Saturday, December 31, 2011

Buh Bye 2011 you were a good one...

Mine started big and ended even bigger. Not a goal in sight going into the year and what unfolded was more unbelievable than I could have imagined.

January started off with The Goofy Challenge. Immediately after the marathon, I folded myself into my car to drive 8 hours home to avoid an ice storm. Our only snow of the year.

Later in the month, I dipped my toes back in the triathlon waters, indoor style.

February was the half marathon at Run the Reagan. My sister and friend were there running a 10k in prep for the Disney princess later in the month. It would seem that I was practicing the "run a race and not stop to take a bunch of photos" policy that month.

(Insert cute picture of my sister and her friend sampling their first GU as that is my main memory from that race.)

In March, I completed my 5th marathon! (I had to look up what number it was on Athlinks. Does anyone use that site? I LOVE it. It gives you results for just about every race you have ever done. So handy.)

Later that day, my friend Wendy and I signed up for Augusta 70.3!

In April, we hit the road on our bikes. We clipped, unclipped and did slow motion fallovers like most new riders but we got it done.

I joined a masters group at Lifetime Fitness. I also started coaching swimming for my tri group. Not an actual photo of masters practice or my coaching... :)

In May, after cracking my head open exiting the swim on my first outdoor triathlon of the year, I managed to get 2nd place in my age group. Have I showed you the video? Check it out. It turned out my head was bleeding but didn't know that until the end when CR insisted the paramedics check me out. I also had a minor concussion but didn't know that until days later. I think I just wanted to keep racing to avoid people asking me if I was OK. Seriously. The sound you hear is my pumpkin sized head hitting the pavement.

June was a whole lot of training and apparently no pictures to show for it. I was knee deep in long rides, runs and early morning swims.

July brought the Peachtree Road Race and the Chattanooga Olympic Triathlon - my first oly! Oddly enough, now that I look back I was reading the book American Wife back then and am still trying to finish it up. I guess I just lost interest towards the end...

In August I experienced my first earthquake while in DC for work, rode the Augusta 70.3 course a couple of times, did the Acworth Women's Sprint Tri and signed up for the full iron at Beach 2 Battleship taking place 2 months later. In all honesty, that swim at Acworth was worse than the mass start of Beach 2 Battleship. True story.

Oh September! My first century and my first 70.3 distance. I did better than I had hoped and had a great experience racing with friends.

October was all about Beach 2 Battleship. Long weekend training sessions followed by tapering that arrived just when you thought you couldn't log one more mile. In the end, it was worth every minute. CR rung that cowbell for 13 hours straight!

I laid low in November. Sort of. An awesome 10k with friends followed by a new PR in the half marathon.

Which leads us to December... Jingle Jog!

Thanks for coming along for the ride! I hope everyone has a great New Year. Good luck to everyone racing this weekend or heading down to Disney for next weekend's races. Happy 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Vlogging my way into the new year...

Look out - I jumped on the VLOG band wagon! It turned out a bit long so bear with me ... if I do it again, I will work on brevity (and my videography skills) :) If you hang with the video to the end, the website I mention is or

Hope you all have a GREAT new year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Here they come, 2012 Fitness Trends...

Well guys, 2012 is inching ever closer. Time for goals, year-in-reviews and predictions for the coming year. I came across an article today listing the Top Fitness Trends for 2012. (You can read the whole thing HERE). I was expecting a bunch of quick fix scenarios to be listed (along the lines of the easy tone shoes from a year or so ago). Surprisingly, these are all actually legitimate.

- Lower cost health clubs. We have a few varieties of them here. Not a whole lot of frills but you get the basic equipment for an extremely low monthly cost (usually $10 to $20). I had heard that Lifetime Fitness was branching out into this area to reach more people who might not want to pay for a higher end gym membership.

- Extreme Challenge DVDs. Think along the lines of P90x and Insanity. These DVDs are for people who are already in good shape looking for a more advanced workout.

- Streaming workouts. You don’t have to watch the same DVD over and over again until you have memorized every.single.word. Now you can stream workouts and keep it fresh!

- Unique training tools. I have heard of quite a few interesting ones lately. The article specifically mentions TRX but I know I have seen everything from trampolines to silks mentioned on various blogs. Whatever it takes to keep things interesting, right?

- Healthy ready made meals. While I love the idea of this, I am not sure my budget would stand for the prices. If you can afford it, what a great way to make sure you are eating right not to mention a huge timesaver as you don’t have to do anything other than heat it up. We have a couple of these services here in Atlanta. You basically pick up your meals a couple of times a week or have them delivered to you. The meals are all fresh as if you made them yourself….but you didn’t. :)

- Fitness for older adults. Reaching out to the 65+ crowd and going beyond water aerobics and aqua jogging.

- On the other end of the spectrum, fitness for children. Yoga and even Crossfit can be done by kids. They are looking to find things to keep kids from getting bored, give them something they enjoy and pry their hands off the i-touch.

- Employee incentive programs. Let’s face it, this is a win-win for the employee and the company. The healthier you are, the less sick time you use AND the lower your health care costs. Why not incent your employees to get active?

- Wellness and Lifestyle Coaching. You hear it all the time. It is a lifestyle change, not a diet. These services help you make that transformation in your lifestyle.

- Greater use of technology. I can think of at least 5 applications or online programs that help you track your food, workouts or both. You can map your ride, track your calorie burn and have an app that speaks to you while you ride to let you know your pace at regular intervals. We all love gadgets. Apparently we can expect more of them in 2012.

- Small group training. As an introverted extrovert, I am a wallflower in large groups but thrive in small groups. Small groups are said to give you more of a sense of teamwork and you obviously get more individual attention from the coach or trainer.

- Self Myofascial Release. I am not even sure I spelled that right but I think most of us know what it is…. Rolling, rolling, rolling. The benefits are well proven and are becoming a regular part of more workout plans.

- New approaches to goal setting. Back in the day, it was all about the number on the scale. The new outlook is to focus more on strength and performance and less on your weight with the assumption being that as long as you are balancing good nutrition with exercise you will get the same results without obsessing about reaching a specific number.

I think you have probably seen or heard of most of these but it is nice to see that things like this are on the forefront as opposed to the thighmaster and other crazy contraptions. It really is a matter of hard work and determination to make a change. Are you ready to make it happen in 2012?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Crawling back on the wagon...

After over indulging yesterday, I hopped back on the wagon today. Well, hopped might not be the appropriate word. It was more of a slow crawl into the wagon. I had a 20 mile run on the calendar today; my last long run before my marathon next month. Last week's long run was rather painful so I wasn't particularly looking forward to my run. It was one of those things that could either go great and wash away any concerns from last week or not go great and further plant the seed of doubt.

After watching Live with Kelly (it really doesn't have the same ring to the title now that Regis is gone...), washing a couple of loads of laundry and having an internal debate in my head about my route, I was ready to hit the road.

The thing about running near my house is this... you can either stick close to home knowing you are going to run a bunch of hills or you can drive 45 minutes across town and go for a flat route. I decided to save myself a whole lot of driving and just suck it up on the hills. In the end, I was glad I did as it was a great confidence boost for the marathon. I didn't have any of the issues I had last week with foot and hip pain. (Which makes me think now that the new Saucony's were to blame for last week's issues... and makes me sad as I REALLY wanted to like them. On the short runs, they are fine but anything longer than 10 or 12 miles they are not good. Bummer.)

I sent out emails earlier today to the participants in KDUB's 70.3 Birthday Challenge. If you wanted to participate and did not get an e-mail, please send me a note to kwhitlock at bellsouth dot net.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I have been making up for lost time this week with the oven. The baking has all been done, cupcakes frosted, and sprinkles sprinkled. Time to sit back and enjoy the holiday :)

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Ride Pics

Scenes from my Christmas Eve ride this morning... My favorite is picture number two. I was taking picture number one when my friend rolled ride through for the photo bomb. So hilarious!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Looking forward...

I received a group email from my boss', boss', boss today (follow that? ... three levels above me). He is not one for sentiment or group emails. I hear from him or speak to him maybe once every few months. The conversations are always all business. I guess when he has something to share along the lines of motivation, he wants it to be a good nugget of wisdom. I present you with Exhibit A, today's email which was a simple quote:

“Consult not your fears, but your hopes and dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what is still possible for you to do.”
--Pope John XXIII

What a great thing to keep in mind as we are all setting those goals and resolutions for 2012. Let go of those things in the past that might not have gone your way. Focus on your potential and don't let the fear of the unknown hold you back. Get out there and make it happen.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I'll show you mine if...

I had this great idea that I would highlight some of the triathlon blogs that are currently some of my favorites. It turns out that the idea would have been great if I didn't have 1000 of them that I read... Well, maybe not 1000 but there were more than I realized so I’ll just throw a handful out there and save some for another post.

I never cease to be amazed at the number of blogs out there. Just when you think you have read or heard of every one of them, you discover another great blog to subscribe to in Google reader. I am not sure how many blogs I subscribe to but there are enough to keep my reader overflowing on any given day. I do not even know how some of you manage to write 2 and 3 posts a day! I do good to come up with something a few times a week.

Below are just a small sampling of my favorites that always have good content. They either make me laugh, have good pictures or good information. I also love blogs that I can relate to on some level. Right now, most of the new blogs I have been adding to my reader are people who are just getting started in the 70.3 or 140.6 race distances.

Lots of Great Inspiration
Ocular Triathlete
Fast at Forty
It's You vs Can't, You vs Excuses, You vs. the Odds...
The Adventures of TriSara Tops

I want to be fast like her someday
"the original" 140 point 6 miles of awesome

This guy knows how to follow a plan, as Dolvett would say “hard work, dedication”
Cook Train Eat Race

Always hilarious, painfully honest or both.
Swim Bike Mom

In the trenches making it happen and I love reading about it…
Slowly Tri-ing (on her way to Disney next month for her 1st marathon)
Smoke Training aka Carolina John (newly branded Ironman)
Tri n Tri Again
Becoming an Ironman
Swim Bike Run DC
Run this Amazing Day

Dipping their toes in the triathlon pool
Racing with Babes (racing her first 70.3 in May)
Age Groups Rock (conquering the swim!)

I've showed you mine, now it's your turn to share yours... Any interesting or new blogs that you have discovered recently?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Highlighting 2011 in Miss Zippy style...

If you haven't signed up for KDUB'S 70.3 Birthday Challenge, shoot me an email at kwhitlock at bellsouth dot net to join the fun. I am starting to accumulate a few fun prizes so maybe all that swimming, biking and running will pay off (well, it won't payoff in an Oprah sort of way but still...)

In exchange for a year in review post, here are a few highlights in a format borrowed from Miss Zippy. Enjoy!

Best race experience?
Well, I have a couple but the edge is going to have to go to Beach 2 Battleship simply because it was something I really thought was not possible a year ago or even earlier this year. (Just when I vowed to stop referring to it in almost every post… after this post, I promise, no more B2B talk!) :)

Best run?
None of them really stick out in my mind from earlier in the year. I do good to remember people’s names these days. Ha ha. Last week, I had a fun run with a couple of friends at Stone Mountain. It was their first time running there and we had gone in hopes of seeing some Christmas lights. Sadly, Stone Mountain has gone more commercial this year so you had to buy tickets to see most of them. We did get to run down Snowflake Lane which is a short stretch of road with all sorts of lights dangling from the trees above which was cool. I really just enjoyed running with friends that night.

Best new piece of gear?
My tri bars. Oddly enough, I almost never use them in training. Come race day, I used them just about 100% of the time which makes me think I should be using them in training more. Hmmm.

Best piece of running advice you received?
I don’t know if I can call it advice so much as a jewel that I picked up from Jeff Galloway when I heard him speak at Disney earlier this year. Basically, it was a Q & A session which revolved around his run/walk method. I used a variation of his method for B2B (run a mile, walk a minute) and really think it helped me make it to the finish in an upright position which was my #1 goal for that race.

Most inspirational runner?
There are so many, I feel like I couldn’t name them all. I think the ones I admire most are the ones who get out there and give it a try without any excuses. In their minds, they may not even be sure if they can do it or not but they set their mind on the goal whether it is a 5k or a marathon and they make it happen.

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?
Life changing.

Friday, December 16, 2011

of modems, psychics and soggy banana bread...

I should not have spoken badly about internet explorer yesterday. Hours after posting about it, my modem died under mysterious circumstances. Oh, the far reaching power of IE.

My ability as an *almost* psychic continues to hold true. You may remember that I had a dream about my ironman finish time which ended up being about 2 minutes off my actual time. Well, yesterday, they were drawing names for gift cards at work. I was trying to employ “the secret” to have my name drawn (you know that whole Oprah focus on what you want and it will happen thing). Well, they drew a Karen it just wasn’t me. I feel like my psychic tuner needs a retune. I wonder if I can pick one up at the store along with my new modem?

What does everyone have going on this weekend? I need to get in an 18 mile run in preparation for my January marathon and then am doing a 5k in North GA on Sunday. The 5k has only one hill but the hill is three miles long. Supposedly at the top of the mountain, there is vegetable soup and banana bread served up as post race treats. My main question is this… if we are running 3 miles UP the mountain, am I going to have to run 3 miles DOWN to get back to my car (or is that lazy thinking)? I just don’t want my soup sloshing around and getting my banana bread all soggy on the way back :)

Hope everyone has a nice weekend!

Don't forget to join in on KDUB's 70.3 Birthday Challenge if you haven't already!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Three Things Thursday...

1. I need to upgrade to Internet Explorer 8 but it conflicts with another program I have on my PC (long story). Without it, I have turned into a lurker. You know, the kind that reads but never says anything. Not that there is anything wrong with that except that I have things to say. I read your blogspot blogs but can't comment unless you have a pop up box for comments. Mostly frustrating because I REALLY want to comment and then realize I can't. If you start getting random emails from me with comments related to your blog, you will know why :)

2. I went to a ladies do it "her"self event at Home Depot last night. The point of the event is to make the do it yourself projects seem less intimidating. We started with crafts which is always a good way to ease into things. We made these tile coasters which were so easy and would be a fun little gift. Here is a how to I found online.

The main topic was closet organization. It made me lust after other people's closets. Our house is older which means we have tiny closets (think about 6 feet wide and 2 feet deep). They were showing off these awesome systems in which you could add baskets, shelving and other cool organizational tools to your closet, garage or pantry. It was so easy to do but I am seriously lacking in space. The class finished up with a demo on how to install a faucet. Funny how these things that seem like they would be so difficult really aren't all that difficult. Kind of like changing a flat on a bike. Once somehow shows you how to do it and you try it yourself, it really is no big deal. Not that I will be installing a faucet anytime soon but.... I could if I wanted to ;)

3. I did the Jingle Jog 5k last Saturday and came away with a new PR. My last PR was from the very first race I trained for in February of 2008. I wasn't really trying for a PR and didn't think I was running all that fast but I think it was a subconscious desire to get done. The race has a prize walk sponsored by Trader Joe's at the end. Basically about 10 people stand in front of 10 numbers in a circle. The choir singes Christmas Carols and then randomly stops in the middle. If they draw your number, you win. I was fixated on getting done with the race so I could get in line. It all paid off. A PR of 26:20 *and* I won the goody bag from Trader Joe's in the prize walk! Hooray!