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10 Days

Ten Days from right now, as I write this post, I will be on my way to Mont Tremblant, Canada.  Honestly, I can’t stop thinking about it.  Now that I am so close to this race, it’s consuming my mind more than ever seriously.can’t.focus. I correlate this feeling to getting ready for our wedding day… the nervousness, anxiety, excitement, is all very similar to planning a wedding.  You plan for so long and then finally, the day you’ve been waiting for is right in front of you.  It gets to the point where there is nothing else you can do to prepare, you just have to trust that everything you have done is enough.

Currently…. My mind is spinning…

What do I need to pack?

When do I need to pack?

Do I have everything I need?

Can I hold my own in the crowded swim?

Will my back hurt coming off the bike?

Can I run the Marathon after 112 miles on the bike… and run it well?

Will my stomach cooperate during the race?

Ahhhhh I’m seriously going crazy…

dont worry about the things you can't control savingmorethanme.com

This week I have found myself feeling like such a scatter brain, at least I have an excuse, Ironman on the brain! I feel like I have so many things I need to do before we leave on Thursday… chiropractor appointments, massages, acupuncture sessions.. not to mention we have a wedding to attend on Saturday (after I do my last long workout… 4 hour ride, 35 min run).  There is just so much to cram in these next 10 days, that I know it’s going to be next Thursday before I know it.

Despite all of the stress and the worrying I’m feeling right now, I’m also trying to just take it all in.  I’m really trying to enjoy my last tough workouts this week, since next week I’m tapering.  I even got choked up this morning when I realized it was my last Zone 2 trainer ride on my bike… I closed my eyes and focused on my strong legs and my strong mind… I am really doing this, I thought.  It occurred to me that in 11 days, I will be taking a break from my 5:00 AM weekday basement trainer rides, and it made me sad.  Part of me wants the race to be here, but then another part of me doesn’t want this process to be over.  I have loved this process… I have grown so much and gained the self-confidence I’ve been yearning for my entire life. Is it really almost over?  I don’t have a ‘what’s next’ plan yet, but I have a feeling I’m going to want to sign up for another one of these crazy races:)  I also look forward to a little break, eventhough the break scares the hell out of me.  In a way, my life is just beginning thanks to this journey.

10 days from now, I will be an Ironman.  I like the sound of that.

What are some things you learned from doing an Ironman? Feel free to share your tips with me! 🙂

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Tri Talk Tuesday: Lessons Learned During Ironman Training

Today for Tri Talk Tuesday I’m talking about lessons learned in triathlon and racing… but specifically with Ironman training. I have learned so many lessons throughout this process, and I thought I would highlight some of my favorites for you.

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Expressing in words the lessons I’ve learned training for my first Ironman is REALLY hard! It is a POWERFUL, LIFE CHANGING experience. The whole experience has given me goosebumps through out and has taught me so many lessons. I’m going to try and express what all of this training has taught me.. here goes nothing…
Kristin's Phone 7.14.14 078

Lesson #1 You are ALWAYS stronger than you think you are. 

I take this quote to have more meaning when it comes to ‘mental strength’ versus ‘physical strength.’ There have been many days where I did not want to get out of bed for swim practice, many nights where I was tired after work and didn’t want to get on my bike or put on my sneakers, and plenty of days where I had self doubt.. but I convinced myself time and time again that I am finishing this training and I am DOING this for ME. No one else, but me. All of the hours of training taught me that I am mentally and physically stronger than I ever thought I was.  I have always been an athlete, and in physically great shape… but nothing has given me more mental strength than Ironman training.  I honestly feel like I can take on the world now! This is a feeling I never had before this training experience.

Lesson #2 You need to eat A LOT when training for an Ironman

Train-Eat-Sleep Great Website

I have never mentioned this on the blog before, but I have struggled with some distorted eating issues/body images for years now.  It has never got to the point where I’ve been completely depriving myself, but there was a point where I could have been considered a starving athlete. There were a few years (not too long ago) where I was exercising a ton and not eating enough to replenish what I using… not good!  I was getting by with the bare minimum thinking that it was ok. Even when I was competing in sprint and olympic triathlons, I most definitely was not fueling properly because I was scared of the calories and gaining weight.  Ironman training forced me (in a good way) to WAKE the F up when it comes to sports nutrition.  You cannot get through Ironman training and racing without eating A LOT of carbs, sugar, calories, etc.  You just CAN’T.  As someone that has previously battled eating demons, I had a nutritional analysis done for Ironman training. The plan was really scary at first i.e.drinking tons of sports drink instead of water, but once I started to change my ways, I noticed a huge difference in my performance. Who knew?! Suddenly a light bulb went off and I was no longer worried about the calories or the sugar. I was instead, worried about being a rock star with my training and racing! If fueling properly could make me faster, you don’t have to tell me twice what to do;) I I honestly believe Ironman Training has helped me get over my disordered eating thoughts and for that, I am grateful.

#3 Ironman training has given me the confidence I never knew I had. 

Though She Be But Little She is Fierce

I feel like Ironman training has changed the way I view myself, for the better.  Before embarking on this journey, I never felt good in my own skin.  I still have a way to go with negative self thinking, but training for IMMT has given me a HUGE boost of confidence.  It’s honestly helped me learn how to love myself and my body. Taking on this huge feat has given me a feeling that I can take on anything if I put my mind to it.  Honestly, I would be scared if I were one of my competitors, this girl is on fire. I also feel way better about my body than I ever have before.  I am amazed at how my amazing body has endured hundreds of hours and miles over this past year, it’s truly incredible! Now when I look in the mirror I can’t help but see an (almost) Ironman athlete and feel powerful! I might be the same person I was when I started this journey, but I went from basically hating myself to learning how to love myself. Let’s just say I’m officially a beast.

Hit your switch!

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IMMT Training Recap- TWO WEEKS

Almost go time. 

"I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass." -Maya Angelou

My race is two weeks from yesterday! Two weeks from right now, I will officially (if all goes well) be an IRONMAN.  I just cannot believe that my Ironman training journey is coming to a close, but I am not tapering just yet. Last week was definitely a step down week, where I only trained for about 10 hours. This week I’m schedule to train for 15 hours, including a lot of Z1 and Z2 heart rate work on the swim, bike and run.  After this week over, I will be officially on my taper i.e. going through taper madness!

Goals for this week:

  • Train smart and don’t do more than I’m scheduled to do
  • Fuel smart: Continue to practice my race fueling plan (which I’ve been doing all along), sticking with what I know!
  • Stretch, foam roll, lacrosse ball massage every single day/night.  I need to really stay on top of mobility these next T-13 days.  Especially in my hips, glutes and calves aka my ‘problem’ areas
  • Get lots of sleep.  I will be training a lot this week and I need to remember to get lots of sleep leading into my taper.
  • Embrace this final training week, enjoy every minute of it!
  • Go through my IMMT Athlete Guide packet!

On Friday night, Ironman Mont Tremblant posted the ATHLETE GUIDE, Bib #’s and Swim Waves on their website. I swear it felt like Christmas! I have not read through the guide yet, but I did of course scroll through the list to find my number. My official race number is 779! Honestly, at first I was a little disappointed in my number. I really wanted an even number! But then I thought about it, my birthday is November 7th and I have always loved the number 7. The number 7, I feel is typically a lucky number (like when gambling, ha) and I consider it lucky to have not one, but two 7’s in my number. I will wear #779 with pride and hopefully it will be a number that always makes me proud.

Total hours last week: 10:20

Days until IMMT: 13

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Monday
Swim
Zone 1, steady swim
Distance: 1300 yds
Swim 2 X 650 at best 800 TT pace plus 10 seconds per 100 with 30 second rests between each.

Bike
Zone R (recovery ride)
Duration: 00:45:00
ZR Ride

Tuesday
REST DAY
Took the Oliver for a long walk

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Wednesday

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Swim (outdoor pool!)
Best Sustainable Effort
Distance: 2500 yds
800 Time Trial
Swim 2 X 500 at best 800 TT pace plus 10 seconds per 100. 30 seconds rest between sets.
2 X 50 all out with 30 seconds rest between each
Cool Down:
3 x 200 easy pull buoy. 20 seconds rest between sets.

Bike
Zone 1 Trainer Ride (outside on the patio!)  We live in a very traffic-filled area and it’s really hard to ride outside after work during the week.  I got sick of being inside on the trainer, so I took it outdoors for a change!

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Duration: 01:30:00
Descend the pace by getting faster throughout the workout

Run
Zone R, Transition run after bike
Duration: 00:20:00

Thursday
Bike
Zone R
Duration: 00:45:00

Run
Zone 1
Duration: 00:40:00
Descend the pace by getting faster throughout the workout.

Friday
Swim
Zone R
Distance: 1200 yds
Kick/Propulsion Drill Set
Main Set:
o 3 x (50 kick, 50 fist, 50 free)
o 6 x 100 as (25 pull, 25 kick, 25 pull, 25 kick…use pull buoy as a kick board), descend each 100, taking 15 sec between sets.
o 100 TT no kick
o 50 kick TT

Saturday

The forecast called for 80% rain on Saturday (womp womp!).  I was looking forward to my second to last long ride outside.  Ugh!  I decided not to ride outdoors in the ran, and stayed in my basement for my Z1/Z2 ride.  It was really sweaty and really humid!  I also got to finish Orange is the New Black while riding!

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Bike
Duration: 03:00:00
Z1/Z2 Ride
Bike 97 minutes at Z1, then 83 minutes @ Z2. Descend the pace throughout the ride and finish toward the top of Z2. Keep cadence at 90+ rpm.

Run

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I ran outside around the local pond and trails.  It was quite humid, but the rain made it a little cooler.  I love running in the rain!

Zone 2
Duration: 01:15:00
Z1/Z2 T Run
Run 51 minutes at Z1, then 24 minutes @ Z2.

Sunday

Yesterday I was able to convince my husband to do my short recovery run with me (he’s not a runner, but comes with my on my easy runs).  We enjoyed a 3 mile run together!

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Run
Zone R: Recovery run
Duration: 00:25:00

As a side note… today is our two year wedding anniversary!  I love spending my life with this guy:)

Photo: "In all the world there is no heart for me like yours. In all the world, there is no love for you like mine." Two years flew by. I love going through life with you @thigden #08042012 #twoyears #anniversary #loveyou

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FIVE FOODS

Happy Friday and Happy August!  August means it’s IRONMAN month… I can’t believe it!  I turned the calendar this morning and reality hit me, I will become an Ironman this month! I am really excited and really scared at the same time!

10 day you challenge

Continuing with the YOU challenge, today’s topic is FIVE FOODS.  I am excited to share five of my favorite foods with you today!

Interesting list, "Eight Foods I Wouldn't Touch with a Ten Foot Pole" @SkinnyConfidential

it’s really hard for me to narrow my favorite foods down to just five! But, if I could only eat FIVE FOODS for the rest of my life, this is what they would be:

1. Dark Leafy Greens: Kale & Arugula

I love my leafy greens!  Sometimes I think I might even turn into a rabbit I eat them so much.  My favorite leafy greens are baby kale, arugula and micro greens.  I make a salad for lunch daily, that usually includes all three of these types of greens. Writing the benefits of eating dark, leafy greens could take up an entire blog post alone… they are SO good for you!

2. Granola

I am a sucker for some good granola!  My favorite is Purely Elizabeth Granola, which is sweetened with Coconut Sugar (a low glycemic sugar).  I eat this stuff straight from the bag and in my yogurt.  I also love making my own granola, when I have the time for it:) The key thing with granola is making sure it doesn’t have a ton of added sugar! That’s what I like the Purely Elizabeth kind!

3. Guacamole!

I could eat an entire tub of guacamole in one sitting, this stuff is seriously addicting.  My favorite kind of guacamole is homemade or the fresh guac from Whole Foods.  I consider guacamole to be it’s own meal:)

4. Organic Apples (Pink Lady and Macintosh when in season)

An apple away keeps the doctor away:)  I love apples, especially Pink lady’s and Macintosh, when they are picked locally.  my favorite time of year is fall in New England when we can go and pick apples!  I always try and buy organic apples because they are high on the Dirty Dozen List. 

5. Almonds

Sometimes I think I am addicted to almonds, I eat so many of them.  I love anything to do with almonds… whole almonds, almond butter, trail mix with almonds, etc.  My favorite almonds are the Trader Joes Unsalted Roasted Almonds and Marcona Rosemary Almonds.

What are some foods you can’t live without?

 

 

 

product reviews, Uncategorized

Bio Skin Review & Announcement!

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I have exciting news… I have been chosen to be a Bio Skin Ambassador! Bio Skin provides compression supports and athletic braces to a variety of sporting professionals including the everyday person trying to live a healthy and active lifestyle (runners, triathletes, hikers, fitness enthusiasts, etc). Bio Skin reached out to me via Twitter, asking if I would be interested in being an ambassador. As an athlete training for her first Ironman, I need all that I can get for RECOVERY. This being said, I was thrilled to accept their invitation to be an Ambassador! I am excited to tell you today all about Bio Skin and give you some insight on my first-hand experience with the product. Jake at Bio Skin sent me a pair of Compression Calf Sleeves to sample, and I will be writing about those and my experience.

So, you may be wondering… what are the benefits of compression as an athlete?

(taken from the Bio Skin website)

REDUCE FATIGUE

During exercise, your muscles are exposed to forces that cause vibration. This major cause of muscle fatigue, known as muscle oscillation, can be reduced when wearing compression garments. This leads to improved muscle endurance, strength and power.

IMPROVE RECOVERY

Compression provides greater recovery from muscle soreness caused by exercise by helping the pumping action of the cardiovascular system; removing blood lactate from muscles leads to faster muscle repair and recovery.

REDUCE MUSCLE DAMAGE

Compression reduces muscle damage (microscopic tears of the muscle fibers) caused by certain types of exercise, identified as Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). Where there is pain there is damage and damage means that the muscle cannot be worked to its full potential. Therefore reducing the rate of muscle damage can have a direct effect on the productivity of the muscle.

AGILITY

Compression increases proprioception, which heightens senses and awareness for enhanced stability and agility. Proprioception can also help with improved technique as you remain aware of your body’s positioning, improving the balance control system and muscle coordination.

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There are many compression brands out there. If you go to an expo before a race (like the Boston Marathon for example) you will be flooded with different brands of recovery skins, sleeves, socks, etc. It can be a bit overwhelming to know what type of compression will work best for you. I have tried many brands of these sleeves but honestly, nothing has felt as comfortable or as smooth on my calves as Bio Skin. It literally feels like a second skin.

Most compression sleeves are a ‘sock’ material, think of a cotton blend with stretch. Bio Skin’s sleeves are set apart from the rest, they are seamless and you won’t even notice you’re wearing them. Bio Skin is thin and gives radial compression so it conforms nicely to the curves of the body. Bio Skin is also breathable, so perspiration evaporates right through it, and is hypo-allergenic so you don’t have to worry about skin reactions. hen worn, the high-level compression helps reduce muscle vibration and increase circulation so you can train more often, feel less pain and recover faster. The distinctive SkinLok™ feature of Bio Skin material ensures the sleeve won’t slide down the leg, no matter how vigorous your activity.

Kristin's iPhone 6.16.14 406

My experience with BioSkin:

Lucky for me, I received my Bio Skin Calf Sleeves just days before I raced the Patriot Half Ironman- perfect timing!  Before going to the race, I made sure I stretched the material in my calf sleeves, slightly (as the instructions recommended).  This made it easier to put on the sleeves after the race.  As soon as I finished racing, I put on the calf sleeves.  I wore them throughout the day, all day, post race.  I then wore the sleeves the entire day after the race.  I did not sleep with the sleeves on (although I’m sure I could have).  The day after the race, my muscles felt great and less sore than they typically do after a long race, like a Half Ironman.  I attribute my lack of muscle soreness to a combination of proper training, recovery fuel and wearing the Bio Skin Sleeves. Also, my calves were feeling great after wearing the sleeves, and were less ‘tense’ than they normally are after racing.

calf skin

Since I had such a positive experience with my Bio Skin Sleeves, I have been wearing them after tough training sessions and even during recovery bike rides. They will be a staple during the rest of my Ironman training and beyond!

If you are interested in trying Bio Skin products for yourself, I highly recommend them for recovery.

You can check out their website HERE!

If you are interested in trying BioSkin for yourself, there is a sale going on right now where you can get 15% off your order. Just enter the code below (Dogday2) for a discount!

 

Have you had success with Compression wear? When do you wear compression sleeves/socks?