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train, tri

InsideTracker & Ironman Training: Take Two!

To perform at your best, it’s not always about the outside. I can swim, bike and run like it’s my job, but that does not mean I’m going to kick ass at any race.  What I do know is, when you start to pay attention to your inside, amazing things can happen on the outside, and I’m not just talking about appearance, I’m talking about performance.


I used to think I was doing everything perfectly.  Key words: USED TO. I was training a lot, but still finding time to stretch and get massages… I was eating SUPER healthy eating all ‘real food’ for the most part and I was avoiding processed foods at all costs.  This must be enough, this is the recipe for the podium at every triathlon.  I was convinced (blame it on the triathlete ego) that my first test results were going to come back totally perfect.  I mean heck, whenever I go to my primary care physician, my blood work is always normal.

Well my first test results were anything but normal:

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The most shocking was my high cortisol. I was on a mission to figure out this sneaky cortisol and understand what was making my levels SUPER high.  Honestly, before the test, I didn’t even really know what cortisol was and how it could affect my performance.

After reading this blog post from InsideTracker about cortisol, I couldn’t help but relate to two things….

Lack of sleep + excessive self-criticism lead to ^ cortisol . Go Figure. Holy sh*t , That’s me.

While I knew I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I didn’t think it was that BIG of a deal. I guess you could call me naive about the amount of sleep I was getting.  No matter what, I was forcing myself to get up at 4:45/5:00 AM to do my workouts.  I wanted to maximize the time at night, after work, so I could decompress before bed.  Well in effort to have extra time in the evenings, I was increasing my cortisol, ugh.

Perhaps one of the most overlooked sources of chronic stress is excessive self-criticism and a lack self-compassion


Reason #2 Why my cortisol was probably elevated: self-criticism.

Research has shown that perfectionism- a personality style that is commonly characterized by striving for flawlessness and tendencies toward self-criticalness- is linked to a variety of mental ailments such as depression, anxiety disorders, etc. 

Like most people, I am the most critical of myself and this can be unhealthy. While self-confidence with me is always a work in progress, the high cortisol results made me realize that all of my negative self thinking might be affecting my health and triathlon performance.  This is not something that you can change overnight, but I have been working at it! Looking on the brightside:)

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train, tri

Training lately.

It’s been weeks since I did an Ironman Training Update, I have been slacking! Well slacking with the training posts that is, not the actual training. I’ve been kicking serious butt with my training and finally, one month after the Boston Marathon, I feel like I never even ran the race… now that’s a good sign!


13 weeks… 87 days until Ironman Mont-Tremblant!


Getting pumped for Eagleman 70.3! In just 24 short days, I’ll be racing my first triathlon of the season! Holy smokes! Eagleman is about an 8 hours drive from where we live (it’s in Maryland), so we’re making a little vacation out of it! Todd and I will be staying at a cute little B&B on the water, should be nice and relaxing (minus the 70.3 miles that is). I’m trying to think of this race as a long training day, as it’s not my ‘A’ race. However, a PR would be nice. The course is FLAT and FAST, but it can get windy and hot (comparable to Kona conditions I’ve heard). Oh and apparently, there’s jellyfish in the Choptank river where the swim takes place?! Ahhhh! The water tends to be too warm for a wetsuit legal race, so I went ahead and ordered my ROKA Viper SwimSkin, can’t wait to test that baby out when it arrives.


Anyways, time is flying by, so, so fast. I don’t even know what day it is most of the time. Train, eat (all day), work, train, sleep repeat…. I’m not going to lie, I feel like I’m on autopilot. I LOVE being busy, but it can also get exhausting at the same time. There is a fine line between busy and having your system be overtaxed. As I’ve said before, just trying to balance it all.



Still being a fish! I’m swimming 3-4 x week, last week I got up to 12,000 yards! In addition to Masters Swim practices during the week, I’ve been swimming on the weekends, to get an additional long swim workout in. For example Masters Practices are typically 3,000 yards and last Saturday I swam 3,600 yards. I also had the joy of swimming in a 50 meter pool- love long course swimming! I also love how the Garmin 920xt can switch to 50 meter mode, and then converts to yards when you are done! I also love how fast time goes by in a 50 meter pool, but my goodness, it seems to take forever to reach the other side. Looking forwad to starting open water swimming next week. The water is finally warm enough at the local pond and I can’t wait to get into some fresh water!

Loving… my Roka Googles (F2 light auburn), snorkel swimming (nose piece required) and soon to be open water!

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train, tri, tri life

Countdown to Ironman Mont-Tremblant: 21 Weeks {the season is around the corner}

The  Winter we had here in Alaska Massachusetts has left me feeling very confused.  It’s been so cold for SO long, that March has flown by without me even realizing it… and it’s actually SPRING. Who knew?!


walking oliver just last week

The fact that April 1st is next week, has me feeling like triathlon season is just.around.the.corner. As I sit here writing this post, I’m on my patio, it’s 45 degrees outside and I’m staring at the giant snow bank in my yard that lies in front of me.  Trust me people, 45 degrees is HOT around this neck of the woods.  My first Triathlon isn’t until June 14th (Eagleman 70.3), but I have a funny feeling, it will be here before I know it.


Training last week was awesome! Another all GREEN week in training peaks, yay!

My totals are looking pretty solid:

Swim: 9,300 yards

Bike: 89 miles

Run: 33.5 miles

Highlights: Power is increasing on the bike.. bring on the watts! And I’m running in the low 7’s per min/mile!

Here’s what I’ve been up to…

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train, tri, tri life

Countdown to Ironman Mont-Tremblant 23 Weeks {my legs are back!}

t-minus twenty three weeks until IMMT.  

t-minus six weeks until the boston marathon (still a *maybe* race)


I am {very} happy to report that my LEGS are back! That feeling when everything clicks and feels easy? I’m feeling that right now. I’m finally running in the 7’s again, with ease, and this makes me a #happygirl! It’s been months since running in the 7’s was this easy and I have found my groove again.  I have been going crazy patient, feeling like a lioness in a cage. Going through rehab exercises, running short, running slow… now this lioness is out of her cage and it ready to attack:)

For example, a 7:30 min/mile pace is super comfortable… even 7:15 min/mile pace is comfortable and that’s while holding it. I have been enjoying my runs and getting that Runner’s High feeling again.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I feel great. Actually, I feel the best I’ve felt in YEARS. As an injury-prone runner, I feel very nervous saying I’m pain free… but I’m actually pain free right now (swim, bike AND run). Not only that, but I am feeling very strong and my endurance is through the roof.  I don’t really know how to explain it, but I just feel different, something has clicked recently and my mind and body are in a very good spot.

Last week was my second week in a row where Training Peaks was ALL GREEN! Meaning I did every single one of my training sessions, strength workouts and stretching/foam rolling!

14:30 Total Hours Trained

11,000 yards swam

73.2 miles biked

27.25 miles ran


In addition to completing all of my sessions, I even trained with others, not once, but twice! One of my goals of 2015 is to be more of a ‘social athlete.’ Having trained both weekend days with friends and new teammates is a serious milestone for me.


Monday 3/2

Easy Recovery Swim

I swam an easy 2,000 yards on my own.  It was very relaxing with a combination of freestyle swim and pull.  An easy recovery swim is the perfect way to recovery after a tough weekend of workouts.

Strength and rehab exercises + core work in the evening.  Still focusing on glutes, hammies, adductors, abductors = key stabilizers!


 Oliver loves to help me with my core work!



Tuesday 3/3

Easy 40 minutes on the treadmill, running at my easy pace.

Tough Trainer session in the evening! This was a BIG workout!

For the ride I did a series of warm up sets, followed by 5 minutes TIME TRIAL ALL – OUT, going as fast as I possibly could, while still being able to hold the effort. The goal of the test was to ride as fast as possible but at a pace which allowed me to complete the entire test. The average HR from the test will  be used to calculate my HR Lactate Threshold and my HR zones. Total ride time = 1:00 hour.

I was told by coach… It is very important that you should finish knowing you gave it everything you had.  Let’s just say I thought I was going to puke when it was over… I think I gave it all that I had:)

Results of test: Average heart rate = 166 bpm 

Well what does this all mean?

The secret or goal with lactate threshold training is to raise your threshold point to as close as possible to your maximum heart rate, and improve your ability to withstand that discomfort (if it was easy everyone would do it). If you never do harder workouts, then your lactate threshold will always remain below your possible maximum lactate threshold. 

Raising your lactate threshold point, for the most part, will bring your steady aerobic threshold point up with it (as the 20 bpm relationship is fairly constant).

So if you’re training for an Ironman, from a specificity standpoint you want to train that steady aerobic threshold because that is more or less your race pace. But you should include some LT training as well to raise that point a bit higher.



Wednesday 3/4

Masters Swim.  This practice included a bunch of 150 yard free sets. 1500’s are a hard distance because they aren’t really a sprint, but they aren’t distance either… it’s that tricky in between distance that can get really uncomfortable.. .gets me every time! 3,000 yards.

35 min run OUTSIDE.

35 min as 4:40 min E pace and 20 sec near all out sprints and repeat

It was a ‘warm’ day in the 40’s and I thought I would be fine running outside.  It ended up being a slushy, icy mess, but it was still fun! The icy conditions made it hard to do my sprints, they were more like moderate accelerations:) Thank goodness I had my microspikes to throw on my sneakers!



Thursday 3/5

Bike training session: another tough set of intervals!

WU: 15′ @z1, 5′ as 20 sec @high z4/ 40 sec @ z1, 5 ‘ @z2
MS: 30sec @ z5 (30sec @ z1)
1 min @ z5 (30sec @ z1)
1:30min @ z5 (60sec @ z1)
2 min @ z5 (60sec @ z1)
10 min @ z2
5×10 sec @ all out, z1 as recovery
CD: 7’ @z1

Pilates Class during lunch! Still loving pilates.  I am slightly ‘core’ strength obsessed:)



Friday 3/6

Masters Swim Practice 3,000 yards

Immediately following practice, I decided to do my run session.  I had a chiropractor appointment later that morning and I didn’t want to train after my appointment.

On the treadmill, I did the following:

WU: 20′ @ very Easy pace, 5×20″ @ Threshold pace, (R: 40″ @ Easy pace
5′ of dyamic stretching
MS: 3200 (2 miles) run as fast as you can
400 very easy jog as recovery
2 min rest, drink some water.
CD: 10′ @ Easy pace

The previous week I had tested my 1 mile ALL OUT time, which I wasn’t too happy with.  I didn’t think it was an accurate time (6:27).  The two mile test proved this since it was significantly faster than my 1 mile pace.  I ran on the gym treadmill (new and fancy vs my old home treadmill).

2 mile time trial = 12 minutes 15 seconds (6:07 avg pace).  My second mile was 5:50! I know it’s the treadmill, so this was kind of ‘cheating’ but I’m still happy with the results!! Now for the REAL test when I can run outside on a track… TBD.
10990573_519618898178695_1705062772_nSaturday 3/7

Group Trainer ride with E3 Training!

2:15 minute ride: Coach posted a workout for the group, but I followed my scheduled workout:)

1st hour 4 x 10 min @ z2 + 5 min z3
2nd hour 5 x 11 min @ z2 + 4 min @ low z4

It was such a nice change of pace riding with others.  It really made the time go by!! I met some new teammates who I will hopefully get to train outside with soon! Looking forward to a great season with this group:) Including the very speedy Czech Chick, Jana Richtrova!




Swim 3,000 Yards in the afternoon

I was tired from the morning bike session, but I pulled it together:) Once I got in the water, I was fine! Mix of paddles and pulling.



Sunday 3/8

12 mile run with my friend Marisa! Marisa and I used to work at lululemon together years ago:) We finally got together for a run!

We met in Newton, at the start of Heartbreak hill and did a 12 mile loop.  Loved running on the Boston Marathon course for the second week in a row.

Our average pace was 7:50 for 12 miles. For the final 4 miles (9-12) I averaged 7:15 pace!

Awesome weather day too, with temps in the high 30’s:) Time goes by so much faster running with a friend!





train, tri

IMMT Training: Fla Keys Style!

“live in the sunshine. swim in the sea. drink the wild air.” -Emerson

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Last week was lovely in every single way. I trained outside, soaked up the sunshine and drank the salty air… oh and I actually relaxed! The Florida Keys in the dead of Winter is where it’s at!

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