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Kristin

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IMMT Training Recap {Week 13}!

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Since yesterday was a holiday, I missed my usual Monday IMMT Training recap! I was having too much fun spending time outdoors and I didn’t want to go near the computer:)

I thought I would spend today talking about last week’s training, which was a ‘step back’ week for me! It’s so hard to believe there are just 13 weeks until IMMT!

The Stats:
Weeks until IMMT: 13
Weeks until the Patriot Half Ironman: 3
Hours trained last week: ~9 hours- not including our long hike on Sunday

Funny how I used to dread an easy week… As I have mentioned before on the blog, I am not one to really like rest. I am the type of person that is always go-go-go and never takes a break. I prefer an intense workout over a light one… and often have trouble getting through a light workout (it takes a lot of discipline on my part to keep my heart rate down). If there’s one thing IM training has taught me so far, is that you can’t go ‘all out’ all the time. You truly just can’t… it will lead to over-training and injuries. By the time my ‘step back’ week arrived last week, I was more than ready for it. I had three weeks of serious base phase training in the weeks prior and I was just plain TIRED. During the base phase, I was mostly keeping my heart rate in zone 1 (for me this is 130-140 bpm on the bike and 140-150 bpm on the run). Even though my heart rate was in Zone 1 for those weeks, I was still pretty fatigued by my step back week.

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How am I feeling? Overall, feeling good and strong. I think having a lighter week last week really gave me extra energy (and sleep!) By the end of the three weeks of full training (prior to this past week), I was feeling quite cranky and irritable…Perhaps this is a sign I was doing too much? Although I hear this is a typical reaction to Ironman training. I was following my plan, day by day, just how I was supposed to, but I was just tired and my lack of patience escalated. Again, my husband is a saint for putting up with me! I am so very lucky.

Having an easier week last week made me excited for the next period of my training! I now enter a Build phase, where my heart rate zones will be higher during workouts, and my sessions will get longer. I will also be adding hill and tempo workouts on the run and the bike. I am working at a higher threshold for these next 3+ weeks AND I have my first race on June 14th, a Half Ironman! Crazy to think I’ll be racing in just three weeks!

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My very first Half Ironman race, Pumpkinman!

The best day of last week was by far, Sunday. I cheated a little bit and went on a LONG hike on Sunday in the New Hampshire White Mountains (10.5 miles). Sunday was supposed to be an ‘easy bike’ day, but I couldn’t resist hiking on such a beautiful weekend! I made the decision to hike, knowing that I might pay for it this week (quad soreness), but I don’t regret it for one second. Yes my quads are sore today, but it was totally worth hiking in the White Mountains and breathing the fresh mountain air. I will write a post later this week about our hike… so many gorgeous pictures to share! It was definitely the highlight of my ‘training’ last week. And yes, as expected, my bike ride this morning was a little sore at first, but then it actually felt really good! Taking an Epsom Salt bath last night might have helped too!

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I couldn’t resist hiking up to here.

Here is what I was up to last week:

Time spent in the saddle: 4:04
Running 1:58
Strength training: 1:00
Swimming: 2:00
Hiking 6:00 (not on my scheduled plan)

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Monday
Swim 3,000 yds at Master’s practice (distance training)
Strength Training

Tuesday
REST (just took a walk with the dog)

Wednesday
Bike 1:00 (Z1)
Run recovery pace 23 min

Thursday
Swim 2,000 yds (steady swim, including 700, 600, 500)
Bike 30 min @ recovery HR
Strength work

Friday
Swim at recovery pace, 2600 yds
Run 35 min @ recovery HR pace

Saturday
Bike 2:00 @ Zone 1 HR
Run 1:00 @ Zone 1 HR

Sunday
Hike in the White Mountains
Mt Flume and Mt Liberty
10.5 miles ~ 6 hours (intense hike).. will post about this later this week!

How was your training last week and/or last weekend?

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Friday Favorites- Long Weekend Edition

I am looking forward to a long weekend this weekend. I can’t believe it’s already Memorial Day! We are looking forward to a few days in New Hampshire, which will include a nice long hike in the White Mountains.

In the spirit of summer, training, racing and the outdoors… here some of my favorite things!

My new Speedfill hydration system

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About a month ago, I got my bike serviced for it’s annual ‘check-up,’ While I was at the shop, I was asking the shop owner about getting a new hydration system. I previously had a Torhans and I did not like how it was difficult to clean and was always spilling out of the top (even with the cover on). He recommended a newer hydration system called ‘Speedfill.’ They installed the Speedfill system and I absolutely love it! The straw is great and what’s amazing is, you can use ANY cycling water bottle as an attachment. Oh and it’s super easy to clean AND has a mount for my garmin computer.

Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray

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I always make sure I have sunscreen on during a training session or race. When I am by myself and I have no one to put sunscreen on my back (for example), I rely on this sunscreen spray. It sprays on dry and cool and is perfect for summer workouts! It’s also easy to apply on your back when you are in a pinch! I am a huge advocate for sun protection and I really recommend this stuff!

My parent’s house & yard in New Hampshire

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Todd and I like to spend out weekends at my parent’s place in NH. We just love it up there because we can enjoy mother nature and forget about the ‘real world.’ Their house is about an hour from some of the bigger hikes in the White Mountains. We typically will drive up from MA on a Friday night (1.5 hours) and will wake up early on Saturday and drive to the mountains. It’s also the place where we had our wedding reception (so it’s extra special to us now!). It’s also Oliver’s favorite spot in the whole wide world:)

Bandanas for hikes

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I love wearing bandanas when I hike. Maybe I like them because I feel more ‘hard core’ and earthy crunchy, ha ha, but I just love wearing them. Also, they are great for keeping the sweat off my face. Oh and how can I forget that Todd wears them too. You have to coordinate, right?

Almond Butter, honey and Banana Sandwiches

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I have hiking on the brain, and this is one of my favorite hiking lunches. I love eating this sandwich combo on Ezikel Sprouted Grain Bread. It’s a healthy lunch for a mid hike energy boost. I spread the almond butter, slice bananas and then drizzle honey over the banana… sometimes I add a little salt for some extra electrolytes!

 

How are you spending your weekend?

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Tri Talk Tuesday (one day late!)

Yesterday I discovered this awesome Tri Blog link up and I thought I would join in on the fun! Each Tuesday, Cynthia from You Signed Up For What, Miranda from The Cupcake Triathlete, and Courtney from The Tri Girl Chronicles host the ‘Tri Talk Tuesday’ link up with a different triathlon topic each week. I discovered the link-up late last night, and thought it would be fun to write a post today (just one day late) on the topic of this week.

IMMT

The theme of Tri Talk Tuesday this week is GOALS. I’m going to spend some time talking about my goals and how I got to where I am today.

Roughly six years ago, before working my 9-5, I worked at lululemon full time as an Educator. A large focus as an educator at lululemon was goal setting. We often spent a few hours a week talking about goals and making them known among our peers. It helped to not only write our goals down, but verbalize them… this made them seem more real and attainable. One word that was often tossed around (and I will never forget it) with goal setting was BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal). Your BHAG was supposed to be a goal that scared you and also excited you. Six years ago, my BHAG goal was to compete in my first sprint triathlon. Fast forward to now, several Sprint, Olympic, and Half Iron races later and I am training for my very first Ironman!

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People have been asking me throughout my Ironman training: ‘so what will you do AFTER the Ironman?’ My response: ‘train for another Ironman.’ I’m totally serious. Doing the Ironman is not something that I am just looking to check off my goal list and be done with it. I know I have never raced one before, but I have a sneaky suspicion that I am going to love it and I will want to do another one.

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Here are my current goals and long term goals.  I’m not going to call my current goals ‘short term’ goals, because I want to focus on these goals even after IMMT. 

Current Goals

  • Get more sleep. I am often doing two training sessions in one day (before and after work), getting enough sleep is critical for performance. I have made it a goal to be in bed by 10:00 PM every night, so I’m getting closer to 7 hours of sleep vs. my normal 6 hours (eek!).
  • Focus on fueling properly. Getting a consult from sports nutritionist before starting IM training was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I used to just drink only water on the bike (for example) and I was not taking in enough carbohydrates. After making the change to sports drink, I can’t imagine life (or training) without it!  This is also a LONG term goal I plan on maintaining.
  • Make time for ‘fun’ in my personal life, even though it’s REALLY hard. Right now I have tunnel vision until IMMT on 8/17. I live, eat and breathe Ironman, and I don’t really care about much else at the moment. It’s now getting into Summer and I am making it a goal to enjoy things that aren’t triathlon focused (i.e. camping, dinner dates with my hubby, hiking in New Hampshire). The hard part is, finding time to do those things that I love…

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  • Work on my swim technique. I am not one of those triathletes that started as a swimmer (oh how I wish I was). I am a runner turned triathlete and swimming has been the one sport that always challenges me. I have improved lots over the years, but I am still working on technique. I feel like I’m not as efficient as I need to be (head position, body rotation etc..) I have been watching you tube videos on technique and I’ve found it helpful!
  • Don’t forget about strength training. I had to give up CrossFit (which I was loving) to focus on my Ironman training. It was causing too much stress on my muscles and I was always sore! In place of CrossFit, I have teamed up with a trainer who designed a 2 x week strength plan. It’s mostly body weight stuff, but it will hopefully keep me strong and injury free.
  • Take care of my body. Stretch, foam roll, repeat… daily. If I don’t stay on top of my daily stretching and foam rolling , I notice it! Also, Epsom salt baths have been a big help when my body feels super fatigued.

Long Term Goals

  • Qualify for Kona. I know for me, this is not out of the question and I want to get to the Big Island! Since IMMT is my first Ironman, I think it’s unrealistic to think I can qualify the first time around. Sure it’s been done before, it’s not impossible, but it seems a little farfetched. I think a more realistic goal for me is to get to Kona within 5 years (and if we decide to start a family, this might be pushed to within 10 years…)

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  • Become an Elite/Pro Triathlete. I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t a goal, but I’m just not sure how I will get there with having a full time 9-5 job. I am convinced that if I worked part time and had a one-on-one coach, that I could potentially be Pro. Then again, I am happy with being in the top of my age group in most races, and maybe that’s the place to be (for me). In a dream world, I would be a full time triathlete… a girl can dream, right?

What are your goals?
How do hold yourself accountable?

I look forward to coming back next week with another Tri Talk Topic!

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IMMT Training Recap {Week 14}

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The Stats:

14 weeks until IMMT
4 weeks until Patriot Half Ironman (Freetown, MA)
This weekend marked exactly 3 months until Ironman Mont Tremblant!

Hours logged last week: 15:25

This past week was my highest volume week since mid-March! I had a tough week of training the prior week (May 5), so I was really having to dig in mentally and physically last week. I am looking forward to this week, which is a ‘step down’ week. I have roughly 8 hours of training this week, including a rest day tomorrow (actually really looking forward to it) and a few recovery workouts towards the end of the week. I now know what people mean when they say you will enjoy rest days when training for an Ironman. I have spoken previously on the blog about how I don’t like rest days, but now my view is changing ever so slightly.

One thing that has changed in my plan, is adding swim workouts to Sundays. I am now in the pool 4 days a week instead of my usual 3. This will continue until the race. Eventually I will do my open water workouts on Sundays when the water in the pond is warm enough! It’s still chilly, even with a wetsuit.

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How am I feeling? I am quickly finding out that Ironman training just makes me TIRED (and hungry). Staying on top of proper pre, during and post workout nutrition HELPS, but it doesn’t make the fatigue completely go away. When I am mentally (and physically) drained, I try to remember why I am doing this and I envision the finish line in August. I know these three months are going to fly by, I’m not sure if that scares me or excites me, definitely a little bit of both. It’s just becoming so REAL!

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Some highlights included:

Testing out new running sneakers. I have been running in New Balance 890’s for about 3 years now. I thought I would give the new 980 Fresh Foams a try, given my heel pain history. I am happy to report that my heel felt a lot better after running in the fresh foams! They are very light weight and are cushioned without feeling heavy. However, I think I should I have eased into them (instead of running 12 total miles in them this weekend). There is a low heel drop ~ 4mm and the 890’s have 8mm drop… my left hip and left patellar tendon are sore, which I think it a result of too much too soon in new running shoes. I think I broke one of the cardinal rules. Ugh.

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Wearing my snazzy QT2 Team Kit on my long ride this weekend. Since it marked 3 weeks until my IM, I figured it only made sense, right?:)

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Unrelated to training, Oliver got a haircut and I can’t handle the cuteness!

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The weather was absolutely GORGEOUS all weekend. After my hard workouts yesterday, I spent about an hour foam rolling and stretching outdoors on my backyard patio

Here is what I accomplished last week:

Monday
Swim 3,000 yds at Master’s practice
Focus on slower pace and distance

Tuesday
Bike 1:50 (with low cadence work 2 x 20 min @70 rpm)
Run 31 min @ recovery pace
Strength and Core Work

Wednesday
Swim 3,000 yds at Master’s/ Tabata Intervals
Run 45 min Z1 HR

Thursday
Bike 1:45 (with low cadence work 2 x 20 min @70 rpm)
Strength work

Friday
Swim 3,000 yds at Master’s practice w/ recovery work
Run 55 minutes @ Z1 HR

Saturday
Bike 3:12:00 @ Z1 HR
TRX Upper Body Exercises
Run 30 minutes at recovery pace

Sunday
Bike 1:00 (insert 10 x 30 sec all out sprints)
Run 1:09
Swim 36 minutes, steady swim 3 x 600 yds

 

How was your training last week?

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Learning to Embrace

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I usually talk about a handful my favorite things on Fridays, but I wanted to spend today’s post just talking about one favorite thing.

Yesterday, I received an email from the Huffington Post, highlighting some of the stories of the day.  I was immediately drawn to this headline:

This Woman Wants To Change How All Of Us See Our Bodies

You may have seen this story circulating around social media, Tara Brumfitt is on a mission to change how women think and talk about their bodies. Tara “is on a mission to convince every woman to love her body as it is, to stop buying into corporate messages about beauty, and to change the vocabulary listed above for good. She plans to do so by creating a documentary called “EMBRACE,” that will explore why body loathing is so commonplace and what we can do to change that reality.”

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I highly recommend you listen to her story here:

Watching this video, tears welled up in my eyes, I got chills, my stomach sank…. I felt like she was inside my head. She talks about how her body image did not change even when she was at her fittest. She says that even when she was in amazing shape, the body bashing still continued in her mind.. .she was never good enough. As someone who has been critical of herself her entire life, I completely resonated with this video.

I can’t recall a day when I have been ‘at peace’ with my body. I have never EMBRACED my body for what it is, I have always just talked badly about it (mostly to myself, like Tara does in the mirror). Here I am training for an Ironman and I’m probably in the best shape of my life, yet I still find ways to criticize my body, daily. Disliking my body has just seemed ‘the norm’ all these years, and that’s why this video really made my heart sink. Sometimes I don’t even want to look in the mirror because I know I will be critical. I envy women who are CONFIDENT in their own skin (this has never been me). At thirty years old, I am getting to the point where I am fed up with these negative thoughts and I want to change how I view my body. It’s not an easy task, but I am sick and tired of feeling like this.

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As I watched the video, I could not believe how many of the women she interviewed said negative things about themselves.  It was then I realized, this is exactly how I am. It’s so sad. What’s the point? Instead of getting angry at myself for feeling like this, I am on a mission to change it.

In a HuffPost blog post, Brumfitt admitted that the journey from body hater to body lover was not easy. “It’s taken a lot of effort, time and energy but I can tell you there is nothing better than a.) loving your body wholeheartedly, lumps and bumps and all and b.) telling society where they can shove their ideals of beauty,” she wrote.

Here’s to feeling confident in your own skin. Here’s to embracing who you are. The way I see it, we are only given one life, one body, we should respect who we are (inside and out). All of it.

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How do you deal with negative thoughts about your body?  

What do you do that helps with body confidence?