Showing posts from 2016

From IMLOU to IMCHOO and Being a Newlywed

The day I did Ironman Louisville was quite simply the best day of my life. As I sit here and update my training spreadsheet to reflect the dates for Ironman Chattanooga (IMChoo), I feel like I am betraying something each time I hit delete or change a date.  Not only was it the day that I became an Ironman, but it was the day I became an Ironman hand in hand with my fiancĂ©, and moments later, his wife. Each time I change a date, it feels like I’m erasing a part of this journey. Jason and I started the morning of October 9th side by side (we even snuck a kiss mid-swim!), we finished hand-in-hand, but mostly, we did the ENTIRE journey together. All 30 weeks of training, and 14 hours of Ironman. We laughed together; lost our minds in hot, August, 6- hour rides together; lived through messy piles of laundry and dirty water bottles together; got up early-super grumpy- together; and learned how to work as a team to make our dreams come true. 
Training and completing the Ironman was truly a …

The Stone That Crushed My Ironman Dream (Temporarily)

“Some sessions are stars and some sessions are stones, but in the end they are all rocks and we build upon them.” ― Chrissie Wellington
It’s taken me a couple weeks to write about this, but I want to remember it. Good days, bad days, it’s all part of the journey. Two weeks ago I had my worst workout EVER.  I think it’s taken me awhile to put it into words, because maybe I had to realize it wasn’t the end of the world, or more realistically, my dream to be an Ironman. I tend to get emotional during training. The fact that I had made it 23 weeks of Ironman training without crying was an accomplishment in itself. But that changed during training week 24.
We were scheduled for a five hour ride. The following weekend, we were planning to head to Louisville and ride the course for our first 100 (more on that to follow!). Because we’d be increasing mileage by quite a bit the following weekend, I wanted to gradually increase the weekend’s ride to 5.5 hours.  I was still on a high from the wee…

Lake Logan 70.3 Race Report

Race morning started with a 3 a.m. wake up. I was so thankful to have the-best-Sherpa-ever, my dad, at the wheel for the 1.5 hour drive, as he was quite familiar with the winding roads through the mountains. Every time we thought a turn had brought us to the middle of nowhere, we made another turn, farther into the rural NC mountains.  Switchback after switchback and climb after climb, we quickly realized that Jason and I would be having an interest bike ride that day!
This was the 11th year for the Lake Logan Multisport Festival by Set Up Events, which always draws a very competitive crowd. Although in the dead of summer, it's always wetsuit legal because the lake is fed by a mountain stream. The water at the swim start is generally in the 70s, but we were told that as you near the finish, where the stream meets the lake, the water temp drops to the high 50s! At the well-organized packet pick up, we got our bibs and awesome Next Level t-shirts, my favorite brand because the mate…

Lessons of Ironman Training Continued

This is technically our first week in “Build” phase, although we are tapering for our Half Ironman on Saturday. Next week we will be entering full blown “Peak Phase” and on week 21 of our 30 week plan.

To get my mind off of how quickly the past twenty weeks have flown by and the fact that we are insanely close to the big day, I have compiled a list of lessons that I have learned over the past twenty weeks:

vIronman has its own time zone- Ironman Non Standard Time. Inside your Ironman training bubble, life moves along at a very normal to slow pace. Meanwhile, your life/summer/year outside the bubble flies by.
vThere is such a thing as being too lazy/tired to go out to eat.
vYou are not born with ugly feet. You develop ugly feet as you age. This is compounded if you are a runner. My feet are not the same feet I had just five months ago.
vYou will develop a not so very fine line between the ONLY thing that is comfortable to wear and everything else. You will realize that over half your tri…

Ironman Training: 10/30 Weeks FINISHED!

It’s a small step, but then again a huge step. We’ve made it through “Base Phase”, which is ten weeks of Ironman training. Which also means we are one-third of the way through our training for 140.6 miles at Ironman Louisville.  Time has never gone by so quickly in my life! I thought the 30 weeks would creep by, one dreadful week after another, but this couldn’t be farther from the truth! The time is flying by so quickly that I’m wishing it would slow down. I don’t feel ready to race an Ironman in only 20 weeks!!!!
Another really unexpected thing has happened. I’ve enjoyed almost every single minute of training! I thought I would find myself struggling for motivation, but each workout leaves me ready to crush the next one. There have only been a few moments when I have been riding or running along, and out of nowhere this thoughts pops into my head “what in the world am I doing?! I don't want to be on a bike! I don’t want to do an Ironman!!” It’s the weirdest thing! But as quick…

5 Stages of Grief After Signing Up for Ironman and Other Lessons

It’s the beginning of week three and I have already learned several things in my journey to Mordor…I mean Ironman Louisville.
#1 My legs will be tired and steps will be hard. This is especially unfortunate when your apartment is upstairs. Bikes, gear, groceries, so many stairs.  I’m calling these painful trips cross training. Speaking of groceries…
#2 Don’t neglect the meal prep. You can have fun on your weekend, but you will pay for it if you don’t meal prep. I got all my long workouts in this weekend, but then I spent the rest of it eating fair food and spending time with friends. I planned to meal prep Monday, our one “rest” day, which actually means clean, meal-prep, and laundry day. However, mine and Jason’s engagement photoshoot on Saturday was rained out and rescheduled to last night, and just like that, I missed every opportunity over the weekend to meal prep.  So let’s do a little math. 2 athletes + 0 cooked food or snacks=Betty White level hangry. 

#3 Garmin heart rate strap…

Ironman Game Plan

And just like that, we are half way through week 2 of training for our first Ironman.  Early on, I knew the only way I was going to be successful was to find a "game plan" and stick to it. Unfortunately, hiring a coach was financially not an option for us. I felt like some of my mediocre results at previous triathlons resulted from first not having a plan, and later, not sticking to a plan. After some research, I felt confident that the Be Ironfit plan would get Jason and me to the finish line. I decided to start with the competitive plan, and if it gets to be too much, I can always back down to intermediate later.
So far, I really like the book’s approach and time-saving tips. Our workouts are structured by time rather than distance, so it is easier to plan out our week ahead of time.  The plan also starts out at a very reasonable 6 hours a week. This has been tough, as we were so anxious to start training, and now that we have started, I am so motivated, I feel like I wa…

Little Grand Canyon hike

One of Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders, Providence Canyon was actually created in the 1800s by local farmers whose irresponsible practices led to major erosion, eventually creating what would come to be a 1,000 acre state park.  

I've lived in Georgia for 18 years, but only recently found out about this place, nicknamed the "little grand canyon."  Last week, my fiance and I decided that instead of celebrating Valentine's this past weekend in the usual way, we would do what we are best at-go on an adventure!!!

Early Sunday morning, we loaded up the car with our back packs, warm clothes, and hiking boots, and set out west.  Two and a half hours, hundred of cows, and zero places to eat later, we found ourselves in Lumpkin, Georgia.  Starving, we drove through the downtown area (about a half mile square) three times before finally finding the town's one of two restaurants, Snooky's (the other being a bbq place that wasn't open for breakfast).  Small and …

Love Your Body

So Valentine’s is FOUR days away!!! Second to Christmas, I’d say that Valentine’s is the most consumer-based holiday. Instead of feeding the frenzy by spending money to show just how much you love someone, I challenge you to invest in yourself this Valentine’s Day. It may sound selfish, but mental and physical health is one of the best gifts you can give to a loved one.

After the holidays, my fiancĂ© and I made the difficult decision to eat better.  This probably sounds familiar.  We have been down the healthy eating and meal-prep road before.  But we are human, and God just created me to love cupcakes and frozen yogurt more than the next person.  By the end of last year, I felt like things had just gotten out of hand.  We were eating out several times a week and not watching at all what types of food we were putting into our bodies or our portion sizes.  Even after I ate whatever I was craving at the time, I just felt miserable, sluggish, and guilty rather than satisfied.
Since it’s…

What I Discovered After Working Out 33 Days in a Row

I didn’t plan on beginning a workout streak… it just sort of happened, much like the ten pounds I gained over the past year after going back to school full time, a vacation to Alaska, and the holidays. I did not have high expectations for myself this past year. I made studying for my paralegal certificate a priority. Training was squeezed in when I had the time and mental stamina, which let’s face it, wasn’t often.
I did somehow manage to complete my second, half Ironman distance triathlon in mid-November, but since then I had been dying to simply get active.  I was not necessarily motivated by the desire to get in shape, but to just DO something.
So, on New Years’ Eve, I found time to for just that. I renewed my pool membership, and I went for a thirty minute swim.  The next day, several friends and I went on a New Years group run (where I got ENGAGED!!!! Post to follow on that soon!)  I had the next day off for the holidays too, so I went for another run. The next day I rode my b…