Tuesday Tips – Goggles

One of the most popular blog posts on my blog is my “goggles” blog post. When I first started out in triathlon, I had no idea about goggle use. My dad was a swimmer, and he had me try some of those weird swedish goggles, but I hated them. They were uncomfortable and weird. We are swedish so I felt bad, saying no, but I had to find something better. I tried a bunch, until a friend of mine suggested her favorite pair – TYR Nest Pro goggles.

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The problems I was having:

- Fogging

- Leaking

- Goggle Marks

- Headaches

I tried the TYR Nest Pro goggles, and my swimming world changed. I started to enjoy swimming, but there are a lot of tips I’ve learned a long the way, outside of just the style of goggles that work for me.

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Here they are:

Goggle Tips:

- Spit into your goggles, rub it around, and then rinse, before every swim – this has become a habit of mine, I literally do it before every single swim, and it keeps my goggles from fogging perfectly.

- Do not wear lotion on your face prior to swimming – this helps the water leak into your goggles. No bueno.

- Rinse your face with water before putting your goggles on – this also makes sure they suction to your face :)

- Don’t press the goggles into your face. They are designed to “suction” the face, so a light press, is fine, this will keep you from getting those awful goggle marks, and prevent headaches.

- Wear tinted goggles for sunny days, and wear clear goggles for cloudy days, this helps protect your eyes, and allows you to see when you are swimming :)

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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!

Ahoy Matey!

After two awesome weeks at my new job as a social media project manager at Internet Marketing Inc., I took off to Wisconsin for Christmas to hang with the fam. There was cooking decorating, and hanging by the fire, but most of all there was London my 18 month old niece. She is obsessed with Snowmen, and everywhere there was one, she would go up to it and say “snowman”. And then one time one of her parents asked her, “What does a snowman say?” And she said “ho ho ho”. We all thought it was the cutest thing ever. Every once in awhile, she would also respond with “Jingle Bells”. She’s smart and at 18 months knows nearly 100 words or more. Of course, since London loves snowmen, we had to make one with the massive snowfall we had!

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The neighbor girls came over and helped us, because my sister and I had kind of forgotten how to make big snowballs. ;)

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We went to the Pfister for lovely pre-dinner rendezvous.

Then the BIG Christmas present for us kids was Packer Game tickets from my dad. We LOVE the Packers, and we were soooo stoked to be going to the game vs. the Steelers. And Lambeau didn’t disappoint with the cold weather and a snowstorm during the game. It was perfect! Unfortunately we lost, but we had a blast.

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After a week in the frozen tundra, it was then off on the trip of a lifetime to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday! My dad LOVES to sail. He’s been sailing almost once a year for the past 10yrs, and he usually goes sailing in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). He took us as a family back in 2010, and well we wanted to do something special for him for his 60th. So, it was our turn to take him! This time we had a baby on board, which we all knew might be a little interesting, but London turned out to do perfect. She slept soundly. Didn’t get sick. And was a delight.

We flew in to St. Thomas, hopped on a ferry to take us to Road Town, Tortola. Got our sailboat ready with our captain, Harry, and his wife Finnola. They are good friends of ours, so it’s fun to have them on board, and well we kind of need them. Harry, obviously, captains the boat, and Finn, well she does all the cooking when we aren’t eating out! They are an amazing team. The best part, they LOVE to laugh, and have lots of good stories. From Road Town, Tortola, we headed to snorkel at the Indians, and then we spent our first night at Pirate’s Bight.

Trip looked like this – Road Town –> Indians –> Pirate’s Bight –> Soper’s Hole –> Jost Van Dyke – Soggy Dollar and Foxy’s –> Marina Cay –> Leverick Bay –> Cooper Island –> Road Town

We spent New Year’s at Foxy’s which is known as a hot spot for NYE around the world! Beyond that, there was an amazing surprise in store as well (at least for my brother). My brother is a HUGE fan of Bob Marley and the Wailers. I remember also listening to the album “legend” for the first time, and also thinking how amazing their music was. But, my brother is like an ultimate fan. So, as my dad and him are in line to find out about tickets for the NYE dinner Foxy’s puts on, my brother sees a poster saying concert tonight “featuring Bunny Wailer” – my brother’s mind exploded. I mean, he was practically in shock. Bunny hadn’t performed in at least a decade, and my brother was going to be able to see him perform! So, of course, we bought four tickets to the concert for my brother, his wife, my sister, and myself. The older folk were on babysitting duty. It really was a night of a lifetime, and one I’ll never forget, simply because my brother was on top of the world.

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My sister and I LOVED snorkeling!

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My brother and I hanging out on the sailboat.

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Swimming in the ocean blue.

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Family night out on NYE at Foxy’s!

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About to go hike in my bikini and run shoes! <3

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London and I playing in the water

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My brother playing with London <3

After two weeks of fam time, it was back to San Diego, and back to my new job! Sadly two days in, I came down with the flu :( And have been bed ridden since Wednesday. Almost on the mend though, and then going to ease back into training.

I did workout while I was home in Wisconsin, and swam a bit in the BVI. But, no real training since Ironman Arizona. To be honest, it’s been a nice break. I really put in A LOT of effort last year, and it paid off. I’ve started a new job this year, and I LOVE it, and that will be a big priority for me in 2014. I have thought a lot about my goals this year, now that I’m going into the 30-34 age group, as well as, the fact that I have a new job, and there’s a pretty rad guy that I care about, who lives in another country. So my goals this year are as follows:

1. HAVE FUN!

2. Improve – compete against myself – every race is different, conditions are different etc. so as long as I’m seeing improvement in training, I’m okay with that.

3. HAVE BALANCE – I LOVE triathlon, and I want to keep it that way, so if that means occasionally giving up a swim/bike/run to go to yoga or go hiking or mountain bike or travel, then I want to feel good about that. I want time to read, and go to the movies, and go shopping, or go out to brunch, etc. I NEED it. Sometimes, I like going so hard, I’m exhausted, and other times, I just want to do what I feel like. So…

Cheers to 2014!

Brand Ambassador Programs

What makes a good brand ambassador program?

I have been on the side of finding brand ambassadors for companies, as well as being a brand ambassador for companies. I thought it would be fun to write out my thoughts on what I think makes a good brand ambassador, and what makes a good brand ambassador program. The truth is it is a two way street.

Brand Ambassador Tips:

- MUST be on social media. In order for you to be worth a companies money and time, you have to be on social media, preferably Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and hopefully you also would have a personal blog.

- Involved in your community, maybe it’s public speaking, or just being part of a group that fits your lifestyle, where you can reach out to other like-minded individuals like you.

- I highly recommend only becoming a brand ambassador for companies that you truly believe in. What does that mean? That means you would buy their product even if you weren’t a brand ambassador. It means not only do you support their product, but you also love the people behind the product. Again, because being a brand ambassador is a two way street, it’s a must to enjoy the people behind the brand. You want to feel comfortable giving feedback on products, both positive and negative, and you also want to be able to give positive and constructive feedback on the program itself. Do you believe in the people behind the brand? Do you believe in the brand itself? These are two questions you need to ask yourself before becoming a brand ambassador for a company.

- Promote the brand, preferably organically. To make a difference, it’s best not to go about by just posting “I got this package in the mail”. Although, I did just do that for The Feed, but they are a “gift basket” company, so the packaging part matters. ;) But, once you have the product, use it, and capture photos or videos of you using the product. This is more enticing to your audience or community to see the product working in action. Even if it’s a “protein bar”, snap a shot of you eating it on a long ride, or hiking, etc. If it’s a pair of shoes, maybe they are high heels, then show them off while wearing them at work or out at a bar with friends.

- Make each post on SM impactful. It’s not about quantity but about quality. So, if you don’t have anything to post, then don’t worry about it, wait until you have some good quality photos or videos to post.

- Connect with other people in your brand ambassador program. You can possibly meet up, do something within your community, or come up with ideas to pitch to the company. Have fun, think outside of the box, it’s like a free, fun marketing gig!

- Don’t be afraid to spread the love! If something doesn’t fit right, or you have two of the same thing, give one to a friend. They have another big group of friends, family, acquaintances, and the more people that can see the product the better. So, don’t be afraid to give stuff away that just doesn’t work for you.

- Building off of only being a brand ambassador for companies you believe in, don’t be afraid to be selective. There will be people who contact you and want you to be a brand ambassador for them, but if you don’t use their product, or don’t think you will, then you don’t have to promote them. It’s okay to say “no”.

Tips for Companies

- Find brand ambassadors that are big on social media. Find ones that have a big following, because they will have more reach, but also make sure that they are promoting content that aligns with your company.

- In addition, find brand ambassadors that are engaged with your company’s community, whether online or hands-on in their local community. You want these people to be visible. Ideally, find people that align with your brand. Find people who have the same values as your company.

- Stay in touch with your brand ambassadors on a personal level monthly. Check in with them. See what’s going on in their lives, and see if they have any races, events, etc. coming up that would be a good opportunity to promote your product.

- Give! And I mean give. Give ideas of how to share the product, feature the product, and give out the latest product, to keep your brand ambassadors social channels fresh, and they are in the latest out in public, promoting your brand. These brand ambassadors are pretty much free marketing! And putting your brand ambassadors in as much product as possible is important for keeping them visual. It helps keep them in your brand too, and doesn’t give them much room to put on competitor brands.

- Do an ambassador summit! Bring the ambassadors to your head quarters, teach them about your company. How did it get started? How is the product made? What are your company’s values? Culture? Create a community with your ambassadors.

- #1 – goes back up to the first bullet point. Make your brand ambassadors feel important. Let them know you are very thankful of them being a part of your brand, and that you are so happy to have them as a brand ambassador.

- Leverage your brand ambassadors for ideas. Ask them for help in naming a product, or designing something, or for how to make the ambassador program better.

- Get your brand ambassadors faces up in your stores, etc. Make sure your company and community knows who they are, it will allow them to make a bigger impact in the community.

- If they have a niche, ask them to host some kind of gathering at one of your stores, or in a partner store.  Maybe they teach yoga, or they are a great cook, and could teach a cooking class.

All these tips are based off my own personal experience of being a brand ambassador, as well as trying to find great brand ambassadors. Oakley is the company I have been with the longest, and I must say they do a hell of a job. If you are looking for a great example of a brand ambassador program, I would say look at theirs. And I know they have soooo many big plans on where they want to see it go. I know sometimes money can be the hard part in executing plans that companies have for a brand ambassador program, but my suggestion then is to start small, and slowly grow, because you want to make sure each brand ambassador feels appreciated, this inspires them to share and promote your brand even more. If they feel forgotten, then they will probably forget about you. I think this is what Oakley has done so well. They started small. There were 10 of us, that’s it. And they are a HUGE company. It’s more about the quality of the brand ambassador than the quantity of them. Now, they have grown to 20-25 girls. We do a yearly brand ambassador summit, where all the girl’s get together, we learn about the brand, product test, and learn about each other, and of course have some fun and make some memories! We also give feedback at that time about how the last year went, and how we think we can improve. They also do little round tables to educate us on how to either plan an event in our area, or be social media saavy, or how to edit our photos, etc.

So get out there and find the program/company/brand ambassador that aligns with you! And make 2014 the best year ever!

8 Weeks Til Ironman Wisconsin!

Holy Crap! ONLY 8 WEEKS TIL RACE DAY!

Highlights of this past week:

  • Recovery week
  • Ocean Swim
  • GoPro purchase
  • Nailed my Fartlek run
  • Wine Steels with friends
  • mani/pedi

Monday – Swim – nice and easy…nothing crazy. I was pretty exhausted after a mega weekend.

Tuesday – Easy bike, easy run – I still biked and ran with intention, but kept it easy. But didn’t just go through the motions. I’m already seeing major gains in my fitness, simply because I’m not letting my heart rate drop to the point where I’m making no aerobic gains.

Wednesday – Master’s Swim and Tempo Trainer ride – both were solid efforts

Thursday – REST DAY!

Friday – Fartlek run – I did this on the treadmill, because I really wanted to control my speed and push myself even though it’s a recovery week, intensity still matters, even if total time is less. And I crushed it!

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I had mascara on, and I was sweating so much, I wiped my left eye, as you can see, and it ALL came right off. ha!

Saturday – Long ride and ocean swim! The weather was PERFECT for a long ride! I had purchased a brand new Hero3 Silver Edition GoPro camera on Friday, and I was EAGER to test it out. So, I headed to the ocean to play around with my new toy! I met up with Chris, and he surfed, and I swam. Tried to get some good photos, but I think I need fins next time to keep up. And I was new to the camera, so I had no idea what I was doing. Definitely need to get the LCD screen for the back, so that I can see what I’m filming or taking photos of. :)

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Had no idea what I was doing, and so it was taking upside down pics, sideways pics, etc. ha!

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Messin’ around in the ocean

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Ocean Floating

Sunday – long run – My friend Jessie and I ran up to Carlsbad to spectate the Carlsbad Sprint Triathlon. It was a great way to get in my long run! So we “cruised” up there, and by cruise, Jessie is a #badass runner, in fact just went 38:xx in a recent 10k, and well she kicked my butt during our long run, but I embraced the pain. :) Thanks Jessie for pushing me!

We then stayed and spectated and cheered on friends! And of course I wanted to use my new toy! Sadly it died, because I failed to charge it all the way prior to leaving on my run. So, I only got the two pics below.

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Jessie and I spectating

Chris killin' it on the bike.

Chris killin’ it on the bike.

After a top notch brunch at Honey’s…I wanted to go play around more with “Gus”.

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San Dieguito High School Track

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Overall it was a solid recovery week. Got lots of sleep. P.S I had never thought about getting some melatonin to help me sleep. I don’t always sleep great, and my doc recommended it. And it has been AMAZING! Although, I have been really excited about Gus the GoPro, and I’m gonna be honest, I’ve been waking up really early, like REALLY early, because I’m so excited to go try him out. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning, but it’s been like for the past three days! ha!

So, after a solid recovery week. It’s time to get after the next BIG three weeks. And I mean BIG! 8 weeks til the BIG DAY!

Total Time for the Week: 12hrs – pleasantly perfect for a recovery week :)

9 Weeks Out From Ironman Wisconsin

Holy Crap this week was a GOOD week! Seriously, it was amazing. Training was SOLID. 4th of July was awesome. I’m super pumped about how this past week went. I made some changes, and believe me I could tell the difference.

Highlights:

  • Crushing my Tuesday tempo run
  • Trying to swim solo in the ocean
  • Crushing my Thurs TP Hill Repeats
  • Hula Hooping and Ping Pong
  • Bier Garden

Monday

  • Master’s swim – I am really starting to feel comfortable in the pool. I LOVE to pull, and find myself pulling regularly, so I have to remind myself to swim normal every once in awhile, just to practice my rhythm.
  • Easy Run
  • Rehab United Strength Sesh

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  • RU training sesh followed up by a Whole Foods talk sesh with Jené. We were talking about my training, and it hit me. Every session, even the easy ones, need to be done with INTENTION. Sometimes, I go out on a bike or run, and I know it’s supposed to be “easy”, but I’m supposed to be in my aerobic zone, not necessarily out just cruisin’ around town. I still have to make sure that I’m making every session count. Too often when a session is supposed to be aerobic or “easy”, I found myself letting my HR drop waaaaay below my aerobic zone. Therefore I’m not actually making the progress that I need to make during those “easy” sessions. It’s important to have some fun, recovery sessions too, for sure, but those aerobic sessions are important. So, after our chat, I told myself I need to go into EVERY training session with intention, no matter what the workout calls for. And that’s EXACTLY what I did.

Tuesday

  • Tready Tempo Sesh – KILLED IT! At least for me. I hadn’t been able to run faster than 7:53 pace. I’m not sure if I just wasn’t willing to, or if I couldn’t (especially since back in January I was running 10k’s in the 7:20′s) Today I had 25min of tempo pace, and I got my music jamming, and ran 7:35min/miles. I KNOW I can run faster than this, and I WILL, but it’s going to take some time to get my speed back. So, I’m pretty darn happy to have stepped it up.
  • Evening “easy” bike ride – I went into this “easy” bike with intention. I felt great. I realized that “easy” still means work. When I hopped off, I already could tell that this was going to make a big difference in my training.
  • My sister completed her very first marathon today! – She couldn’t find a race that worked with her schedule, as she is traveling a lot this summer, etc. So…she decided to just do it all on her own. She lives in Colorado, but was in Wisconsin when she did it. My mom, dad, and their friends and neighbors were her cheering squad and aid stations along the way. I’m just sooo proud of her!

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Wednesday

  • Master’s Swim – another solid day in the pool
  • BIG BRICK – 3hr ride with tempo efforts built in, followed by a 30min brick run

Thursday

  • TP Hill Repeats – I have done this solo, and with a group, and today I PR’d both my times! I couldn’t believe it!
  • 4th of July Fun – I went to a couple BBQ’s with my friends Jené and Jessie.

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Hula-hooping!

Hula-hooping!

Ping Pong! A little high five for winning ;)

Ping Pong! A little high five for winning ;)

Friday

  • Jené and I were going to do a little open water swimming together in the afternoon. But she was pretty wiped out from climbing Palomar, but she came to the beach to chill out anyway. #goodfriend And I thought to myself, as long as I know someone is there, even if they are on the beach, I can totally swim in the ocean solo. BOY, WAS I WRONG. I start making my way through the break, and as soon as I was passed it, I started to freak out. I was playing total mind games with myself. First, I’d say, “you are fine, people swim out here all the time, and you’ve swam out here before.” And then I’d start swimming, and then I’d run into some kelp, and freak out. And then I’d start swimming really fast, as if I thought something was chasing me, but let’s be real, nothing was chasing me, and even if it was, it would be waaaay faster than me, and I wouldn’t stand a chance. Then, I thought, “look if it’s gonna happen today, then it’s gonna happen today. JUST SWIM KATIE!” And then I’d be like, “but I don’t want my life to end today, and what if today is the day that you know “it” decides to attack.” You just never know. I know the likelihood is slim to none, but then I’d start thinking, “I’m the only one this far out, I’m small, they are curious creatures, and I’m kicking and making splashes. I’m like the size of ONE BITE.” So, I ultimately swam back into shore, then hung out in the break for a bit, trying to talk myself in to going back out there, and then ultimately decided I just couldn’t do it. I can do it with a group, but I just CAN’T swim solo. Can’t do it. But, I’m proud of myself for trying. :)

Saturday

  • Long Ride and brick run – my friend Bryan and I hit the road at 7am, and headed out on the same route I had done two weeks ago with Jen and Katya. I wanted to prove to myself that I can go faster. Bryan rode with me for the first 2 or so hours, and then headed back in to the coast. And then I threw on my headphones, and told myself to embrace the pain. I told myself to TACKLE the hills. If you can’t or don’t do it in training, why would I suddenly do it in a race? I needed to practice. Practice not being scared. Practice hurting, and then kind of recovering, albeit still hurting, but not quite as bad as when powering up a hill. It was a great day to be riding the route I was doing, because I ran into Beth, and Katya, and also Ian Mickelson, and a bunch of other friends! It was a nice boost of energy during my ride.

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  • Ride Stats
  • 94 miles
  • 5,400 ft of climbing
  • 5hrs 47 min (this is a 20min PR from two weekends ago)
  • I was pretty STOKED!
  • After my ride, I headed out for a brick run – and successfully averaged 8:30′s, and felt GREAT.
  • I should add – this is the first time I’ve taken any caffeine in training in a looooong time. And let me tell you, it works wonders. I felt like Superwoman out there. I can’t take caffeine regularly as I’m super sensitive to it, and can’t get a good night’s sleep EVER after having caffeine, even if I have it early in the morning, but I’m recognizing that sometimes it’s worth the lack of sleep post workout, to get a TOP NOTCH workout in. Thank you Caffeine!

I then grabbed brunch at Swami’s and tried their acai bowl for the first time! #yum

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Plus a pancake. OBVIOUSLY. It was then to the beach, and then out for drinks! There is a new “Bier Garden” by the Whole Foods in Encinitas so, Jené, Chris, Dave and I all went to check it out. I now have a new favorite beer. It’s right up there with “German Sparkle Party” by 10 Barrel Brewing.

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I’m a big time fan of sour beers. Yes, I know it barely tastes like beer, and is more like champagne. Pretty sure that’s why I like it. It’s bubbly and refreshing. The perfect drink after a hard days work on the bike. :)

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The crew checking out the new Bier Garden. Dave on the left, had just ridden down the coast for the past two months. How cool is that? He started in Vancouver and rode about 50-60 miles every day. He pulled all of his stuff in a little “caddy” and he camped along the way. Super rad! I was hoping the beer would counteract the caffeine at some point, and I would get tired, but unfortunately it just didn’t happen.

Sunday

  • long run – I made sure to tackle this long run with INTENTION. My goal was to “run” not “jog”. And so I did. The last 30min were at tempo, and it got TOUGH. Just like it will at the end of an Ironman, and I just thought to myself, how badly do you want this?
  • After that I was spent. I refueled. Passed out on the couch for a couple hours. Then ran some errands. Ate some more. Did some work. It was a nice end to the weekend.

After three solid weeks of 20ish hr weeks, it’s time for some recovery! :)

Side note: Not everyone is built alike, and not everyone has the same goals. So, even though I’m putting in those kinds of weeks, doesn’t mean it’s the right plan for everyone. Beth and I talk about my goals, and what I can handle, and what I can’t. This is what works for me right now. I’m seeing positive results, and I’m loving every second of it. And still finding plenty of time to socialize and work. But, this is why sometimes I don’t reveal exactly how much training I do, because the plan that Beth creates is catered to me. Trust your plan too.

9 weeks to go! Time is FLYING!!!

Making Gains

This week was a BUSY week, but a FUN, week. :)

I knew I had a recovery “week” at the beginning of the week, so what do I do? Jam pack it with everything I can think of, dinner dates, hair appointments, etc.

Monday: What did I do with my extra time? More celebration of Jené’s birthday! Andrea had planned a surprise birthday dinner for Jené at Crush in Solana Beach. Jené was definitely surprised (p.s notice that I figured out how to put the accent on the e!) haha. That means we all skipped RU (Rehab United Triathlon Strength Training Class) for a night of girl talk, wine, and awesome appetizers. Sorry Bryan!

Andrea, me, Jené

Andrea, me, Jené

The whole group of ladies

The whole group of ladies

I LOVE quotes, and as I find ones that I like, I give them to people who I think might enjoy them. So...I stuffed Jené's bday card full of a few quotes that I thought she might like...well I didn't think about the fact that she would be reading them as if I was giving them to her, from me, haha...this one got us cracking up...

I LOVE quotes, and as I find ones that I like, I give them to people who I think might enjoy them. So…I stuffed Jené’s bday card full of a few quotes that I thought she might like…well I didn’t think about the fact that she would be reading them as if I was giving them to her, from me, haha…this one got us cracking up…

Tuesday: What did I do with my extra time? Taco Tuesday at The Brig – YUM! 

wine

Wednesday: What did I do with my extra time? Dinner with my friend Nicole.

The largest potato chip I've ever seen...

The largest potato chip I’ve ever seen…

Thursday: Hair Appt – followed by a running MAF test at Cathedral Catholic High School. Poor planning…but I was in desperate need of a highlight, and a cut…it had been 12 weeks! My roots were killing me…

So…I headed to the track to test out how fast I am, while keeping my HR below my MAF HR which is 157. As I ran around the track dodging lacrosse balls, since the boy’s lacrosse team had practice, I somehow found a way to zone out and have one of the best runs of my life. There is something meditative about running around a track, and NOT sprinting. Just going around, and a round. I didn’t mind it at all. I did a 2 mile warm-up, and then did 4 miles keeping my HR 2 beats below my max MAF HR, 157. To say I was surprised is an understatement. After a pretty messed up year last year, I was pretty bummed to see where my fitness was at the start of this year. I was running pretty much 10min/miles with my HR in the 160′s…when I had been running 7:30′s/8min miles off the bike in 70.3′s in 2011. We all go through our lows, and our highs, and last year was a low, I road it out, and now it was time to get to work, and get my fitness back. The dedication, consistency, and hard work are starting to pay off.

Mile 1: 7:40 – avg HR 148

Mile 2: 7:50 – avg HR 151

Mile 3: 7:50 – avg HR 151

Mile 4: 7:52 – avg HR 152

I texted Beth, and immediately she called me, we both were SURPRISED! Holy crap! The best part is, it felt smooth and easy. :) What I love about the track is it doesn’t lie. It’s flat, consistent, and you can really gauge where you are at in your training. To go from 10min miles with a high HR to 7:50′s and keep my HR fairly low (for me), was enough to keep me on a high the rest of the week! Needless to say, Thursday was AWESOME – hair appointment and a bomb.com run test.

Friday/Saturday – Oakley was in town!

I LOVE my Oakley family. They just are all such rockstars! Oakley Women’s has teamed up with Shape and the Diva Dash and is heading to cities all over the country putting on Oakley Progression Sessions – Fitness Style. 200 ladies come and get some sweet schwag, take a bootcamp by Cari and Carrie, a yoga session by Lacey Calvert, a nutrition seminar by Marni Sumbal, and also get a chance at becoming an Oakley Women’s ambassador! It was so much fun meeting all the women who attended the event, and I’m excited for our new addition to the ambassador family, Caitlin.

Christine and I manning the social media booth, where women could come and post photos to Instagram, etc. and sign the Oakley Women's Contract.

Christine and I manning the social media booth, where women could come and post photos to Instagram, etc. and sign the Oakley Women’s Contract.

I will use this for "Swim, Bike, Run" NOT "hanging out in the sun".

I will use this for “Swim, Bike, Run” NOT “hanging out in the sun”.

Shawn Parkin - who is a badass photographer was there to take photos. Fun mini photoshoot...

Shawn Parkin – who is a badass photographer was there to take photos. Fun mini photoshoot…

Shawn caught me on my phone at least a dozen times that day…

What can I say? I was in charge of the social media tent ;)

What can I say? I was in charge of the social media tent ;)

After the event, we headed to the Hyatt in Mission Bay for some post OPSFitness bevies and appetizers with Shape Magazine. Cheers!

After the event, we headed to the Hyatt in Mission Bay for some post OPSFitness bevies and appetizers with Shape Magazine. Cheers!

Saturday/Sunday – Long ride on Saturday followed by a 40min OTB Run, and a long run and swim on Sunday.

Saturday I met up with Beth, Jené, and Courtney for a 4ish hour ride. It was Courtney’s bday, so we let her pick the route. Once again, I got my BUTT kicked. I seriously hope that in a few months, I’m not DYING going up hills and mountains to keep up with these girls…

Some of the awesome scenery we saw on our ride

Some of the awesome scenery we saw on our ride (photo courtesy of Jené).

Sunday I enjoyed heading out for an early run, and then went to master’s swim practice, where I had another big gain! We had a good long set, that was mostly just putting yards in. But at the end of the 2 different sets, we had to do a fast 100 for time. For the first time ever I got in the 1min and single digits! 1:09 to be exact. :)

It was a solid week! Packed full of fun and good training.

Side note: I signed up for Leadman 125 in Tempe, AZ on April 14th. I have a few friends who talked me into doing it, and well it sounded fun, and it’s a good place for me to work on my weaknesses, swimming and biking. So, my next race, although since it’s last minute, I have no expectations, but excited to see where my fitness is at in 3 weeks.

Side Note #2: I am going 30 days without bread or processed sugar…I have made it 7 days so far! Only 21 more days to go…who’s joining me?!?!

First Full Week of 2013 Training!

Where do I begin….this week ROCKED! It felt soooo good to be back into structured training and to have a coach. Beth rocks. I love her coaching style.

Here’s what I learned this week:

I LOVE master’s at the Ecke Y in Encinitas. The first session I learned:

1. Being placed in the 2nd to slowest lane is humbling
2. I’m SLOW…but the good news is…I can only move up :)
3. I’m big time out of swim shape…maybe due to the fact that I pretty much only swam when I raced last year. (I guess 1-3 are pretty much the same thing;)
4. Coach Hux rocks
5. Everyone was super friendly, and even though I’m “not fast”, no one made me feel like I sucked…:)
6. My competitive side is now in full effect

Then the second session: I moved up a lane, into the 1:40 “base” lane. And held my own. Was super stoked, and even had 3 100′s under 1:25, which I’ve never done before. Sometimes all it takes for me to go above and beyond is to be in a competitive/social environment where I’m challenged to push myself outside my comfort zone. Thank you for all my new lane mate friends!

Then I hit my first ride outside for 2013 on the 56 bike path, for a solo ride. It felt sooo good to cruise, and just enjoy being active outside, and on my bike. I got to see this as I was finishing up….

image

These are the moments, where I feel so thankful, and free. I just want to take it all in, and be right in that moment, and never let go.

For my long ride on Saturday, I was determined to join the 8am Del Mar crew, so I woke up at 7am, got all bundled up, and headed out the door around 7:30am, to peddle south to meet up with them at the Starbucks on the 101. 5min after I left my house, my fingers were already cold, and so were my toes. I had gloves on, and I had ski socks and booties. My core was warm, my legs were warm, my arms were warm, but I knew that I was going to struggle keeping my toes and fingers warm. Mind you it was 38 degrees outside when I woke up/left. Am I from Wisconsin? YES. But, let me tell you, when it’s cold in Wisconsin, I did not ride my bike outside. Nor did I when I lived in Chicago. Also, when it is cold, I’m practically bundled in head to toe snow gear, and I’m just not sure that that is riding appropriate or very functional. Anyway, I told myself to suck it up, but 10min in, and I couldn’t even shift gears because my fingers were numb. Okay, fine turn around, I said to myself, feeling totally lame. But, there was no way I was going to make it through a 3hr ride, if 10min in, I couldn’t feel my fingers. So, I turned around, rode home, and hopped on my trainer to warm up, I started to warm up and started peeling layers, and I decided to just do this ride on the trainer.

So today, on my ride, with Beth (coach/athlete catch up ride on life and training), I showed up with these…

photo (93)

Seriously! So glad, I got these on my trip last weekend, they were a savior. NO PROBLEMS, whatsoever on the bike today. It was cold and windy, but I was happy and toasty :) Who knew ski mittens were also great for winter riding? I’m obsessed with these, and I HIGHLY recommend, to make your rides more enjoyable when it’s cold, to wear your ski mittens. I might have looked silly, but I was snuggly, and happy.

Night Rider was super pumped to finally get some attention…

photo (91)

As for running, well I had some easy sessions, some strength sessions with hills, and overall enjoyed running outside. I ran around the San Elijo lagoon, ran around the trails at work, and along the ocean.

Gosh I’ve missed this. I guess that’s what the off season is for :)

4th of July Weekend, 2011

This weekend was all about balance!  My brother and his wife flew into Milwaukee on Wednesday night, and Scott and I headed up to Wisconsin on Friday night after picking my mom up at O’hare, where she had flown in, after being in Spain, and had been trying to get home since Wednesday by using a friend’s buddy pass on Delta.  She ended up traveling to 8 different cities, taking trains, planes, and automobiles, all to get home, because flights were overbooked all over the place, and it looked like for awhile she wasn’t going to make it home in time for our 4th of July family weekend, but we were all so happy she did!  Way to go mom!  Bootcamp really paid off, so that you could run down all those modes of transportation!

We got in to my parent’s house late Friday night, and immediately went to bed.  I had to be up early on Saturday to get my bike and swim workouts in, so that I could hang out with my family for the rest of the day.  It was a perfect day, and I took the opportunity to try out my new race kit from Element Multisport!

After going up and down beach drive a bunch of times for my hill repeats, I then headed to The Town Club to do my swim workout.

Scott and I had lunch at The Town Club, and caught some rays, but it got too hot, and we called it quits pretty quickly.  Saturday night, we had a get together at my parent’s house, and we had all kinds of good food, like paella, salmon, beef tenderloin, homemade pizza, queso de cabra, fruit salad and more!

Setting up for the party

Taking a break from setting up for the party

All of our close family friends wanted to hear about my Oakley Ambassadorship and my trip to Napa, so I educated them on the awesome women’s line, and everyone wanted to try on the new Drizzle sunglasses that will be coming out later this year!

Then it was time for bed, and another early morning for my long run, and another swim at the 25yd outdoor pool at The Town Club.  I was pumped!  This time I got my whole family involved in the swim, which was so fun!  I had a main set of 40x50yds, and each one of my family members jumped in for a few!  It made those 40 reps go by fast, compared to if I had done them on my own.

We all headed home after pool time to play some croquet in our backyard.  It was so fun!  I love yard games!  We then had leftovers, and then headed to DQ for some blizzards, one of my family’s favorites!

Jenny (my sister), me, Scott, Tara, Ty (my brother)

The Fam minus my brother, who’s taking the picture

We then called it a night, and I was excited to sleep in a bit more on Monday the 4th!  But, I was looking forward to going for a recovery run with  my mom, brother, and sister.

The recovery run group!

My siblings

After a very fun recovery run, I did some light stretching, and then we all headed down to the local parade to celebrate the 4th!

Scott apparently didn’t know when the picture was being taken, and forgot to smile…lol

A free rootbeer float at a 4th of July parade….ummm yes please!

After the parade, we headed over to a friend’s for a BBQ and some more yard games!  Bags and Bocci Ball….I love it!  And then, Scott and I had to head back to Chicago and get ready to go back to the “real” world.  But, big thanks to my coach for throwing me a HUGE curve ball, and giving me a rest day today!  I have been able to catch up on so much, and one of those things is sleep!

Hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July too!

Favorite Swim Workouts

Recently, I was asked about my favorite swim workouts, so I wanted to share two totally different workouts with you. But, first off I want to tell you about where you can find great swim workouts, because they are everywhere. There’s http://www.swimplan.com, which is great in personalizing your swim workouts, and then there are books galore.

My favorite workouts are either working on speed or endurance.

For speed who doesn’t love lots of 100′s?

400yd easy warm up
2×200 50 drill, 50 free, 50 kick, 50 build
8×100 at moderate pace, 5-10sec rest
10×100 all out, 1min rest
400yd easy cool down

I also love going long. I love getting into a rhythm and not stopping and just enjoying my body moving through the water.

200yd warm up
8×25 build
4×500 moderate with 10sec rest
800 descend (get faster as you go) with 30sec rest
100 cool down choice

I also LOVE toys! I love to kick with fins, and I love the pull buoy and a snorkel.

I’m not a swim coach, nor do I have a strong background in swimming, these are just my favorites:)

If you try them, let me know how they go!