Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We have a winner & a Callaway Gardens re-cap...

First things first... My random winner for the Publix Gift Card was Gina Maddox! CONGRATULATIONS! Look for an email from me shortly :)

Sunday morning as I was making the 90 mile drive to my marathon, I had to fight hard to resist the urge to turn around and go home. If I had toothpicks handy I would have used them to prop my eyes open. I rested up on Saturday but was still dragging. This race had always been optional in my head, after all I only signed up two weeks ago. At that time, I had a small handful of friends who had committed to the race as well. Since then the handful of friends dwindled to no friends due to injuries and changes in life plans. Suddenly the appeal of the race was lost on me. As every exit approached, I tried to decide if I should just turn around, go home and crawl back into bed.

The thing about announcing all your race intentions to the world via twitter, blog, facebook and 80 other social media outlets is that a DNS, DNF or anything else is magnified ten-fold. The flip side of that is that there is the instant desire to follow through because you have announced your intentions to the world. What would everyone think if I turned around and went home not because I was injured or had some legitimate excuse but just because I didn’t want to race this particular day?

At mile 87, THREE miles before the race start, I turned my car around in the tiny town of Pine Mountain and headed back home. Instead of feeling a sense that I was doing the right thing, I felt like I was cheating myself. Would CR, my biggest cheerleader, be disappointed in me for giving up? Would I be disappointed in myself? I drove a little further down the road and reasoned that maybe I was just tired. I was arriving at the race at least 90 minutes before the start. Maybe I just needed a nap. I turned around at the next intersection and headed back towards the race and a quick nap in the parking lot.

The race itself was uneventful until around mile 20ish when I started feeling the first pains and realized that this might be a tough finish. My legs were aching and I had long since given up any hope of a particular finish time. The math calculations for this race were more along the lines of “if I start walking now, I can still be done under 5 hours” as opposed to the calculations two weeks ago that were adding up to a PR.

Six more miles to go. I was breaking down the various checkpoints in my head. Make it to the water stop at 22, take a GU and run it home. I roll up to the water stop and there is no water. I start to choke back the tears. I am not even sure where those tears came from. My legs were hurting but… I guess not having the water just put me over the edge for a minute. I ate my GU and walked for a couple of minutes to get it together.

If you have ever done a small marathon, it can be a mental battle. Once the half marathoners split off, runners are few and far between. You may see runners here and there but there are mostly long stretches where you are on your own. The race become more like a long solo training run. The sight of another person can be like an instant ray of sunshine to help pick you up. At this point, almost every runner is giving the friendly wave and "good job" as they pass.

Around mile 24 I hear footsteps behind me. I had not seen anyone in two miles so was glad to hear someone coming as a reassurance that I had not missed a turn. A girl passes me. As is habit, I immediately tried to assess whether or not she might be in my age group. I decided she was much younger than me. (...as if it mattered).

It turned out she was doing run/walk intervals so shortly after passing me she stopped to walk. I passed her back and we kept that back and forth going until the finish. She crossed the finish about 200 yards ahead of me.

After it was over as I was in a daze of throbbing legs and dehydration, I could hear her husband congratulate her on a great time for a tough course. She looked back at me and thanked me for pacing her. I was shocked. What? I paced you? She looked so fresh when she first passed me and I was feeling so dead, I did not think was possible. She said every time I passed her she just told herself to stay with me. LOVE THAT. I unknowingly helped someone else to the finish. It made all the pain worthwhile :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Don'ts for Women Riders...

Came across the blog Lists of Note earlier today. Love this list of riding tips for ladies from 1895.

A few tips are laugh out loud funny, while others still somewhat ring true today. Here are a few of my faves. PLEASE visit their blog to check out the rest for a good laugh (or if you need to brush up on your 'rules of the road').

Don't be a fright.

Don't ask, "What do you think of my bloomers?"

Don't scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first, she will run.

Don't wear white kid gloves. Silk is the thing.

Don't try to have every article of your attire "match."

Don't cultivate a "bicycle face."

Don't attempt a "century."

Don't scratch a match on the seat of your bloomers.

Don't appear in public until you have learned to ride well.

Enjoy ... Hope you are having a great weekend!

*** Don't forget to enter to win a $25 Publix Gift Card. You have until Monday! ***

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Best Meals Happen at Home Publix Giveaway!

I have been trying to live the frugal lifestyle lately (for the most part...). I gave up my blond hair for something a little closer to my "roots" that did not require as much maintenance. I opted to get up at 3 AM to drive to a marathon two hours away in order to save money on a hotel. I have brought my breakfast, lunch and snacks to work every day this year except one (I forgot my breakfast one morning). I know, we aren't that far into 2012 just yet but trust me, it is a huge accomplishment that my car wheels have only been in a drive through one time in the past 3+ weeks.

I have also subscribed to a menu planning service that has helped me cut my grocery bill, keeps me from visiting the grocery store more than once a week and, as a bonus, not only keeps us from eating the same things days after day but also helps us to watch what we are eating. (I'll tell you more about that in another post).

We certainly aren't perfect eaters BUT by preparing things at home versus grabbing something on the fly, we can get a better handle on what we eat. We are even branching out past meat and potatoes into meats and vegetables that CR never would have touched in the past. (We have a rule, unless he asks what he is eating, don't tell him and it is all good...).

If you are lucky enough to have a Publix in your area, not only do they have fantastic buy one, get one free deals all the time but right now they have a Better Meals Happen at Home Campaign. You can visit them online or on facebook to find recipes you can make at home in 30 minutes or less as well as register for savings throughout the year!


They have given me a $25 Publix gift certificate to give away to one of you! All you need to do is leave me a comment telling me your favorite go to weekday meal in a hurry. I will pick a winner at random on 01/30/12. Good Luck!

Disclosure: The Publix gift card, information, and giveaway have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


I think I am having a mid-January crisis. I feel like a plastic bag in the middle of the ocean. I am kind of in between training plans right now just trying to keep up a certain level of fitness in swim/bike/run.

WHOA HOLD THE PHONE. I realized as I typed that out how ridiculous it sounded since I have a marathon on Sunday and all. When did training for a marathon become "keeping up a certain level of fitness"? Clearly I have lost my mind. Perhaps I am not so much adrift as just plain crazy.

Seriously though, these past couple of weeks I kind of feel like I am just going through the motions. I am surrounded by people smack dab in the middle of half iron (or even iron) training plans and here I sit feeling like I am doing nothing in comparison. Remind me of this feeling six months from now when I am whining about being too busy. I think I just need to get back on a solid training schedule. Somebody throw me a rope and pull me back into reality!

In other news ...

You MUST try this recipe! (insert picture of said recipe). Sorry, I failed at photographing it because I really didn't think it would be THAT good just looking at the ingredients. I got the recipe from this recipe service I have been using and will tell you about some other time.

CR doesn't like cooked tomatoes or onions AT ALL and said it tasted like something you would get in a restaurant. At the time, I assumed he meant something other than Captain D's but you can judge for yourself. Seriously good. That is all.

Roasted Tilapia, Tomatoes and Onions (serves 2 -3)

4 roma tomatoes, halved and sliced
1 onion, quartered and sliced
2 t orange zest
1 bag of frozen tilapia (thawed, about 4 small pieces)
2 t olive oil
salt to taste (maybe 1/2 t)
1 t thyme

Preheat oven to 400. Combine tomatoes, onions, orange zest, oil, thyme and salt in baking dish. Roast stirring occasionally until the onions are golden ~ 30 minutes. Remove from oven and increase temp to 450. Push the vegetables aside and add fish (season w/ salt and pepper). Spoon the vegetables over the fish and bake 10-12 minutes or until fish is done.

I served mine with brown rice and steamed broccoli. Enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

11 Bits of Randomness...

I was tagged by Summer for this post. I have never met her in person but have seen her cross the finish line at Augusta. It was completely random. I probably stood at the finish line for all of 5 minutes that day looking for some of my friends. In that 5 minutes out of the thousands of racers, here comes Summer! I tried to find her after she crossed but it was way too crowded. Next time Summer!

The rules of this post: (disclaimer I did not make them so don’t yell at me for them being difficult)

1.Post these rules.
2.You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3.Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4.Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5.Go to their blog (FB page or other Social site) and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6.No stuff in the tagging section about you are tagged if you are reading this. You legitimately have to tag people!

So here goes...

11 random things about me

1. I sort M&Ms (or skittles or jellybeans) by color before eating them. I would also tell you that there have to be even numbers of each as I eat them but then you would just think I am weird.

2. I was into soccer, cheerleading, and swim team in my early years. I wouldn’t really say I was athletic though. I was a cheerleader back in the day when all you had to do was yell, clap and occasionally jump. I definitely have AOA (adult onset athleticism). I have no idea where the recent surge of athleticism has come from.

3. I put myself through college. It took me over 11 years to get my undergrad and Masters degree.

4. I have never changed a diaper. Really.

5. I don't like to feel like I am the center of attention. In tennis, I hate to be on the court closest to the spectators. Put me in the corner!

6. I don't really like chocolate. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from eating it but it would not be my first choice for sweets.

7. I love to learn things - cooking classes, tennis lessons, crafts, skeet shooting, whatever… I get bored easily so love a challenge. I still haven’t hit on that thing that I am just great at… I excel at being that person somewhere in the middle. Maybe there is something to that birth order thing… I am the middle of 3 girls.

8. I have had 7 motorcycles since 1997 when I started riding. A Kawasaki 100 dirt bike, Honda ACE 750 Shadow, Honda ACE 1100 Tourer, Valkyrie Tourer, Honda VTX 1800, Boss Hoss 502 trike, Yamaha 1600 Midnight Star. Currently the only two wheeled vehicle I have is my bicycle.

9. I have a freakish memory for random things. I still remember the birthdays of kids I went to elementary school with and have not seen or talked to them since then.

10. We are reaching way back for this one... I traded my Bay City Rollers single (Saturday Night) to Dodd Morris in 3rd grade for a gi-normous Mexican sombrero. He told me I got the short end of that deal. What could possibly be better than a gi-normous sombrero?

11. My favorite trip of all time was a 10 day motorcycle trip Rick and I took to Missouri. We rode backroads most of the way and stopped in all sorts of small towns. We went to Graceland, Laura Ingalls home and so many cool small stops along the way. It was a blast!

My answers to Summer's questions:

1.Favorite time of the day? For working out, hands down morning. In general I would say around 10 AM. I finally am waking up and ready to be social at that point :)

2.What is your favorite meal to make? (If its good I need instructions – I told you I am trying to do better) That is a tough one these days as I have been all about easy which isn’t necessarily an “awesome” meal. I made some lasagna for my birthday that was pretty yummy. Get a box of the bertolli no boil noodles and there is your recipe.

3.Glass 1/2 full or glass 1/2 empty? Definitely half full.

4.Last picture taken on your phone? I am counting the days until my contract runs out and I can get a new phone. Hardly take any pics with this phone at all. It looks like it was a pic of a birthday card. (don’t ask.)

5.If money was no issue how many races would you try to do in a year? There are so many I would love to do. Obviously money would help but training for them is really more of an issue. I don’t know maybe 1 really great race a month.

6.Car, Truck, Van, or SUV? I have a car and love it. An SUV would be awesome for toting things around though.

7.Do you take part in any water sports? We used to do a lot of things on our wave runners. We had some friends who were into doing trips on them and trying to make a business of it so we went on a couple of those trips. We started in Moncks Corner SC and traveled down the Cooper river (I think that was the name), past Charleston and back. So fun!

8.If you’re walking down the street and find a $100.00 bill what do you do with it? Pick it up, ask around if anyone lost it and hope no one claims it!

9.Favorite non sports related thing to do? I LOVE to bake.

10.Have Pets? Nope.

11.Last movie you went to a theater to see? Wow. Can’t even remember. It wasn’t all that long ago just can’t remember what it would have been. We usually don’t go out to the movies unless it is something that we are just dying to see and don’t want to wait for it to come on video.

I am tagging....

Carolina John @ Training Smoker

Julie @ You just have to Tri

Lindsay @ Chasing the Kenyans

Mike @ Mike’s Triathlon Journey

Meggan @ How To Eat and Elephant

Barbara @ My Running Shortz

Kenley @ Essence of Running

Jill @ Run with Jill

Jess @ Run with Jess

My questions to those of you who were tagged:

1.What was your favorite vacation of all time?

2.Snacks: Sweet or Salty?

3.What were you doing around this time ten years ago?

4.Hit play on your Ipod (iphone, cassette, 8-track, whatever). What is the first song to come up?

5.What was your favorite memory of 2011?

6.Google “(Your first name) needs”. What comes up? (Mine is ‘Karen needs facebook’ followed by ‘Karen needs a lobotomy fund’. LOL)

7.What is your favorite running or triathlon related product?

8.If you could only do one race, which one would it be?

9.Do you prefer to train alone or in groups?

10.What is the one race you wouldn’t mind doing over and over again?

11.What accomplishment makes you the most proud?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Museum of Aviation Marathon Recap...

Going into the marathon this weekend, I honestly felt unprepared. I am not the overly dramatic type who always questions her preparedness so this was for real. No crying wolf. No blowing smoke. I was a little worried. My long runs were lackluster. Pair that with inconsistent mid-week runs and you can see where I might be concerned. However, I had been swimming and biking as per usual so it wasn’t like I was giving up mid-week runs and doing nothing else.

With that build up to the race, I give you what will quite possibly be the shortest race report I have ever posted on this blog:

Saturday, 3:15 AM. Get up, get dressed.

4:00 AM. Get in the car for a 2 hour drive to the race. (bonus points for being frugal and not staying at a hotel).

6:00 AM. Arrive at race after pit stop at a gas station for some much needed caffeine and what I thought might be my last chance to use a real restroom as opposed to a port-o-potty.

6:30 AM. Registration opens. Pick up bib, enjoy warmth of the museum / airplane hangar as it was 25 degrees outside.

7:30 AM. I ask a nearby runner if there is a bag drop. To which they laugh and reply “just leave your bag in your chair, it will be fine”. Did I mention this race was small?

7:55 AM. Head outside for race start. My face is freezing off. It is still 25 degrees.

8:00 AM. Race start. After only waiting 5 minutes in the cold we are off. No corrals, just get in line and go. I love small races. Face still freezing off. Scan ground for discarded ski mask I could put on. Around mile 7, I finally let go of the gloves and started to warm up. Thankfully, it was sunny out.

10:10 AM. Glance at my Garmin and realize I am on track to PR by a few minutes if I can keep up my current pace. The math games in my head began. (If a runner headed north at approximately 6 mph stops 5 seconds for a cup of water and slows to take in more than one GU gel with a wind blowing at 10-15 mph, at what time will she arrive at the finish line?) I knew it was going to be close.

12:09 PM. Finish line. PR by a little over 2 minutes and 3rd place AG. Crazy. Did I mention my marathon PR was from 2009? I haven’t come within 30 minutes of it since then.

1:00 PM. Fold myself up into the car and head home still in a state of shock over the new PR. Stopping as needed to update facebook status.

The end.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

KDUB's 70.3 Birthday Challenge The Results...

The inaugural KDUB 70.3 Birthday Challenge was my way to get everyone (me) back into the groove of swim/bike/run training after the holidays (and maybe a way to burn off some birthday cake).

Swim 1.2 miles! Bike 56 miles! Run 13.1 miles! Brag for the rest of the month!

Twenty athletes answered the call and BROUGHT IT between January 1st and January 11th for a chance at fame, fortune and yet-to-be-purchased prizes. They came from all walks of life and experience levels to burn out their quads in pursuit of the goal. Some said it was too easy (“ain’t nothing but a thang, I eat iron for breakfast, I got this. BIG TIME.”), others weren’t sure there were enough hours in the day (“you know I have 8 kids, three jobs and I haven’t swam since 3rd grade, right?”), but everyone gave it their best. The horn sounded at 12:01 on the 1st, and the race was on!

Beth was 1st out of the water followed by KDub and KC close behind. They passed through the time portal of the non-existent transition and were off on the bikes! KC made her way to the front in a bid for total domination followed by Laura in 2nd and Christine flying in for 3rd place. Bikes were racked in no time and they were off on the run. After battling through the cold, wind and freak rain storm on the race course, KC held on to her lead and did a double back handspring through the finishing tape. Laura didn't have time for fancy tricks as she was simply sprinting to the end in an effort to catch KC. Jason gained some ground on the run by carrying his own fuel and took home 3rd and oddly enough changed hats three times during the finish line interview.

I would like to thank everyone for their participation in this race, I was overwhelmed by the support and hope it got you off to a great start for 2012! A list of all participants and their finish times are at the bottom of the post.

As for the prizes…. I ended up with a random assortment of cool treats for my two winners that I drew at random out of all participants.

Drumroll please …… Our two prize winners are:

Tilt your head to the side...

Congratulations, Christine and Beth! Send me your mailing address and I will get your treats shipped to you!

Overall Results:

Swim 0:37:00 Bike 2:33:00 Run 1:42:00 TOTAL 4:52:00

Swim 0:49:00 Bike 2:34:00 Run 1:54:00 TOTAL 5:17:00

Swim 0:45:00 Bike 3:06:00 Run 1:54:00 TOTAL 5:45:00

Swim 0:36:00 Bike 3:05:00 Run 2:05:00 TOTAL 5:46:00

Swim 0:54:00 Bike 2:36:00 Run 2:18:00 TOTAL 5:48:00

Swim 0:42:00 Bike 3:07:00 Run 2:01:00 TOTAL 5:50:00

Swim 0:44:00 Bike 3:24:00 Run 1:57:00 TOTAL 6:05:00

Swim 1:35:00 Bike 2:12:00 Run 2:19:00 TOTAL 6:06:00

Swim 0:34:00 Bike 3:40:00 Run 2:06:00 TOTAL 6:20:00

Swim 0:44:00 Bike 3:32:00 Run 2:08:00 TOTAL 6:24:00

Swim 1:20:00 Bike 3:40:00 Run 2:21:00 TOTAL 7:21:00

Swim 0:58:00 Bike 3:50:00 Run 2:46:00 TOTAL 7:34:00

Swim 0:42:00 Bike 4:48:00 Run 2:10:00 TOTAL 7:40:00

Super Kate
Swim 0:57:00 Bike 4:34:00 Run 3:21:00 TOTAL 8:52:00

Kim M
Swim 0:00:00 Bike 0:00:00 Run 0:00:00 TOTAL 0:00:00

Carolina John
Swim 0:00:00 Bike 0:00:00 Run 0:00:00 TOTAL 0:00:00

Kim R
Bike 3:10:00 Run 2:09:00 TOTAL 5:19:00 Duathlon

Swim 1:10:00 Bike 3:40:00 Run 0:57:00 TOTAL 5:47:00 (other)

Swim 0:54:00 Bike 3:12:00 Run 2:07:00 TOTAL 6:13:00 (other)

Swim 1:06:00 Bike 4:09:00 Run 2:14:00 TOTAL 7:29:00 (other)

I had to rely on my math skills for some of the times if you provided more than 70.3 miles worth of information. (in case you were wondering…) Not to worry as math is my specialty :)

I didn’t have times for a couple of people although they did send in sheets with their mileage which is why they show 0 for times. If you have any questions about their speediness, let me tell you they are fast! Speaking of F.A.S.T., John just broke through the 4 hour marathon wall this past weekend! Not to worry, all were included in the prize drawing, times or no times.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Five Things Friday...

I started to call it 'Three Things Friday' since I wasn't sure I had five things but that made the title seem less catchy, don't you agree?

1. Speaking of fives, BIG HIGH FIVEs to everyone who participated in KDUB's 70.3 Birthday Challenge. I will get together a post with winners either Monday or Tuesday (if not sooner). Thank you all for playing my little reindeer game :)

2. There is a new addition to the family. As of noon yesterday, I have a sweet new nephew. I was campaigning for us to share a birthday but it didn't work out that way. Once again, my psychic ability is just slightly off.

3. I applied to be on a tri team this season and got the "thanks but we had a lot of talented applicants" rejection e-mail a few days ago. It was such an awesome opportunity I had to go for it. Even though I knew it was quite the long shot it still was pretty disappointing not to be selected. On the bright side, it freed me up for a couple of cool volunteer opportunities so am looking forward to the new things on the calendar.

4. I joined Team Tough Chik a week or so ago. Within a few hours of joining I knew it was going to be a great fit. Such a supportive group of women!

5. I am headed a couple hours south very, very early in the morning to run the Museum of Aviation marathon. This will be marathon number 7 (if you count B2B). I wouldn't have guessed there had been that many but I just confirmed it on athlinks. WOW. I had a modified training schedule that started post-B2B so I think the unusual training plan makes me question my preparedness. Fingers crossed that it is all mental! :) The race is on an air force base and supposedly there are flyovers throughout the race so that should make it interesting!

Happy Friday the 13th...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Boston Charity Runners Needed ASAP

If you have any interest in running Boston this April and don't have that pesky qualifying time, CYCLE Kids is a great organization and is looking for runners to be part of the team.

They are in the process of expanding to the Atlanta market which is how I found out about the opportunity (you DO NOT have to live in the area to be on the team). There is a fundraising commitment but it is well worth it to run Boston, especially if you haven't qualified.

If you think you might be interested, you will need to act fast as they are in the final days of registration and need to submit names by Friday. I will not be running but am simply putting the word out there. If you are interested, please email me at kwhitlock (at) bellsouth (dot) net for more information and I can put you in touch with the team.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Let's be friends...

Sometime in early 2011 Buckeye Outdoors, the website I had been using to log my workouts, crashed. When I say crashed, it crashed big. All of my workouts were gone forever. The website was down for a while, they offered some hope that the workouts might be recovered but it never happened. Kind of a downer because I like to look back and see what I have done and how I have improved. I picked up the shattered pieces of my training log and moved on to what turned out to be a better place. A place with friends, interaction and doughnut tracking. Really.

After the great Buckeye Outdoors crash of 2011, I turned to a couple of places to log my entries. (I am creating redundancy in fear of another website crash.) I currently use Beginner Triathlete and Daily Mile. I like to see my workouts in a calendar format so one point for Beginner Triathlete there. They also have some pretty great forums full of helpful people.

Daily Mile, on the other hand, is like facebook for athlete types. The comments and virtual high fives on your workouts, never gets old. I also like the stats on DM.

After I started logging in March of last year, I managed to log 3173 miles of swimming, biking and running which, according to DM, equals 231.65 televisions powered, 1271 doughnuts or 67 pounds burned. Crazy.

If you aren’t on Daily Mile, look me up. We can be friends. I promise to support you with unlimited virtual high fives. :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

A Friday Quickie...

I saw a link to an article on SUAR this AM and had to share. The 27 Rules of Conquering the Gym. Truly hilarious. Some of my favorites:

- You can take 10 Minute Abs, 20 Minute Abs, and 30 Minute Abs. There is also Stop Eating Pizza and Eating Sheet Cake Abs—but that's super tough! (this explains so much… hmm no Riverside Pizza tonight I guess)

- If you're motivated to buy an expensive home exercise machine, consider a "wooden coat rack." It costs $40, uses no electricity and does the exact same thing. (CR *just* asked me the other day to get my clothes off the weight machine so he could use it…)

- If you see an indoor rock climbing wall, you're either in a really cool gym or a romantic comedy starring Kate Hudson. (Ahhh, Lifetime Fitness. I must be in a really cool gym because I don’t see Kate Hudson anywhere.)

- There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end. (Whoa. You mean there is actual work involved? That’s crazy talk.)

Oh and to the newbie who used my locker this AM, I really like #321. We have grown close over the 4 years I have been at the gym. It throws me off when you use it as I tend to be a bit OCD about these things. I'll let you off with a warning this time. :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A tale of two shoes…

About a month ago, I was able to get my hands on the new Saucony Guide 5s. If you are a Saucony fan, or even if you are not, you may have heard of the re-vamped design. They are lighter and changed from a 12mm heel-to-forefoot drop to an 8mm heel-to-forefoot drop which is supposed to discourage heelstriking. I wore the shoes for a couple of races (a 10k and a half marathon) and then a few training runs, with the last training run being an 18 miler. After some of the longer runs, I noticed unusual foot pain across the middle portion of my foot. Around mile 12 of that last long run, my feet were in a lot of pain and I also had pain in my hips. All very unusual. I ran my next long run of 20 miles this past weekend in my older Guide 4s and had no issues so I chalked it up to the shoe.

As luck would have it, CR had given me a gift certificate to a local running store, Runners Fit, for Christmas. There are benefits to the fact that he works right next door to a running store. I headed over there at lunch with my Guide 4s, Guide 5s and the certificate in hand. My thought was I would just start from scratch and let them fit me for some shoes. I brought my older pairs of shoes along so they could look at the wear patterns if that would help in the fitting process.

I ended up walking out of the store with not one but TWO pairs of new shoes. I decided to use my gift certificate to buy a pair of Brooks Adrenaline. (Apparently, they are the worlds #1 shoe for women, who knew?). Not only did I get the Brooks Adrenaline BUT they took back my old shoes and gave me a new pair of Sauconys in a different size! I had my other Sauconys for about 6 weeks, they had probably 60 miles or more on them and definite signs of wear on the soles. I had no intention of trying to return them but they insisted on either swapping them for the Brooks or trying another pair in a new size. I ended up going with a new pair in another size so I could rotate pairs when I train. So unexpected and greatly appreciated!

The story on the size is this… I am kind of in between a wide and a normal width shoe. Half the running shoes I have purchased were wide width, half have been normal width. All have worked fine. The theory on these particular shoes is that due to foot swelling when you run, I am probably good up to 10 miles in a normal width. As I continue to run past that 10 mile mark my foot continues to swell slightly causing the normal width to become uncomfortable. It seems logical so I am going to go with that theory and see what happens in my new wider shoes.

While I was there, I also got an impromptu lesson on form. Remember how I said the new 8mm shoe was supposed to discourage heel striking? Well, guess where all the wear was in my shoe? Yep, the heels were starting to grind right off. Hmm… So much for the shoe geometry helping my form.

The store owner told me that I was most likely leaning back too far when I run so I need to work on being a little more upright (being careful not to lean too far forward) with my hips under me. I have been trying to be more conscious of my form when I run just based on things I have read on proper form so it was nice to get some advice from someone who could kind of tell what was happening and offer specific tips to correct it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Putting races on the calendar…

Time to firm up those plans for the year I suppose... I had 2012 all planned out little over a month ago. Shortly thereafter, I started receiving notices about this race or that race. Some of them were running races, others were triathlons. My major issue seems to be that I am afraid I am missing out on something which makes it hard to draw that line. I suppose that is where a coach would come in handy. Someone to sort of drop the hammer on these thoughts.

You all gave me great tidbits of advice as I made an effort to reformulate my plan. Most of the advice was to focus on the ‘A’ goal and build the other races around it. In my mind I knew that was the way to go.

With that in mind, my 2012 is kind of split into two phases. January through March is all about road races. I will still be training in swim/bike/run mode and working the road races into that plan since it is early in the season. April through October will be all about triathlon leading up to my second iron distance. Which leaves November and December which will be all about resting. :)

I really only have three triathlon/running goals for this year and they are all time related:

1. Get a new PR in the 10k distance. Goodbye 52:07, hello 50:59 or better. The only reason I even care about this time relates to placement in a wave for the Peachtree Road Race. Last year I was in Corral C. This year (assuming the time standards don’t change), I want to be in corral B. Not that C is that much different than B but it is just a personal goal and I want to mingle with the faster kids in hopes that some of that speed might rub off on me.

2. Race a sub-6 hour at Augusta. Last year I was pleasantly surprised with a 6:07 for my first 70.3. Six hours seems very doable. (A new bike to replace my $300 ebay one would certainly help if anyone is in the mood to donate… *ahem*)

3. Improve my time at Beach 2 Battleship. Under the right conditions, I feel like I can pull something in the 12 hour range. The wind was so brutal last year it really killed my bike time. I should have more biking experience going into the race which would help me to ride faster wind or no wind.

Key races in 2012:

January 14 – Museum of Aviation Marathon
February 26 – Charles Harris 10k
March 18 – Shamrock Marathon
May 6 – REV3 Knoxville (Oly)
May 20 – Iron Girl Sprint Tri
June 25 – Cartersville Century
July 4 – Peachtree Road Race
July 8 – Chattanooga Olympic Tri
September 2 – Savannah Century
September 30 – Augusta 70.3
October 20 – Beach 2 Battleship 140.6

For those of you in the midwest or those interested in an awesome training weekend, EVOTRI is hosting a pretty cool training event on the IM Wisconsin course in June called WIBA (Wisconsin Brick Adventure). Basically, you get to swim, ride and run the course in advance of the race which would be fantastic if you have IM WI on your schedule. Even if you don't have IM WI on your schedule, it sounds like a great weekend!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year...

Here is to a happy and healthy 2012! If you are superstitious and believe in getting in your greens and black eyed peas, I highly recommend this soup recipe from the Neely's. It has an unexpected spicy flavor and is so good! I omitted the bacon, subbed out the fresh swiss chard for a drained can of collard greens (because I like to make things easy like that...) and used black eyed peas.

The picture isn't the best so trust me on this one. It is also a great way to use up any leftover ham from Christmas. Bonus!