Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

It was a spectacular morning to race! When I woke up at 4:30am, had my banana with (Wild Squirrel) peanut butter, hopped in the shower (pre-race tradition), did my double french braids (pre-race tradition), I felt good, and yet honestly my legs didn’t feel as fresh as I wanted them to. I headed down to the race start, and it was cold, as usual, but I knew it was going to warm up and be a sunny day. There was little, to no wind, when the pro’s started the race, but by the time my wave started, the wind had picked up quite a bit.

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Transition closed at 6:30am, but my wave, 30-34, didn’t start until 7:30am. So, I stayed bundled up as long as possible, ate a Harmony Bar, then shoved everything into my “morning clothes bag” and hopped into my wetsuit, and shuffled over to the start. I say shuffled, because there is only carpet down for when you exit the water, not for entering, so we were all walking barefoot on the ground, which wasn’t nicely paved. #ouch

Tip: Wear cheap flip flops that you can just leave before entering the water for the start. It seriously is worth it.

I saw my friend, Courtney, right before the swim start, and we were excited to start the race together.

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Before I start the real report of this race, I want to preface my swim recap with the night before, I was telling my roommates, Keith and Jake (who were also racing), about how I ALWAYS buy a new pair of goggles before races. I learned this tip from reading a few pros blogs when I first started racing 5yrs ago, and it honestly was the best tip I ever received. Yet, for some reason, since I was taking this race a little lighter, I suppose, I kind of thought, “well my goggles worked on Wednesday, so I’m sure they’ll work just fine on race day”. So…here’s my race recap…

Swim: 37:47 – 1:47/100yd – 27th AG (30-34)

As I was swimming out to the swim start, which is an “in-water” swim start, my goggles kept filling up with water. I spit in them, rinsed, splashed my face, and put them back on. This usually does the trick at the pool, but this time, well, the gun went off, and they filled up again. Dang it! I stopped. Treaded water. And repeated that process, spit, rinse, splash face. Started swimming again, not too bad, not too bad, dang it, they are leaking….okay, just keep swimming, maybe it won’t fill up all the way, nope, stop tread water, repeat process, try again, I did that one other time, and then said to myself, “if you keep this up you are going to be out here for an hour, so suck it up and swim with salt water filled goggles” and so I did. After .2 miles of frustration, I swam 1 mile just dealing with burning eyes. It happens. Besides that, the swim was good, little to no chop, and I LOVE cold water swims as I’ve mentioned before, so the temperature was perfect. The problem is the water temp is warmer than the air temp at that time of day, so I was nervous for the freezing feeling I was going to have when I got out. So, my swim time, is what it is. And it was time to hop on the bike!

Tip: Always buy a NEW pair of goggles before a race :) No leaking, no fogging, and a happy swim!

T1: 4:19

There’s a fairly long run out of the water and to your bike, and there are no wetsuit strippers, so it’s definitely not the fastest T1, but I don’t think I lost too much time in transition. And you have to put your wetsuit and goggles into your “blue bag” so that you can receive it at the end of the race, since there are two different transition locations.

Bike: 3:16:50 – 17.1 mph – 36th AG (30-34)

Thank you Jaime Berry for capturing this pic of me on the bike! :)

Thank you Jaime Berry for capturing this pic of me on the bike! :)

When I got on the bike, I couldn’t feel my legs or my feet. I was frozen. I thought to myself, just pedal somewhat easy for the first bit, and let your body warm up, and then get after it. Well, 30min in, I still wasn’t warm. 1hr in, I still couldn’t feel my feet, and my legs felt like bricks. They were soooo stiff, it was as if I had just gotten out of an ice bath. I would stand up, every once in awhile, to try to get the blood moving more, but nothing was working. I seriously didn’t warm up until 2hrs in, and by that point, it was too late. My feet were still pretty cold, but at least they weren’t numb, and my legs felt better, but still felt pretty stiff. I just couldn’t get moving. On top of that, there were some pretty good cross-winds and headwinds during the race, and sadly never any tailwinds really. It was a SLOW day on the bike, apparently for most people. I just couldn’t believe it was this slow for me. Last time I did this race, I biked a 2:51, and this time, that would have been up there with some of the fastest times in the 30-34 age group, which was incredibly surprising. Overall though, the energy and positivity on the bike course was awesome! Everyone was so smiley and happy, and it really helped me to let go of how I was feeling, and just enjoy that I am able to do this! And I was having fun! :) I definitely would wear leg warmers and toe booties next time. My upper body felt pretty ok, manageable, but legs were dead. So, I focused on nutrition, and just getting to T2 to start the run!

Nutrition: 1 bottle of Osmo Active Hydration, 1 bottle of water, 1 Harmony Bar

Tip: Wear leg warmers, toe booties, and even arm warmers at the start of the race, and even a bike jersey if you would like. It doesn’t warm up too much, that you would regret having them on. 

T2: 1:26

This was a quick, take off helmet, rack bike, and throw on run shoes, and grab nutrition. And off I went!

Run: 1:52:59 – 8:37min/mile – 29th AG (30-34)

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I really just wanted to have a good run. I had gotten really slow over the last year, and I have been focusing on getting back to where I used to be. My goal was to run 8:30′s, and I did just that. My Garmin read that I ran 8:24min/miles and the run course showed to be a little long, so as far as personally being able to compare it to my run training this was important for me to see. I nailed the run for where I’m at right now. I hit my goal, and now it’s time to push even more, and take it up another notch. Since, Boise 70.3 I had been running 9:30′s and slower, and I kind of got stuck in this IM pace for ALL races. So, I’m working on getting all my different paces back for different distances. I need more than just one gear, and this was the start, at least for running. Biking and swimming, I’m working on too, just couldn’t seem to make it happen on this day. No big deal though, since running has been the focus lately. It’s what makes me happiest, and makes me feel the best. I seriously had a blast on the run! And am sooooo thankful my legs showed up after having a tough bike. Thank you legs! :) It also helped to have TONS of friends out on course cheering, whether they were also racing or on the sidelines. The energy that I got from you all was incredible. The positivity and excitement kept me going every mile of the run. Thank you all!

Nutrition: 1 bag of PowerBar Gel Blasts – Strawberry Banana, water, and 3 aid stations worth of coke in the last 5k.

Tip: Feed off the energy of all the people on this course! The aid stations, volunteers, and spectators keep you pumped up!

Total Time: 5:53:21 – 29th AG (30-34)

A big thank you to Mick, Cat, Sonja, and Jaime for the photos!!! And of course the cheers too! You all seriously helped me power through that run. I can’t express my gratitude enough. :) Congrats to everyone who raced on Saturday, and especially to my fellow Coeur Sports teammates. You all rocked, and I loved the energy and support out on the course. You all are amazing. :)

Definitely not my fastest day, but I had soooo much fun, and that’s what this is all about. I do this because I LOVE it. I love the challenge, I love the community, I love staying fit, and I love having fun. I look forward to continuing to improve and enjoy the fun, active, healthy lifestyle that this sport brings to my life. :)

Thank you to Coeur Sports, Osmo Nutrition, Wild Friends, and Oakley for their amazing support! Couldn’t do it without you all!

Cheers to high fives and two thumbs up for a great day of racing at Oceanside 70.3! :)

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High fives for Sonja!

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Two thumbs up for Cat and Mick!

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Cat, rocking her Lucki Lime tutu, cheering, and taking photos at the same time! #badass

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Cat’s husband Mick, rockstar supporter and photo taker! :)

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Until next time! Next up unofficially is St. George 70.3 in May and officially is Ironman Whistler end of July, but will hopefully throw in a few other races before IM Whistler too. :)

April Bikini Bootcamp

Let me kick your butt this Monday! ;) It’s time to get ready for beach and bikini season! Contact me at katie at theprojectneon dot com to sign up! There is a referral discount so pass the love along too! <3 Look forward to seeing your bright and smiley faces early in the AM on Monday!

BIKINI BOOTCAMP 2

Who Gets Sore During Race Week?

This girl! Seriously.

Race week is supposed to be all about recovery, but nope, this girl was sooooo excited about making a video for Project Neon on lunges, that it couldn’t wait. I honestly, didn’t think I would make myself that sore, but apparently 20min of straight lunging, and no other kind of exercises, can really burn the quads. Funny thing, they didn’t hurt when I was making the video. And therefore, thought nothing of it. But, when I woke up yesterday morning, they hurt. I did my pre-race shake out run of the week anyway, which is mostly easy except for a few race pace intervals, and then woke up today, still sore. #oops I knew that that was going to be the case, but I needed to get that run workout in.

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I swam and biked today, and legs are starting to feel better. I’m sure a full day of rest tomorrow will make me feel ready to tackle the big event on Saturday, but seriously, I couldn’t believe it. I have been sick during race week, I have felt a tweak here or there, that I have gotten massaged out during race week, but just straight muscle soreness from strength work during race week? Never.

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Here’s to the most unconventional training plan and race prep week ever! :) All I know is I’m having a blast! And I can’t help but love the feeling of being sore, it makes me feel like I burned fat, and toned everything. haha!

I can’t wait to see soooo many people this weekend at Oceanside! It’s going to be soooo much fun! Love races for this reason. I get to see people who I normally don’t get to see, because they live in other cities or states!

1 Week Til Oceanside 70.3

Wow! I can’t believe it’s already 1 week til my first race of the season. And not just my first race, but a BIG race. This has been the most unconventional training plan I have ever done, mostly due to the fact, that I have been flying by the seat of my pants, and following an “unstructured” training plan. After two ironmans in two months at the end of 2013 (Ironman Wisconsin in September and Ironman Arizona in November), I definitely was ready to not do any long stuff for awhile. But, of course, in my long distance high, I started signing up for other long races, like Oceanside Half Ironman and Ironman Whistler. And now, here I am, trying to have fun, and keep my motivation high, and still complete these two BIG races, before I take a break from long stuff for a bit.

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At-home strength workout

Last week, was my least ideal week ever. I went to Pittsburgh to help my brother and his family move from their tiny condo into a house in the burbs. I was excited to help, and knew that there would be minimal training. And for some reason, I was OK with that. I want to live my life. And I don’t want anything to control the way I live my life. Triathlon isn’t supposed to disrupt life, it is supposed to enhance my life. :) So…even though I was two weeks out from Oceanside, I flew to Pittsburgh, but I couldn’t not miss the opportunity to spend time with my siblings and see my 22 month old niece.

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It’s cooooold in Pittsburgh!

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Teddy and I after our run in the snow. Yes the snow!

I flew out there on Monday (no training), then did a hill repeat running workout on Tuesday, strength workout on Wednesday, treadmill run on Thursday, easy run Friday – and flew back on Friday night. Saturday longish ride, and today longish run. Yup. You saw that right, no swimming. eeeeek! oh well. I know I can swim 1.2 miles, we’ll just see how fast it will be. Probably not very. ha!

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London and I making bubbles at the children’s museum.

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Playing with color wheels

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My sister’s and my portrait.

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London building a city with blocks.

The weekend before I left for Pittsburgh, I did my first fun run, and had a blast. The truth is, I’m having a blast, not sticking to structure. I’m enjoying the chance of lifestyle, and really enjoying focusing on Project Neon, job hunting for a social media job (cough cough, if you have heard of anything, let me know ;)), as well as hanging out with friends and seeing family.

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Hanging out with the kids.

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Teddy is one of the most amazing dogs ever. He doesn’t bark, like ever, and is so loving and playful.

So, here I am, 1 week from Oceanside 70.3, and my first race in the 30-34 age group. (hahaha. yea the 30-34 age group). One of the most competitive women’s age groups. But at the end of the day, it is truly all about having fun, and that is why I do this. Do I want to improve? Yes. Of course, because that’s fun too! So, last time I did this race, was in 2012, and I finished in 5:28:58. I guess, we’ll see how it goes this weekend, but hopefully even with all the fun, I will still beat that time. :)

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Froyo to celebrate the first day of spring, of course!

My First Ever Fun Run

My running journey started, when I finished up my last season as a college soccer player at DePauw University. It was second semester senior year, and I needed a goal to work towards, so I decided to sign up for a marathon. Yup, not a 5k, 10k, half marathon, etc. a full marathon, with no endurance running knowledge at all. So, I followed one of Hal Hilgdon’s free training place online (the novice version), and did the best I could, while also partying my brains out second semester senior year of college.

After graduating college, and after completing my first ever marathon, I really enjoyed all that running had to offer. It kept me fit, it made me feel better, I felt free, happy, and just gave me an extra zest for life. So, I then had a desire to work on my speed, after I had covered a long distance. I started signing up for 5ks and 10ks, but I never actually ran for “fun”. I always had a goal in mind, whether I was competing for a new PR, or training for a longer distance race a few months later.

This past, Saturday, I dressed up in full blown tutu outfits by Lucki Lime. If you have never run in a tutu, or a “fun run” outfit, this company is your go-to place to get your race day outfits. I’m seriously obsessed, and have plans to dress up in another outfit in the near future.

I get to the race, all dressed up in my fun run outfit, and I’m telling you I seriously had more fun, than I have ever had at a race. Letting go of any desire to actually race, and just having fun running and chatting, and sharing in the camaraderie that the day brought.

All dressed up and ready to run!

All dressed up and ready to run!

Fun run tutus

With my friend and the founder of Lucki Lime, Cat, before the start of the race.

As the race got started, and we started running, I enjoyed the light-heartedness all around me. There were beginner runners everywhere, and it was inspiring. I remember lining up for my first race (St. Louis Marathon), and I seriously started tearing up. I was full of so much pride not just from my own training, but I was proud of everyone else who stood there with me. We were in this together. Today, was no different. I was so proud of everyone who came out to have fun and run! Enjoy all that comes with running. :)

Here are some photos as we ran along. Honestly, I have never done a race while carrying my phone, but I had a blast. I loved being able to take photos at the beginning, middle, and end, and instantly share them with friends and family by texting them, or on instagram, twitter, and facebook.

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Cat and I finishing!

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Running around Fiesta Island.

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Just chugging along, smiling, chatting, and HAPPY! :)

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Soooo happy! I’m not gonna lie, I felt pretty darn cute too in my tutu. :)

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how awesome are these socks? “Kick butt”

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Cat having a blast!

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With our Pot o’ Gold medals.

As, most of you know, this year, I have had a lot of learnings, and how I really want training/racing/triathlon/running to be all about fun. I do love to race, but I also LOVE having days like these. It is the perfect balance that gives me that fee. I want to be doing this because I love it, and I think it’s fun, and these are the moments, the days, where it gives me just the right balance that I need.

Check out Lucki Lime for your next fun run outfit!

FREE the Orcas

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Nearly a week ago I saw the documentary, Blackfish. I was told it was fantastic and eye-opening, but I wasn’t prepared for how passionate I was going to become about freeing the Orcas.

I remember in 4th grade, I had to do a report on my favorite animal, and my favorite animal at the time was “Killer Whales”. I thought they were beautiful. Majestic. Interesting creatures. I have always loved water animals, and been fascinated by the water. I remember slowly hearing rumors about their ferocity, and their “cruelty” to humans, and without much research, as I was a child, I just changed my favorite animal. And dolphins became my favorite animal. They are playful, happy, beautiful, and peaceful.

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Growing up there was something fascinating about these water mammals that felt almost humanlike. I have never been to SeaWorld, and I never had any real desire to go, I always wanted to see these animals out in their natural habitat. That is so much more exciting to me, and who doesn’t want to be in a place where they belong? What they call home? I can’t imagine being happy in my family, and someone just picking me up out of nowhere and placing me in a “home” with a bunch of strangers. It’s horrifying. That feeling of helplessness.

As I watch the opening scene of these fisherman capturing an Orca to take back to the states, it was sickening. I was disgusted. And I was embarrassed by the human race. Who are we to take an Orca baby from it’s mom? He was not in any trouble. We were not helping him, or helping his family, we were ruining it. This is a fact.

As the documentary went on, I got more and more disgusted by our ability to take a beautiful, adventurous, family oriented animal, and use it for our own entertainment. These animals have to perform at will, just to entertain us? That seems ridiculous!

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It’s interesting. I was very fortunate back in 2004 to do a month long trip throughout all of California. One of our stops was Monterey Bay to check out the aquarium. At the time, they had the first ever captivated Great White Shark. It was magnificent. Stunning. And I wanted to learn more. The shark was caught off shore and brought in to the aquarium for conservation awareness purposes. You can learn about it here. 4 sharks total have made a visit to the aquarium, and none stayed longer than 4 months. They were then tagged, and put back in the wild, safely, and healthily. The purpose to understand them better, and help educate people about how beautiful these creatures are, and why we should protect them.

If SeaWorld, or anyone can learn something from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, it is that they truly are wanting to protect this species. They are not putting it on display for the entertainment of humans.

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Some of the beautiful Orcas at SeaWorld, have never seen the wild, in fact most of them. They don’t know any better than what they are living, and yet, they still are sad, depressed, and attack other Orcas, usually because these animals are punished if they don’t do what they are told. Seriously? These animals are not made to be captivated, and kept in tight quarters. They swim up to 100 miles a day. Where are they swimming at SeaWorld? If we really want to learn and protect Orcas, then we must learn to let them go, just like we do with White Sharks. We must put them back in their natural habitats, and research them and learn from them from their homes. How can we learn anything useful from them if we are doing all of the breeding, which essentially comes from one Orca – Tillikum – and then we keep them in a water circus which is nothing like their natural habitat.

After watching, BlackFish, my friend, suggested I watch, The Cove. After watching that documentary, I feel the same way about dolphins. These animals are beautiful, they should be protected, and again not used for human entertainment. Yes, they are smaller, but they still swim close to 100 miles a day. Where can they do this at SeaWorld?

I truly believe that the best thing for these beautiful marine animals is to leave them out in the wild where they are happy, free, and belong. If you want to FREE these animals like I do, please sign this petition to free the Orcas at SeaWorld in California. And if you haven’t seen Blackfish or The Cove, watch them. (Blackfish is currently available on Netflix).

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Finally, please watch this press conference…

Giveaway – The Ultimate New England Active Getaway

As some of you might know, I started a Lifestyle brand called, Project Neon. I would love to share with my KatieHartMorse readers the offer I have going on over on Project Neon!

I’m excited to offer an additional amazing giveaway with this month’s Project Neon Fitness Challenge!

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In addition to one lucky winner, winning a box of Bonk Breakers, another winner will win a free one night stay at the Riverside Farm in Vermont! Riverside farm is the perfect place for a getaway retreat, and you will be lucky to see all that they have to offer for FREE! The properties feature hundreds of acres and endless locations to hike, do yoga, and experience the Green Mountains. They have a variety of venues that can accommodate everything from a yoga retreat to a large corporate event.

Pittsfield, Vermont is an idyllic small New England town nestled on the edge of the Green Mountains.  The birth place of the Spartan Race, Pittsfield has become a mecca for athletes and health enthusiasts.  On any day you might find groups of visitors and neighbors visiting and exercising on the extensive  Green Mountain Trail system and the epic 1 mile Stone Steps.   Our guests stay in comfortable rooms at one of our local properties – The Amee Farm LodgeThe Trailside Inn or one of our private rental homes.  Local produce from Sweet Georgia P’s CSA at Amee Farm is a staple of many meals. Breathtaking fall foliage, snow covered pines, new growth in spring and a glorious summer…  we are Perfect Vermont.

Some of their programs include:

Hiking and Yoga: Perfect Vermont brings you a new way to enjoy the beauty of Riverside Farm in Pittsfield, Vermont. Get unplugged and experience true relaxation during a weekend of hiking, yoga and local organic food.  There is an expert staff who will ensure you leave feeling stronger, healthier and revitalized.

Elite Endurance: Train with Peak Races top athletes including previous Death Race winners, while improving knowledge of endurance training during this high tempo course.  Spend the weekend running, cycling or mountain biking the back country of Vermont’s Green Mountains.  Instructors will lead group discussions, tours and fitness sessions. This intensive course has been developed for dedicated endurance athletes.

Weight Loss: Equip yourself with the knowledge to live a healthier lifestyle.  Instructors will lead informational discussions, tours and fitness sessions.  This course has been designed to assist in planning your healthy weight loss.

Here are some beautiful photos of the land…

The Stonewell Barn.

Here are some beautiful views of the land!

The Red Barn.

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The White Horse Barn.

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The photo below shows the Amee Farm Lodge, which is where you would be staying! Absolutely beautiful.

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Amee Farm Lodge.

Possible activities/dining during your visit:
- 30+ miles of hiking and biking on the Green Mountain Trails,

- yoga classes

- snowshoeing right out our back door

- skiing at Killington and Pico

- Tubing on the Tweed River

- Kayaking and fishing at Kent Pond and Tweed River

- on-site massages

- tours of the Amee Farm with Sweet Georgia P’s

- And of course, just relaxing by the fire or on the porch at the lodge.

Side note: Killington offers great restaurants and nightlife, just 15 minutes up the road. Enjoy wonderful live music
during the winter months.

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The famous stone steps, that climb for 1 mile straight.

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The Giveaway includes:

1 night stay at Amee Farm Lodge based on availability.
Deluxe Continental Breakfast.

Submit photos on Instagram and Twitter using #projectneonmarch for a chance to win this amazing giveaway! Or post photos of your cardio workouts on The Project Neon Facebook page.

Examples of photos are….

The Upper Left is of a girl running on the treadmill, upper right is of a girl skiing, bottom left is of a girl running, bottom right is of a girl skiing.

The Upper Left is of a girl running on the treadmill, upper right is of a girl skiing, bottom left is of a girl running, bottom right is of a girl skiing.

Share a photo of you, or of your shoes, your bike, the treadmill, the stairmaster, etc.! I want to see how you get your cardio in!

The winner will be announced Monday, March 31st at 5pm PST.

A Balancing Act

Life this past week was a balancing act. A balance between doing what I should be doing, and doing what I want to be doing. But, truly, why can’t they be the same thing? Shouldn’t we be doing what we want to be doing? If you ask me, the answer is an obvious….YES!

So, I did do, what I wanted to be doing, because it is what I should be doing. :)

The beginning of the week started with some rest, because I was fighting a cold. Then, I hit my workouts hard. Then rested again, because my workouts wore me out. Then my best friend from college came to visit, and I spent every moment, focusing on spending time with her, catching up, and making memories.

I started out by letting my inner child out…

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I jumped off rocks for fun!

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Woohoo!

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There were lots of smiles :)

I got my butt kicked by a Sandstorm

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But at least I looked cute in my Coeur Team Kit and my Oakley Women’s Immerse sunglasses. :)

I got brunch with one of my old personal training clients from Chicago! I hadn’t seen Nikolina in 2 years, and it was sooooo much fun to catch up. Next time stay longer :)

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Nikolina and I at Honey’s, one of my fave brunch places.

Then Betsy came to town!!!!

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We started off with a lagoon loop run! Obviously :)

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Life really is a balancing act.

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Post run on the beach

We then hit up my absolute favorite café in all of San Diego….The Naked Café. Betsy and I ate brunch here 7 years ago, when we went on a 6 week road trip all around the U.S.

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We love this place!

We then made our way to Torrey Pines for some hiking!

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Besties <3

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Play time in the water!

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One of the best views in all of San Diego.

It was then girl’s night out. We met up with my friend Jené and Kelly at Bier Garden for some beers and dinner. And I got to wear out one of my new favorite StitchFix items, this tank. <3

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Ignore the evil eyes

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Always acting goofy

Since, Betsy is a foodie, it was time to introduce her to the famous Acai Bowl. So, brunch outside at Swami’s it was.

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One of the best meals, San Diego has to offer. Refreshing, filling, and delicious!

The last time I went perusing local shops was…????? It was so nice to just window shop, and/or purchase a few fun things. So, we strolled and just enjoyed some time post-brunch looking in stores.

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I bought this cute frame for my room. So…true!

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I love this!

And then after some fun strolling…we hit up the beach. Again, last time I just laid out and enjoyed the sun was in the BVI…it was time to do it at home! Enjoy all that San Diego has to offer!

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I love the beach!

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Jené joined us, and of course, we had to take the GoPro out for some action shots!

After a day in the sun, it was time to show Betsy our famous San Diegan sunsets, and of course celebrate with a little red wine. :)

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Sunset and wine. Yes please.

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Oh…forgot to mention….Miss Seal…she washed up on shore to do some Molting…which is shedding….and because of the latest storm, she somehow ended up being separated from her fellow seals, as they usually all molt together. Poor Seal. :(

Sunday morning, we went to brunch at Honey’s, and I indulged in an artichoke, chicken sausage omelette. YUM!

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Tasty!

After dropping Betsy off at the airport, I headed back to the beach, to top off the weekend of some fun in the sun! I couldn’t resist. Training was just going to have to wait til Monday.

 

 

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Although, I did get some beach running in, just a tad. :)

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In love with my new reversible bikini by Maaji Swimwear.

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My favorite purchases from the weekend.

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Last night’s sunset, reminded me of how in love with life I am.

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And this morning’s quote….was a great way to kick off this week!

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Cheers to last week, The Balancing Act. Ready to put in a hard week of training to continue my prep for Oceanside 70.3! Hope everyone had a great week!

The Sandstorm Workout

No no no, not a workout to the epic dance song, but I literally worked out in a sandstorm yesterday. On the schedule was a triple brick. 20k TT, 2 mile run, 20k TT, 2 mile run, 20k TT, 2 mile run. Obviously with a warm up and cool down too. This is a typical workout, Beth gives me when prepping for big races. And I love it. I usually head down to Fiesta island, where it’s about 4.1 miles around. There is a paved loop for cyclists and runners, and a lot of people use it for training. 3 loops around equals 20k. It’s perfect. Boring. But perfect. 

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The loop I do starts at point 5, and then you just keep going around and around and around.

So, I pack up my car, and drive the 25min down to Fiesta. I hop on my bike and start pedaling, and boom, there is a strong headwind. I thought it would let up at some point, but no, for 3/4 of the loop I had a ridiculous headwind.

Loop 1 – check

Loop 2 – “okay, I guess I’m just going to have to deal with this. This is going to be one mentally tough workout. grrrrr. I hate the wind”

Beginning of 20k TT #1

Loop 1 – “Seriously, I’m going nowhere. I’m pedaling, but not going anywhere.”

Loop 2 – “Wow, I’m really glad I’m not that couple on those beach cruisers, they look like they are about to fall over, they are moving so slow.”

Loop 3 – “Can the sand please stop hitting me? It kinda hurts.”

Beginning of 2 mile run

1st mile into headwind – “Just keep moving, just keeping moving”

2nd mile with tailwind – “I AM FLYING”

2nd 20k TT

Loop 1 – “Why am I doing this?”

Loop 2 – “Seriously, why am I doing this?”

Loop 3 – “I think I have eaten a pound of sand. This sucks. Why am I doing this?”

2nd 2 mile run

1st mile with headwind – “I’m not sure this is really that much fun”

2nd mile with tailwind – “I really don’t want to get on my bike again, and pedal into that f’ing headwind. I should do it. No, it sucks. I should do it. I feel like sh*t. I should do it. OMG, no, no, I’m not going to do it, I’m pretty sure I just saw a sand dune created in the middle of the road.”

And that was the end of the triple brick in a sand storm – that ended up being a double brick. I still was proud that I stuck it out as long as I did. I consulted with my roommate, Keith, who is a pro triathlete who had ridden down to Fiesta to do some efforts too, but after 2 loops, he was like this is ridiculous. He said he has never in all of his fiesta riding experience, EVER had wind like that. And when he was just as pissed off at the wind, if not more, than me, I instantly felt really good about my decision to leave the island, and call it a day after two bricks. :)

I may have bonked, I may have eaten a lb of sand, and I may have been pissed off at the wind, but at least I looked cute in my new Coeur Sports Team Kit and Oakley Women’s Immerse sunglasses ;)

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The Triathlon Training Guilt Trip

My new attitude towards training, has really changed things for me. And by my attitude, I mean, taking triathlon a bit more lightly, enjoying it for the lifestyle it is, and just having fun. When I miss a workout, or I choose to be active in a different way, I no longer feel that guilt trip that I sometimes carry around with me. For the first time in a long time, I feel free. 100% free. I feel like I am enjoying myself, doing what I love, and having fun. Do I like challenging workouts? Absolutely. I have been doing some pretty hard run and bike workouts, but when a workout goes wrong, or a workout is missed, I do NOT feel guilty. It is a freeing feeling. 

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The really sweaty, I had to cut this workout short workout, because it was sucking, and what I thought was allergies, was actually a cold.

I know how many of us out there try to make up for workouts that were missed, whether because life, work, kids, being sick, being injured, etc. got in the way, and we do this because we feel guilty for missing those workouts. But, I tell you right now, do NOT feel guilty. Every day is a day to live. Every day, is a day to prioritize, and re-prioritize, over and over again. Some days that’s a problem at work, that has to be solved, and cannot wait. Some days, that is taking care of a sick kid. Some days, that is nursing an injury. And some days, it’s simply because you wanted to go out and spend time with friends or family, or your significant other. Whatever the reason, this is life. Live it the way you want to. 

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My favorite dinner staple, Kale Salad, from Seaside Market.

Personally, I want to live a life full of fun and happiness. Hard work can be fun. But nobody, and I mean nobody, feels good, when they feel guilty. So, let go of the guilt. I can tell you from experience, it feels, oh, so good.

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Where it all started. My first triathlon. My first ever open water experience.

I haven’t been happier with my training since I started in endurance sports. I remember finding ways to get workouts in, by including my friends or family, etc. And then some times, it became more about hitting my target HR, or certain paces, and it became more about numbers, than the experience. I am soooo happy to have that feeling of just freedom, and doing this because I love it, not because of hitting numbers, or podiuming, although of course, that is always nice, but the goal, the mission, is all about the journey, and not about the result for me.

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Running the Chicago Rock N’ Roll Half with my mom and sister! LOVED this!

With that, 4 weeks til Oceanside 70.3. All I know, is I’m going to be smiling and having a blast the whole race. Because, I’m having fun.

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Having a blast, prepping for Oceanside!