Monday, December 02, 2013

2013 Turkey Trot Race Report

...well THAT didn't go according to plan.

Got up my usual time and had my usual pre-5K nutrition - 2 cups of the black stuff and a piece of fruit, in this case an apple. I like to keep the stomach pretty empty for the short churn and burns.

Started sipping on my Lemons and Limes Skratch - would have LOVED to take their new hot Apple and Cinnamon out for a spin in light of the single-digit weather, but NOTHING new on race day. Ever. Sad.

It was about 11 degrees at the start. Luckily the forecasted wind wasn't there. I tried to warm up beforehand but it was tough in those temps - literally hard to stay warm enough to stay loose.

Trying to warm up. BRRR.

Ready to go. At least I'm trying to convince myself I am.

They started us in the middle of the road, which hadn't been salted, so I spent the first 100 meters slipping around tryig to go straight up. I crossed the street several times (having to hop a snowbank each time) trying to find a good sidewalk - definitely lost a lot of time and energy the first .15 miles or so.

Trying to get up to speed after the brutal start.

Finally got into a groove for a half mile, then we had another climb that's usually nothing, but it was completely iced over. After the first mile the sidewalk cleared and flattened back out, but I think I used up a LOT of energy that first mile. I kept looking at the pace on my Garmin and thinking "NOT GOOD ENOUGH!"

Right before the last climb. In the background is the IMLP start. Fancy a swim?

Had ANOTHER short climb that ALWAYS hurts because it's at mile 2.5, and THAT was snowed out too and required jumping a snowbank to cross the road. At least the course ENDS with a nice steep downhill.
How I felt about my finish.

Slowest 5K in a while, but it was the conditions, not my fitness.

Finished with a Whole30-compliant Thanksgiving Feast:

Time:  24:29
13 out of  117 women (no age groups).
34 out of 198 overall.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

ISWF Day 0 - Shopping Thoughts

Well I got my kitchen back today at 2:00. And there was much rejoicing. I still have to reconnect the water line for the refrigerator and the water and drain lines for the dishwasher, but otherwise its done and the floor actually looks BETTER than when it was first installed. (This guy did a better job than the original company.) So yay!

Still, most of the day there was much pounding and continuance of NOISE, so it was hard to do the prep work. I did sign up for the daily e-mails. (Hey, I've spent $15 far more frivolously than that.)

The first instructions were some basic prep work that included:

  • Print out all the website info
  • Plan a week of meals
  • Plan emergency quick to make e-mails
  • Clean out the pantry and fridge
  • Go shopping
Unfortunately with no access to my kitchen and distracting noise for half the day, I wasn't able to get it all done but I did make some headway.

I printed out the info and did plan meals and a shopping list through Friday afternoon just to get me through.

 And after work it was time to shop.

Okay, here are my thoughts after my first Whole30 shopping trip:

  1. Over $70 for two days worth of stuff? The HELL?
  2. Mostly the meat. There was not great selection that was Whole30 compliant. There's locally-sourced, happy-pigs-and-cows meats at the health food store, but it's about $15 a pound. To feed myself and my boyfriend three meals with protein a day? Undoable. I think I may have to compromise (at least for now) by going mass-produced but hormone-and-antibiotic free. I've had a lot of BIG expenses lately, so maybe I'll revisit when I'm not so poor.
  3. Was VERY happy to find organic ghee, coconut oil, and olives at the "normal" store I like. Fats acquired!
  4. Bought avocados for the first time. I think I need to film myself eating one tomorrow. :-D
  5. Not organic, but it's about DAMN TIME someone came out with "pre-husked" pomegranate. EXCITE.
  6. And the rotisserie chicken is just "regular" chicken but is for tonight. I'll STILL use the leftovers during Whole30 though.
Back tomorrow with Day 1 report AND a race report from what will literally my coldest race ever if the forecast holds.

Oh the Noise, Noise Noise

Day T-1 and Counting.

I knew today was going to be a clusterf--k with the flooring contractors here, but MY GOD. SO loud. (Well, just as loud as you'd expect tearing out and putting in hardwood floors to be. Definitely did NOT help the headaches I've been having.

I had a late breakfast of steel-cut oats and a large apple. Man - all carbs definitely leaves me hungry yet bloaty right after. (I figured I might as well use the oatmeal up AND it's admittedly very easy to cook.)

Soon after, the contractors arrived, and first thing they did was pull out the appliances. No stove, no dishwasher, and the fridge is plugged in in the dining room for now.

Yikes.  Takeout for dinner tonight. THIS is why I'm waiting until Thursday to start.

Monday, November 25, 2013

It Starts with Food, BITCHES.

T - 2 and counting.

Okay, I picked up "It Starts with Food" a couple months ago in my continuing quest to figure out nutrition and good diet. (And I mean "diet" in the medical sense, not in the "losing weight" sense." I don't even remember where I first heard about it. I read it and it made sense to me but I was loathe to make a drastic change during the race season. (Okay, especially if said change required giving up cookies, pizza, and beer.)

Then tri goddess Sonja started a Whole 30 challenge on her new food blog. TWO WEEKS before IMAZ. The fallout? Girl won the race AND set a new amateur record. By seventeen minutes. Ummm, okay, now I can't even use training as an excuse. (And it's the off-season now anyway.)

So...let's see - no heavy training or serious races AND even if I did I'd probably do even better?

I had a nice long chat with Sonja on her blog last night (which...thanks Son!) and she's convinced me to go for it, especially since, as she put it, we're carbon copies in how we process food.

I'm a little scared of putting myself out there because I have a ridiculous fear of failure, but as the saying goes, 'Perfection is the enemy of good." ("Le mieux c'est l'enemi du bien.") Also, I have had insomnia, headaches, and body aches the past few weeks and they're just getting worse, not better, and I'm hoping cleaning up my diet will help.

So why am I not starting until Thursday? Because my damaged kitchen floors are being replaced tomorrow and Wednesday and I don't know how much (if any) access I'll have to it. I'm going to use this time to start prepping and planning.

So, one last yummy sammich for lunch:

(and yes, cookies.)

Tomorrow the kitchen floor gets pulled up and I may or may not have a fridge and stove. I'm going to use that day to put together a menu plan and shopping list.

Wednesday will be cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator and shopping. Thursday (yes, Thanksgiving), we begin.

Onwards, no fear!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Quick Update

Augh...I have just taken on more responsibilities at work, leaving this poor blog in the dust. I have SO many things to share - three Betty reviews (hint: all great grades), a fall foliage bike tour picture-fest, and once Sunday is over, a race report (the Green Mountain Half Marathon in South Hero, VT. Come on up, say Hi, and see my Epic Finish Face in PERSON. NOT to be missed, trust me.)

So, please be patient with me and stay tuned for some GREAT stuff!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Betty Review: Shipping/Packaging

So this is my first in a series of reviews of the awesome line of Betty products. I figured I'd start out with that oh-so-important first impression: shipping and packaging.

Shipping: Okay, I wasn't too impressed with this. First of all, for the amount I ordered I would have expected free shipping. (My total was $172.97. When I buy Betty, I BUY BETTY.) I still had to pay $9.99 for standard shipping despite my large total.

Secondly, it was sent USPS. There's no one right company to ship with, as I have heard plenty of complaints about various services depending on where you live, but it would have been nice to be able to select UPS, which is the most reliable shipping carrier in Lake Placid. Not only is the local USPS office less than quick with mail, the USPS tracking service is notoriously bad at updating. Grade: C

Packaging: This is where Kristen friggin' outdid herself. A handwritten personalized note from Kristen herself mentioning the specific items I ordered and a bunch of awesome Betty stickers were included with my items. Nice touches that really shows the pride the company takes in each order. Grade: A+

So although the shipping was a bit iffy, the actual package and handling was AMAZING.

Tune in next week for my review of their Sporty Headband. (

Monday, September 30, 2013

IMLP 2015

Sorry for the delay - it was a CRAZY weekend, which will be a blog entry unto itself. However, a quick word about my decision on doing IMLP again in 2015.

Training for and racing my first Ironman (IMLP 2012) was a life-changing experience. It taught me that I was stronger than I thought and able to do things I thought were impossible. (And I don't just mean the training sessions - balancing 20 hours a week of training while my job was going haywire was a balancing act of such epic proportions I literally used what I learned to give a presentation on time management to my organization.)

When I originally approached Ironman, it was with the "One and done" bucket list mindset. Even when I first finished, I was thinking in terms of half-Ironmans as my longest distance. While I enjoyed working on getting my speed back this season though, I found I missed the long, patient hours of Ironman training. In a sick way, I even missed how Ironman training by necessity takes over your life. (And the automatic weight loss while eating everything in sight doesn't hurt either. *G*)

I made the right decision spending 2013 and 2014 at the shorter distances, mainly working on my ride - my making the bike cutoff at IMLP by less than four minutes shows I was BARELY ready as a cyclist - but after taking a whopping 27 minutes off my Tinman bike split from two years ago with a mechanical AND downpour this year, I think after one more season my bike will be where I need it to approach IMLP again, this time with more than a "Let's pray to make that bike cutoff" approach.

So, in other words, IMLP 2015?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


As you may have noticed, I have completely changed both the design and title of my blog. Let me explain.

This summer, my friend Rachel showed up at one of the Mini-Tris wearing the baddest, awesomist tri suit I had ever seen - pink and black with skulls and butterflies. I asked her wear she got it, and she told me Betty Designs, a company that makes totally AMAZING S/B/R and surf clothes.

Shortly after, they launched their annual "Are You a Betty" campaign for their 2014 team.

I responded THAT DAY with a resounding "Heck YES I'm a Betty" e-mail. I probably should have taken more time to work on my pitch, but was SO EXCITED about the opportunity that I just couldn't wait.

Well, after a couple months of going nuts waiting, they released their 2014 team roster yesterday:

I checked over and over, and unfortunately I was not there. Boo!


That made me realize just HOW BADLY I want to be a Betty and represent this amazing company. So, after consoling myself by ordering a whole bunch of new Betty swag, I decided on a plan of action, because I want IN for 2015.

Why 2015 aside from it being the next opportunity? Because, and here's my second Big Announcement: I'm going for it again and doing Ironman Lake Placid a second time in 2015. In awesome Betty gear whether I make the roster or not. (An entry on this tomorrow.)

So, first of all, both this blog and my Twitter handle (now IWannaBeABetty) have been changed to reflect my determination to be an ambassador for Betty Designs.

Secondly, and most importantly, I am also going to use the next 365 days to "Live Betty" to best of my ability - be it while working, playing, or training. I will also be doing weekly reviews of Betty gear, from water bottles to hats to triathlon tops and everything in between.

So here's to 365 Days of Betty, and many more, hopefully.

Also - Betty? I hope you don't mind that I borrowed your logo for my background and the images for this entry.  It's all from a place of love and admiration and not from a place of copyright and trademark infringement. I promise.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

2013 Lake George Olympic Race Report

Here it is, the race report for the last triathlon of the year - how did we get to Labor Day weekend so quickly? Summer is sweet but very short around here, especially this year with the unusually rainy and cold spring/early summer.

So: Friday after work, Dr. Z. and I drive down to the fine resort town of Lake George. Registration and bike check-in (a nice perk) go without a hitch and before we know it we're sitting at a nice microbrewery enjoying some fine beer and cheeseburgers.

We check in at our hotel and my stomach starts hurting. Like, REALLY hurting. Not queasiness from race day nerves but burning-on-fire severe heartburn. Dr. Z. offers up some Pepto, but it doesn't help and I am up ALL NIGHT in agony (but not enough to think that I needed medical care.)

So 5:00 comes and I get up (already awake anyway). Stomach is STILL killing me and I'm not sure what to do - I've never gotten sick before a race before and here I am two hours before the gun unable to even sip enough water to take my morning medications. Dr. Z. convinces me to get my stuff together since we're here anyway and I have two hours to feel better.

Even at the race site, we're now down to one hour and I'm wondering how I'm going to manage to set up transition, forget RACE. I get my chip, get marked, transition in place, and it's time to wetsuit up. I still feel queasy (though not QUITE as bad) and have not had so much as a sip of water since dinner the night before.

My sassy pre-race face, which is really my "Forcing a grin because my stomach has me about to puke" face
The Swim:

My wave about to go off.

I started off REAL easy since I wasn't feeling well. I was in a "let's just SURVIVE this for now" mindset. I had a MUCH better start than two years ago, where I lost the pack right at the beginning after inhaling a bunch of water, but still ended up way off the back as usual. This also meant NO feet to follow. There was an interesting cross-currant that made it hard to stay straight, but I was pretty happy with my lines.

I had trouble sighting after the last buoy since it was so dark and overcast, but found feet for the last few hundred meters that helped me get back to shore. I was SHOCKED when I looked at my watch and saw 37 minutes. THREE minutes faster than two years ago!

Staring at my watch in shock as I come out of the water.

I was so elated I actually RAN the long run to transition, passing several people. Wetsuit came off like a dream, shoes slid on, and I was out of there. FASTEST IN MY AGE GROUP AND SIXTH FASTEST OVERALL FOR WOMEN. Yep, even when I step down to the Oly distance, my transitions are SWEET.


So I get on the bike, elated over being out of the swim and transition so quickly, and this time I'm mentally prepared for the long climb at the start.

Big grin heading out. And yes, a huge hank of wet hair OVER my sunglasses and my inhaler is sticking out of my top. Sexy and I know it.

The first thing I do is put a couple chews down the hatch now that I'm finally hungry. I realize that I'm already in the hole and the rest of the race will be staving off The Bonk, but I simply couldn't get any calories in earlier. I get to work, keeping it comfortably hard so I can really run people down.  Unfortunately, I have nothing for the climbs - I'm a small rider and was still getting passed on the uphills and passing on the flats and descents. I actually do great on the flat section, averaging around 19-21 MPH and passing people like crazy. Too bad the OTHER 22 miles were hills.  *G* I do something I usually wouldn't do and slow at the aid station for a fresh bottle of water since 1.) it's humid as my crotch and 2.) I started the race dehydrated. First time I'm able to do a moving hand-up! Yay! Bike handling achievement UNLOCKED.

I don't have the searing split/time improvement I had at Tinman, but take three minutes off my previous time, coming in at a coach-predicted 1:30.

My ass and I coming into T2. You're welcome.


My running shoes fold a little, making me only the THIRD-fastest one in my AG, but otherwise smooth transition. I do grab my cap (a mistake, but I'm self-conscious about my helmet hair), stuff my Garmin down my top, and boogie.


Heading out on the run and putting on the Garmin
Ouch. Like the bike, it starts with an uphill. Unlike the bike, I was unprepared. The run course was way hillier than I remembered. Also, I was really starting to get that woozy feeling you get when you're really close to bonking and hitting the wall. Unfortunately, the extra bouncing I was getting from running made the tummy unhappy again so I was unable to put anything other than water and Gatorade down the hatch. I just stubbornly told myself I did the damn IMLP marathon on fluids only and I could do it again. (And ignored the fact that at IMLP I had eaten a buffet on the bike to prepare.) In the kerfuffle of illness I had forgotten to put on my HR Strap, but the pace numbers were unkind. I was expecting 8:45-9:00 pace and 9:18 was where it was.

Preparing to toss my cap to Dr. Z. Also a great example of my "PLEASE KILL ME NOW" hurt face.

I tossed my cap to Dr. Z. and started throwing water on my head, but it didn't help much since it was a humid heat with still air and overcast. The minute the water warmed up, it ceased helping since there was no evaporation.

Steep downhill on the last mile = WORST RUNNING FORM EVER.

So, my run was a definite disappointment, but while I can't do anything about the weather or getting sick, I need to get serious about hitting hills before I do this race again.

Heading to the finish line in the Park.

I crossed the line in 3:08 - a TEN MINUTE improvement from two years ago. On an empty and upset stomach on a muggy, sticky day. DAMN. Still not even MOP, but I came in about 50 places further up overall than last time. I do feel the need to go back because I know with better training (and with luck better weather an no illness) I can do better. I have a fire in my belly now, in a good way.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Picture Updates

Wow, disappeared again for a bit there. Had one last build before the Lake George Olympic to get done. And now we rest and recover from the SMASHING I had been giving my bike legs for two months.

So Monday, was my first day of recovery/taper. Had a nice little brick. Went down Adirondack Loj Road during the ride - the views are SPECTACULAR:

Beats the gym any day!

On Tuesday, my boyfriend surprised me with an early birthday present. Check it out:

I think it goes particularly well with my sundress.
Too late to add it in for Lake George, mainly because I've been riding my road bike in preparation and don't want to switch to Roo at the last minute, and aerohelmets ain't much help if you can't, you know, get into aero. However, I am MOST stoked to debut this bad boy at the Time Trials next year. It's even PINK!

Today's 8 mile tempo run was SOLID. I was FLYING for the first five miles. The last three had the hot sun and the junk in my legs from the last build catching up to me, but it hinted at the incredible fitness I've built up this year. I am MOST STOKED for both Lake George and the Green Mountain Half Marathon.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Week in Training

Week in Training:

Well, in general it was a tough week. About half the volume of my peak for IMLP, but a lot of it was at sprint pace and this is the time of year where I start losing steam a bit. (I start my training season on January 1st.)

So without further ado, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

The Good:

  • Did my longest swim (2K) since Tinman last night and DIDN'T die. (Yes, my swim volume has been THAT low.)
  • This is probably worthy of its own log entry, but set ANOTHER PR at the Mini-Tri at Monday. Granted, most of that was from the swim actually being the correct length this week (biked a little slower, ran a little faster), but I'll take it. I was hoping to just break 1:20 this year, but my official PR is now 1:18:03. Yes, KNOCKING ON THE DOOR OF 1:17. CRAZY. I'll be looking for those four seconds at tonight's Mini-Tri, the last of the year.
The Bad:
  • Tuesday's 45 minute swim left me very tired, which is pathetic.
  • My 9 mile tempo run was quite slow thanks to completely fried legs from all of the hard biking I've been doing.
The Ugly:
  • Had a good ole-fashioned meltdown at the lake, after getting out and giving up 34 minutes into a 55-minute swim, tears and all.
  • Got the bejesus scared out of me by the most insane crosswinds I've ever dealt with on my bike in my life and ended up cutting the bike portion of Saturday's brick short.
So yes, the very uneven training I tend to have this time of year. Hopefully this week will go better.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Friday Film #22

I saw Red 2 last month. It had even less plot than Red, but was still a movie of brainless fun, perfect for Dr. Z. and I to see right before one of his big races (SkyHigh XTerra down outside of Troy).

Anyway, while he...appreciated...Helen Mirren, I was drooling over Lee Byung-Hun. Thank you, South Korea, is all I can say.

So here for your pleasure is a hot Korean man in an expensive suit kicking ass.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Rebooting...Once Again

As you may or may not have noticed, I got away from blogging this year. Once the training amped up I had many stories to tell, but not the time to tell them.

I've decided that I do want to blog again, so stay tuned while I try to "fix up" the blog and get back into the groove with this thing.

A nice shot I got of the IMLP swim start this year to hold you over.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Feed Zone (a.k.a Allen and Biju need to marry me)

Ugh...although I love the pink, not only do I still need to create a new header, the fonts aren't displaying on my iMac. Maybe because it's seven years old. Heh.

Just wanted to post a quick picture of what I've been eating lately. Last week I dusted off my copy of "The Feed Zone" (it really ISN'T made for off-season - too high calorie and high carb) and have fallen in love with it all over again.

Not a picture of my copy. MINE is all bent and stained, I mean "well-loved."

Last year I didn't branch out from a few favorite recipes, but in the past couple days I've been trying some new ones and they're all AMAZING. Last night I made the pork chili before my Bike Club meeting, and came home to a DELICIOUS hot, spicy treat on a freezing cold, snowy evening.

I also love that they can be prepared in advanced. Today I am in meetings all day (boo!) and have a ten-mile tempo run after work. This does not lend itself to cooking. However, some granola with almond milk, Orzo and Basil Salad (My book literally opens to this recipe. I ate it THAT MUCH during IMLP training last year), and Butter Lettuce, Chicken, and Strawberry Salad (or whatever the real name is)  in the fridge means I'm covered.

I mean, who WOULDN'T want to eat like this? That right there is bright, colorful, easy-to-make HEALTHY REAL FOOD.

I will kick this junk food habit to the curb if it KILLS me.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Work(s) in Progress

As you can see, the blog is a mess right now. My old header had me still in training for IMLP, which is obviously out-of-date. Since it's a picture and I no longer have the original one without text, I figured I might as well overhaul it. For now, well, I like pink. Sue me.

I'm still in overhaul too after nine weeks of off-season. I read somewhere that you need two weeks for each week off to get back to where you were, which is eighteen weeks, or FOUR AND A HALF MONTHS, to get back to where I was at the marathon. Yikes!

It definitely is showing. I'm still around 114 pounds despite training harder. My paces and heartrates are also pretty sad. A bit frustrating when the season is centered around PRs! I keep telling myself that it's only February, my first race isn't until the end of June, calm down. It's time to get serious, but no need to freak out just yet.

On a positive note, I really am putting in the work. Lots of tempo work, to be precise. It's a funny contradiction after two years of base building. My engine wants more volume, but my legs are constantly fried, leaving me both antsy AND hurting. LOL!

I'm putting in pretty good volume on the long days though - I'm already up to 10 miles of running and 45 cycling, all at race effort. Believe it or not. (Notice I said race EFFORT. Once again, fat and out-of-shape here isn't putting down anything near race PACE.)

So, it's February, or as Garfield called it, "The Monday of Months." We soldier on, and dream of warm days and fast races.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013



After IMLP, I really didn't train. I rested for five weeks, then did the Vermont Half coasting on the base I had built up.  About six weeks later I did the Empire State Marathon, once again pretty much coasting.  I mean, my long run for that was 15 miles. Seriously.


I never really changed my eating habits to compensate. In fact, I ate a lot more junk food.


I stayed away from the scale, but could tell that I was getting softer and my clothes tighter. I broke the zipper on my skinny jeans, which used to be my normal jeans.


That's what the scale said on January 1st when training started and I finally had to admit that the excuses were over - I was done recovering, off-season was over, and I'm going for some HIM PRs, one of which is on a hilly course.

That's nine pounds above race weight. Include fat loss and muscle gain and it's more like 15 pounds to get to my race body comp of 105 lbs, 20% bodyfat.

My coach gave me a laughably low volume of work to start out with (less than I had been doing during my self-coached off-season), so I knew I wasn't going to BURN those pounds off, at least not yet.

So for the past two days, I've been eating more of this:

And less of this:

Am I craving unhealthy foods? Hell yes! Am I cranky because most of the time I'm letting myself be a little hungry? Yeppers. But I'm also already feeling lighter and cleaner. The scale said 113.2 this morning. It could be water weight gone from dumping the junk, it could be a daily fluctuation. But it did make it easier to keep at it today.

114. Today 113. One pound at a time. Getting not just leaner, but healthier and full of good, clean food.