Thursday, June 22, 2017

WRtW June Event

I missed May's event due to travel, but I was back in June. I also missed a photo of our second speaker. Oops. I'm also going to do primarily bullet points because that's how I take notes on my phone during these things.

First up, we had Susanne Menge, a health coach and speaker. Her word was stuck.

- This is about getting there (to the stuck point) and getting past it.
- She had two primary goals - getting to Kona (IRONMAN World Championships) and to self-actualization in Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
- She did well in triathlon thanks to being physical. She didn't have any goals once she got to Kona - it was just to get to Hawai'i and to get out alive.
- She did IM Canada; it was 104 degrees and she qualified for Kona, which was the culmination of goal number one. The completion of a huge goal like that can leave emptiness ... which is kind of how she ended up getting to Kona a second time.
- After that, it was time for goal number two, which has no set concrete training plan.
- She did try to decide to try for the Olympics and her body stopped her, which was the beginning of what she called hard street. If you think there's one more thing to do and it brings you to your knees ... where do you go from there? 
- Then people died and she got raped and was blamed for it which led to her divorce ... and she hit rock bottom.
- Every time there's a hard circumstance, you learn to breathe and can tap into your own intuitive capabilities.
- She developed a three g system - God, girls, and gratitude. If something doesn't fit in with those three things, it doesn't fit in her life.
- Also: self-care? So important.

(That latter point seems to be a recurring theme here recently ... hi universe, I get your message.)

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The second speaker, who I forgot to get a picture of, was Pam Moore, an author and speaker. Her word was heart.

Her book, if you're interested, is There's No Room for Fear in a Burley Trailer.

She was not athletic growing up; she tried out for the lacrosse team and it was a disaster. She stuck with it until senior year when she finally quit, but along the way she learned that she liked running (or at least the feeling of pushing yourself to your limit when running) and kept at it. She started running marathons and then started doing triathlons. As a result, people would ask her questions about getting started and she'd answer, but would refuse to identify herself as an athlete.

She finally did her first IM and people asked her why she didn't identify as a triathlete even though she did triathlons. However, the image of her as a loser in high school stayed with her.

Moore discovered and read about impostor syndrome - you think you're a fraud and not good enough. She realized the issue was fear; the fear of becoming who she really was and that she has the drive. There's also apparently a high risk for this when you're out of your comfort zone.

The final two things she imparted were really pretty awesome, so bullet points for those:
- Growth forces you to stay in your discomfort.
- We all have the strength in our heart to find the courage to conquer our fears.

The final speaker was Olympian and former pro cyclist, Mara Abbott. I know I've shared her TedX talk here and her talk shared a bit of that experience, but her main point involved her word - authenticity.

She started off with a confession - she is terrified to ride up Sunshine Canyon.

As a pro cyclist, she was a hill climbing specialist and would do repeats up that hill. She hasn't ridden it since 7.30.2016 when she left to go to Rio to compete in the Olympics. 

She related her retirement from her pro career to a divorce, and that returning to Sunshine Canyon would be like that first coffee date out when you and your ex are just friends.

Her cycling career, when it started, moved insanely fast; so fast that she didn't even know if she wanted to keep doing it and, more importantly, didn't know why she was doing it. At the end of a great 2011 season, she took herself out of the sport (retired for the first time) with an eating disorder. When she quit, she was convinced that all of her problems were cycling's fault when in reality, she had a lot of work to do herself. Abbott realized that she did actually miss the sport and that if she was going to mount a comeback, she was going to do it for her. If she was going to be a pro, she was going to do it with full authenticity.

Just post the London Games, she ran into one of the head guys from USA Cycling who knew that the climbs at Rio were ridiculous ... which prompted her to send a text to her coach about winning gold in the 2016 games (which, as we know, almost but didn't quite happen).

Eating disorders are an issue with the third chakra, which deals with self-expression. So, if she was going to come back, she had to come back with full honesty which meant with herself, too ... and also honest with the world with where she had been the past year (the 2012 season).

We all face the temptation and the risk of muting ourselves ... when we commit to goals that aren't our own, when we stay places where we shouldn't, when we say it's okay when it's not ... if we are practicing to be someone we're not, nothing good happens.

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July's lineup hasn't been announced yet, but I know either next month or in August we're going to hear Shirin Gerami, who you might remember from last year's Kona broadcast, so I'm excited for that.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Race #5 of the Season: Skirt Sports 10K

The final part of the Skirt Sports Ambassador weekend 2017 (first part see here) was the race on Sunday. The race, put on by 3W Races, offered three different distances - a 5K, a 10K, and a 13er (because it's not half of anything). 

I waited until race morning to register because I wasn't sure what distance I wanted to run. My original original plan was to run the 13er, but I was NOT trained for that. I mean, I could have probably hung out at the back with some people, but I didn't feel like doing that for 13 miles. If I was going to run the 5K, I was probably going to want to race the 5K ... and I really wasn't trained for that, either.* Soooo ... 10K it was. Even though I hate that distance. But it's okay, because I ended up finding a race buddy to do it with.

(More on that in a bit.)

I've been having some issues waking up early in the morning now that I've quit the day job, but somehow I was able to roll out of bed ass ridiculously early (the race has starts around 6am ... which is good for a June race. Because it gets stupid hot here.).

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Car face.

I got registered, hit up the porta potty line (... for an all-women's race, even though it's small ... they need more toilets), and in general, just wandered around. 

At one point, I noticed a SMASH-Dimond tank in the bathroom line (that's basically the elite version of Team SFQ) so obviously I went over and said hi. Because my extreme introvertedness occasionally decides to hide in venues I feel comfortable in. So that's how I met my teammate Sarah, basically. She ditched that line and we jogged over to one of the local hotels to use their bathroom instead so she didn't miss the start of the 13er.

The 13er went off and it was soon time to start the 10K. I lined up by myself, but soon dropped back to stay with Deb, one of my fellow ambassadors and one of the most wonderful souls on this planet. We had briefly talked about doing the race together on Friday, and I wanted to run with someone, so this worked out wonderfully.

They changed the course again this year - it was behind the Home Depot as usual, but then up a little-used side road up to the 36 bike path and then around Davidson Mesa.

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Sneakily taking a photo of Deb. Also: look at the view!

Deb and I chatted throughout our run/walk - something I never do usually - and it was really nice. I also got to enjoy the beautiful views from the mesa ... another thing I probably wouldn't have been able to appreciate had I been racing.

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Finishing! Pic courtesy Jen Allen.

Overall Stats:
Time: 1:17:40
18/25 division (F30-39)
53/76 gender
54/77 overall (all female race ... must have had something weird happen?)

After the race, some chocolate milk and delicious Kim and Jake's. And waiting for the 13er runners to come in.

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New friend Sarah coming to the finish, getting third in her AG!

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Running celebrity Mirna Valerio coming to the finish of the 13er.

After the race, several of us went out for one last group event, brunch at Murphy's in Louisville (proceeds benefiting Running Start).

One last group photo, and we were back to our regular lives.

This weekend is so amazing, and I love being able to spend some time with my Skirt family. Brandon and I occasionally toss around the idea of moving out of Colorado, but I don't know if I could leave my Skirt sisters - seriously. There might be other races scheduled on Skirt weekend, but it would be so hard for me to not go to this retreat every year.

Friday, June 9, 2017

2017 Skirt Sports Ambassador Weekend

As a reminder, I am a Skirt Sports Ambassador. As such, I get to represent this AMAZING company. As a captain, I get a teeny bit of compensation in the form of a discount (for me and a code to share) and a gift certificate each year. I was not obligated to go to this retreat and totally not required to write about it, either. Buuuut, it was awesome, and I live an hour southeast of it, so clearly, I did/am doing both.

Part of the perk of being a Skirt Sports Ambassador every year is getting to attend the retreat/weekend that Nicole and company put on in Boulder at HQ every year. I've gone every year they've had it and the ladies keep outdoing themselves every year. The weekend culminates with a race on Sunday - which will get its own separate post.

The weekend kicked off with a cocktail reception at the store on Friday night. We got to meet new ambassadors, say hi to old friends, shop for more Skirt (if that's even possible!), drink, eat some great food, and hear about Skirt. We also got a sneak preview of the upcoming Fall/Winter 2017-18 line, but no pictures of that.

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Friday night festivities.

We then met back up Saturday morning for hiking, speakers, breakout sessions, a workout, and more food.

We had a choice of hikes to go on. Since I'm training for Pikes Peak Ascent, I went on the longer one. I also learned that I need to get a lot more vert in my life ...

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As our hike was the "Snot Rocket" hike, Nicole decided to put on a clinic on how to blow a snot rocket up at the top.

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On the way down.

After the hikes, we met back up for a quick breakfast, and then we started the speakers.

First up was Maria Uspenski from the Tea Spot.
- She started a cold brew tea; the idea of which came because of her experiences with Ride the Rockies.
- Think about hydrating with tea - it can save your teeth, you know what you're putting into your body, you can cater to your own needs, it has antioxidants and antibacterial properties, and obviously, the caffeine is helpful.
- Self-care is non-negotiable. You have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of anyone else.

Next we had fellow ambassador Mirna Valerio read us a chapter from her upcoming book (available for pre-order), talking about fat, body image, and self-acceptance. Following Mirna was another ambassador, Mary Sutter, our resident social media expert answering some questions about that.

Somewhere in there we had a workout - either yoga or a HIIT-style bootcamp (I did the latter), but after all of that, we took a break for lunch.

While we were eating lunch, we were split into groups by regions to come up with a new idea for Skirt, Shark Tank-style. A wide range of ideas were thrown around, but I don't want to mention them here just in case they end up in the works for the company. Don't want to leak any proprietary information, after all!

After that, we had our final speaker of the day, Dr. James Rouse, whom you might remember from my post on February's Women Run the World event.
- He wanted to remind us all how good we are.
- Don't lose a sense of your true self.
- We all (want to) improve ourselves, but sometimes, we are just sick of one more book that tells us we suck.
- There's a space in between self-improvement and self-acceptance, and in that space is self-compassion, which is the secret sauce of awesome.
- It gives us an unfair advantage over the inner critic.
- There is an opportunity for an uprising in our inner dialogue.
- We just need to live life loving and well.
- Each and every morning, ask yourself, what would love do now?, and then live your day off of that answer.
- Put into place five practices - optimism, play, functional nutrition, mindfulness, and gratitude.

All in all, it was a day full of fun, amazing energy, and a little bit of sweat. And a few pictures, which I'll share now.

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Taking a picture of Emily pretending to take a picture of herself with the Skirtmingos.

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Catching Lisa resting.

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Me hamming it up for the ever amazing Jen Allen, our official weekend Skirt photographer. This was during the workout break.

I would be remiss if I didn't also acknowledge all of the amazing sponsors who came together to help Skirt Sports put on this weekend for us!

- Noosa Yoghurt

- Ska Brewing
- Justin's Nut Butter
- Skoop! (Healthy Skoop)
- Golden Root
- Bhakti Chai
- Alpine Start (instant coffee)
- Noodles & Company
- The Tea Spot
- Kim and Jake's Cakes
- Mad Greens
- Skirt Sports
- 3W Races

The energy would continue on to the Skirt Sports 13er/10K/5K the next day ... which you will read about in my next post. Probably Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

May Round-Up

May ... was an improvement. In some respects.

Swimming: 7900m (4.91 mi)
Cycling: 42.05 mi
Running: 24.36 mi
Lifting: 16 sessions (4:22)
Other: one curling session (1:30), one hike (1:00), one rowing session (:10), one softball session (:20), five walks (12:50), four yoga sessions (1:07)

There were a few positives with this month - more swimming, more running, getting on the trails (some of those runs were trail runs!), more strength, more diversity. There was also some bad - little cycling, some inconsistencies.

I swam more than I have the past two months combined, but I know I need to swim more. And I'm starting to.

The bike ... has been a struggle. A huge struggle. Hopefully I can start getting over whatever mental block I've got there and just. freaking. ride.

I'm also struggling a bit with the run, but I'm trying. I'm trying to figure out what's going on and I think I've muddled through a few things. I've learned some things regarding Pikes Peak - mainly that I need to get more hike training than run training - so we'll see how that goes this month. Hopefully solid numbers, but hopefully a LOT of hiking as well.

The thing that probably stands out the most from the above list is the strength - sixteen sessions! Crazy, I know. A few people I know have started the Tone It Up Bikini Series. I learned about it a bit too late (and don't really want to completely get into the food part of it), but I did learn that there's a daily workout on the site. There's some cardio (which I generally ignore due to all the stuff I do on a regular basis), but there's also usually a daily lift. So I've been doing that. It's not much - usually only around 15 minutes a day - but it's manageable, which is what I think I need right now. I can also do it at home in my basement, which makes it even better.

Cross your fingers with me that June will be better - and except for the bike, so far, it has been. Also send vibes into the universe to make sure I swim, as my usual pool is going to be closed from the 10th through July 17th. Which sucks, yes, but the wet area is SO GROSS that I'm thankful this is happening. Because ew.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Race #4 of the Season: BolderBOULDER 10K

After we "ran" this race last year, we knew we'd never want to "race" it ever again. It was just too much fun. So, we were hoping to do the same this year.

But then we learned that Brandon wouldn't be home. And my running had been shit, so I knew I didn't want to sign up to run it by myself because then I know I would have actually tried to run it.

Thankfully, I saw on ... Twitter, probably, that or Instagram ... that Katie was for sure running it and not seriously (if you recall from last year's recap - or clicked on the first link above - we encountered her and her peeps last year). I messaged her and asked if I could run with her and she said yes. I had to track down a SMASH Horizon tri tank which was a bit tricky, but thankfully Hillary and Lauren are awesome and I got one overnighted to me.

I met up with Katie, her husband Thom, her friend Jen, and a friend of a friend Jamie at RallySport that morning and then we all walked over to the start line ... with a small detour at the trampoline in mile one. I dropped my stuff off at the mobile locker (wasn't sure if I'd be heading back to Katie's car or not and I had already paid for it), ditched Thom so he could find the friend he was running with, and lined up.

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From L to R - Jamie, me, Jen, Katie.

We actually ran the first mile relatively well - it was a 10:something. That's also because there's really nothing fun to do in mile one except for the aforementioned trampoline, and we'd already hit that (well. not me.).

From then on ... steadily slower, but steadily a LOT MORE FUN. Slip 'n slides (both!), beer, Doritos, doughnuts, lots of bacon, watermelon, grapes, cupcakes, Otter Pops, pee stops, lemonade and a lot of laughs.

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Slip 'n Slide #2. That weird sideways slide meant that side of me was drenched.

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Katie and I snarfing ALL THE CUPCAKES. Katie, if I haven't already mentioned it, is also TeamSFQ with me.

All in all, it ended up being my slowest - but way most fun - 10K ever. Which is probably going to be par for the course in BolderBOULDERs. Because dude.

Overall Stats:
Time: 1:44:30.8
411/501 division (F33)
17198/23214 gender
34348/43752 (I think) overall

We hung out in the stadium for a bit to meet up with Thom again and then caught a bus back to Rally. Jen split off and I went to get my car to then drive to Longmont where we all grabbed some lunch. I then took Jamie back down to Denver (so she didn't have to bus it back) ... where I got rear-ended. Joy.

Even that unpleasantness (even combined with my wicked sunburn. knew I forgot something ...) couldn't overshadow what an amazing morning I had. Many thanks to Katie for letting me tag along and for the pictures. Which I stole to use for this blog.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

On Curling

So this post should have been written, done, and dusted ... two weeks ago? ... but, well, lots of life changes going on over here so I'm getting to it now.

Back in high school, I was a bit of a Canuckophile. Blame my crazy love of hockey that blossomed, but I became obsessed with pretty much all things Canadian. This also included the, at the time, relatively obscure sport of curling. Curling, which you may or may not know, because a bit more of a household sport in 2002 thanks to it being added to the Winter Olympics.

I married a Minnesotan who also loved hockey and also curling. He's a way bigger curling nerd than I, really, and actually tried it once up in college.

A few years back, the Denver Curling Club opened up here as a dedicated facility to curling (next closest? Somewhere in Arizona and in South Dakota. I think.). We've been tossing around the idea of doing lessons pretty much since then, but I finally signed up for information and, what do you know? They opened up a few spring classes and one of them was open AND fit in our schedule. Whaaaaa?

I signed us both up.

So, back on May 3, we took a Learn to Curl class at the DCC.

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The sheet.

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Brandon on the ice.

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Me curling, as posted on Instagram. 

It. Was. So. Much. Fun. Seriously. People may not think curling is much of a sport, but you're doing a lot of lunges when you're the one handling the rock and sweeping? Can be exhausting. Especially if you're playing a game and you're one person down so you only have one sweeper (as opposed to two). 

We loved it so much that, in the fall, when the ice goes back in, we might sign up to become members. We probably won't join a league (yet), but as members, we can book practice ice and we can sign up to sub on teams just to start getting the practice.

It might not have been multisport related, but trying new things and cross-training is always a good idea. So whatever sport/activity you might have been tossing around trying? Sign up for a beginner's class! You might just fall in love with something new.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

April Round-Up

Ugh, April. You weren't much better than March. In fact, you might have been worse ...

Swimming: 3000m (1.86 mi)
Cycling: 45.25 mi
Running: 10.52 mi
Lifting: six sessions (3:06)
Other: two hikes (1:00), one session plyometrics (:25), one walk (1:00), four yoga sessions (:49)

I tried resetting for April, but clearly it didn't really work. The early part of the month was tentative, but successful-ish. I look back at the month and I didn't have too terribly many off days, but I didn't do a lot of triathlon-related stuff. I also had a few very rough days emotionally (Dad in the hospital for major surgery will do that ...), which didn't help.

I am trying to be more positive, though, so here are a few things I can positively take away from April:

- I raced again. Sometimes, a little thing like that can get me going. The Sneak wasn't my fastest 5K, but it certainly wasn't my slowest and even though it was (given my history) a fairly mediocre time, it was probably one of my best executed races. I'll put it this way - I haven't been that sore after a 5K in a really, really long time.

- I've started hiking. With Pikes Peak Ascent in August, I'm not only going to need to start trail running (which I also did a tiny bit), but I'm also going to need to hike to get used to that. I've started that process.

- May is still planned out. I haven't totally given up. In theory, Santa Cruz training starts the 22nd. I probably won't be following the plan to the letter, but I have it as a guideline/baseline to where I should be.

- I signed up for SMASH camp. Yep. Early August will see me back in Tucson SMASHING it with Hillary Biscay, Alyssa Godesky, and a lot of my other TeamSFQ teamies. I already know the loose schedule, which includes a crazy ass swim (at least 50x100), climbing up and over Gates Pass, climbing Mt. Lemmon, trail running, and some track work. This camp? TERRIFIES me. Which is probably a good thing, because if nothing else will motivate me to get my ass in gear, this will.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Race #3 of the Season: Cherry Creek Sneak

Also known as the race that almost never was.

Training has been crap. It really has. I don't know if I'm mentally waiting for my life leaf to turn over (quitting my job May 5!) which will give me all of the time to train (... if I get focused ...), or what, but it hasn't been good. Add that in with my Dad going through some serious health problems ... well ... it doesn't make it easy.

That being said, Brandon and I still kind of wanted to do this race. We hadn't raced it in a few years and we knew that it wouldn't be anything spectacular, but we're working on accepting on where we are now as opposed to where we were or where we might possibly be in the future, so we decided to run, and not get cranky if it wasn't sub-30 or sub-10 per mile, as have been our general 5K goals for the past few years.

We got down to Cherry Creek early, but still not early enough to avoid all the road closures, so we parked on the other side of the mall than we usually do. Did. Have done. We walked to register, popped into Safeway so Brandon could grab a snack (and the bathroom), and then back to the car to stay warm for about an hour.

With about an hour to race time, we got ready to go and left the car. I knew of a couple other Skirt ambassadors running thanks to some Facebook posts that morning and I ran into Emily almost as soon as we got back to the race area.

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Stolen from a FB post she made post-race. She killed it, btw, looking up her results post-race. I'm here wearing Skirt - Free Flow tank and Lioness skirt - and some SMASH - my new Team SFQ arm warmers and some SMASH compression socks.

In warming up, I also thought I saw our friend Nic running - Brandon didn't think it was her, but I totally did so I called out her name and lo and behold, it was Nic! We weren't able to catch up with her post-race, but it was great to see her as we haven't hung out in ages. Nic, I might add, won the women's 5K race and came in 9th overall. When we originally asked her about the race, she thought it went okay and was hoping for around 18 minutes. Yeah, we told her she won and did 17:53 (which was about 20, 25 seconds faster than second place).

I also managed to see another Skirt ambassador in the starting corral based solely on the outfit she posted on Facebook pre-race ... I have an uncanny knack of finding people if I know they're going to be out there. I missed a few others who I didn't know were racing, but that's probably why - if I knew they were going to be there, I'd find them.

Anyway, the race.

First mile felt pretty good. We were keeping it steady and easy ... and the first mile is so congested anyway that it's pointless trying to do anything unless you're at the front of the pack. I briefly snuck a look at my Garmin when it beeped - it was around a 10:30.

Second mile is mostly slightly downhill and we noticeably picked it up, but it didn't seem terrible. I was having a bit of a time holding on and not walking, but I managed it alright. Took another look at the beep - uh, that's dropping the pace, but too much - it was around a 9:40.

I finally couldn't hold on any longer (lungs, mostly) at around 2.6 miles in and we walked. I was so desperately trying to stay running, but I did not have the fitness to do so. We walked way more in that third mile than I think either of us would have liked, but that was the way the day shook out.

I did manage to beat Brandon by a second though, so ha.

Final Stats:
Time: 32:32
667/2165 overall
299/1332 gender
53/149 division (F30-34)

Not my fastest 5K, but definitely not my worst. It's a pretty accurate showing of where I am right now, but also a nice little wake up call since I've got some very scary shit on the schedule - Pikes Peak Ascent being the obvious one, with 70.3 Santa Cruz right behind it, but I'm also probably doing a SMASH camp in early August that I need to show up prepared for. 

Cross your fingers that I figure out a way to get my ass moving again, because it seriously needs to ...

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.

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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On the Tucson loop trail.

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Bike selfie. (SMASH kit, obvi.)

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On our trail run on the Phoneline Trail in Sabino Canyon.

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"This shit is hard." Rocking all the Skirt (plus SMASH socks).

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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.

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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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