 99% sure we have, but no news here until that's 100% official.

The other one was for the TriSports.com Champions Team. I don't know why we never applied in the past. A lot of it is probably because we never thought we were good enough. This year, we decided to take the risk and, happily, it paid off. Sometimes, you take the leap of faith and the universe catches you.


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Yep, thank you Seton and Debbie (and everyone else at TriSports)! This year, Brandon and I will be a part of Team TriSports. I already fulfill one of the main qualifications - I usually do the run portion of tris in my TriSports visor anyway - but I'm excited to see what else the year will bring.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Exciting News

Aside from MaccaX, both T and I haven't raced on a team or with a team.  Until this year, I had never even considered applying for a team. I figured you had to be a really good athlete, which in our sport means contending for Kona.  Let's face it; that ain't me.

This year, seeing a lot of my tri friends on teams, I decided to take the plunge and apply to a few.  I'm not the fastest athlete out there, but I am passionate about the sport and attempt to be the best ambassador of it that I can.  Triathlon needs to be fun as well as competitive.

Today, both T and I got the email from our favorite tri shop, TriSports.com, welcoming us to their team.  This store is special to us and has been for a number of years.  When we went down there in 2010 to buy wetsuits, as newbies, we were pleasantly surprised at how welcoming they were and the supreme customer service we received.  We've trekked to the desert many times since, always making a stop at our favorite shop.  

TriSports always does a run-aid station at IMAZ, and both T and I volunteered for it in 2012. During my Ironman in 2013, I got a huge hug from Seton, one of the co-founders of TriSports, which more or less propelled me the rest of the race.  It's little things like this that make me proud to wear their brand and represent them in the sport.

Stay tuned for this exciting partnership!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Awesome is Exhausting

I had planned on writing a different post today. In my brain-dead state yesterday in which I could barely function at work and somehow made it through a training session with Richard, I spent more time than I have lately sitting in front of my laptop reading random stuff. I mostly read a blog that I stumble my way toward every now and then (and should really put on the blogroll) - Run This Amazing Day. Katie's posted some stuff on there that really got me thinking about this year, and my goals, and I really wanted to talk about that. But there's time for that. There's more going on with me today, and I should focus on today, first.

If there's one thing I've learned so far in this young year, it's that being awesome is exhausting.

To elaborate on that point, I've learned that one's body settles into a routine relatively quickly. Early bed times? Better food? Give me that ALL of the time. Get out of it for a night? You're screwed, baby.

I've been making daily to-do lists in the notes function of my phone this year. I work so much better with to-do lists and have been trying to go paperless with them ... partially because on my phone means I will always have said list with me to focus on. Monday's to-do list was fairly simple:
- work
- cottage cheese and pears snack
- publish tbd blog (i wrote monday's post sunday)
- trainer
- stock show!

We had tickets to the National Western Stock Show and, more specifically, for the Pro Bull Riding event that night. Work was early - 4:15am, as usual - and then I ended up having a very late night. We got back to the car about ... 9:30ish - well past my bedtime. I probably actually crawled in bed around 10 and didn't fall asleep until probably after 10:30pm ... at least a good hour and a half after I've been falling asleep lately (or more! Been trying to be in bed prior to 9).

As a result, I was an utter disaster on Tuesday. I woke up maybe 13 minutes before I had to be at work (4:15 again), giving me enough time to get dressed, give my teeth the crappiest brush job ever, snag my lunch out of the fridge and get to work on time.

At work, I was fumbling everything. I dropped a whole container of mocha on the ground, getting it all over the floor, all over the ceiling, all over the walls, partially over some of my coworkers and all over me - in my hair, in my ears, in my eyes, up my nose, all over my legs. I had a caramel bottle explode on me, getting all over the counter and dripping down my mocha-covered leg. Counting money was a disaster. I about broke down and cried on the floor, it was that bad.

I got home, curled up next to Brandon for about an hour, ate a snack and somehow got through our training session. We got home and all I wanted was to do nothing. I made breakfast for dinner - pancakes! ... which tasted like crap, played on the internet, and went to bed. I skipped my planned trainer ride partially because I was in the process of cleaning all my bike shorts that fit right now and partially because I was just too damn tired.

I fell asleep around 8:30 and proceeded to sleep in until about 8 this morning. I've already been on the trainer - moved yesterday's session to today - and my legs felt like shit. I still feel like crap - the less-than-ideal and extremely carb-heavy dinner last night I'm sure is a part of the why.

I also haven't taken a day off yet this year and I feel that in my muscles. I feel it in the way I'm rambling right now. I feel it in the way that I can't get enough water and I can't get enough sleep.

Being awesome? Is terribly exhausting. But I believe it's worth it, so I'm going to keep at it.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Above All Else, Be Welcoming

So I was in the pool yesterday and I noticed the guy next to me had a IM70.3 Miami water bottle. When he stopped for a second, I asked him about it, as we had originally considered racing Miami this year (instead, we signed up for Silverman). We chatted for a second, but he had to get back swimming so his coach wouldn't be mad due to the extended rest.

He finished up his swim as I was finishing up an interval (woo pyramid sets) and we got to talking more about triathlon and the longer distances in general. I found out that he's doing IMAZ this year, his first full. As that was mine, I got all giddy and told him it was awesome, and what to look out for, etc. He shared with me his excitement and his joy that he was going to be sharing the experience with a group of five friends. 

The interaction got me thinking about some of my other conversations I've had with my fellow triathletes.

- At Crescent Moon last year, I was in transition before the race with my friend Jeanne. It was one of her first triathlons (and indeed, may have been her first one in open-water), so she was asking me a ton of questions. A few other people near us were also newbies and joined in on the conversation.

- All the conversations we had with Scott in his lead-up to IM Coeur d'Alene this year.

- A few years back, I saw a woman with an IM Kona bag in the locker room at the gym. I asked her about it; I don't even remember her response, but I remember that she pretty much brushed me off, giving me a curt reply before walking off.

Both the experience yesterday as well as the one at Crescent Moon made me realize how much I missed having guiding voices in my triathlon journey. Sure, I had a few - thanks, Kris! - but in general, I feel like I had more negative experiences than positive ones in the early part of my triathlon journey.

I will be the first one to tell you that I am no triathlon expert. However, since I enjoy the sport and have a ton of experiences to share within it, I will actually open my mouth and talk with you about tris (not a common experience if you know me in the non-internet world). 

So, fellow triathletes (and endurance athletes and athletes in general), I say to you this: if another person asks you about your Ironman hat, or your marathon t-shirt, or whatever, be nice. Be welcoming. Do you really want to be the woman I encountered at my first Oly back in the day, where I accidentally knocked her helmet off her bike and she about bit my head off? I barely knew what I was doing! I obviously didn't mean to brush her stuff!

(I could have been just as mean to my rack mates at one of the Boulder Tri Series races a few years back, when I came back into transition and my stuff was EVERYWHERE, but really, what's the point?)

Remember, we were all new once, whether it was last year or 15 years ago. You may not have been nervous setting up that first transition, but let me tell you, a lot of the rest of us were. If someone talks to you pre-race? Try to talk to that same person post-race, ask how it went - s/he'll be thrilled that you asked, and will then maybe be inspired to share the welcoming vibe with the next person.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Being Better Tomorrow

I'm typing this from an iPad so bear with me. 

I'm 9 days into the New Year and I'm not disappointed in myself. I've done well. Lots of riding and Some good lifting. My running could be better and I haven't had much time to swim due to work. Probably most important?  I've gotten great rest this year. 

So one thing I've realized this year is I need each day to be a bit better than yesterday. Take what I did today and build. Continue making strides and each day will show growth. 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

So Far, So Awesome

Well, we're a few days into the new year, and the plan of awesome is going fairly well so far. Of course, life attempts to derail the plan every day, whether by being exhausted thanks to work, dealing with annoying people at work, or by apparently having my debit card hacked (*siiiiiigh*).

Still, I've successfully worked out every day of this new year. I haven't done much each day - anywhere from 15 to 50 minutes, but I'm getting back into the groove of things.

Running I've done the least, but it's also been butt-honking cold, so I'm okay with that. I've gotten on the treadmill once and done a group run with SkirtSports.

Cycling I've done a fair decent bit - all trainer time - and I'm still waiting for my legs to not feel like lead when I climb on my QRoo.

Swimming I'm not playing with any of my toys quite just yet (pull buoy, paddles, etc.) so I can get my feel for the water once again. Which is probably a good thing, really, as today Brandon mentioned my arm hinging wasn't going so well, so I slowed down to consciously focus on it.

I'm purposefully not going all out because I know it won't get me anywhere. I've forced myself to not get on the bike some days (to make three-a-days) because I know I'll be on it enough this year ... even though I'm oh so glad to actually want to climb on the damn thing.

My body is complaining about the work I'm putting it through, but I can tell it's getting close to craving it, too.

And let me tell you - I've missed it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015: The Year of Awesome

Also known as the annual goals and resolutions post!

If I've learned anything over the last few years, it's that I think I set my goals too high. Granted, I don't think I set them out of the realm of achievablity (did i make that up? i think i did ...), mind you, but as I mentioned this past fall, I fear success, and think I subconsciously self-sabotage.

Therefore, the number one, above all else goal this year is the following: 

Embrace my inner awesome.

(yes, that gets bolded, giant-sized font, italicized AND underlined.)

I don't think I do that. I don't give myself enough credit. I am my harshest critic and no one (except for maybe my brother) can put me down more than I can.

And really, I'm the only person who can change the above. So that's what I want to do this year. Be more awesome.

That being said, I do have a few other goals related to the purpose of this here triathlon/fitness/whatever blog ... ones that I came up with randomly back in July when I was dreading the rest of the year.

They are:
Ride 5000 miles.
Swim 250,000 meters.
Run 500 miles.

Yep, that's a lot. It will take a hell of a commitment on my part (well, both our parts, really - Brandon's in on this ... except for swimming. He's only going for 175k thanks to his job and also because he doesn't need the work as much as I do), but I'm excited to do it. I'm five days in and so far, so good.

We've mentioned those numbers to several people close to us; some people think we're going to fail, and fail horribly and others think we'll be able to do it no problem. I think it won't be easy, but I'm willing to try a sheer volume goal as opposed to time goals in races - a "goal is in the journey" type of thing, I guess.

There's another reason for wanting to put in this massive amount of volume this year and for us scheduling two 70.3s a month apart ... we're trying to set ourselves up well for next year.

That's right, we're already planning 2016 'round these here parts.

If you look back at 2013s numbers, they were enough to get us through Ironman, but let's be honest - we were way undercooked going into IMAZ. Particularly me, and particularly on the bike.

2016 is going to mark our fifth year of marriage and, if the trend/weekend holds, Ironman Chattanooga will fall on our fifth anniversary. I've already told Brandon that racing an IM on our anniversary is how I want to celebrate, and he's all for it.

And I'm still not sure how it happened, but the idea of also racing IM Boulder that year popped into our heads ... which, if we did it, would mean two 140.6 races six to seven weeks apart. It would be difficult, but not impossible - we saw our friend Ann do it this year and rock BOTH races (although Ann is also a freak of nature, so you know) - third overall female at IMMaryland and then followed it up with another third overall female at Beach2Battleship.

So yes. Tons of mileage this year and closely-raced 70.3s to build a solid foundation going into the double Ironman year of 2016.

If you think we can do it, great! Encourage us! Come train with us! (with that many bike miles, we'll need some company ...)

If you don't? Well, screw you; I don't want your negative energy harshing my awesome.

Here's to a great year!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

December and 2014 Round-Up

Oh, end of year posts ...

Let's start with December first, shall we?

Running: 1.6 mi
Swimming: 0m (0mi)
Cycling: 28.86 mi
Lifting: six sessions (3:34)
Other: one boot camp session (60:00), four walks (1:40)

Did I do something non-S/B/R related?: If we count the boot camp class like we did back in July, yes.

Am I strength-training regularly?: Yep.

Am I injury-free?: Thankfully, yes.

December ended up being a crapshoot for the final few weeks. I decided to say "screw it" when it came to working out so I could get a lot of personal stuff done (projects around the apartment that I've been meaning to do for YEARS; essentially cleaning out some clutter). It lifted an unknown weight off my shoulder, so the stress release of stress I didn't even know I had? Totally worth it.

As for 2014 ...

Did I get a new 5K PR? Unfortunately ... no. It still lives on.

Did I continue to keep PRing at the BolderBOULDER? Nope. I was on pace to until my butt decided otherwise. Stupid colon.

Did I get any closer to 2:00 in the half-marathon? Ha, no.

Did I get any closer to 1:30 in the sprint triathlon? Technically ... yes. Thank you Lakes Country Triathlon and your short, short swim.

Did I get any closer to 3:00 (but stay under 3:30) in the olympic triathlon? Ha, no.

Did I get any closer to sub-7:30 in the 70.3 distance for triathlon? Still nope. Almost pulled it off with lack of training though ...

 Am I back into the 8:00/mi range running? Not consistently. I have flashes of it, but only flashes.

Did I learn to tolerate hills on the bike? Actually ... yes! Only one hill mentally killed me, and if I'm being honest, it was the hill plus lack of training plus heat plus a headwind. Horrible combination for anyone, really.

Did I ride more than last year? Oh, not even close ...

Do I suck less in the pool? Maybe? Hard to quantify ...

Did I strength-train regularly? Yes! 58 total sessions this year means I did.

Am I injury-free? I am. I had periods off from training, but it was due to stupid things, like shingles, not injuries.

 Did I do at least one non-tri related activity a month? I got a little technical with some, but almost. April was the only month I didn't, but I had extra in August, so we'll say it averages out to yes?

Did I blog more? I actually blogged less than last year ... but I was on pace for it. Travel makes blogging rough. As does not doing anything. And getting burned out.

******

If you go straight by my goals I posted on the blog last year, the year actually ... kind of sucked. I hit maybe three goals this year? I trained so much less and got horribly burned out and spent a lot of time not training.

That being said ... I learned a ton this year. 

- I learned that I can podium.
- I learned that half my problem is a fear of success.
- I learned that a super-heavy early racing season? Is no bueno if I want to do ANYTHING the rest of the year.
- Conversely, I learned that I can handle a heavy race load and race consistently and not kill myself.
- I learned that I am enough, but I want to be more. I want to DO more.

It's hard to say that 2014 was a good year because 2013 was so great. Compared to 2013, 2014 was very, very meh. And if 2015 goes to plan, 2014 will continue to be even more meh in the rear view mirror. 

Still, if you learn from a year, it can't be all bad.