Sunday, August 15, 2010

Where's Jess?

So my blogging as been majorly non-existent this summer. I promise I am still training but life is just too busy with work, wedding planning, training and having fun! So IM Louisville is exactly 2 weeks from today. I know it's going to be super hot and it terrifies when I really think about how hot it will be but I am still staying calm b/c I actually haven't breathed in that humid, sticky air. My plan is to go slow; slower than slow; keep my HR down and stay WET! If the conditions are what I think they will be or possibly worse my goal will be to be happy with just finishing! If it turns out to be a decent day I just want to go at least 1 minute faster than IM Wisconsin.

On another note, I purchased the ISM Adamo racing saddle...AMAZING! 1st day on the saddle, rode 70 miles in tri shorts and loved it, felt great in aero position. Hopefully more posts will come later as taper is starting to kick in. Below is just another beautiful VT swimming day!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ironman Lake Placid 2011!!!!

I have been MIA from the blogging world but still ticking away at Ironman training. IM Louisville is in just a little over 4 weeks away! I am starting to get more excited as I am getting stronger in my long workouts. I am not as prepared as I was last year for IM Wisconsin but I know I am getting in the key workouts and how important mental perseverance is in this race. So in the past few weeks I have raced a really slow sprint tri, had a great non-wetsuit 3-mile open water swim and signed up for IM Lake Placid. What a challenge that was to get into the race. It involved waking up at 3:30am to drive over to wait in line until 1:30pm when we finally made it to registration. I was more exhausted after that than after any long workout. So another year of IM training. I am so excited and this time Luke will be joining me again in the journey!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

6 Miles.......SWIMMING!

I did it. I completed my 6-mile swim in Lake Memphremagog which is in Newport, VT; right on the border of Canada. This is where I swam the 3-mile lake swim last year. It is an amazing event that keeps growing and growing. Find out more info at www.kingdomswim.org.

I was so lucky that Phil White, race organizer, is awesome and allowed me and another guy to come up and swim in the afternoon. All of the other swimmers started in the AM and I was unable to make it b/c of work. So Steve (my new swimming buddy) and I started out for our 6-mile swim under very dark clouds. Somehow we encountered no rain or storms throughout the whole swim although it was pouring in all the towns surrounding us.

I decided to swim w/o my wetsuit attempting to be a "real" open water swimmer. Steve chose to use his wetsuit and it worked out perfectly putting us at a really even pace throughout the whole swim. Phil was in little motorboat to feed us and help us if we were in any trouble. He really kept his distance so we didn't have gas or wake in our way. The great thing about this swim is that it is really open water. The buoys are super far apart so there are times where you are just swimming hoping to be going in the right direction.

We fed every 30-minutes which seemed to work out perfectly. I originally was thinking every 45-min; which is probably when I actually need to fuel; but 30-minutes helped with not losing your mind and getting to see another human being! The h20 was a little choppy and the temp was fine (70 degrees at shore). I was never warm, but I was never cold to the put where I felt like I had to get out of the h20. My body was awesome until about mile 5 when my left shoulder was starting to shoot pain down my arm and I really didn't want to pull it through h20 anymore. I did a few backstrokes to help switch it up but what I really need to do is STOP SLEEPING ON THIS ARM. I have noticed in the last 1-2 years or so that my shoulder is just aching in the AM. I have slept on this arm for 28 years and it is so hard to try to change it. But I am working on it slowly. I really, really want to do the 10-miler but am seriously using my wetsuit b/c I know I will not be able to put in a lot of these swims on my own. I do have an Ironman to train for! I also know that this could quite possible hurt ALOT! I have a full month to train and decide on my plan.

In tri-life I am just plugging away getting my training in. I am starting to feel better on the bike as my excess weight is coming off. The run is still the same: Slow. But that is my fault for hibernating all winter. Flights and hotel are booked and I am really starting to get pumped b/c IM will be here sooner than you know it. Hope everyone is well out there in training land.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome to Summer

So summer arrived this week! It has been amazing weather which means great swimming, biking and running. And summer means Ironman Louisville is going to be here really, really soon! I can't even believe it....I have found a good flow in training so I am feeling more and more confident. Just going to keep getting in those long training days. Still on course for the 10-miler swim in July. Possibly doing my 6-mile qualifier this Saturday! More news later, time to train.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Victory

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I'm around! Busy, busy, busy with work and training. Had a win at the Stowe Triatholon. It was a crazy, rain, cold day, but I was finally able to pull together a decent race at this event (I usually suck bad at this race). Updates hopefully coming soon!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Race Review: Black Bear Triathlon

First race of the season is done with! And unlike other years it was an awesome experience, which is very surprising considering that I feel the most out of shape this year but maybe I'm not in as bad condition as I thought...yippee for me.

Leading up to this race I have been struggling with breathing and being able to get my heart rate up while running and when cycling hard. My bike time trials have been significantly slower, like 2-minutes over an 8-mile course and running has just been dreadful. So needless to say I expected nothing to be pleasant about this course.



The Black Bear Tri is hosted by CGI Racing (http://www.cgiracing.com/) who do an amazing job of hosting an event. There were absolutely no glitches within this race and we started exactly at 8:00am. The only thing that I would have liked differently was to have mile markers on the bike course because idiot me has lost the Garmin charger and had no way of knowing where I was on the course. Black Bear takes place in the Poconos of Pennsylvania which is super hilly with lots of twists and turns on the descents. At first I thought I would totally suck on such a hilly course because I am so used to dragging behind Luke who cranks up hills. It turns out I did really well on the bike course and only had 1 woman pass me. Once I entered transition I just focused on breathing slow and easy. I did not want any chance of hyperventilating and not being able to pull it together for the run. So off I went at a nice easy trot. I kept a consistent pace and my legs felt strong. There were times when I was telling myself to pick it up but freaked out once my breathing got a little out of control. So I maintained a good pace and a good attitude. My overall time was a 2:50which sounds slow but everyone's time were way slower on this course so I was really happy with my finish. I was 7th in my age group and 21st overall female. Not bad for still feeling sluggish and out of shape.
Next race up is a sprint distance at our local pool which means a yucky indoor pool swim but this race has always been a challenge for me so I am looking forward to racing hard. I will be continuing to work at tempo running during my training so I can gain back some confidence when having to run hard.
It has been super hot in the Northeast which has made training great. I love the HEAT! That's all for now.

Swim 20.20 (3rd fastest female)
Bike 1:25
Run: 1 hour and 25 seconds
Overall time: 2hrs, 50min, 35 seconds

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Coming back slowly

I have slightly recovered from my last post. The anxiety is over, confidence is coming back. Sunshine will do that for you. I went to the doctors and got an inhaler to use for when my breathing gets out of control. This past week has still been busy with lifestuff other than triathlon but I made a great effort to consistently train and get moving even if it was only for a little bit. I am slowly getting over the issue of feeling like if I don't do a huge workout my time has been wasted. My proudest moment was after spending 10 hours in a classroom this weekend I went out for a run and bike ride after each day! That is awesome for me.

My personal training workshop that I attended this past weekend with Afaa was awesome. It helped my relearn some of the things I have forgotten and motivate me to continue to branch out more in the fitness industry. I am already looking at some work exchange where you get to travel free in exchange for teaching classes.

So this weekend will be my 1st race of the year! Of course the race is rated as being totally hard so my goal is to just use it as a good training day and set a strong, steady pace. I am starting to feel excited for this season and for my big Ironman training weeks.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Slightly Freaking Out!

So the training has not been the greatest since my last post...........i have not been even close to consistent which is supposed to be the theme of my training plan this year. I have missed so many days in a row due to nasty, stupid allergies that I HATE!!!!. Once the general symptoms of allergies (itchy eyes, headache) were over I wake up in the middle of the night feeling as though I can't breathe......I am guessing that is what an asthma attack feels like. I just couldn't get good air in. For the past week, this is what I have been feeling anytime I exercise or even just walk up the hill at work. NOT GOOD! So today I am going to make a doctor's appointment to figure it out. It has not bee a good two weeks for training. But on the brighter side of things.....I got my new car, which I have been waiting for over 3 months to get and Luke and I ordered 15 baby chicks so we will have our own fresh, organic eggs to eat. I hope everyone out there is training hard so I can read your posts and get motivated!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

25% Complete


Today marks 1/4 way through of my 24 week training plan to IM Louisville! It has gone way too fast! It means that I will be racing another IM 18 weeks from today and I want to go faster that IM Wisconsin. Whooh.....it is time to really buckle down.

If I were to be graded on my last 6 weeks I would give myself a C+. Yes, I got out of bed at 5 am 2-3x/week for Masters swimming and have been biking and running fairly consistently. But I still feel like I am trying to get in shape where my goal was to originally come into training in shape and ready to train hard. That didn't happen so I must accept it and move on to focusing on hitting all my key workouts and getting in the extras! Meaning I am going to try and hit those double days where my plan says I can leave them out if tired. This past weekend was a great, sunny weekend of training with a 2 1/2 hour ride and 8.5 mile run. I must get pictures of my new, favorite run. I would say over 75% of it is on nice dirt roads, trails and grass. It reminds me of my high school cross country running days. I also had to do a lot of firewood moving this weekend which makes cycling and running long seem easy. My shoulders are feeling it!


On another note, my first race of the season has changed. I will be heading down to PA in late May to participate in an Olympic tri with my dad. Should be lots of fun! Hope all of you out there are kicking butt in your training plans.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Getting educated!

Exciting news. I just registered for the AFAA http://www.afaa.com Personal Training Certification being held locally in May. AFAA was where I first became certified for teaching group exercise when I graduated from college. When I entered the working world I ended up letting my certifications expire (mucho dinero$$$$$) which limited me to teaching and training only at my direct place of employment. I just recently attended a Pilates workshop by AFAA and loved it. Learning and going to workshops is probably one of my favorite things to do. I even love taking the CPR and First Aid workshops every year. So I am now motivated to continuing learning and splurged on this trainer workshop. I am hoping that it will allow me to reach out to local communities and teach more classes and fitness education. Now it's time to hit the books and start studying!

Training update: Yesterday I completed my 1st brick of the season. Had one planned last week and it never happened. It was tough, my legs were stiff but I warmed up after 5 minutes and squeezed in some pick-ups. I am 6 weeks in and starting to feel confident in my training and motivation.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Walk in the Woods

Just some lovely pics to share from a hike I took this past weekend while my brother and his girlfriend were visiting. This hike was along the shores of Lake Willoughby in Barton, VT. The hike took us the the top of Mount Pisgah where we were treated to some beautiful views. I missed out on my 1st longish ride of the year but it was good cross-training and I know I will get my long rides in soon enough. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Yes to Carrots!


This post it totally unrelated to triathlon but may be of interest to some you who try to use environmentally friendly products. Yes to Carrots http://www.yestocarrots.com/index.html is a great new facial lotion that I just found in my local drugstore yesterday. I had no idea what to think but it looked cute in it's container. And the lotion turned out to be awesome. For those of you that are in the chlorine a lot we all know how dry and itchy our skin can get. I applied the facial lotion on after swim practice today and it made everything feel moist and soft. I can't wait to try some of their other products soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Double Days are here again!


So the past month has involved me getting back into the flow and getting in the most basic of workouts fitted into my day. Accomplished! Now I am starting to hit the double workouts and I am loving it! I was worried at the beginning that I wouldn't have the same motivation as last year but it is all starting to improve as I get my fitness back.



I have hit the pool 3 days in a row this week because of a random weekday that I didn't have to work. And am squeezing in runs that aren't necessarily mandatory. But as I learned from last year, this is my weakness so I won't turn down an opportunity when I am itching to run. Yesterday I got out for an easy 25-miler ride on my NEW BIKE! It is basically the same bike that I was riding but a step up. So I am now on a Specialized Ruby Pro for my road bike. It fits great and the shifting is amazing. I have actually been able to notice that it is lighter!



Today marks my first brick 90-minute ride with a15-20 min. run. Should be interesting to see if it will be painful or not-so-bad. Happy happy happy!!!!!






Sunday, April 4, 2010

Beautiful weekend!


Happy Easter everyone! What a beautiful weekend we are getting. Actually, the past 2 weeks have just been amazing and just what I need to give my booty a kick into gear. I definitely got kicked in gear and kinda went a little overboard. Nothing unusual for me as I tend to forget that I sat around all winter and shouldn't expect to ride 40 miles and not feel it. So although I gave my body some pain, I LOVED IT! Swimming has been awesome, masters 3x/week and am really starting to get my endurance back. Running is getting there, legs are still a little heavy from adding in the biking but my mindset is strong. Biking: oh how I love my bike! It is so hard to not bike long when the weather is beautiful but the training plan is calling for something else. I am up to 40 miles for my longest ride so far and next weekend will mark a 3-hour ride which I am hoping will feel a little easier now that I am getting consistency on the bike in training.

That's pretty much it for an update, fairly boring as I am not racing until June. Just loving life, good weather and training. Pics below are from the run/bike weekend fun. Oh, what exciting update: I have a new road bike so expect a post on that soon. I know nothing about it as Luke ordered it as a surprise and it is still sitting in the box at the shop. Can't wait to see it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nothing beats CONSISTENCY!

At the end of the 1st two weeks of Ironman training and my training mantra this season is going to be consistency. Of course I have lots of fun, exciting workouts planned for my season but I want to focus specifically on consistency and getting the work done. Last year I let swimming slide once the season got started and just got the necessary running in. This season I want to work as hard at swimming as I do at the other sports AND push the running. This is what is going to get me to run the full marathon and not walk/run! The best part of consistency is just how disciplined you become once a routine is established. The 5am wake-up call is becoming automatic. It's been a great start to the weekend with a 90-minute run today and a 2-3 hour ride tomorrow. So happy the snow is gone!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Signs of Spring

Got out for a BEAUTIFUL bike ride yesterday! Spring is coming to the NE, at least for this week, snow forcasted for next week. Enjoying it while I can. Notice in the picture the little bit of water that is beginning to open up......lake swimming just around the corner :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Let the fun begin!

This Monday marked 24 weeks until IM Louisville! That means the training is on! No more sleeping in, no more excuses, just time to get in the miles. I am so excited to get back on an official plan. And to make it easier somehow spring came to Vermont early and we are having sun and temp's in the 50's which means I am out on the bike, woo-hooh!!!! Monday also marked my return to Master's swimming, again. I have been coming and going a lot this winter. It was hard, my arms were feeling it but it was a good wake-up call to get back on track.

The vegan diet is going good. It has been fairly easy to stick to as I don't really care about meat much anyway. I have been experimenting with Bulgar and discovered some yummy chicken type product to use in stir-fry which ended up having egg in it, so I messed up there and then also my soy yogurt is made with some sort of milk product. Again, nothing I am stressing about as I am just trying to focus a good balance of grains, vegetables and protein. I also made a yummy PB/Chocolate Krispy snack that is great to have when I need something sweet.

So my next discussion topic that I am interested in researching is Athletes and Allergies. Do any of you out there suffer from allergies? I got hit hard in Florida and am just now getting everything out of my system. I know that I need to just suck it up and see a specialist but any other ideas out there. Acupuncture, herbal remedies, etc? I really want to get this resolved so I do not have another wheezing attack this season. Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Vegan Athlete


Oh no! Here it comes....another one of my brilliant ideas! I am going vegan!!!! This is not the first time that I have attempted or thought about going vegan. I had a stint in college which ended after indulging in steak fajitas but I have always resorted to beans, veggies and rice as a staple meal when I was single and living alone. I am a stir-fry junkie. Once I met Luke and moved in with him the meat eating really got hard core! I came to the point where every meal was centered around the meat dish. I was still eating a lot of veggies and grains but I feel that there was something missing or maybe something that didn't belong.....meat! I was inspired again to go vegan or at least vegetarian after reading "The Kind Diet" by Alicia Silverstone (yes, the Clueless girl, what a great movie). It is so interesting to learn just how much meat and dairy affect the digestive system and your metabolism. I am sure that there has to be a benefit to athletes and meat and dairy consumption is decreased.

So on that note yesterday was my 1st day of living vegan. It went really well considering we had no groceries in the house after just returning from Florida but I was able to stop and pick up some food before work. I posted a picture of my yummy Black Bean Mushroom Burrito. It also contained green peppers and asparagus. Totally yummy and nothing out of the ordinary. The challenge is going to be shopping for two and hearing other people constantly say "why", "that's not healthy" or "it's too hard". I am just going to take it day by day with my main focus on trying to completely eliminate red meat and dairy the first month. If you have any interest in this topic check out http://www.thekindlife.com/. It has great info and resources. I am sure this is going to be a big topic for my upcoming posts so I will try to post as many resources as I can.

Happy Training!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Florida Vaca


After this long yucky winter of sickness, work and not training I was so excited for our annual trip to Naples, Florida. It is amazing what sunshine can do for a person. Although this is our vacation Luke and I both want to always use this trip as a kickstart to training. We found a local 5k race in Naples that was a lot of fun. What a great distance, especially when you haven't been running. We have gotten in a lot of swims, runs and even got to bike this year. I found a great bike shop where we were able to rent some road bikes and got out for a few great rides. If you are ever in the area be sure to go to Naple Cyclery's http://naplescyclery.com/. They have all of the top brands, but more importantly, the BEST customer service I have received when renting a bike.
I have also gotten a lot of much needed rest and relaxation on this trip that has let me refocus, get prepared for IM training and just be HAPPY with where I am in life. I have also been doing some research on food and nutrition and am going to really start to make some alterations to my current diet (a post to come soon). Think GO VEG!
Off on another day of breakfast, run, beach, swim, lunch, beach, chillax, dinner, relax some more, sunset walk, sleep! Does it get any better?

Monday, March 1, 2010

I am BACK!






Wow, February was a bad month. Glad that it is over and I am focused and motivated to move on. It's March! That means IM Louisville in 6 months. Time to get serious. I won't dwindle on the past but February consisted of hiring, firing, rehiring, my car completely dying, buying a new car, looking for a new career, almost finding it and then being disappointed that I couldn't work for peanuts, being sick over 1/2 of the month and just not feeling my mojo. After 28 awful days I have accepted where I am right now in my life and am embracing the fact that my number one focus right now is just training and achieving my goals, as well as wedding planning. Although I might not be completely happy in other areas I am very lucky for the life I have and the surroundings I live in. So now my life is about training again and although that may sound meaningless to some people it is what truly makes me happy and I know that I will not always be able to be so focused on sport in the future. So March 1st marked my day back to Masters practice and back on the road, running that is as it is not quite warm enough for me to get out on the bike. It never felt so good to smell the sweat of chlorine as I ran today. Florida training vacation coming up.








Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trail racing and Wedding Dresses

This past weekend I got to visit with my parents and sister in Reading, Pa. The main purpose of the visit was to purchase a wedding dress but of course I had to throw in some sort of race. Luckily the local running club was hosting a trail race! http://www.pretzelcitysports.com/trailracesresults.html



To back up the past few days I have been completely physically inactive. Luke had a major cold/flu/illness starting on Christmas Eve and although I was trying my best to fight it off it caught up with me. And it stuck around.....resulting in many days of doing nothing. But I was signed up for this race and thankfully my grossness cleared up enough where I felt good enough to get the run in!



Now these trail races have a reputation for being really hard! Just read the race applications on their website. http://www.pretzelcitysports.com/ And the reputation lived up! I really wouldn't even describe these as trails in some parts. They were so eroded and filled with rocks that I wouldn't even want to hike on them for fun. So they made the running very slow and technical. There were also crazy climbs where everyone just marched in a line up the hill. Not one person complained that people walked, everyone just seemed to be in it together. So although this may not sound like a great race review to some, it was way more fun than any road race. The miles flew by, although they were significantly slower then on the road. My 8-mile race time is around one-hour and ten minutes and this race was just a little over 7 miles and took a full hour and forty-four minute. Holy slowness! But it was great and I am now feeling healthy to get back to training.

Oh yeah, I also bought my wedding dress!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

USA Triathlon coming to Vermont!


Check out the link below. If you haven't heard USAT Age Group Nationals are coming to Burlington, VT. This will be such a great opportunity to have awesome athletes come to see what Vermont has to offer.



Monday, January 11, 2010

Snowy footsteps



There is something peaceful about running down a snow covered road w/o even the sight of tire tracks on the ground. It has been extremely cold here lately (as it has been all over the NE and Midwest); but I have been getting out every once in awhile to get away from the evil treadmill. I have a 7.2 mile trail run coming up in 2 weeks in Pennsylvania which I am very excited about. It is supposed to be a killer, hilly race and should be a nice wake up call for me!

Some news to share with everyone! I participated in the incredible Northeast Kingdom Swim this past summer and since then a group of us have been emailing and trying to coordinate more swimming events in the area. Click on the following link to read more and if you are able to get to Vermont these are great events and is also a great vacation destination.

http://www.worldopenwaterswimmingassociation.com/index.php?page=blog_page&team_id=53&cat=news&nid=3649

They are also holding an even up triathlon that is geared to swimmers (3.5 mile swim, around 50 miles on the bike and 13.1 miles for the run). This should be a great time to see if I can hold off those runners with such a long swim.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Great day for a ski!



What a great way to spend the day! Luke and I finally had a day off together and it felt good to burn off some energy. I love xc skiing because I was warm even though it was 14 degrees outside with crazy winds......but not in the woods!