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!

Cleared for Take-Off: My Return to Running (or some semblance of it)


One of my favorite movies! (source)

One of my favorite movies! (source)

Last week I finally got cleared by my chiropractor to run again after a long 10+ week hiatus. Back in September I signed up for the Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler in Portland, but I made a wise decision not to run it even though I probably “could” have.

Casey, my chiropractor, said that I could run on a flat surface and no more than 3 miles. Well, obviously the 4 mile, very hilly course on Thanksgiving was out. Fine by me! I secretly hate that race anyway; however, I’m the idiot that continues to sign up for it because all my friends run it…

Between the holiday craziness, the icky cold weather, and work I wasn’t able to run until Saturday morning. I put just about every winter layer of running clothes I had on, since the last time I ran was back in September in shorts and a t-shirt. Apparently, I have become a cold weather wuss… I normally have no problem running in rain, snowstorms, hurricanes, and on ice, but now that the temperatures have dropped below freezing my body has decided that it prefers warm weather. I blame hot yoga…

I’m a veteran of returning to running after an injury. You’d think I would be used to the pain and mental mind-f*** of sheer lack of any aerobic fitness that a person has due to running. I brought my dog, Reagan, with me on the run for motivation (okay, maybe I was hoping that she’d just drag me around the trail…). That dog loves to run (and chase birds and chipmunks).



I felt good the first mile. I was running again! Yippee! I wore my Garmin but didn’t really pay attention to pace or time. I knew I would be slow. I just ran by feel. Around the Mile One mark I looked at my watch to check my pace and heart rate. I was going just a hair-below a 10-minute mile. Not bad for a slow, long run pace! Then I looked at my heart rate… 178bpm. No wonder I was sucking wind and felt like dying. I was running damn near my zone 5 heart rate!

Time to slow down a bit before I succeed to keel over from a running-induced heart attack… the “return to running” pain started to set in a bit during mile two. Argh, this process is going to suck. I was starting to get a small twitch in my right knee again. Please no! I was hoping with my running hiatus that my knee/IT-band issues would start to resolve! It was getting better post Ironman as I was focusing on rebuilding my lack of running fitness in August and September. Grr…

The knee was really starting to bother me after my Garmin beeped at the Mile Two mark. I held out until 2.25 miles and then surrendered and finished with a walk home. Why make the problem worst now?

Over all, it felt good to run again. I miss running. It’s going to take a long while to regain my running fitness, since I never really had any all of 2013 due to the knee/IT-band issues that began fairly early in my season. I’m okay with that. My big “A” race in 2014 isn’t until August, so that gives me some time to really ensure my body is healed enough to begin picking up the intensity and volume of training.

I will continue to run a couple times of week now, but my main focus right now thorough the early winter will be rebuilding my bike power. I’m hoping that we’ll get a lot of snow this year in the Greater Portland area so I can do a lot of cross-country skiing in place of running. And stay tuned for more pathetic stories of my return to running. J

~ Happy Training!

Post Ironman Honeymoon

After two weeks the honeymoon is over. I certainly made the most of it. From ice cream to beer to spending the day at the beach. It was weird to do completely nothing for a while. I must admit that I did enjoy it, but I’m ready to get back to work with a few goals in mind.

Enjoying a day at the beach

Enjoying a day at the beach

After IMLP, people either asked me if 1) I was happy with my time and/or 2) will I do another Ironman. The short answer to both is yes.

I am happy with my time. I’m not jumping for joy over the time, but I’m content. When I started to train for Ironman back in January I was hoping to go much closer to 13 hours or even sub-13, but then I was hit with a lot of stress from work, which led to me being sick a lot. Plus, the whole hip/knee/IT-band issue that plagued me for much of my training didn’t help my case. Back in April when the IT-band/knee pain first appeared I wasn’t even sure that I would toe the line in July. Luckily I have an amazing chiropractor who helped me get my pelvis back into alignment and work her magic hands on my IT-band and overactive quads. Going into the race I didn’t have a real time goal. I just wanted to finish. Secretly, I did hope to go sub-14, but I knew going into the race that my limiter was my knee. When my knee gave out then I knew it would be time to walk, crawl, or roll myself across that finish line. I lucked out that my knee finally gave out at mile 18 of the run. I was impressed that it lasted that long. I also knew my bike fitness was lacking from the previous year, which was a total bummer, but it is what it is.

IMLP 2013

IMLP 2013

I will absolutely do another Ironman. The soonest, however, that I will do an Ironman will be 2015. I need to take a year off from Ironman to heal and fix my hip that has been causing all my IT-band, knee, and plantar fasciitis issues for the past couple of years. Someday I would love to qualify for Kona. I know that my chance of actually doing that is about the same chance I have of winning Powerball (in other words, a snowball’s chance in hell since it would require me to actually buy a lottery ticket!). However, I really enjoy the Ironman distance. I had a feeling that I would, but I want to be smart. I intend to be in this sport for the long haul so I need to step back and focus on healing my body to reduce chances of future injuries and also prevent mental burn-out.

I also need to step back and focus on my career. My professional life has been nothing shy of stressful this year and I really need to put myself in a positive and challenging new career path. Now that I have some more free time I have been taking opportunities that will help me reach my ultimate goal. I’m also looking forward to taking on new clients and athletes for personal training and coaching. (HINT HINT!) 🙂

This past week I have begun to add more structured workouts into my week. However, for the month of August I just plan on doing what I feel like each day, whether it’s running, cycling, swimming, yoga, or even just walking my dog. I rode my bike yesterday for the first time. Only 25 miles, but holy cow were my quads on fire throughout the ride! Last Wednesday my chiropractor put my pelvis back into alignment, which took away a considerable amount of pain away from my hips and right knee. She has “prescribed” me several hip opening yoga poses each day for the next two weeks to help loosen up my hips. My hamstrings are super tight and are one of the root causes of my hip issues so hopefully with some yoga they will loosen up and help relieve some pain.

Reunited and quads still burn from IMLP!

Reunited and quads still burn from IMLP!

So what’s next? I haven’t completely decided. Much of my Fall plan is contingent upon my knee and hip. I’m hoping to run a couple of half-marathons and then begin marathon training for the Maine Coast Marathon in May. I also want to focus on building up my power again on the bike, since it dropped rather drastically from last year to this year. Note to self: don’t take a 4+ month break from your bicycle before beginning Ironman training. Opps! Lesson learned.

~ Happy Training!

Welcome to Race Week!



Welcome to Race Week!

Tomorrow I’ll be driving the 6+ hours through northern New England to Lake Placid, New York! So far taper has been treating me well. Last week was super hot and humid in Maine and made for some difficult training weather, but I hydrated like a boss and completed my workouts well. Friday night was the worst with the temperatures (plus the heat index) into the 100’s! Rare, rare occasions for Maine. My running partner and I headed out to Pine Point beach for some cooler running in the later evening. He wanted to run on the beach; however, it was high tide (thank God because I wanted pavement 🙂 ). We ran from Pine Point to OOB and back for a good, hot 6 miles then a dip in the ocean.

I took Saturday off and got a massage, which definitely helped with some lingering IT-Band soreness. Sunday was a 2 hour ride plus a 45-minute run. Azul got a new chain and a 11-28 cassette last Thursday and all I have to say is… why didn’t I put on a 11-28 before!?! My cadence is a lot better and I feel more comfortable with it! However, Azul needs a bit of a tweak on the front derailleur because she threw her chain twice. Back to my favorite bike shop today, Allspeed!

I rode one of my favorite routes on Sunday in reverse (because I forgot where I was going, opps!). Whaleback Road in Standish/Baldwin is a good climbing road, especially from the reverse direction I found out. I wanted to really test the new gearing for all the climbing that I’ll be doing on Sunday. I crested the final hill and just started my descent when all the sudden there was a damn DONKEY in the middle of the road! WTF! It took me about 15-20 seconds to process what was going on and brake. Luckily the road conditions in the area were pretty dicey so I wasn’t going very fast. The donkey just looked at me as I made a very wide arc around him. Out of all the things I have run over, hit, or gotten chased by this training cycle I would have never predicted a donkey in the middle of the road would be one of them!

Hello Donkey!

Hello Donkey!

This week has been pretty low-key. Mentally and emotionally Monday wasn’t a good day because I was dealing with some personal and professional stress. Luckily, things are on the up now. Last night was spent writing lists of everything I need to remember to bring to Lake Placid and doing laundry. Today I will spend the day running around doing last-minute errands and packing the car for tomorrow’s early departure.

The other exciting news going on in my life currently (other than Ironman) is the fact my dog is a bird murder. In the past 72 hours she has managed to catch and kill 3 innocent little birds. We recently put an addition on our house and a couple of birds nested in the eves before my father could finish the roof. The adult birds have managed to fly into the house instead of outside. Reagan has loved every minute of the ordeal. I especially enjoy finding half eaten dead birds on the floor. NOT!

When I'm lounging around... I enjoy murdering birds...

When I’m lounging around… I enjoy murdering birds…

For those of you at home, you can track me on race day via the Ironman website. I am number 552! Or better yet, if you’re in Lake Placid then let’s meet up! Tweet me at BigSkyTri and hopefully I’m smart enough to figure out how to tweet you back! 🙂

~ Happy Training!

A New Day, A New Year


This past weekend I celebrated my birthday. My actual birthday was friday the 8th, but I basically celebrated all weekend and now my liver is paying for it. Opps! I guess you’re only 21 26 once, right?

I won’t bore you with the details of the weekend. Let’s just say that I had A LOT of fun with lots of good friends. 🙂

This weekend also marked the beginning of spring-like weather. Saturday was absolutely gorgeous out! I did my 1:30 ride on the trainer inside. I contemplated riding outside, but the roads near my house aren’t the best right now and we don’t have wide shoulders. I’m suppose to do a 2:15 ride on Sunday (St. Patty’s Day) outside so if the weather holds then I’ll be trucking it out to Cape Elizabeth and will ride out on the wide shoulders. Less chance of getting hit. And hopefully all the Irish people are still drinking at my ride time!

I ended up running a longer than planned transition run because it was so nice out and my legs felt pretty darn good off the bike. I also decided Reagan is looking a bit pudgy lately (okay, she just has really thick fur right now) so I dragged her around with me. Well, it started off as her dragging me, but after about a little over a mile then she started to fade. Poor thing is a bit out of shape. I guess laying on the couch all winter can do that to you. 3.5 miles really did her in, but of course, being a dog, she loved every minute of it.

It's a tough life, but someone has to do it...

It’s a tough life, but someone has to do it…

Sunday’s workouts didn’t happen. (Sorry Mary!) I was a bit dehydrated and hung over from Saturday night’s festivities. My bad. Training this past week was definitely off. I was doing super well until this past week. I was super stressed at my job since I’m still in limbo not knowing when my boss is going to tell me to stop coming into work. Also, now that I’m 26 I just got booted from my father’s health insurance plan so I’ve been a bit of a nervous Nelly about that. I’m still waiting to hear back about my dream job that I interviewed for about a month ago. They are still in the interview process, but I have a feeling that it’s a no go. But I will continue to keep my fingers crossed so send your positive vibes my way please!

I decided for my birthday that I was going to buy myself a present. Hopefully it will motivate me to get my ass in gear as far as training goes. My training volume is picking up and I know I need to get my butt in gear. Somedays I find it extremely hard to get out of bed when my alarm goes off at 5am. It’s getting a bit easier now that Spring is almost here and it’s light out later!

Happy birthday to me!

Happy birthday to me!

But anyway, enough whining! Time to get to business!

~ Happy Training!

Weekend Wrap-up: The Fall Edition

Finally, we had a half way decent Fall weekend in Maine. Once again I have been focusing on procrastinating writing my health policy paper that is due at the end of the month. But, seriously I did start it last night… be proud. Be very, very proud.

Friday night I spent at home relaxing from some very stressful few weeks. A friend called asking me if I wanted to go out and grab a drink, but I just wanted to stay home and not do anything. The past few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind for me and I’m hoping that my luck will turn around soon. Thinking positive thoughts! 🙂

I got quite a few pumpkins from my CSA farm and didn’t know what exactly to do with them. My father wasn’t going to allow me to do what I really wanted to do – to use them for target shooting with his rifle. I guess my father doesn’t trust me with a gun. But, what he fails to realize that I actually have a halfway decent shot!

Target shooting in Montana – August 2010

Look at that aim! Okay, so I’m not that good…

So, I did what every respectful pumpkin owner would do – attack it with a giant knife! I’ve never craved a pumpkin before, but because I’m the ambitious type I decided that I was going to crave my bike shop’s logo into the pumpkin and give it to them. Aren’t I just the best person ever? (Don’t answer that…)

The before…

Tracing the pattern onto the pumpkin

The After!

I did have a couple oopsies, but luckily toothpicks do a good job of holding up the fallen pieces. I think it came out pretty good for my first time. I give it about a C+. The boys enjoyed it and that’s all that really matters. (Although, I’m sure they were secretly hoping for something yummy to eat).

I wanted to get a lot done on Saturday so I decided to get my butt out of bed super early and hit the gym. I pulled into the parking lot at 6:01 only to find out that the gym opens at 7:00 on the weekends. Duh! Panera opens at 6am so I got breakfast and read a couple of articles out of Inside Triathlon then headed back over to the gym. I had a good workout despite the fact that my abs and glutes were still super sore from my first crossfit experience on Thursday evening. More on that later this week.

On Saturday mornings Lululemon offers free yoga classes at their showroom in Portland so I decided to hit up a class. One of my off-season goals is to do as much yoga as possible to help with my flexibility, or more like lack there of. I’ve also found that I really enjoy yoga. When I first tried yoga in college I really wasn’t keen on it. I found it boring and painful. My attention span isn’t very long so I had trouble staying still in poses. I stopped yoga for a while and picked it up again last fall when I was injured. I fell in love with it. I didn’t do much over the summer because I found it hard to fit it into my training schedule. But, I think I’m going to try to make it a priority to at least hit up one class a week throughout the winter/early spring months. I’ve finally found that mind/body connection in yoga and for the most part I can forget about things in class. It’s a good feeling. Living in the Now.

After class I walked back to my car only to find a parking ticket. Awesome! See, bad luck. Dropped the pumpkin off and headed home. I had to work in the evening. It was busy for the first couple of hours, but after 6:30 usually it’s dead. I spent a good hour or hour and half just pacing back and forth trying to figure some stuff out. Next year I’m hoping to launch phase one of my dream business so mentally I’ve been working up a business plan in my head. Of course, I really ought to put in on paper. So, stay tuned for hopefully a launch during the spring! 🙂

Sunday was a gorgeous Fall day. My initial plan was to ride my bike up to Pineland to watch some of the cyclecross races, but I honestly haven’t been very motivated to ride my bike lately. Part of it is because I don’t have a workout to do and the other part is the lack of a riding partner.

Instead, I decided to run! 🙂 I ran a mile on the treadmill Saturday at the gym to test out my foot. It hasn’t bothered me in a little while so I figured I’d give her a little test. I didn’t feel like running on the road. I decided that a little trail running would be fun! Plus, I could bring my dog! Normally, I would go down to the Eastern Trail, but I’m tired of that and Bradbury is a little to “rooty” for my foot at the moment. I decided to hit up Twin Brooks. It was a bit muddy, but both Reagan and I had a blast. I wore my Garmin just to see what my pace was although I wasn’t running for pace. It was painfully slow, but such as life. I ended up running about 3.5 miles overall. And, the foot held up pretty good! 🙂 So, hopefully that means I can start to resume some run training. I’d like to run the Turkey Trot and also the Thanksgiving 4-miler in November.

I’m ready! Let’s Go!

Yes, I think I’m a bird dog and want to chase every single bird I see…

My favorite trail!

Someone was a little pooped from her run…

~ Happy Training!

Happy Birthday Reagan!

Today is Reagan’s birthday! She is four years old today! I actually don’t know when her real birthday is because she and her three siblings were rescued from a kill shelter in North Carolina. Her vet assigned her a birthday of May 1st and that is what is has been ever since I got her in October 2008. She is an Australian Shepard mix. The original vet down South who saw her and her siblings thought she was mixed with lab. Two of her siblings look very much like labs, but Reagan and her brother, Ollie, do not. Apparently, it is quite common that dogs can have multiple fathers to a litter. Yes, Reagan’s mom was a whore. Personally, I think she’s mixed with either Border collie or some kind of Spaniel. So in honor of her birthday, here are 10 random facts about my dog:

1.     When Reagan gets super excited or hyper she does what we refer as her low butt run, or LBR. Someday I will get a video of it because it’s very amusing. She runs either back and forth or in circle with her butt particularly on the ground with a crazed look on her face. She usually growls and/or barks at the same time. I have no idea why she does this, but it’s quite amusing.
It looks very similar to this dog…
2.     Reagan likes to think she is a bird dog, hence why I think she might be part Spaniel. She tries to run after all the bird on the ground and also swim after ducks in the lake. She came really close last summer in getting a duck.

3.     Reagan loves to swim. I wasn’t sure if she would like the water when I first got her, but she absolutely loves it. When she is wet, she looks like a completely new dog because she has so much hair!

4.     We have a large picture window in the living room that Reagan likes to look out. Whenever someone comes to the house we say “who’s here?” and she runs to the window to see who is home. We do this even when no one is at the house. She falls for it about 90% of the time.

5.     Reagan loves to chase the red dot from a laser pointer, like a cat.
6.     Through careful analysis we have determined the hierarchy of Reagan’s priorities. The laser point always wins even if there is a huge, juicy steak on the ground. Next, “who’s here” wins followed by food.

7.     Reagan likes to eat her toenail clippings after I clip them. This is disgusting, but also convenient because I don’t have to clean them up.

8.     Reagan chewed A LOT of things in her first year of life. Namely, the beautiful funeral flowers from my mom’s funeral, my swim workout book, a DVD, razors, or anything else she found on the ground that she assumed was hers.

9.     Reagan knows how to get comfortable! Her favorite spot is on the couch with her face smashed into a pillow or upside down on her back.

10.  Reagan refuses to go down in the basement or down steep wooden staircases. She is also afraid of bearded men who smoke. We think that she might have been abused before she got to the shelter. I hear one of her sisters is quite the timid and scared one.
Her first day home

Her first birthday

Where she spends most of time…
Happy Training!