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Turning the page to Ironman #2  

Mom Camera IRONMAN 093

Over the weekend, my new calendar was hung up on the wall, blank pages ready to be filled with events and races yet to come. Hard to believe a new year is here already, but I’m beyond ready for it! There’s something about a new year that excites me. While I was a tad bit nostalgic about leaving a {stellar} 2014 behind, there is something uplifting about having new pages to turn.

This year the BIG event on my calendar is Ironman Mont-Tremblant, Round TWO. As of this week, I am officially 32 weeks away from my second Ironman in two years. I’m approaching 2015 knowing SO much more than I did just one year ago.  Taking the whole ‘first timer’ element out of a race like an Ironman, is a game changer. This time around I know what to expect, in more ways than one.  This leaves me feeling very confident for the year ahead!

With 2015 in full swing… here’s an update on how I’m doing:

Hooray! My body is cooperating.

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The pesky knee pain I had, has subsided (big time).  After running my stupidly fast 10K on Thanksgiving, I thought my knee was in serious trouble. I honestly didn’t think I would be able to run the Boston Marathon in April. Seeing as it hurt even  just to walk and use the stairs, I was seriously concerned/devastated.  Well, after wallowing in my mistake for a few days, I decided to do something about it.  I went to my chiropractor and got some magical treatment called the ARP done on my quads… this helped BIG time.  I also went to a new physical therapist and got an evaluation and treatment.  The PT came to the conclusion that it’s not my actual knee that’s causing the pain, it’s the weaknesses I have in my hips and glutes.  It’s VERY common to have knee pain as a result of weak hips and glutes. Basically, my hip and glute muscles need to be ‘retrained’ to work when I’m running, so my knee doesn’t take all of the impact.  I have been working diligently at my rehab exercises (think clamshells and band exercises).  While the exercises seemed silly to me at first, I can tell that they are actually working.  I know I need to work on the little things before I start getting into the big things (i.e. plyometrics and high mileage runs). It’s all about building a FOUNDATION now before training really picks up!

Training at the moment looks like…

Swimming

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I have been swimming as much as five times per week.  Weekly swims include the following: Masters Swim practice Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and working on technique drills on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Last week I logged over 10,000 yards in the pool.  The best part is, I am seeing some SERIOUS improvements in the water.  A few months ago, I would be the last person swimming in our lane at Masters during our sets (typically we have 5-6 people in a lane during practice).  Frustrated with the feeling I was always struggling to keep up, I decided to take action. This is when I took my swim clinic and started working on my technique. Fast forward to now, and I am LEADING sets in the pool. Teammates that used to pass me, I am now in front of by a decent margin.  It’s not just the short sets either… I’m talking 500’s, 400’s and so on… I also swam 100 yards freestyle in 1:19 last week, which is smoking fast for me! I can’t help but feel anything but proud about my progress.  Swimming is started to feel easier and less of a struggle, it’s amazing.  My teammates are even noticing that I’m getting faster and keep telling me how speedy I’m getting. Hard work pays off!

Biking

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Now that the knee has improved substantially, I’m back in the saddle! Currently, I’m riding 3-4 x week at a steady state pace, nothing crazy. While I know I’m not starting from square one, it sort of feels that way.  Thinking back to where I was with my cycling this past summer, I can’t help but feel like I have a long way to go. I look forward to making progress on two wheels!

Cycling has always been the thorn in my side when it comes to triathlon races. When I get beat by girls in my age group 9 times out of 10, it’s because of the bike. I am determined to become a STRONGER and FASTER cyclist in 2015.  I know this is where I am going to make up time in my races and I am determined to see a difference from 2014. With this being said, the goal is to purchase a Power Meter (soon hopefully) and start to train with Power! Up until now, I have only trained with heart rate as the main metric on the bike.  Now it’s time to up the ante and get on the power train:) I know a power meter doesn’t necessarily make you a faster cyclist, but it will help me to push myself beyond my comfort zone with my training sessions.

“Heart-rate monitors, GPS, smartphone training apps and power meters are all there for the taking. But among them power stands out as the ‘future’ best friend for any cyclist that wishes to train to their full potential.”
Read more here

Running

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I’m extremely happy to report that I’m running again! Over the last couple of weeks, I have been going on short, easy runs and there have been no issues. I know the day will come where I will get to run long and hard again, but I need to be patient. I am still planning to run the Boston Marathon on April 20th, but I need to get healthy and strong before it becomes a true reality {fingers crossed!}. Taking care of my body and my knee is what’s most important right now. Once I am back to running pain free and staying pain free with even higher mileage, then I will start to think about April. Until then, I will be focusing on the here and now. This means 30 minute runs a few times week… for at least another week or so.  After that, I’ll ramp up the mileage with hopes that my PT work and strength training has paid off.

And life in general…

Lately I just feel EAGER.  Eager to train hard again and make gains.  I know these things take time and don’t happen overnight, but I am ready for the challenge ahead. I realize that all of my ‘easy pace’ training is going to pay off long term, but it’s really hard to do when you’re in the moment (and eating a lot during the holidays, woof). For now, I’m just going to try and enjoy the extra time that I have, because I know it’s not going to last for too much longer…

“Sometimes things aren’t clear right away. That’s where you need to be patient and persevere and see where things lead.”
~Mary Pierce

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California in Pictures

Hi! I just got back last night from California and my body feels like it’s been hit by a truck.  I guess jet lag is a real thing, even when it’s only a three hour time difference…

I flew to Los Angeles from Boston on Sunday (6.5 hour flight) and then returned last night to the frozen tundra a.k.a Boston. Why is it that sitting on a plane for hours on end sucks the life right out of you?

From Sunday-Thursday I attended a conference for work in Anaheim. Lucky for me I had a rental car (score!) and was able to explore some beautiful sights around me.  The conference went from 11 am – 3 pm every day, which allowed for some ‘play time’ before and after each day.  I also lucked out BIG time with the weather, 70’s and sunny EVERY day.  Right now they are getting flooded with rain, so we got out just in time.

Here are some photos from the ‘fun portion’ of my work trip a.k.a. my first time ever in California. Let’s just say it won’t be my last time visiting this beautiful state:)

Sorry if my photos cause wanderlust, but these are too beautiful not to share!!!

Corona del Mar Beach at Sunset

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 Huntington Beach at sunset

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Crystal Cove State Park – Sunrise hike/run

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Babette’s Cafe in Newport Beach
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Santa Monica Pier

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I loved California and can’t wait to go back some day!

Have you ever been before? Where did you visit?