Monday, January 13, 2014

Things I Like

1)  Come on, you knew THE Roxy Dog would make the list.

This is the life.

 2)  Coeur Sports

A new sponsor this year, Coeur is an amazing little company that makes awesome triathlon apparel for women.  Actually, I take that back.  They don't make JUST triathlon gear, they make swimming, cycling, running, every day AND triathlon gear.  CHECK THEM OUT!  I promise you will love what they have to offer.  Owned and run by good friends Kebby and Reginald Holden, Coeur is all about having "heart and courage" in what we do.  I know both of those things go a long way in triathlon!  Needless to say, I'm really honored and excited to be a part of the Coeur family.

3)  Running Races

It's been a loooooooong time since I was "just" a runner.  So when I get the chance to lace up the old racing flats and go really hard for a "short" time, I get excited!  That is until the realization hits of just how badly it's going to hurt.  And let's make no bones about it, anything from 5K-10K REALLY hurts.  In a way that Ironman doesn't even begin to touch.  Yesterday Kim and I ran the infamous Frigid Five here in Pittsburgh.  I thought I was having a stroke up the final mile long hill.  Let's just say, as much as I like running races, I hope I don't have to do one again any time soon.

Can you tell that I'm still breathing hard in this picture?
4)  Pandora

Is it not the best invention ever?  I listen to music almost all day long.  Pandora is my best friend.

5)  Will Ferrell

Truer words have not been spoken.  Although Oscar might not have married me...  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

What's Been Goin' On

Once again, I've been a delinquent blogger.  So delinquent, in fact, that I think all of December passed by with nary a peep!  Since I know you've all been just dying to know what I've been up too (kidding, obviously), here's what's been goin' on:

1) Training.  Lordy.  I think I got the "beginner's" version of the QT2 Systems training plan last summer/fall.  Not so much anymore!  And it's keeping me busy.  I just finished a 4 week block of base training that had me crying for mercy as I neared the end.  (literally, I think I cried on my bike the other day and in my goggles a few times too)  This past week I made some realizations about just how very, very difficult improvement will be (at this stage) and also how very, very hard this lifestyle is in general.  Not that I would trade it for the world and I'm VERY thankful to be able to chase these dreams.  But this isn't for the faint of heart.  And it's not for someone who wants to be comfortable.  At all.

Also not for the faint of heart: running in -24 degree windchills.  I did get frosty eyelashes though!

2) Swimming.  More specifically on the training front, I've seen some changes to my swim training.  This includes swimming with masters A LOT more.  I haven't minded this at all because I love masters!  I can get so much more out of myself while I'm trying to race the guy in the lane next to me vs the water walker at the YMCA.  :)  And it's just making me a stronger, more hearty swimmer.  When it's stroke day, I do the entire stroke workout - 200 IMs and all (cue crying in goggles).  When I'm about to get lapped in yet another 500 by the super fast guys on Saturdays, I just swim harder (cue sobbing in goggles).  When the workout calls for underwater 25s dolphin kicking on my back, I do my best dolphin impression (cue gasping for air at the wall).  In other words, I'm just trying to play the part of a swimmer, not a triathlete who happens to swim.

See those windows on the top there?  They usually aren't frosty like that.  Let's just say it was COLD on deck yesterday morning at masters!

3) Nutrition.  Oh man is this a big one.  I started working with a dietitian from The Core Diet.  Because I'm a dietitian myself, I like to think I did pretty well in this area.  But there were definitely changes that needed to be made and finally, finally I'm really starting to make them.  I haven't totally given up Diet Pepsi yet, it's the one vice I'm hanging onto desperately, but I have at least drastically reduced the amount I drink.  There's always room for improvement, I guess.  :)

4) Mental training.  Another part of the puzzle that I was pretty blasé about in the past.  Tim (my coach) has been sending weekly "assignments", most of them having to do with the mental side of sport.  This got me interested in doing a little work on my own so I've read a few books and have started to put some of the mental exercises suggested into use.  And I started a journal.  This kind of thing is hard for me.  As a general rule, I don't like to think, I just like to train!  And mental training takes time - something that you might not have a lot of if you are training 25+ hours a week and trying to recover from that training AND still live your life.  But what I've realized is that I can't really afford NOT to put the time into mental training.  So just like anything else, if I make it a priority, it will get done.  Less time on twitter, blogs and FB, more time spent doing the things I need to do. 

5) Movie watching.  Watching movies is one of my favorite things to do.  Going to the movie theater to watch a movie is REALLY one of my favorite things to do. So Oscar and I have been making an effort to do just that.  So far in 2014 we've seen The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (which I LOVED) and American Hustle (which wasn't quite as good but was still pretty entertaining AND has Bradley Cooper in it).  

Yep, your reward for reading through all that boring crud about training was a picture of Bradley Cooper!

So we are off and running in 2014!  Next up is a trip to Clermont, FL for the QT2 Systems pro training camp.  If I make it out alive, I'm sure there will be some blog worthy material to report on.  Wish me luck!

Hope you all are off to a great start in 2014 also!  And if not, a year is a long time.  Plenty of time to turn things around.  :)  (see, that mental training kicks in for all facets of life!)