October Teaching Schedule

Hello! It’s been awhile. I’ll have a full update in the very near future about my absence here, but two words sum it up…. hip injury.

I’ve been teaching a lot of fitness classes over the summer and will be picking up a few more this fall. If you’re local in the Greater Portland (Maine) area then come check out one of my classes! I’ve discovered that I really love teaching fitness classes!

Also, if you’re interested in either personal training or endurance sport coaching then contact me! I have a few spots left on my coaching roster for 2015 so contact me if you’re interested in coaching. My prices will be going up in 2015 so lock in now! 🙂


Race Report: PolarBear Sprint Tri

On Saturday I completed my first tri of the season! Last week I was going to write a goals post for the PolarBear, but then I realized I didn’t even train for this race and thus I had no real goals. This race really just snuck up on me. I registered for it back in December when it first opened for registration, and then I forgot about it until about two weeks ago.

I hadn’t swam in almost two months, I rode my bike outside for the first time this year a week ago and also did my first and only brick prior to this race then as well. Nothing like being super prepared for this race! I raced the PolarBear last year and had a decent race, even with my knee injury. Last year I thought I was going to DNF because I could barely run. This year at least my knee was fine. I was just worried about my severe lack of fitness.

Before the masses hit the pool

Before the masses hit the pool

The Swim

Since this is a pool swim there were 10 waves of swimmers that spanned from 8:30-10:30am. I racked my bike around 7:45am and then had to wait until 10:30 to swim, because I was so lucky and was assigned the last swim wave. Urgh! Most people were done with the race even before I started. Reason number one I hate pool swim tris. I swam for the first time in about 2 months on Wednesday night. I knew going into the PolarBear that was swim was going to bad. That is was. I shared a lane with another girl who totally lapped me. At least I flip-turned the entire 525 yards! I’m the type of swimmer that needs a lot of warm-up time before I can settled in and find my groove. I’m a much better open-water swimmer as well, since I suck at kicking. I felt like drowning throughout the swim, but managed to muscle my way through it. I was never out of breath so I could have pushed it a bit more, but I just wanted to survive in one piece. Last year I swam a 9:20 or 1:47/100 yard pace. This year I was definitely slower.

Swim: 9:54 (1:53/100 yds) 5/15 AG; 114/253 OA

The Bike

The only bike that I have ridden in 2 months was a spin bike. I was doing super good building back my power from December to mid-February and then I stopped. I rode my bike for the first time outside (and in 2 months) last Sunday. I had no expectations for this bike leg. I just didn’t want to embarrass myself too much. I made a quick transition. On the way out of transition I lost the straw to my water bottle and thus had no way to drink any water on my bike. I was super thirsty too, so this was not a pleasant situation. It was only 11 miles and I could get water at mile 1 of the run. I survived. There was quite a headwind on the bike course. I don’t remember it being this bad last year, but maybe it was. At least it had warmed up a bit during my 3 hour wait! A few guys passed me on the bike and I played cat-and-mouse with another woman racked next to me in transition. She passed me and then I quickly passed her again. She passed me again about half way through the course. As she rode by me she commented that I was tough to catch. I later caught up to her in T2 so she didn’t finish much before me. I had a decent bike considering very little training. Last year I finished the bike in 36:06 and this year I finished in 36:47. I was only about 40 seconds slower this year so I’ll take it! And as a bonus, I averaged 142 watts with a VI of 1.05. That’s really good for me!

Bike: 36:47 (18.8mph) 2/15 AG; 126/253 OA

The Run

Last year I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to run. This year I knew I could, but it would be slower than molasses! I’ve been running a few times a week lately, but focused on slow, MAF training style to build my aerobic base. I haven’t done any speed work since 2012. I felt okay on the run. I was in a comfortable pace. I wasn’t out of breath, but it was work. I could have pushed it more, but I just went with it. I passed some people and a few guys passed me. For the most part I was running alone. There were no age group marking on the legs this year, which I did not like. I could not tell who was in my age group. I passed the woman who I played cat-and-mouse with on the bike. I chatted with her for a minute or two and then finally passed her for good. Most of the run course is on trails and grass. It’s not my favorite footing. I’d much rather run on pavement. Last year I managed to hobble a 28:04 run with my knee injury. This year I was slower at 28:36, but I’m pretty sure it was long this year. My Garmin read 3.2 miles instead of the supposed 3 miles.

Run: 28:36 (9:32/mile) 6/15 AG; 146/253 OA

Overall, it was an okay race. I didn’t have high expectations for this race since I didn’t train for it. Honestly, I thought about skipping it, but decided to use it to “brush off the dust” and perhaps motivate myself to begin training more seriously for Timberman 70.3 in August. But, right now, my focus is on my upcoming vacation to Belize and Guatemala in a week! I ended up placing 3rd in my age group and finishing in 1:17:47. Last year I finished in 1:15:44. I was within a minute of the 2nd place girl as well. Next race is most likely the Norway Tri in July. Maybe I’ll actually traing for this one…

My "trophy"

My “trophy”

Finish: 1:17:47; 3/15 AG; 41/119 W; 132/253 OA

~ Happy Training!


Tri 101: What Equipment Do You Need?

My beloved tri bike

My beloved tri bike

So, you’ve decided that you want to do a triathlon. Awesome! Be forewarned though… triathlons are addictive. 🙂

The big question now is what do you need to complete your first triathlon. The sport of triathlon does require quite a bit of equipment compared to other sports; after all, triathlon is a sport of three disciplines: swim, bike, and run.

The Swim:

  • Goggles – You’ll want to find a good pair of goggles for swimming. Everyone has their preference for goggles so check out a few pairs and see what works for you. You can get traditional race goggles or a pair with a nose piece. You won’t need big snorkel goggles though!
  • Swim cap – Ladies, when you’re swimming in a pool then you need to wear a swim cap! It’s really gross if you don’t. Imagine if all the women in the pool didn’t wear caps… that’s a lot of hair floating around. On race day you have to wear a cap with a specific color for your swim wave. The race directors will give you your cap in your race packet so you don’t have to buy one.
  • Wetsuit – Some races highly suggest wetsuits because the water is cold. If you’re only doing a pool swim tri than don’t worry about a wetsuit. Wetsuits can actually help you swim faster because you’re more buoyant. If the water temperature is above 84 degrees then wetsuits are illegal for the swim. So keep that in mind as well. Wetsuits are expensive so if you don’t want to shell out a few hundred dollars then you can rent them as well from your local bike/tri shop or online.

The Bike:

  • Bike – Bikes are expensive! If you’re doing your first tri and it’s a local sprint tri, then use whatever bike you may currently have. It could be a hybrid, a mountain bike, or a road bike. If your first triathlon is a half-ironman or Ironman then you’ll need at least a road bike. You can purchase an entry-level road bike for between $700-$900. Or, if you have a ton of money lying around, you can purchase a competition level tri bike for $8,000+! Start with the basics and then invest more money when you get into the sport for the long-haul.
  • Helmet – You MUST wear a helmet during the bike leg of any tri. This is a USAT rule and you will be disqualified if you don’t wear a helmet. Plus, it’s just plain stupid. You can buy a basic helmet for between $30-$40.
  • Bike shoes and clipless pedals – This is optional. Bike shoes and clipless pedals will help you create a more efficient pedal stroke because it allows you to both push and pull. Most people are really nervous when they first get their clipless pedals because it’s not uncommon for people to fall over while trying to unclip. Don’t worry. It happens to everyone. You can always wear your running sneakers too.

The Run:

  • Running shoes – You’ll want a good pair of running-specific shoes. You’ll either wear them during the bike leg or change from bike shoes to your running shoes. You’ll probably want socks as well if you’re prone to blisters.
  • Running shorts – This is for training runs. On race day you’ll probably want to wear tri shorts and tank, but it varies. You’ll want some good workout clothes for training swims, bikes, and runs.

As you can see, you need quite a bit of equipment. This is just the very basics. As you get more into the sport you’ll start to accumulate and/or upgrade to better equipment. I began competing in triathlons in 2010. I competed on an entry-level Cannondale road bike that I purchased for about $900. In 2011, I upgraded to a competition-level road bike that I spent over $3000 for (and drove all the way to the MA/NY border). And finally, in 2012 I purchased my first tri bike and power meter. Yup, triathlons are expensive, but you can start cheap and basic and still kick butt!

Next Topic: Transitions

~ Happy Training!

Tri 101: So You Want To Do A Triathlon?

I get a lot of questions from friends and clients who are thinking about doing a triathlon, but don’t think they can do one. Of course you can! Anyone can do a triathlon!

First, let’s back up and start from the beginning. The sport of triathlon is actually a multisport competition of three consecutive sports: swimming, biking, and running. There are a few variations of the sport though, such as duathlons (run-bike-run), aquabike (swim-bike), and Xterra [swim (sometimes kayak)-mountain bike-trail run].

There are several triathlon race distances:

  • Sprint – 750 meters (~0.5 miles; can vary) swim, 20km (~10 miles; can vary) bike, 5k (3.1 miles) run
  • Olympic – 1.5km (0.93 mile) swim, 40km (25 miles) bike, 10km (6.2 miles) run
  • Half-Ironman or 70.3 – 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run
  • Ironman 0r 140.6 – 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run

The first modern-day triathlon event was held in Mission Bay, San Diego, California, on September 25, 1974. The race was sponsored by the San Diego Track Club and had 46 participants. The first modern-day long course event, later named Ironman, was the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon. The idea of the Ironman was conceived shortly after the 1977 Oahu Perimeter Relay race with many participants from the Mid-Pacific Road Runners and Waikiki Swim Club, whose members would often debate if swimmers or runners were the most “fittest” athletes. US Navy Commander would sometimes argue that cyclists were the fittest because recently Sports Illustrated declared Belgian cyclist, Eddy Merckx, had the highest maximum oxygen uptake. Collins, who participated with his wife in several of the Mission Bay triathlons in San Diego, suggested they settle the fittest athlete debate through a race combining three exisiting long-distance competitions: the Waikiki Roughwater 2.4 mile swim, the Around-Oahu Bike Race (115 miles), and the Honolulu Marathon (26.2 miles).

On February 18, 1978 fifteen men started the first Ironman race and only 12 men finished. Gordon Haller became the first Ironman by finishing the race in 11 hours, 46 minutes, and 58 seconds. The first woman competed in 1979. Ironman and the sport of triathlon really became big after Julie Moss crawled across the 1982 finish line on national television to take 2nd place.

Triathlon debuted in the 2000 Olympics at the Sydney Games. Simon Whitefield of Canada and Brigitte McMahon of Switzerland were the first man and woman to win a gold medal in the sport of triathlon. Paratriathlon will debut at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The sport of triathlon has boomed in recent years and will continue to grow in future years. Just this past fall, triathlon became an official NCAA sport for women!

Next post: Equipment

~ Happy Training!

Flips Turns: To Flip or Not to Flip, That Is the Question

Not many triathletes come from a swimming background. If you ask 10 triathletes what their least favorite or weakest sport is in triathlon, I bet a majority of them will answer swimming. Swimming is a very technique-based sport. You can always spot a “real” swimmer in a pool. He or she is usually the one who has a beautiful, effortless stroke and does flip-turns. Ok, maybe their stroke isn’t beautiful, but chances are they can flip-turn with the best of them.

Flip-turns are something every triathlete desires to be able to do in the pool. Not only can flip-turns help you become a stronger and more efficient swimmer, but they also make you look like a badass. Who doesn’t want to look like a badass in the pool?

I’ll be honest. I didn’t start flip-turning until recently. I swam in high school so I know how to do flip-turns, but when I started to swim again for triathlon training, I just never began flip-turning again. I was never the best at them and they can mess up my equilibrium sometimes. However, I do believe that every triathlete should learn to do a flip-turn at some point during their triathlon careers.

Why Flip-turn?

There are no flip-turns in an open water swim so why spend time learning how to flip-turn? There are no breaks in an open water swim as well. Most triathletes, especially beginners, spend way too much time at the wall during open turns that it mimics a mini-break. Most triathletes don’t do flip-turns because they are harder to do. That’s why I didn’t do them for a long time.

Open turns can hurt your swim technique. Think about. As you approach the wall you lift your arm to touch the wall and then push-off. Does that sound like good swim technique to you? What about the added stress of lifting your arm to grab the brim of the wall? Each pool has a slightly different wall structure. The YMCA pool I swim at has a high wall brim and if I open turn I have to lift my arm up high adding stress to my shoulder joint. Imagine that over and over again? Ouch!

Flip-turns add fluidity and smoothness to swimming. Think about it. Stroke, stroke, stroke, flip-turn, stroke, stroke… No breaks, just swimming. Flip-turns also require you to hold your breathe for a little longer than a normal stroke, thus requiring you to be hypoxic for a moment. Hypoxic breathing is a good drill for all triathletes to do because one should be able to mix up their breathing pattern. I personally find that doing hypoxic breathing once in a while in workouts helps me if I ever feel panicked during a race.

A flip-turn is also like doing a squat when you push-off the wall so that adds a bit of strength work into your swim workout as well! Plus, doing flip-turns allows you to swim more laps in less time. A bonus if you are time-crunched.

When should you start to flip-turn?

I recommend triathletes to begin flip-turning once they are comfortable in the water and have the basic swim stroke technique down. If you’re a beginner and still learning proper technique to become a more efficient swimmer then I suggest waiting to learn to flip-turn. The key to becoming a better swimmer is actually doing a lot of swimming and practicing your swim drills!

Once you’ve been swimming consistently for a couple of years then I don’t think you really have an excuse not to flip-turn. Spend some time learning to do them. You may not get them right away and might crash into the wall everyone in a while, but that’s how you learn. Believe me, I still have my crashes every once in a while as well. Also, if you learn to flip-turn you’ll be able to keep up with more of the masters swimmers!

Flip-turns can make you a stronger and better swimmer so start now. Here are a couple good videos to watch and of course you can google some more. Or better yet, ask some of your swimmer friends to help you!


~ Happy Training!

March Training Recap

Hi! Remember me? I use to blog here!

Woof! March has been a crazy month. You know what they say… in like a lion and out like a lamb! The first week of March was a solid training week. I went in the second week strong as well, but soon developed the sniffles. By the weekend I was starting to feel a cold coming on.

A second round of sickness was making its way around the office. I lucked out and missed the first one – the flu! But managed to catch the latest around of germs being passed around the water cooler. I was able to complete most of my workouts during week 2, but by Friday I was exhausted and dealing with a massive headache. I took that Friday as a rest day and had to teach spin the following morning at the Bay Club.

I woke up that Saturday feeling worst than ever, but still taught spin. I arrived a few minutes late to the class because I forgot my shoes at home and had to go back to my house after I realized the missing shoes. Urgh! The owner of the club was in my class observing making sure that I was actually capable of teaching spin classes. The class went well. I used one of my more tough interval workouts and everyone loved the class. Personally for me it was a rough class for two reasons: 1) I got stuck with the broken bike that wouldn’t adjust the resistance to an easier resistance, and 2) I felt like crap and almost passed out a few times. But, I survived! The owner had nothing but good things to say about my teaching style and one guy even told her I was varsity. Yay me!

The new car!

The new car!

That following Monday my car died on my way home from work. I stopped at a stop sign to make a righthand turn and she died. Luckily, a nice man pushed my car around the corner for me so I wasn’t blocking traffic and AAA came and towed my car to my mechanic after waiting for over an hour. So embarrassing! My mechanic looked at my car and determined it was most likely the fuel pump. At this point in my car’s life I decided that it was time for her retirement after all she is over 14 years old with over 165,000 miles. Last week I purchased a new car! Eeek. It’s bittersweet. I really love my new car, but now I have a monthly car payment. Urgh, now I’m really an adult. I guess you have to grow up sometime, right?

I finally got over my cold by the end of last week and got in a few spin sessions, but no rigorous workouts. I’m back on track now though since my first tri of the year is in 4 weeks! Yikes!

~ Happy Training!

Training Recap: March 3rd – March 9th

Base Training Week 10

Training is going well. Last week was a good week, but a little off due to last-minute teaching schedule change and my birthday.

Monday –

I ran an easy 3+ miles at lunch and was packed and ready for a swim after work. I got a call at 4:30 from the Bay Club fitness manager to sub the 6pm class, which I did. So, my swim turned into a spin class.

Tuesday –

I taught my usual spin class at Zone 3 Fitness. I was supposed to do a fartlek run during my lunch break, but I got caught up in meetings at work and thus moved the run to Thursday instead.

Reagan on our walk this weekend

Reagan on our walk this weekend

Wednesday –

Wednesday was a busy work day that left me in meetings late in Augusta. I was planning to swim at the Y and then attend a Junior League meeting, but I didn’t get back to Portland until later than expected. I was exhausted and just wasn’t feeling the swim. I opted instead to ride my trainer. I had a solid ride playing with single-leg drills and various power zones. Workout is below. I also finished up with some core/hip work.

WU: 10 min – build to Z2 HR

MS: 3x15min

Isolated leg set – (R: 0:45@60+rpm/0:15@90rpm both legs clipped in, repeat w/L leg) x2 1min relaxed pedaling both legs

4min@ 95-100rpm, aero, mod. pace

3min@ 95-100rpm, tempo pace

1min@ 95-100rpm, hard pace

2min@ easy spin

Repeat entire 15 min set, 2 more times

CD: 5min easy spin

Thursday –

Thursday was a big training day. Lunch was a 45-minute fartlek run. It was fun to add a little speed work into my run workouts again. I’ve been running so slow after returning from injury that it has been frustrating, but I’m beginning to see my pace become speedier and hopefully it will return back to my peak running fitness in 2012. After work was a 2800 yard swim at the Y. The workout was a mix of endurance and speed work. I felt a bit off, but was still able to hit my T-pace. After my swim workout, I had about 20 minutes to grab a quick light dinner before my pilates class that succeed to kick my butt.

Friday –

I woke up super sore from the day before, mainly the pilates class! We didn’t have pilates class for 3 weeks because of vacations and snow storms so it was a bit of a rough transition back. I decided against my 30-minute recovery run at lunch and just hit up my hot yoga class after work.

Saturday –

I taught another class at the Bay Club and got to see one of my friends who just had a baby whom I haven’t seen in a while. It was a fun surprise! It was also my birthday so I kept things easy today. I took Reagan for a walk in the afternoon because it was a beautiful Spring-like day.

Tried furball after our walk

Tired furball after our walk

Sunday –

I was supposed to do a 90-minute ride with a short t-run, but I was a little hung over from the two classes of wine I had the night before at my birthday dinner. Yup, I’m such a light weight! I did complete an easy 45-minute spin on the trainer though, which felt good.

This week is already off to a good start, but I might have to adjust a few workouts due to the incoming winter storm dropping snow/ice/sleet/rain, etc. I’m so ready for Spring!

Training Hours:

Swim: 0:50 (2800 yards)

Bike: 4:15

Run: 2:23

Strength/Yoga: 2:25

Total: 9:44

~ Happy Training!

February Training Recap

The Y Pool

The Y Pool

February was a good training month. I found my groove in the pool again and my power on the bike is slowly returning. I finished the month off with completing 26:47 hours of quality training time.

As a side note, I have decided to separate out my personal writings from this blog and created another blog … Diaries of a Wandering Lobster, so I can keep this one more focused on my triathlon life. I will be writing about life, travel, personal finance, etc. on Diaries of a Wandering Lobster so don’t forget to check it out! 🙂

Now back to my monthly training recap! There were a few days I took off due to not feeling well. Remarkably I have not been seriously sick, especially compared to last year. Knock on wood of course! The weather was terrible a few days in February and by a few days I mean it snowed a lot and was just down right cold!

I managed to bundle up and run outside for a majority of my runs, but there were a few times that I aired on the side of caution and ran on the dreadmill. The pool closed early a few times on me due to snowstorms and I had to shift my training days around a bit.

I started taking a pilates class the end of January and it kicks my butt every time! Unfortunately, we didn’t have class 3 out of the 4 weeks in February because of a snow day, school vacation week, and the instructor took a vacation. I’ve already noticed a big different in my core and hip strength, which is exactly what my hips need.

Speaking of my hips, they have been behaving themselves lately. They were quite sore a couple weeks ago due to my recent long run on hilly terrain. I saw my chiropractor the next day and informed her that I may or may not have strained my piriformis since it was super tight and sore. She stretched me out and said my hips were actually really good, but my hamstrings were still very tight. Story of my life!

I’ve spent a lot of time on Azul and also making friends again with the spin bike as I teach spinning on a regular basis now and love it! I completed my first FTP test of the year last week. My results were better than I expected, but still not anywhere near my 2012 bike fitness levels. I’m working hard to get back to that fitness level so I can crush the Timberman bike course in August!

March Goals:

  1. Continue perfecting my flip-turns! I have finally decided to flip-turn all my workouts after 4 years of intermittingly doing so. I know how to flip-turn since I swam in high school, but was too lazy to do so in triathlon training.
  2. Continue to build my power. Now that I know where my current bike fitness is at, I can work to build up my power through my workouts. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to ride on the road soon because I’m getting antsy on the trainer these days!
  3. Continue to strength train to ensure my hip issues are not a problem this race season!
  4. Dial in on my nutrition to reach race weight in the appropriate timeframe.

Do you set monthly training goals?

 ~ Happy Training!

Weekly Training Recap: Feb. 24 – March 2

Now that my training has begun to pick up in both volume and intensity as my race season gets closer, I’ve decided to do a weekly recap of my training. As I have mentioned a few times before, I made the decision this year to coach myself for two main reasons: a) to save money, and b) to try new training techniques and workouts on myself before having my athletes utilize them in their own training plans. I get several questions a week on what I do during my workouts so this will act as a platform to share some of my favorite workouts.

This past week was a rest week and thus my training hours were lower than normal.

Monday – 2/24

Monday was a 45 minute recovery spin and 15 minutes of hip/core focused exercises. Because of my chronic hip issues I have made it a priority to complete core/hip focused exercises several times a week to hopefully prevent any relapses of my IT-band/knee issues that plagued me last year during Ironman training.

Tuesday – 2/25

Tuesday was a 4 mile run during lunch and I taught my spin & core class at Zone 3 Fitness. My run was initially supposed to be an easy 35-minute run, but I felt good and just wanted to keep running. Thus, my run turned into a 4-mile negative split run. I completed my first sub-10 min/mile since pre-hip injury Fall running! I’ve been very frustrated lately with my running fitness, or lack thereof, but I know with more time on the pavement my fitness and speed will return. It has already begun too, just slowly.

Wednesday – 2/26

On Wednesday I completed my dreaded FTP test. Yuck! However, the results weren’t half bad. I first conducted a FTP in 2012 during Sustainable Athlete’s Friday Night Fights, a series of computrainer races. I was on my road bike at the time and averaged about 180-185watts, which my coach used as my FTP for the 2012 season. We never retested during the season, but I know my threshold increased towards August because I was able to hold a higher HIM race pace than earlier in the season. Last year I conducted my FTP on my tri bike on my trainer in my living room. I had taken the entire previous Fall off with plantar fasciitis and thus had a horrible FTP number. I clocked in at a measly 143watts. Of course, training for an Ironman didn’t help with increasing my FTP over my race season. This year I clocked in at 163watts. It’s still not good, but an improvement over this year. I think if I had done a computrainer race this year, I probably would have checked in at a higher FTP, but I’m going to use this value as my starting point. I’m just happy that I am trending in the right direction – up!

The Y Pool

The Y Pool

Thursday – 2/27

Thursday was a 3000 yard swim at the YMCA. February was a good month for swimming and my swimming volume is picking up in the coming weeks. I swam once in November since my Ironman in July and that swim was a complete disaster. I really thought I was going to drown at the time. However, my return to swimming this past month has been nothing but awesome. The workout was focused on muscular endurance and I exceed my t-pace by close to 10seconds. I’ve also finally decided to flipturn my swim workouts. More on that in my monthly recap…

Muscle Endurance Swim Workout:

W/U: 100sw, 300 (100K, 100drill, 100sw), 6×50 build (:15RI)

MS: 8×100 @ T-pace (:15RI)

300 pull

4×100 @ T-pace (:10RI)

300 pull

4×100 @ T-pace (:15RI)

C/D: 100

Friday – 2/28

Friday was an easy 3.5 mile run during lunch and an after-work hot yoga class. My average run pace is slowly returning back towards my normal long run pace, but my heart rate continues to be slightly higher than normal, i.e. fitness isn’t quite there yet. I haven’t been to yoga in a few weeks and this class was just want I needed. A perfect balance of twisting and hip openers.

Saturday – 3/1

On Saturday I taught another spin class at Zone 3 Fitness. I was supposed to hit up the pool for my second swim of the week but due to running errands I missed the open lap swim times. I have since printed off the pool schedule to carry around in my purse for future reference.

Zone 3 Fitness circuit training area

Zone 3 Fitness circuit training area

Sunday – 3/2

Sunday was a relaxing rest day.

The first two weeks of my March training plan begins the pickup of more volume, especially with running. I was originally planning on running the Race the Runways Half-marathon in April, but I think I’m going to skip it this year and continue to work on building my base. My first registered race is the PolarBear Sprint Tri in early May.

Hours Completed

Total: 7:07

Swim: 1:00

Bike: 3:19

Run: 1:21

Strength/Core/Yoga: 1:35

~ Happy Training!

Frugal Fridays: My Not So Frugal February


Today is the last day of February. Whew, the year is already flying by. As I have mentioned before, one of my main goals this year is to build financial stability. Last post I talked a bit about my obsession with budgeting.

Well… I have a major confession. I totally blew up my February budget. Yikes! At first I was nervous, but then I realized these were all big purchases I was planning to make in 2014.

Let’s take a look at my extra expenses:

  1. Travel – I was originally debating taking my Africa trip over Thanksgiving break this year, but then one of my best friends whom I haven’t seen in 3 years (she lives in Montana) told me she booked a plane ticket to Belize in May, I knew I had to buy a ticket too. Luckily, I had been saving money in my vacation fund, thus I had the $730 in my bank account to cover the costs of that large semi-unplanned purchase.
  2. New Camera – I’ve wanted to purchase a new camera for upcoming travel and also for a few projects I have in line for Big Sky Multisport Coaching & Personal Training for awhile. I finally pulled the trigger due to my trip to Belize and the fact that I can write it off as a business expense. I did some research and found out that February is generally a good month to buy digital cameras; I did some scouting around for sales. I found the camera I wanted at Best Buy on sale, plus I was able to cash in some credit card points I’ve had for several years for a $75 gift card. Win, Win! I’m now a proud owner of a Canon Rebel T3i DSLR camera. Now, to figure out how to use it… anyone want to give me lessons? 🙂
  3. LL Bean Boots – I’ve been wanting a pair of LL Bean boots for a couple of years now, but just never pulled the trigger on buying a pair. I had been wearing my Uggs boots around forever, which are ugly and falling apart. I was up in Freeport a couple of weeks ago and decided to check out the Outlet store to see if they had any boots in my size. I lucked out and found the exact pair I wanted in my size. Clearly, I purchased them and have been living in them since due to this crazy winter weather. I found out last week that LL Bean currently has a 6+ week backorder on their boots so I lucked out with my find.
Yes, I'm from Maine. I proudly wear LL Bean!

Yes, I’m from Maine. I proudly wear LL Bean!

Other than those three expensive purchases that were semi-unplanned, I stayed well in my budget. Another thing that is worth mentioning is that I increased my monthly student loan payments. When my graduate student loans came out of their grace period, I would have had paid over $500 a month in combination with my undergraduate student loans. Which, at the time, was over a quarter of my monthly budget. I decided to apply for the graduated student loan payment plan to ensure that I could pay my student loans monthly without eating ramen noodles every day!

I did a bunch of calculations recently with various student loan payment plans and realized that I was only paying interest on my graduate student loans and a couple of them even were more than I originally took out! Yikes! I played around with my budget and decided to reallocate some money to increase my monthly payments back to the standard 10 year repayment plan. It will add an additional $100 to my monthly bills, but will pay off in the long run with less interest paid. Of course, I’m hoping to pay a majority (if not all) of my student loans off well before the 10 years is up!

I will fully admit that I am obsessed with budgeting and watching my bank account and net worth increase. However, sometimes you need to make big unplanned purchases. Even though my purchases weren’t completely unplanned, I was a bit reluctant to drop hundreds of dollars for a plane ticket and camera. I will say that I am completely excited to head to Belize and see one of my best friends and hopefully come back with some killer photos.

Until next time…. happy training and keep saving!