New Structure for the Blog!

Okay, so since I’m writing for both this blog and Project Neon, I decided I needed some structure for KatieHartMorse just like I do for Project Neon. :)

So…here’s what you can expect weekly…

Monday – Past Week Training Recap

Tuesday – Triathlon/Fitness Tips

Wednesday – Fuel – what I ate the past week

Thursday – Motivation – quotes, pics, music, etc. that pump me up, and hopefully you too! :)

Friday – Triathlon/Training/Fitness Favorites

Saturday/Sunday – race reports, family, fun, stuff about me!

With that here’s my recap of this past week’s training…

This week was the 2nd week out from Oceanside 70.3. I was feeling good. My energy was back, but still I have this daunting feeling that Ironman training is just around the corner, in fact two weeks from today, and so I wanted to make sure that I enjoy all that life has to offer that does not include structured Ironman training.

Monday – Swam for 35min – about 2000yds and hopped out. It was perfect. And then I did 1hr of strength. I have been doing a lot more strength lately, trying to do it 3x a week, because I like it, I like the way I feel, the way I look, etc. And it really does improve my training and keeps me injury free. So, I’m making it a mission to try to do it 3x a week.

Tuesday – I went for a 40min easy run, and then met up with my good friend Anabel, who just did IMCabo, and is doing IM Whistler with me and bunch of other girls! I love having this extra time to see friends who don’t live in SD.

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Wednesday – I swam for 40min – 2300yds, 1hr strength, and 2hrs hiking at Torrey Pines with my good friend, Cat! I loved catching up with her, and she’s helping me work on a logo for Project Neon! She’s amazing. If you haven’t already, you should check out her company Lucki Lime – it has all your fun run essentials. And then I met up with my friend Nicole for dinner. BUSY DAY!

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Thursday – I needed to recharge the batteries a bit, so I just went for a 35min run, and caught up on life.

Friday – My friend Jocelyn came into town. I did a 1hr bike trainer workout, and 1hr of strength, and then we went and hiked Torrey Pines for 2hrs! I LOVE Torrey, and I love taking friends who have never been there. It is the best for talking and catching up. We then went out to dinner and ended up meeting up with some friends. Perfect Friday.

Saturday – I did a bike trainer workout for 2hrs, caught up on some t.v watching…I seriously love Trophy Wife. Anyone else? And then chilled for the most part, caught up on blog reading, and did some work. Good solid, Saturday.

Sunday – I swam for 45min – 2600yds and ran 8 miles with Joce. We then grabbed sushi and some froyo to close out her last night in San Diego.

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It was a solid week – total active time – 13:30 hrs

Spring Training Saturday

It’s one week post Oceanside 70.3 and my body and mind are still doing a bit of recover. So, today I woke up and did a 1hr trainer workout, because I felt like catching up on some t.v shows, and then I went to the pool and swam for 40min. I’m enjoying my light Saturdays for the next few weeks, until Ironman training kicks into full effect in May. So, with my free time and extra energy, here’s how I spent Saturday…

Pre-workouts – I ate a Bobo’s Oat Bar – if you haven’t tried one, you should. These things are amazing!

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I went grocery shopping and saw these beautiful pink gerber daisies, which are my favorite! And so I just had to bring them home with me :)


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I made a delicious recovery drink – post-workout -1 scoop Osmo Acute Recovery, 1 banana, 1 Packet of Wild Friends Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter , 1 cup skim milk – so much goodness in this!

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I did 100 Running Lunges for the Project Neon April Fitness Challenge. :)

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And then I made this bomb.com dinner! Salmon, quinoa, avocado, and some grapefruit for dessert! It was delicious!

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This is my kind of “spring training” :)

Thursday Motivation

It’s almost 1 week post Oceanside 70.3 and I’m focused, determined, and motivated. Right now, I’m focused on getting stronger. And that starts with some strength training. We don’t always have to swim, bike, run to get stronger, fitter, and faster. Strength work boosts our workouts and also prevents injury, which is really important as I head into Ironman Whistler training here in a few short weeks!

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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. :)

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!

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.

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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Osmo Nutrition – What is it good for?

I rarely share other people’s posts on my blog, but I LOVED Erin’s Recap of Osmo Nutrition, and instead of trying to re-create my own, I thought, hey…I’ll first share my personal experience so far with Osmo, and then offer Erin’s summary of what Stacey Sims educated us on about women in training and the women’s line itself.

I first heard about Osmo Nutrition at Interbike in September last year. I loved listening to Stacey Sims talk about what makes women so different when it comes to endurance training, and why all of our nutrition should therefore be different. It was educational and fascinating.

I have been using it in training a lot lately, as I have been doing a lot of high intensity workouts, which means hydrating and nutrients are extremely important. The PreLoad is extremely salty, which is great for prepping for a big sweat fest, but I did ask what would help to break it up a bit, as the salt is a little much for me, so Stacey suggested adding crystal light to it. I have tried this and it works wonders! I know some people love the saltiness, but for me, it was a bit strong. But ever since adding Crystal Light, taste has been amazing, and I feel GREAT during training. The active has a light, mango flavor, and it’s delicious. My favorite so far is the Active Recovery which is a honey+spice flavor. I have been adding it to skim milk, and mixing in a banana with it as well, and the occasional scoop of greek yogurt. YUM!

“A couple weeks ago, Coeur Sports [which I am on the Elite Amateur Team for 2014] announced its partnership with Osmo for our team hydration. A super synergy between two fantastic companies powered by incredible women… heck yes! Honored to be part of both.

To kick off the partnership, Coeur hosted a team call featuring Stacy Sims, the brains behind Osmo. This woman is rad – and, she knows her stuff. A nutrition scientist and exercise physiologist, Sims created Osmo after becoming hypernatremic racing Kona. While training in New Zealand after, she started mixing in the lab and researching how hormones impacted athletic performance. Her teammates tested her mixes during training with good results, and as her PhD evolved, she began studying how women and men respond differently. Hence, #womenarenotsmallmen :)

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My post-workout beverage after today’s intense treadmill workout. (this is my photo, not Erin’s :)

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So stoked to be sponsored by Osmo for 2014! (my photo, not Erin’s)

Indeed, we aren’t small men, and every month have to deal with our period – and, the hormone changes that come with it. Our estrogen and progesterone levels fluctuate, impacting plasma volume, breaking down muscle and reducing our recovery ability. In other words, our mojo suffers a bit.

Osmo’s women’s specific line is formulated to help counteract those hormonal changes. A bit about each mix:

  • PreLoad Hydration hyper-hydrates, crosses the blood-brain barrier and “counteracts hormone-induced drop in body water,” i.e. it helps you find that mojo
  • Active Hydration has a bit more glucose, sodium and potassium to increase power output and improve endurance
  • Acute Recovery has more protein and glucose. Women have a shorter acute recovery window – about 30 minutes – so it’s important to refuel shortly after training

Lucky us, we got to ask Stacy some questions after she explained the science behind Osmo. First up, how does Mirena, an IUD with a localized dose of progesterone that inhibits your monthly period, affect our bodies + hydration? (Thank you, Sonja, for asking my exact question!) Stacy’s recommendation: Use the women’s line throughout the month, and be sure to keep on top of your protein intake before and after training.

Sims also recommends adapting your triathlon training based on your cycle. In the days leading up to it, focus more on technique and train at a lower intensity (pushing through = higher heart rate). If you can, plan training blocks around it – focus on swim technique and not speed, for example. If you have a race in the days leading up to your period, she recommends taking magnesium and having a few more carbs in your pocket. And, if you use caffeine during a race in that higher hormone window, know that it clears the blood faster; follow up the caffeine with a glucose tablet or a salty ball (recipe here… they.are.so.good!).

Sims’ motto: Food in the pocket, hydration in the bottle. In general, you should drink 0.18 to 0.2 ounces per pound of body weight per hour. Calorie-wise, 4 calories/kilo per hour on the bike, and 3-3.5 calories/kilo per hour on the run. For example, I weigh 121 pounds (~55 kg), so should have between ~22 and ~24 ounces of fluid per hour; 220 calories per hour on the bike; and between 165 and 192 calories per hour on the run.

Sims’ other super helpful tips:

  • If you don’t like the salty goodness of PreLoad, drinking it icy cold helps it go down. Drink it the night prior to a big workout, race or if it’s hot as well as the morning of.
  • Don’t concentrate Osmo, as it’s specifically formulated. Concentrating it results in too much magnesium or potassium and the wrong osmolality (the body’s water-electrolyte balance).
  • Relying on something provided on the race course is never a good nutrition strategy because you don’t know how you’ll react.
  • What you do the first half of your race directly impacts the second half.
  • If the shit hits the fan on race day and you’re doing the porta-potty shuffle: Have some salty potato chips and plain water – easy carbs and a big hit of sodium. Definitely don’t add more sugar to your system! Also, avoid immodium; the best alternative is Pepto.
  • Take Tums toward the end of an IM bike. Because our bodies lose a lot of calcium and tightly holds on to magnesium, Tums helps keep them in closer balance, thus helping eliminate big muscle cramps, including the intestinal muscle. Sims recommends 1,000 mg Tums every 45 minutes starting the last hour of the bike and continuing on the run.
  • Gels aren’t what they’re cracked up to be. They’re concentrated carbs that go straight to the gut, and your body takes water from your blood to digest them, i.e. they’re an effective dehydrator.

Thank you, Osmo Nutrition, for keeping us Coeur Sports ladies hydrated this season!”

How amazing is Erin’s recap?!?! Please check out Erin’s blog – sweetsweatlife.com and follow along in her journey. She’s a dear friend of mine, and I thank her for letting me share her post with all of you!

FYI – to all the men out there, they also offer a men’s line! :)

In Need of a Change

After playing college soccer, and running four marathons (St. Louis 2x, Chicago, and Boston), I was instantly drawn toward Ironman. It started off as a “bucket list” item, but I ended up falling in love with the lifestyle, the challenges, etc. Yet, somehow I have fallen into the habit of only thinking of myself as an Ironman athlete, not necessarily a “triathlete”. After the LONGEST season ever last year, and doing two ironmans within two months, with a bad crash in between, I took a much needed 6 week break. Some days not being active at all, and some days mountain biking for 2hrs, or going for a run. After my break, and when training was about to start again, I realized that I’m just not ready for the LONG hours. But I definitely don’t want to do absolutely nothing. Am I signed up to do Oceanside 70.3? Yes. Am I signed up to do Ironman Canada in Whistler at the end of July? Yes. BUT. Honestly, what I want to focus on is short course right now. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of my speed, and right now the idea of sitting on my bike for 5-6hrs does not sound exciting, like at all.

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Am I burnt out from triathlon? No. Not at all. Am I ready for a change? Yes! It’s funny how sometimes we just have to change the way we look at something. I like having different focuses, and changing things up. I get bored, if I’m not changing, and honestly, right now, all I really want to do is speed stuff, and short stuff. It seems fun, and challenging in a different way. I like the way my muscles feel after an intense short workout. They are sore. Like actually sore. Not tired and fatigued. But, I mean truly sore. It’s a fun and different feeling, than what I’ve been used to the past three years.

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Ultimately, this is life, and we should LOVE what we are doing, every day. Yes, are there sometimes things we don’t want to do, but do them anyway? Of course. But seriously, if I don’t feel like riding my bike all day, then I’m not going to. Triathlon is a choice, and it should be fun! I want to keep it that way. I got started in it because I liked the challenge, and it was really fun to see my improvements each week. And I want to keep seeing improvements, but I don’t just want to see improvements with my ironman time. I want to see it with sprint, and olympic, and also, 10ks and half marathons. After Ironman Whistler, I plan on spending the second half of the year, having a little more play time, and doing a run focus. This is where my passion lies. I truly love to run, and I want to get fast. But most importantly, I’m over long stuff right now. It took me a while to accept it. I thought I just needed time, and I think I do. I’m sure I will do an Ironman again (I mean I have one in July), but for me, I think it might be an every other year kind of thing, after Whistler. And in between, focus on shorter stuff and speed. It gives me time to do other things as well. I’ve been hiking Torrey Pines, which usually I’m too tired to do. And going to the beach. And I want to mountain bike more, and go to yoga classes, and have time to drink wine with friends, and go out dancing, and not be too tired. I’ve written about balance before, and this is my balance. Sometimes focusing on one thing, and sometimes focusing on another.

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I honestly have soooo much respect for those people who do multiple ironmans every single year, year after year. It takes a special kind of person to do that. For me, I just like having flexibility and structure, all at once, ha! I’m constantly conflicted, and constantly changing my mind about flexibility and structure. Sometimes I want it, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I want to do short stuff, sometimes I want to do long.

So, what am I trying to say? Do what makes you happy. And that can change from time to time, and that’s OK. :)

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Quote by Marissa Mayer