I took on what I consider to be serious long distance running and training in the early fall of 2008 when I signed up for and started training for my first half marathon. With the exception of the last 6 months of my pregnancy (in 2011-2012) I have been pretty much consistently training for one race or another. There may have been a few “down” moments where I wasn’t heavily logging miles or focusing on a specific plan, but I have regularly been running, biking and swimming for about six years now (ok, mostly running). And just when I hit my peak, just when I decided I should try and train for a BQ, just when my first tri in over a year is on the horizon and just when I felt like I might have figured out even the slightest ability to balance work, life, motherhood, wifehood, and training–I decided, I realized, I’m tired. Continue reading
Happy new year! I am quite excited for 2013. I think it will be one of the better years for healthy living although I'm not yet sure what the year will bring as far as running, triathlon and races are concerned. (More on that later.) I have just finished reading Amby Burfoot's article in the November issue of RW about how to be a lifelong runner. In it, he comments that a nice goal is to average around 1,000 miles a year. It got me curious about how many miles I logged this year. In 2012, my Garmin log shows 688.29 miles. I know there are definitely some miles not captured so I think it is safe to say that I logged at least 700 miles in 2012. Not bad. But, in 2011 I logged 1,659.54 miles! I guess a year with only one marathon as opposed to two, and a pregnancy, accounts for the drop in mileage. Overall, I'm very happy with my 2012 running year. Continue reading
When my alarm went off at 4:30a.m. there was lightning simultaneously flashing through the window with rolling booms of thunder and the sound of a heavy rain pattering down on the roof and gutters outside. On any other Sunday it would have been perfect conditions for snuggling deeper under the covers. Instead, I deliberated for about 30 seconds, “to go, or not to go?” rolled out of bed, and got ready to leave for the 90 minute drive to Delaware for the Lum’s Pond Sprint Triathlon I’d registered for two weeks prior, for fun. Continue reading
I swear I was fast. At least, for me, in my age group, for my distances. I spent a good chunk of time and effort working on speed and got to a very comfortable place this year where my ‘slow, easy’ run was at 8:40, my 5k pace was near 7 minutes and my other mid-distances paces hovered somewhere between 8:00-8:15/mile. But alas, I seem to have regressed back to a 9 minute pace and just logged a long run averaging 9:15/mile. This rut, if that is what it is, is both frustrating and enlightening.
People race for all kinds of reasons and ones that bubble to the surface are: to compete, to be fit, to challenge themselves, to honor loved ones and to support good causes. Chestertown is a small college town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland and it is home to many amazing places, companies, people…and one very special camp. I was introduced to Dragonfly Heart Camp in 2010 by colleagues and fellow triathletes and its mission statement is one that you can’t help but be drawn to and feel compelled to support. I had the opportunity to race in the 2010 sprint triathlon that benefits the camp and this year I raced in the Camp’s 5k fundraiser. Thanks to a series of fortuitous events I have found myself on the race committee for the 2011 event in which I will also compete. What is Dragonfly Heart Camp? And why should you race it? Continue reading
“Anticipate the hill.” Coach Ashley Halsey was behind me in a group ride with the Annapolis Triathlon Club and even though the road was still flat he was reminding me and the other rides to anticipate the hill. And as we approached the incline I heard “Shift…shift…shift.” “Keep up your cadence!” I was pedaling for all my might to maintain a fast cadence up a steep incline and only after we were plateauing and starting to coast the downhill did I really start to understand the purpose of maintaining cadence. And it all starts with anticipating the hill. Continue reading
When I first started getting into distance running I struggled to get through runs more than eight or 10 miles and after 13 mile runs I was tired and essentially useless for the rest of the day. After lamenting over this to a running mentor, I got my first insight into proper fuel and wrote about fueling up for long runs. Like so many things in running, figuring out the proper fuel, involves a bit of trial and error as well as practice. Three years later I’m still trying to figure out the best fuel formula for me.
Weekends are perhaps one of the most integral parts of training. Saturday and Sunday are designated for long bike rides, long runs, and brick sessions. They are the pivotal point in any training week and are where time and mileage really add up. Up until week 9 of training I seem to have lucked out with weekend weather forecasts cooperating nicely with my training schedule. However, I have to admit to a minor moment of panic when I saw that rain was predicted for an entire weekend.
I’ve run in all sorts of weather. I have run through rain, snow, high winds, heat, and freezing temperatures. I know how to prepare for running in inclement weather and though it’s not ideal it’s something I know I can do and that for the most part, is nothing worse than uncomfortable. Riding in the rain, however, is entirely foreign to me. Continue reading
The short answer: a lifestyle change.
Change, adjustment, choice–call it what you will but half Ironman training is a significant commitment and one that requires dedication and focus. I’m starting week 9 of my 20 week training plan and somehow only just recently realized that my decision to train for 70.3 miles is truly no joke. This is serious stuff and one that really has been a lifestyle change. This realization came to me on a Friday night when I was happily getting ready for bed at 9:30 p.m. Continue reading
When I tell people I am training for a 1/2 Ironman most often the first question is, “what’s that?” When I answer that it’s a 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run, usually the next question is, “WHY?” And sometimes, “how long does that take?”
Most people I know lump me in the ‘crazy’ category for doing this and I know the overall percentage of people who do these events is small. If marathoners are 1% of the population I’m sure 1/2 Ironmen are a close second (though the 70.3 event has been quickly grown in popularity since its introduction in 2006). I’m ok with ‘crazy’ being part of my answer to ‘why?’ but I do have my reasons. Continue reading