You Signed Up For WHAT?!

I’m a Half Ironman! {The Ironman 70.3 Augusta Weekend}

I’m back from a fabulous weekend at Ironman 70.3 Augusta and officially a Half Ironman! Or is it Half Ironwoman? Well, whatever you want to call it, I did it! And I beat my hopeful goal time and finished in 6:18:48 so I’m happy with my race. It was hard, there were moments that it seemed crazy, and times I thought “I’m never doing this again!” – but those moments were overshadowed by an incredible experience.

And of course after the race I overanalyzed everything and thought of how I could have done better. But I had a hopeful goal of 6:30 and a safe goal of 7:00 so I can safely say I crushed my goals despite my crazy life with my crazy schedule that prevented me from hitting all the workouts on my training plan.

I’m working up the official race recap but wanted to share a few moments and photos from the race weekend leading up to the big event. The weekend was all about the people that I met, and the trip I took with my dad.

THE EPIC ROAD TRIP ADVENTURE

It was a father-daughter road trip and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. My dad is my biggest supporter, and to have him with me was so fantastic! First, we had a great time together. Second, he knows me so well that I didn’t have to be any other way than just myself – complete with crazy pre-race crazies and all! Third, it was like having my own personal paparazzi because he took photos of me all weekend. That word even has “papa” in it – coincidence? I think not. 

Road trip with dad to Augusta

We joked that we had 4 cell phones, 1 GPS unit, 1 tablet, and 2 laptops in the car. We were not going to get lost driving from Maryland to Georgia!

Cell phones in car

THE PACKET PICKUP

We finally arrived in Augusta at about 6:50pm on Friday night. Packet pickup closed at 7pm. We made a beeline there and the doors were locked. A really nice security person let me in and said they were still open – and indeed they were!

Ironman 70.3 registration

It was fantastic to get my packet and browse the merchandise quickly without a line or crowd.

Ironman 70.3 Augusta checkin

THE PRE-RACE BIKE RIDE

There were two unofficial river swims that I heard about, but what I really wanted was a bike ride to be sure that everything was in working order and my bike had survived the trip in the back of my car A-OK. Thankfully, a friend had organized a 30-minute “unofficial” ride of the beginning of the bike course on Saturday morning.

Augusta bike course ride

THE EXPO

After the bike ride, I racked my bike and checked out the transition area.

Ironman bike racked

I attended the pre-race briefing and bought some souvenirs.

Ironman 70.3 Augusta pre-race briefing

 

I was really glad I had picked up my packet the night before, since the next day there were lines:

Ironman 70.3 augusta packet pickup line

 

THE FINISH LINE

It was so cool to run around the finish line and take a faux photo. Seeing it set up gave me goosebumps!

Ironman 70.3 Augusta finish line

THE SWIM BIKE MOM GROUP

I’m in a fantastic Facebook group that is run by Swim Bike Mom, and so many group members were doing this race in Augusta. And Swim Bike Mom herself was going to be there with a tent and lots of positive encouragement – a huge reason I picked this race! We had a big group photo and then went out to dinner.

Hey, Swim Bike Mom  is having a drink with my dad – how cool is that?

My dad and Swim Bike Mom

 

The highlight of this weekend was not the race, but the people I met all weekend. From the Swim Bike Mom group to the Augusta 70.3 Facebook group to DC area triathletes there for the race, to SOAS Racing teammates, it was the experience of a lifetime.

More tomorrow – it’s back to the “real world” and I’m off to work. Have a great day!

Did you do anything fun this weekend?

 

Friday Five: Favorite Fall Activities

Happy Friday! If you’re reading this on Friday morning, I’m either having breakfast with my kids, frantically packing the car, or driving from Maryland to Georgia with my dad for Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Or, more likely, I’m curled up in a ball in the corner because this week has officially done me in.

This week. Ahhh, what can I say about this week. I need to think happier thoughts than busy work weeks, injured kids, car repairs, packing for my big race, or writing this post after midnight (hello, it’s 1am). So Courtney, Mar, and I chose Favorite Fall Activities as the theme du jour for the Friday Five linkup. Come play along!

Friday Five Favorite Fall ActivitiesWe recently had a theme “Fall Preview” where I previewed my Fall Fitness Fun – you can check that out here. But today is all about the favorite activities of this awesome season.

You see, I love fall. LOVE IT!

LOVE LOVE LOVE. Me and Autumn, we’re tight. We love each other, it’s a two-way street. Fall loves me, and I love Fall.

Wait, am I proclaiming my love for Fall too emphatically, or is this cool? 

Okay, enough of that, I’m supposed to tell you my Five Favorite Fall Activities!

1. Picking out pumpkins. We have an au pair who lives with us as a member of the family and take care of the kids while we work. It’s fabulous, we love it. Last year our au pair was from France, this year from Germany. We include them in family activities so naturally when Fall rolls around, we go pick out and carve some pumpkins. Last year, we didn’t even go to a proper farm – because of time constraints we just went to a farmer’s market. But it was still fun to see their excitement and let each of the kids pick their own pumpkin! We then carved the pumpkins, but that’s not my favorite part. It’s a lot of work.

Pumpkin picking

2. Trick or Treating with the kids. Our neighborhood is the BEST on Halloween. It’s incredible – people go all-out decorating with music, lights, and festive decorations. My kids love it and we love seeing the neighbors and all the costumes. The whole area just comes alive.

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3. RUNNING. How can this only be #3 on this list? I love fall running – the air is cooler but not so cold my hands are numb, the trees look gorgeous, the sky isn’t totally pitch black yet. It’s my favey. Here’s a pic that I posted a year ago at the start of Fall.

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4. The Thanksgiving Walk. This is later in the fall, but Thanksgiving has got to be my favorite holiday. We all gather at my mom and dad’s house and spend a great day with family. And we eat yummy food. Then we go for our traditional Thanksgiving walk around the lake near their house.

Kid in stroller

Then we head back inside for dessert after that fun walk. My husband always says you have to pick your camp: are you a walker or a sitter after Thanksgiving dinner? I started the walking group years ago and it gets larger every year.

5. Outside fun with the kids. There’s something about Fall that makes me want to go outside and help the kids with bike riding, or take walks around the neighborhood. It’s not crazy hot and it just feels like outdoors time!

Kid on plasma car

In my Fall Fitness Fun post, I mentioned Fall soccer season so I figured I’d list some other things this time!

After this weekend’s half Ironman in Augusta, I move into running season again! I’ll be going for my sub-2-hour half marathon PR and starting to run longer distances. I am toying with a later Fall marathon or perhaps just one more half marathon. I may be already registered for something, but I’m still trying to work out whether it will be the half or the full so I haven’t spilled the beans! I haven’t done a full marathon since 2007 so I’m waiting to see how I feel after Sunday’s big race.

Wish me luck this weekend! If you want to follow my Augusta adventures, I’ll be posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and I’ll try to post here on the blog as well, so be sure to subscribe by email or via Bloglovin to not miss a thing.  Also, there is Athlete Tracking for Ironman 70.3 Augusta – I’m bib #2102!

What’s your favorite thing about Fall? 

Do you have a Fall race planned?

Tri Talk Tuesday: Ten Taper Tips

Well, hello there – it’s A-race week. The big Ironman 70.3 week. The week I’ve been waiting for, training for. I’m just a little, teensy bit excited. Okay, who am I kidding – I’m seriously excited and looking forward to Ironman 70.3 Augusta on Sunday! First of all, I have an epic road trip with my dad on Friday, then we’ll spend the weekend seeing & meeting people from near and far in Augusta, and THEN I get to do the big race! But first? First I am dealing with a busy week at work, kid stuff including one ER visit (well so far only one – better not be a second!), and somewhere in here I’m supposed to be packing. And tapering. So in honor of my taper, today’s Tri Talk Tuesday, hosted by me & The TriGirl Chronicles, is themed Tapering. And I’m talking Ten Tapering Tips. If you have a tapering post on your running blog, triathlon blog (or whatever you do that involves a taper that isn’t one of those two things), link it up below.

Ten Tapering Tips - running, triathlon tips

So here we are: Tri Talk Tuesday Taper Talk – say that 10 times fast!

We’ve had a Taper theme before, but it was so long ago and although I wasn’t anywhere near a taper point at that stage, I embraced it with: Top Ten Things NOT To Do When You Have The Taper Crazies. It was fun – go check it out!

I decided to turn-that-frown-upside-down and share Ten Tapering Tips, so that we can chat about what TO DO vs. what NOT TO DO! Gotta stay positive, right? Eye on the prize? Sight set on the goal?

Although my taper has become kind of a forced taper more than I intended because of the aforementioned things going on (work and family), I’m still trying to stay on track as much as possible.

TEN TAPERING TIPS

 1. Scale down the workouts.

The first thing to remember is to actually taper! So many times going into a marathon, half marathon, or triathlon, I’ve been tempted to just keep up my normal routine. Sure, my mileage may drop but I still go all-out. It doesn’t do your body any favors to push yourself 100% until race day. Cutting back the intensity and the length of your running and other workouts will help your muscles rebuild and be at their peak.

2. Eat smart.

This doesn’t mean you have to be a lean, mean, clean-eating machine all of a sudden if you weren’t one to begin with. I said Eat smart – this means eat how your normally do, don’t change up your diet suddenly during the taper. Don’t introduce fried food suddenly if your body isn’t used to it (ahem, me on Sunday evening), cut carbs all of a sudden, or binge on sugary soda. Try to eat the ratio of protein/carb/fat that your body is used to, and maybe up one or two of those areas according to your body’s ideal pre-race needs.

3. Don’t binge.

…on junk food, on desserts, on alcohol. Stay steady. Stay in control.

4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Start hydrating several days prior to race day, not just the morning of the race.

5. Practice your transitions.

For triathlon – lay out your transition gear and practice your T1 and T2 transitions.

For running – practice your morning routine and lay out all your gear so that you have a smooth and easy race morning.

6. Map out your fueling strategy.

Take pencil to paper, or fingers to keyboard and think through what you need for fuel on race day. If possible, do your last long run or brick workout with exactly this strategy.

7. Visualize race day from wake up to finish line.

Spend some time thinking through all the steps of the day and how you will tackle each stage of the game. Make your race day plan.

8. Get enough rest. 

Rest during the taper is important for your body to perform at its best on race day. This doesn’t just mean sleep – I tend to be on my feet all the time between kids and work, so I have to remember to rest my legs in the days leading up to the race. And getting to bed early is key!

9. Get a clue.

Read up on the course and look at maps to know what to expect on race day. Where are the big hills that you’ll need to tackle? Where is a long stretch that might not have many cheering spectators that you’ll need to get through? The course maps can help you plan.

Also, think through your race morning – what time will you leave? Where will you park? Is your Triathlon Transition Checklist at the ready?

10. Trust yourself.

They always say “trust your training” but I think that “trust yourself” is important too. Trust that you are going to carry YOU through to the finish line. You have put in the training, you are prepared – it’s YOUR race. Trust yourself and enjoy it!

What is or was your big race for 2014? If you finished it, how did it go?

PS – Be sure to enter my PRO Compression socks/sleeves giveaway, or use the discount code to get 40% off!

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NOTE: ***Tri Talk Tuesday will be taking a one month hiatus. We will be revamping, adding a third co-host, and coming back to you on Tuesday, November 4 for more tri chatter. Be on the look out for our comeback theme at the end of October. We’ll still be bantering about triathlon, but the link up will return again in one month! Don’t miss my race recap of Ironman 70.3 Augusta in the coming weeks – subscribe by email or by Bloglovin!

PRO Compression Socks Review, Discount Code, & Giveaway!

Today we’re talking about my feet and legs. No, I won’t share any nasty marathon or half Ironman training feet. That would be gross. Don’t worry, they’ll be all covered up with awesome compression socks! It’s a fun Monday morning here with a PRO Compression socks review, discount code, and giveaway. Yep, a three-fer for you on this lovely Ironman 70.3 Augusta countdown week!

PRO Compression socks review discount code giveaway

Do you want to know what I’m doing right now? I’m sitting here with my Monday morning coffee wearing a pair of pink PRO Compression socks. No, I didn’t just finish a training run – I woke up this morning and my legs were throbbing. I got home from work at 1:00am after working all afternoon and evening in fancy shoes. Ouch. That was after running 4 miles with my son in the stroller and walk/running 2.5 miles with my Moms Run This Town group. And feeding kids and doing chores. I was pretty much on my feet all weekend long between soccer games, throwing a hockey birthday party (at my house! 14 kids with hockey sticks at my house!) for my son, running, and working. So compression socks are a dream come true this morning.

Pink PRO Compression socks feet up

As my Ironman 70.3 training has heated up and the miles piled on, I’ve been feeling it in my legs. My poor, tired legs needed a little love. I recently won a pair of PRO Compression socks through a giveaway on Fit Approach (because even though I run giveaways, I like to win things too – don’t we all?). I had been dying to try them, and my poor, tired feet and legs loved them. And I loved the bright pink color.

So when PRO Compression offered up a review pair I thought that would be crazy awesome to write up a review of these things and share with you what I’ve found after wearing them a while. I decided on black for my second pair so that I can hide them better at work. Nothing like hiding the evidence of the weekend’s training activities!

Black PRO Compression socks feet up

If you think I like to put my feet up in compression socks a lot, you’d be right…

Why compression socks? According to PRO Compression:

“They can be worn before, during and after a workout as the benefits of compression speed up muscle recovery through enhanced vascular flow in your lower extremities.”

PRO Compression has what’s called graduated compression. I can really tell the difference between these and other compression socks I’ve tried – they feel different in the different areas of the legs.

True graduated compression promotes circulation by pushing fluid up from your feet and ankles to toward your knees. This design also helps reduce swelling and inflammation while providing critical support to muscles and tendons.

PRO Compression socks Graduated Compression

I’m a big believer in the benefits of compression for marathon and half marathon training, triathlon training, and just for crazy busy moms like me who are on their feet all the time.

Whether at rest, playing a round of golf or running a marathon, your PRO Compression socks are working to circulate blood back to your heart and lungs. With more efficient circulation comes less fatigue and your tired muscles are replenished with fresh oxygen and nutrients to reduce soreness and give you the extra stamina needed to exert yourself at the fullest.

And since I travel internationally for work quite a bit, I’m going to pick up a couple more pairs (using the discount code below, of course!) for my upcoming airplane rides. I first got into compression when I was six months pregnant and had a 20-hour flight to Asia for a business trip. Then I was on my feet constantly for 15 days for that trip and had tons of flights and bus rides.

PRO Compression socks review

Basically, these things feel awesome on my legs. They’re tighter than the other compression socks I’ve worn and feel as though they are working for me all the time. They’re pretty thin so I haven’t tried them while running or biking, because I am pretty picky about my socks while training and don’t want to mess with what works since my racing schedule has been packed.

The only downside? They don’t have tons of fun patterns, but they do have some cute stars, dots, and their color selection is plentiful. The colors are really vibrant – check out all the options here.

Since my EatSmart bathroom scale giveaway ended last night, I thought: “what’s the best thing to do when one giveaway ends? Launch another one, of course!” PRO Compression is so crazy awesome that they are giving away one pair of Marathon compression socks or compression sleeves to one of YOU! Enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you can’t wait to see if you won, or want to stock up on more pairs, they’re even more crazy awesome because they have given me a discount code for you to use! Use PRO Compression discount code BLG14 for 40% off Marathon Socks and Sleeves! That’s an amazing discount!

What do you do to take care of yourself after a long run, bike ride, or hard workout?

 

The Details: Giveaway ends Sunday, September 28 at 11:59pm. Open to US Residents only, if you are Canadian you may enter and pay shipping yourself. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

Friday Five: My 5 Favorite Running Photos

Every week, I co-host the Friday Five linkup with Eat Pray Run, DC and Mar on the Run, and every week we email each other to chat about the theme. What should our theme be? What do we want to write about? What would be fun to read about from others? This week we chose a fun, open-ended theme: “My 5 Favorite ___”. I love the fill-in-the-blank themes and seeing what others choose – be sure to check out the linkup of other running and fitness blogs below to see what they did with the theme!

Yesterday’s post about my six-mile run contained this photo that I absolutely loved. The sun peeking through the trees was just stunning. I loved it so much I made a running inspirational quote graphic and used it as the background. So since I typically yammer on too long, I decided to choose an almost-wordless theme: “My 5 Favorite Running Photos“. You see, I take photos while running. Sometimes lots of photos! So I wanted to share five awesome ones.

1. I took some cool photos while running in Venice, Italy last summer. This one was just awesome looking up the street near the place we were staying.

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2. I love this photo from running up a mountain in Switzerland last summer.

Because… cow. Really close cow.

Swiss cow

3. We’re taking a time machine back to 2008 when my daughter was 2.5 and we ran at the Cape Cod National Seashore. This was our 2-mile water stop. I love, love that place and grew up going there every single summer since my grandparents lived on the Cape.

Cape Cod Run with stroller

4. And now this moment during the Disney Enchanted 10K (part of the Glass Slipper Challenge along with the Princess Half Marathon). I just loved running through Epcot with the lights glistening on the water!

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5. I’m so lucky to be able to run around Washington, DC from my office building downtown sometimes. I couldn’t pick just one so this is a two-fer from one evening in October last year.

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Gotta love Georgetown at sunset.

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BONUS: Since it inspired this post, I’ll say yesterday’s 6-mile run through the woods and around a little lake. Sometimes it’s the simple moments.

Running in trees

Do you ever take photos of what you see on your running adventures?

Where is an interesting place that you have gone running?

 

Half a Run is Better Than Nothing, Right?

Half. Only half. A couple of times lately, I’ve been so squeezed for time with the family schedule, working, commuting time – you name it – that I’ve only fit in half a run compared to what I wanted. So six miles turns to three, and eight miles turns to four. You get the point. This is different than tapering for my half Ironman – this is unintentional.

But half a a run is better than nothing, right?

So yesterday I conquered that challenge and ran – all by myself, no kid in a stroller – for six lovely miles.

Running inspirational quote

You have to understand my Saturday to get why I only squeezed in half a run that day. I got home from work on Friday night at 1:00am – yes, 1am! – so getting up at 6am to run just wasn’t going to happen. I thought to myself “I am not a robot.”

And after working all day then on into the evening, I really wanted to have a nice breakfast with my kids and not rush out the door for personal exercise time. So I had a nice morning with the kids, then went to Soccer Time #1. My daughter plays on a U9 team and my husband is the coach, so I packed up snacks for the boys and met them at the field. We had just arrived and settled into our chairs when it started to rain.

At soccer game in the rain

 

It’s a glamorous life as a Soccer Mom in the pouring rain.

Then it was Soccer Time #2 – my middle son’s soccer class. Wet and cold, I stood there shivering for an hour. I guess Summer is really gone now.

Then I took him to his friend’s birthday party. The day was flying by me, with no run in sight.

Then? Then I was pretty much out of time before friends were coming over for dinner. So I changed and ran a quick 5K loop. And by quick I mean I was pretty happy with my pace, then took a quick shower – the guests arrived while my hair was still wet.

But half a run is better than nothing, right?

5K Run before dinner

On Sunday, I took my new aero bars and new tires out for a spin on the bike. I was supposed to run after cycling to make it a brick workout.

New aerobars

 

It was not a satisfying bike ride. I tried out a multi-use path (runners, walkers, cyclists) and between people walking their dogs with headphones on, and stopping at the millions of street crossings, my 30 mile ride took a long time. It felt like half a workout. Then I had to skip the brick part of it to take a child to another kid birthday party and getting to the Jack White concert on time.

But half a brick workout is better than nothing, right?

Monday was a rest day – and my son’s 5th birthday!

So Tuesday. I thought TUESDAY, YOU’RE MY DAY. You’re going to grant me a full, satisfying workout! But no…. another three-mile loop. This time with my son, who yelled at me “RUN FASTER, MOMMY!” at every available opportunity. Such as up this hill.

Stroller Run up hill

Did I mention he turned FIVE the day before? And that he’s BIG and HEAVY? It was like having my very own coach motivating me to push harder! It was a good workout, even if it was short.

But half a run is better than nothing, right?

So yesterday: Wednesday. Wednesday was my day. Finally.

I had a work event in a location other than my usual building, and found myself with a shorter commute home than the usual hour drive through DC traffic. So I parked at my parents house and changed into running clothes.

And I finally got my run. The full run that I had been dying for – a full six miles. It wasn’t what was on my training plan for Wednesday, but it was just what I needed.

Run on path in woods

The weather was gorgeous, and the paths around the lakes in their neighborhood are really relaxing to run through. I enjoyed every minute of the loop around the two lakes.

Running on path

Except one moment. On every loop, it was the same moment.

Running with gnats flying in eyes

No, I’m not winking at you – there was a patch of gnats that got in my eyes and mouth when I ran through this section.

But other than the gnat area – lovely. Just lovely.

Running in trees

I had a slower warmup and cool down mile, but the middle miles were paced pretty well. I worked hard up some small but steep hills, and got into a great groove after mile 3.

Six mile run

It felt great to run without the stroller for the first time in a week, and to just live in the moment and enjoy the weather and scenery on this gorgeous September day.

After six mile run

I can’t wait for more fall running days like this.

A full run is better than a half a run, right?

After Ironman 70.3 Augusta in a week and a half, I move into the fall running season – the Army Ten Miler, the Baltimore Half Marathon, and maybe one more race yet to be announced. I’m looking forward to it!

Do you do a shorter workout if you’re short on time, or skip it all together?

Is your weather lovely this week too?

 

Tri Talk Tuesday: The Anatomy of a Triathlon Race Day Plan

Today’s Tri Talk Tuesday linkup, which co-host each and every week with Courtney from The TriGirl Chronicles, is all about your Triathlon Race Day Plan. Thinking through your race day plan, setting your race day plan, executing your race day plan – link up a post about race day planning below! I’m totally focused on Ironman 70.3 Augusta at the moment, so I’m going to share what I’ve been mulling over as race day nears: the Anatomy of a Triathlon Race Day Plan.

Time is ticking.

Tick tock, tick tock.

The clock is counting down to Ironman 70.3 Augusta faster and faster each day. Okay, sure, maybe it only feels like time is speeding by faster as the date approaches. Maybe that’s because my life has gotten busier. At work, things are busy: our concert season has started back up again for the fall and I’m working nights and weekends again. At home, things are busy: I’m planning a birthday party for my newly-turned-5-year-old’s party on Saturday.

Sure, nothing else going on but triathlon training and race day planning – yeah… right!

But it’s important to stay focused, and I have been giving some thought to how I want the day to go. I’m doing some mental strategizing in those spare moments where I can think through the race day plan. So here is what’s on my mind.

The Anatomy of a Triathlon Race Day Plan

The Anatomy of a Triathlon Race Day Plan

HEAD = VISUALIZING

Head brain

You could say that the fate of the race day is “all in your head”, but you’d be wrong. Your body needs to be trained and ready for the challenge of the race. However, your mind is a very powerful tool in executing your big goals, and you can use it to your advantage.

Visualize three things:

1. Your race components – swimming, biking, and running – and how you will feel through each leg of the race.
2. The two transitions. Visualize yourself executing them, step by step.
3.  Your feeling of strength and accomplishment crossing the finish line.

Try to keep your visualization positive and don’t let self-doubt enter your mind. If you have any motivational mantras that you can think through for race day, incorporate them as part of your pre-race visualization. Here is one of mine:

You Can Do Anything

Yes, you can do this. Yes, you will finish.

TORSO = FUELING

Runner torso

 

Map out your fueling strategy for the race – for both food and hydration. Start with thinking through pre-race and think through all the way through to the end. Write it down if you’re like me and can’t keep these things straight in your head. Do you eat the Gu before the swim start or the solid food? It all depends on what worked best in training.

Then set it all out. Every last morsel.

Separate it out into piles, then place it in ziplock bags by what you need at home/hotel, on your transition towel, on your bike, in a pocket for the run – whatever works for you.

Hydration is an important part of the fueling strategy so incorporate this into your plan.

LEGS = PACING

run legsIt’s easy for me to go out too fast on a run with the excitement of race day. Likewise, I’ve learned that it’s easy for me to not push myself while swimming. The magic is going to happen when I think through my ideal pacing and make a goal and a plan for the race.

I used to wing it more with race strategy and pacing – we’ll see how I feel that morning!  – but now I’m all about the plan. I have a better idea of my pace from training and there is less left to “wing”.

I’m playing around with pace calculators online – not to pressure myself or stress myself out – but to get a realistic sense of where my training has taken me and how I can apply that to race conditions.

Playing beat-the-clock with your time goals can be very stressful during a race, so try to be realistic. I’m thinking about my pacing and how I can keep pushing myself while still saving enough energy for the entire journey.

AND THE LAST THING YOU NEED? 

After these three things, designed to feel prepared, all you need now is: flexibility. The ability to adapt to conditions and circumstances. The ability to not get stressed when something goes wrong and the plan is tossed out the window.

Meanwhile, I’m going into taper mode – if you’re tapering for a race, don’t forget my Top 10 Things Not to do When You Have the Taper Crazies!

Do you make a race day plan or do you wing it?

Link up a Race Plan post below and be sure to visit other blogs in the linkup!

Tri Talk Tuesday

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EatSmart Precision MaxView Digital Bathroom Scale Review & Giveaway!

I have a confession: I am obsessed with weighing myself daily. I know, I know, lay off the scale. I know I’m not “defined by a number” – I’m now a fit and healthy athlete. I’ve heard it all, I’ve thought it all. But yes, I still weigh myself every day. You see, it took me a long roller coaster of a ride to lose the 50 pounds. And frankly, I’m finding it work to maintain the weight loss, even with my level of physical activity training for half marathons and triathlons. So when I had the opportunity to review the EatSmart Precision MaxView Digital Bathroom Scale, I jumped on it. My scale is old, the battery compartment cover is missing so if it moves it doesn’t work, and if I step on the scale 5 times I could get 5 different weight readings. And hey – maybe the EatSmart scale will have better news for me than my old scale. Oh wait, it doesn’t work that way, does it? No, it doesn’t – but read on for my review and a giveaway of the scale!

EatSmart Bathroom Scale Review & Giveaway

So what did I think of the EatSmart scale

I love it, it’s awesome. If you’re already using a step-on-activated, digital scale you might not notice an earth-shattering difference from your own scale, but I’m pretty sure you’ll find that the EatSmart Precision MaxView Digital Bathroom Scale is a step [pun intended] above whatever you’re used to. Or at least it was for me.

EatSmart ScaleHere’s my rundown:

PROS:

  • Easy to read display – huge numbers that are backlit like nobody’s business.
  • Consistent readings – I stepped on it 5 times and got the same weight staring back at me. Because that’s really its job, right? To tell you your weight and not monkey around? Goodbye, old scale with 5 different readings.
  • Low profile to the ground – no more tripping on my scale in my foggy haven’t-had-coffee state.
  • No klunk-klunk feeling & sound when I step on the scale – it’s kind of magical, no noise or click-klunk feeling when you get on – it just simply displays your reading effortlessly.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Comes with 2 AA batteries. That’s all you need to do to set it up – just put the batteries in.

EatSmart scale battery cover

EatSmart scale comes with batteries

CONS:

  • You may not like the number it displays (however the scale takes no blame, only credit when you DO like the number!).
  • It’s a mouthful to say “EatSmart Precision MaxView Digital Bathroom Scale” every time you want to recomment it to someone.
  • No real cons that I can think of!

You really don’t want to see a photo of my toes, so I weighed a bunch of things in my kitchen to show you the big, bright display.

A 5-pound bag of flour was – you guessed it – 5 pounds.

EatSmart scale weighing flour

We do Amazon Subscribe-and-Save for things our kids eat a lot of. Check out how heavy the applesauce we get delivered every month is!

EatSmart scale weighing applesauceAnd a big container of Cytomax? Also 5 pounds. That’s a lot of electrolytes.

EatSmart scale weighing Cytomax

It also comes with this cool tape measure! I have flexible tape measures, but none that retract into a holder like this!

EatSmart tape measure

So of course I used it to measure the scale itself:

EatSmart scale measure

THE GIVEAWAY:

Fun news – the awesome folks at EatSmart have offered up a scale just like mine for one lucky winner, so how about it? Enter here via Rafflecopter and be sure to follow me and EatSmart in all capacities listed for more chances to win. I promise I don’t bite on Instagram, but you may have to endure post-workout selfies.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

EatSmart bathroom scale

The Details: Giveaway ends Sunday, September 21 at 11:59pm. Open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.

What’s your favorite healthy snack?

I was provided a complimentary EatSmart Precision MaxView Digital Bathroom Scale for the purposes of this review, but all opinions are my own.

Friday Five: Five Blogs to Love

Good morning – it’s time for the Friday Five! It’s that time of the week when I co-host with Eat Pray Run, DC and Mar on the Run. This week we’re doing the theme “Blogs to Love”, which we love to do. I love spreading the blog love and helping people discover new running blogs, triathlon blogs, fitness blogs – fun stuff! We’ve done this theme twice before – one was my Triathlon Blogs to Love post from last November, and another was what we called “Follow Friday” back in April!

Blogs to Love September 2014

Today I’ll toss out a mix of running blogs and triathlon blogs – just five blogs to add to your Bloglovin or other blog feeder. Besides yours truly, Eat Pray Run, DC, and Mar on the Run, of course!

1.  The TriGirl Chronicles

If you are looking for a triathlon blog to read, Courtney is my buddy and my co-host for Tri Talk Tuesdays. She’s been dealing with injury, job changes, and is doing an amazing job. She also just got certified as a triathlon coach if you are looking for info on that, head over to her blog.

2. MCM Mama Runs

Erika and I have met in person through being ZOOMA Annapolis Ambassadors and have become friends. I love her blog and reading about her many race adventures. She has done a humungous pile of half marathons this year already and achieved this crazy Venus status of Half Fanatics, so I look to her for guidance in my getting-crazy race schedule!

3. Running with Attitude

I love Michelle’s blog and feel as though she is the wise one that I can learn from in running and handling training with kids in your life.

4. Coach Daddy

I’ve sung the Coach Daddy praises before when I’ve linked over to his Six Words segments that I’ve participated in. He has this thing he does on Friday – throughout the week he jots down the questions his girls ask him, and then he answers them on Fridays. Love it – he’s a breath of fresh air, and hilarious. And I learn a few new things, too!

5.  Running Rachel

The more I read of Rachel’s blog, the more I like – I keep heading to it as one of the first stops I make to see what’s new. She has three kids like me, but she homeschools and also does all these fun biking and active activities with them. She’s always got the scoop on gadgets and gear, which makes her a go-to for me.

Speaking of adding blogs and following people, are you subscribed by email to my blog or following on Bloglovin, and stalking me on social media? If not, please do! Check the right sidebar under my pic for the links or here’s a handy cheat sheet:

Lastly, a quick word – last month I coordinated the Race to the Finish Line Raffle. It took me a while to get all the prizes sorted out after all the winners were contacted. I had one issue with a company not communicating but it turns out there was a staffing change in the PR firm handling the request, and the company itself is awesome. Now that that’s all sorted out, I’ll post tomorrow to formally wrap it all up and thank the amazing companies who donated, and all the amazing donors who supported the Ronald McDonald House NY!

I also have a new giveaway launching this weekend so be sure to pop in here over the weekend for these two things. If you’re subscribed you won’t miss a thing!

What’s one thing you’re excited about for the weekend?

What’s one must-read blog in your reader?

Link up with us and share your five Blogs to Love!

DC_linkup

 

Did You Sleep in Stinky Workout Clothes Too?

What’s the right thing to do when you fall asleep in your stinky workout clothes? Why, wake up and go for a run in them, of course!

Okay, is that gross? I don’t want to gross you out.

Last night I went to the gym after the kids were in bed, since I couldn’t fit in a workout that morning before my kids woke up. I swear, some days it’s like beat-the-toddler-clock. My two boys are almost-5 and 2.5, and they share a room. This means that when one is awake, the other is awake. And they are both screaming, playing, jumping, and hungry.  So if I’m not up and outta there early, it is hard to get in the weekday workout. This has been a real challenge training for a half Ironman.

So after those crazy boys were in bed, and my daughter was consumed with reading Harry Potter #4 for the hundredth time, I went to the gym. I took my au pair and she signed up for a membership, and then we went to work out. I wanted a cardio workout, core, and arm weights out of the evening’s visit.

I walked up to the cardio area and thought: treadmill, bike, elliptical, stair climber – what should I do? I’m already not “on plan” today. Okay, let’s face it – I’m already not “on plan” at all lately, since I did an Olympic Triathlon instead of my planned training activities this weekend. And my weekday training is not always what’s written on the schedule. Because… life.

So I hopped on the exercise bike. Sure, I could have been on my bike trainer at home to ride on my actual bike that I use in races, but I was more focused at the gym. I did a hill workout for 30 minutes, keeping my cadence in a particular range the whole time. It was a great workout!

Cardio machine Hill Plus

Then I did some core work on a mat. All of a sudden, the clock struck 10pm and like Cinderella at midnight, I faded out. I did a few arm weight machines and headed home.

And promptly fell asleep on the couch. In my workout clothes.

My husband told me to go up to bed, but I pictured the mountain of laundry all over my bed just waiting to be folded, and shut my eyes again.

So I woke up this morning, on the couch, in my stinky workout clothes, and decided to go for a run.

But the kids – the kids woke up too! They were screaming, for fun, seemingly having a competition to see who could scream the loudest. BOYS!

So I changed a diaper, made some breakfast for them, and took one of them with me. The bigger one. K is turning 5 next week, and he’s getting heavy! But I figure it’s better training to push a heavy kid in a running stroller. Then when I run with his younger brother, or without a stroller, I feel so amazingly light and fast!

And we have such an amazing time together as we run – if you recall our recent conversations about life and death while we were running, you have an idea of how interesting life with K is.Today we didn’t talk about life and death, and there was only a small amount of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle discussion compared to usual, but we had a great four-mile run.

Fourt mile stroller run with funny faces

He always likes to go by the commuter rail station on our stroller runs, so on our first pass through the station we asked someone when the next train was arriving, and we timed our loop accordingly. We caught the train just as it was arriving into the station and he jumped out of the stroller with joy.

As we ran back, he saw some of the older boys that he’s gotten to know in the neighborhood – fourth and fifth graders who you’d think would balk at playing with a kid who still rides in a stroller. But no, they all waved happily at each other and said hi. We arrived home and I showered and got ready for work, feeling great about the 4-mile run this morning, not caring that it wasn’t exactly what my plan called for.

I’ll be sad when the day comes that he’ll be too big, or too embarrassed around other boys, for a run with mom.

Did you run today? How far?