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Well… It’s onto the Off Season

The crazy thing is, for once the decision not to race was easy.

As stated in my previous post on Monday, I was undecided on whether or not to race this weekend. Initially I signed up for the Manchester Marathon (right after IMMT in August), then thought maybe I’ll just do the half marathon… now I’m just bagging it all together. Reason being: I have nothing to prove.

I raced an Ironman 2.5 months ago and while I wanted to believe I could do a Marathon just a few months later, my body just wasn’t having it. Sure, I’m kind of pissed off about the situation, especially since I trained for it. But my coach says the training will NOT go to waste. Good thing is, it will accrue into next season’s training (phew!). I never like to back out of something, I’m not a quitter. But instead of beating myself up over this decision, I’m turning it into a positive. I’m going to get healthy and strong for the Boston Marathon AND for Ironman Mont-Tremblant round #2. Next year, 2015 is going to be THE year and I want to perform at my best. If I raced even the half marathon this weekend, I’m not confident I would be racing at my best. It’s never fun to toe the line with the fear of being in pain, before the race even starts! My knee has been acting up, but the good thing is, I think I have it under control. I’m optimistic that with kinesiotaping, strengthening exercises and a solid BREAK, I will be up and running in no time.

This officially means… OFF SEASON has begun:

Starting now, I am officially in my ‘off season.’ I will take next week completely OFF (Lord help me) and the following week will incorporate just easy workouts. After a few weeks, I’m not sure where my plan will take me, since I haven’t received it from my coach yet. What I do know is, I’m looking forward to a break! I’ll post more on my off season plan later:)

Rumi Quotes #rumi #quotes


{Life & Training} Week Recap

How is it Monday already? My weekend was a whirlwind of fun and to be honest, I am TIRED today! We celebrated my Dad’s 60th birthday all weekend long it was was a blast. Saturday night was spent at Foxwoods Casino. We stayed up until 2:00 AM, something I never do, and that is most definitely why I’m still feeling it today;)

While I am sad it’s Monday, I am really happy to be back to my regular routine of eating healthy after a ‘binge’ of a weekend. Lots of food I don’t normally eat plus extra vino that I don’t normally drink. Bring on the Kale, I’ve missed you these last couple of days.

And here is proof that I actually dress up sometimes:

(check out Todd’s tie, it has Westies on it!)

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As I mentioned last week, I am still unsure of racing this weekend coming up. I initially was signed up to race the full marathon, and now that is a wash. I’m either racing the half marathon or I’m bagging it all together. My left knee has been a little more cranky than I would like to admit, and it’s not worth putting my 2015 season in jeopardy. I had an athletic trainer friend come over my house yesterday and she taped my knee and showed me how to tape on my own. I was told by my MD this pain could be a ‘tracking’ issue with the knee cap, and that taping it could help. On top of the taping, I also need to work on glute and hip strengthening (like big time). The goal is to try the taping with my runs this week and see how I feel… If I feel good with the tape, I might go for the half marathon. It’s very much up in the air right now. The thing is, the pain isn’t THAT bad, but I don’t want it to get worse!

Progress is rarely a straight line. There are always bumps in the road, but you can make the choice to keep looking ahead. ~Kara Goucher


Here is what I was up to last week (Oct 20-26)! We had a NASTY week of weather in Massachusetts, so a lot of my runs were done outside in the rain and strong wind. It was the first Nor’Easter of the season.  I honestly will do whatever I can to avoid the treadmill.

Swim 3,000 yards at Masters Practice
I’ve been loving Masters lately and have been going 3 x week!

Bike 1:10 @ Z1/Z2 intervals
Run: 30 min brick

Swim: 3,000 yds at Masters Practice
Run: Recovery run 25 mins

Bike: 1:10 Tempo Ride

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Run: 1:00 hour at Z1/Z2 mile intervals

This run was done outside in the storm, in the dark. I’ve been having to run in the dark a lot lately since it gets dark so early now (this will get even worse this weekend with daylight savings). I always make sure to wear my headlamp and reflective gear. 

Swim: 3,200 yds at Masters Practice
Run: 25 min recovery run

Bike: 2.5 hour ride on the trainer (I didn’t have time to ride outside, boo)

When I’m on the trainer, I like to ride with the lights off:)

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Run: 30 min FAST brick run at Z2 (7:10 pace!)

Walk with Todd and Oliver at the pond after I finished my run.. the sun was finally shining and we were all happy!

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Bike: 45 mins on the trainer, recovery pace
Run: 25 min Recovery run

In other news, my Ironman Mont-Tremblant Finisher Jacket finally arrived and it was like Christmas! There was a major typo with the jackets initially (they left off Subaru, the major sponsor).  We couldn’t get our jackets after the race, and just ordered them instead. Two months later, I have my jacket! It was worth the wait!

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How is your training going? Do you run outside in the dark?


One Picture

Today marks the end of my YOU Challenge! This means I’ll be sharing one of my favorite photos EVER with you.

10 day you challenge

I’m sure it’s pretty obvious that I would choose a photo from Ironman Mont-Tremblant as one of my favorite photos. I mean, how could I not?! The hard part was deciding on which one. While I did pay for the ‘official finisher photo’ which I love, there is another photo that I love even more which really captures my emotion on that day. The entire Ironman experience from training to race day was SO emotional and life changing. 

I was lucky enough to have my entire cheering squad at the finish line, and my mom captured this beautiful moment:

 This says it all:


Mom Camera IRONMAN 146

As soon as I rounded the corner into the finisher chute, I started to cry… I did it! I was about to cross that finish line.  No one can ever take this moment away from me and I will cherish it forever.





The body doesn’t always want what the mind wants.

Well you see, I thought my body would be ready for this, but now I’m not so sure.

I’m talking about the Marathon I signed up to race, which is in 10 days.

It’s been a little over two months since Ironman Mont Tremblant, and while my mind thinks I’m recovered, my body feels a little differently. I tend to forget what a BIG deal racing an Ironman is. I think often I get caught up in my little ‘triathlon bubble’ and I honestly forget that what I accomplished is HUGE and my body went through A LOT to get to get to that finish line. Also, reading social media and blogs about people doing multiple Marathons and Ironmans in one year, makes me think that this is OK for me too… but is it really?


Before signing up for the Manchester City Marathon, I made sure to get my coach’s approval. He said racing a Fall marathon would be totally fine and even mentioned it would be a great idea (and I thought, why the heck not!) it’s just a marathon after all? You see, it’s funny, after doing an Ironman, a Marathon in my eyes went from a MARATHON to, just a marathon. What used seem like a big deal in my mind, no longer did… it seemed, well, easier. We all know that the body does not always match up with what the mind thinks or wants. Sure I WANT to do this Marathon, but does my BODY want to do this Marathon. Does my left knee want to do this Marathon? Does my left TFL want to do this Marathon? If my left knee and my left TFL could speak up, they would tell me to give them a break. I know that for a fact.

Listen to your inner wisdom, the messages of your soul will guide you perfectly. #SavortheSeasons

Let me recap for a second here. I raced IMMT on August 17th. I took about two FULL weeks off, except for VERY light biking, swimming, and minimal running. By the third week post IMMT, I was started to introduce more running and workouts were a little more than recovery workouts. By the fourth week post Ironman, I started my training plan for the Manchester City Marathon. Over these last several weeks, I’ve trained A LOT, I’ve ran A LOT of miles (up to 48 miles in one week). I’ve been swimming, biking and running, basically like I did during the peak weeks leading up to my Ironman. Well not exactly, but pretty close. What felt really good at first, i.e. training again at a high level intensity, isn’t feeling so great now. It’s just not as fun. My body is tired with a capital “T” and I think it just needs (gasp) a BREAK.


So often we got caught up in what we ‘want’ to do versus what we really ‘should’ do. Today, when my massage therapist asked me, “why are you doing the Manchester Marathon?” I did not have a valid answer. I seriously could not come up with a logical reason as to why I’m planning to run this race. I signed up for it when I was suffering from Post- Ironman Blues. I was coming off of the biggest race of my life, I was bored, sad, needing a goal. If I could fast forward to how I feel now about this race, I wouldn’t have even signed up in the first place. For the first time in my life as an athlete, I’m not wanting to push it and I’m really not wanting to push THROUGH the pain. For the first time I am LISTENING to this body of mine. I have already qualified and registered for the 2015 Boston Marathon and I know that takes a HUGE toll on my body. I was injured with Plantar Fasciitis last winter and missed FIVE weeks of running during training. It’s because I ran the Chicago Marathon in October when my foot hurt… and then it just got worse and worse. Now coming off of the Ironman, my body needs rest more than ever and it’s speaking up… and I think it’s time to listen.

IT IS TIME TO REST ~ "It is an ever living battle to remind myself that I am enough, you are enough…we have done enough, we have enough, we will always have enough…we know enough……etc……….that ENOUGH BATTLE is the one that never lets us rest" Melody via her BraveGirlsClub blog entry: ….rest is not weakness…..

This being said, I have decided to forgo the full marathon, and just do the half marathon on that same day. I also have thoughts about not racing all together, but I’m not quite at that point yet. I’m waiting to hear from my coach. I’ve trained to race and I want to do SOMETHING. I just want to do what’s SMART, not reckless.

I got my knee looked at yesterday, since it’s been sore when running long distances. Luckily, it’s nothing serious, yet.  It’s attributed to overuse i.e. the famous last words. When I told me Orthopedic doctor I am planning to run a Marathon after racing in an Ironman two months ago, his eyes bugged out of his head. Instantly, he said it wasn’t a good idea.  In the past I would have argued with this and tried to convince him that it WAS a good idea, but I had no reason to fight.  I know it’s not a good idea. My body just isn’t ready for it and doesn’t want to suffer.  I was told to take it back a notch, and I will try my best to do so:)

When I signed up for the Manchester City Marathon, I truly knew I could do the race. Honestly, I’m totally confident that if I went to that start line in 10 days, I could run 26.2 miles. But the question is, do I want to run 26.2 and possibly be in a lot of pain? No thank you. What would mile 20 feel like? Probably not very good. Also, I don’t know what kind of damage it will do and if it will jeopardize my Boston training. So in conclusion, for once I am going to listen and I’m OK with that.




My Hiking Essentials.

It’s no secret that I LOVE hiking.  If you have read my Utah I & II Recaps, you know that I basically just went for a ‘hiking vacation.’  When I’m not training for my next Marathon or Triathlon, you can find me hiking in the New Hampshire White Mountains with my husband Todd and our adventurous Westie, Oliver. I’m pretty sure I would live outside if I could:)

I’ve had some blog readers and twitter followers ask me about what I wear for hiking, so I thought I would spend today highlighting some of my favorite hiking gear! Fall is my favorite time of year to hike, but it also means conditions in the mountains can change drastically. Todd and I always make sure we are prepared for any change in conditions, as it can go from sunny and warm to cold and windy very fast in the White Mountains. I tend to pack A LOT of gear, and since my hubby is an Eagle Scout we are always super prepared;)

Here my favorite hiking staples… I will need even MORE gear come winter.


  • This is the perfect day hiking pack! I will obviously need something bigger if we get into backpacking one day, but for day hikes, it’s everything I need and more. It’s a great size and is suited for women.  The Jade sits comfortable on my shoulders and never rubs or chafes when I hike.
  • Gregory has stopped making my version of this bag, but lots of new designs can be found here like the J38 & J33, which are very similar to mine.


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  • A while ago, Darn Tough sent me some hiking socks to try, and I have been meaning to write a review (so sorry it took so long, Darn Tough!). I already had a few pairs of Darn Tough socks when they contacted me, but they sent me a few new styles, that are now my favorite. My favorites are the Light Hiker Micro Crew Light Cushion sock (as seen in the photo below). 
  • I wore my Darn Toughs all throughout Zion National Park a few weeks ago. These socks are made in Vermont (so awesome) and are the most durable, comfortable hiking socks. This “all-weather” sock stays cool in the summer and warm in the winter, plus it’s naturally antimicrobial so it repels bacteria and odor—a great feature when you need to get an extra day (or two) out of your socks. Boring old hiking socks see you later! I like hiking with socks higher than ankle height, because it keeps the dirt, rocks, etc from getting at my feet. They pair nicely with the boots below! Darn Tough also makes socks for running and cycling, which are also high quality, high performing socks.

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  • My Vasque hiking boots have been through it all… I’ve logged hundreds of miles in these babies. For example, I’ve hiked over (30) 4,000 foot peaks in New Hampshire in these boots and they are still going strong.  The tread is starting to wear after many years of use, but I plan to get a new pair for next season! With any hiking boot, it’s really important to break them in before logging a lot of miles.  My Vasque boots did not take a lot of time to break in, and I honestly don’t recall ever getting blisters in these boots.  As someone that has suffered from Plantar Fasciitis, these boots provided great foot and ankle support for my feet. I even wore my Vaque boots into the Virgin River when we hiked the Narrows.
  • Here’s the model I own: TALUS ULTRADRY 

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  • The Camelbak Reservoir (i.e. bladder) is essential for hiking and fits nicely in my Gregory Pack (see above).  I can just drink my water out of the straw and it ensures that I am properly hydrated.  The only downside is, the tube can freeze in the winter. They do sell sleeves for the straw that prevent freezing, but I haven’t tried one yet.  In the winter, we just put bottles of water in our hiking bag. Oliver likes it when I splash water from the CamelBak straw too!


Part neck warmer part hat… these balaclava’s are awesome! Made of merino wool, they are super soft on the face and are great at protecting your skin in harsh conditions.

I love my green balaclava

Great for fall/winter hiking to keep your face and neck warm.  I also use them for winter running, since they can help shield your face from frost bite. The material is nice and thin, so you can almost breathe through the fabric if it’s covering your face:) Double up the Balaclava for extra warmth!

THE NORTH FACE CONVERTIBLE Hiking pants (which unzip into shorts)

I’ve had the same pair of these hiking pants for years now and they have lasted through it all.  I highly recommend hiking pants like these that unzip into shorts, great for when the weather is changing! I use them for shorts in the spring/summer and for pants in the winter/fall, definitely a must-have for hiking year round.


and shorts:

THE NORTH FACE Waterproof/ windproof Shell jacket

A high quality waterproof/windproof jacket is essential for all seasons of hiking. Sometimes you never know how windy it’s going to be a the summit! The one shown below is from the North Face (circa 5+ years ago). I recommend checking out your local REI store and seeing what works for you!


Most of the gear I’ve highlighted is stuff that lasts a LONG time.  If you buy high quality gear from reputable brands, it will be worth the investment, I swear.  Don’t cheap out on your hiking gear! It’s not worth the risk:)

If you have any questions about what I hike with feel free to ask!