Friday, December 18, 2015

Sting or Bee Stung!

I am proud to announce I am a part of the Honey Stinger family for 2016! It is great to be a part of something you love! 

I struggle with sports nutrition because I am picky and my stomach is even pickier! Honey Stinger is delicious! It is made from all natural products! AND it is easy on the stomach! 

I love all their waffles, but if I had to pick a favorite caramel would be it! Chocolate is a close second though! I eat these for breakfast, pre workout, post work out, and as a treat!

And because they are made from all natural products they are great for the whole family!! I use the chews out on my runs and my four boys have their very own they use for their runs! 

So there you have it! My favorite nutrition for before, during, and after workouts! And I am how lucky am I to "bee" a member of the Honey Stinger hive! Sting or Bee Stung!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Running Post Fibula Stress Fracture

A minor setback paves the way for a major comeback!
I ran my one mile trial mile (Zone 2 - 8:23 pace) to test out my leg after almost 6 weeks of no running. It felt amazing to be running! There was some nagging pain towards the end of the mile, but I should have run at a slower pace. It was hard not getting carried away!
"She was unstoppable not because she didn't have failures or doubts but because she continued on despite them." Reunited and it feels so good! I'm not running fast and I'm not running far! But I am running, and I am free!

So very thankful for this body I am given and everything it does for me!
My first brick in months = 1 hour on the bike + 15 minute easy run. It was glorious! 

"Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up."
Coming back from injury I am only running for 15 minutes and my pace is 2 minutes per mile slower than before, but I am running and I couldn't be happier!

The treadmill is working well for my short easy runs!

But I love to get out to run as much as I can! "When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive - to breath, to think, to enjoy, to love." TO RUN!!!

I am focusing on just running. I'm not worrying about pace, nor speed work, but just being able to run! Making my comeback baby!!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

My Journey to a Handstand

What's up? My legs that's what!! Well, kind of! Lol! This is my 1st attempt at a handstand! Haha! I have a long way to go!! I love stepping out of my comfort zone and trying new things....even if that means looking like a fool!
My IG friend Amanda (aka fitnfulfilled) has created a challenge to help me achieve an actual handstand! I'm so excited to try! 
If you too want to learn she started a group for us to follow the challenge.
I will be taking pictures throughout the challenge so you can see my progress! Fingers crossed I don't break anything! 😁

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Team Member at Zoot Sports

After just one season in triathlon, I am excited to announce I am going to be sponsored by Zoot in 2016! I feel very honored to be among such amazing athletes! I never dreamed I'd be where I am in my fitness endeavors. And I couldn't be happier to be here! 

I have always loved Zoot! In fact every triathlon I've done I've been wearing Zoot. So Zoot has been with me since the beginning of my triathlon journey. And Zoot will continue to be with me on my journey to become an IRONMAN!


Saturday, November 21, 2015

My Swim Progression

I know I've posted something similar before, but I am constantly analyzing data. Anyone else obsessive about this like me? I am definitely motivated by numbers! 
In these pics my expressions say it all! These are not pretty pictures or fast times, but this is how my swim evolved over my first tri season. 1. CB&I 500 meters = 2:54 pace 2. TriGirl 200 meters = 3:13 pace (I got kicked in the nose and saw stars!) 3. Cypress Triathlon 600 meters = 2:45 pace (was supposed to be 550 meters but was officially adjusted to 600 post race) 4. Towne Lake Olympic 1500 meters = 2:44 pace!! Getting stronger on the swim! **had only been swimming 7 months prior to first tri. had never put my face in the water to swim until I was 38 years old**

Friday, November 20, 2015

My Transformation

My transformation may not be one you can see as much as some others. My transformation comes from within and it is one of confidence. I have struggled with feeling insecure my entire life. This is a picture of my very first race ever in 2013 (10k - pace 11:00) and a picture of my most recent race (10 miler - pace 8:04). From the beginning of this journey at 37 years old to today at 40 years old I have never felt better and more confident in my life! That first race changed my life! How did your first race change you? 

Monday, November 16, 2015

My New TriBike!!

I am so thrilled about my new to me tribike! It is a QuintanRoo Dulce. I am so thankful to my hubby for getting it for me, to my teammate Heidi for hooking me up with a great bike, and my coach and her husband (Gena and Greg) for fine tuning the bike and getting me fitted! It's definitely a group effort, and I am so thankful for such a supportive group!!
 And here it is!! I love it!
 I just know I am going to be fast and furious!
 A little stretching before my ride! Just a little love affair going on with my new bike!
 Practicing clipping in and out on the indoor trainer first!
I got out there and clipped in and out no problem! Even got into aero a little bit! Building the confidence! I stayed on my cul de sac until I get a little more comfortable!
 I am hoping this is the view the other cyclists see as I fly by them!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Overcomers are Achievers!

Sitting down to fill out/update my athlete questionnaire for my coach had me counting my blessings. I have a lot of excuses I could use not to do what I do and yet I choose to anyway. Putting on paper the broken bones, surgeries, autoimmune disorders, etc. doesn't make me think about what I can't do or what holds me back. But instead it makes me appreciate what my body can spite of everything that could stand in my way. I have had 10 broken bones not including multiple toes. I have had 9 surgeries. I have Scoliosis and Spondyliothesis which are both deformities of the spine. I have an irregular heartbeat and Angina which both require heart medications. I suffer from a few autoimmune disorders - Hypothythoid, IBS, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, Raynauds, and I am being treated for Rhuematoid Arthritis.
I am sometimes limited from my issues with my back. But I have to say the biggest challenge for me is the Rheumatoid Arthritis. It has taken a couple years to get a diagnosis and begin treatment and we are still tinkering with the treatment. I am constantly fatigued and every day there is chronic pain. Some days are harder than others. Some days it takes everything I've got just to get out of bed. But I make a choice to do it. I make that choice because I am afraid if I give in I let the disease win. And if you know me at all I don't like to lose! Some doctors have recommended me to stop running, some have told me to limit my efforts, I am thankful for the ones who encourage me to push thru it. Because for me, if I can't control my physical body I would like to have some say over my mental state. Swimming, biking, and running help keep me sane! Being able to do what I can gives me the feeling of control over something I don't always have control over.
I take a lot of medicine each day. I take Methotrexate and Prednisone for the arthritis, Synthroid for my thyroid, Cardizem and Ranexa for heart, Nexium for reflux, Omega 3 for meibomian gland dysfunction, Calcium for osteopenia/bone strength, Vitamin D, Zyrtec and Omnaris for allergies, and Albuterol for asthma.  I also tend to take Ibuprofen 3 times a day.
What you see in this pic is a woman who is 39 years old and just completed her first triathlon! A woman who crossed the finish line who a year before and a week before questioned if it was even possible. What you don't see is that I had finally recovered from my bike crash after 2 surgeries and months of physical therapy and training. And wouldn't you know it less than a week before my first triathlon I had an arthritis flare up so intense I could not walk. I shuffled in pain if I had to move. I was covered head to toe in a rash that caused swelling and horrible itching. I had put in so much work and overcame so many obstacles and I was not about to give up now! My rheumatologist and dermatologist worked together to treat my flare up. My meds were increased, I was bumped up to a high dosage of steroids, and was put on a steroid cream. And within a couple days I could walk! And a couple days after that I not only competed but I surpassed my goal and expectations. I sobbed hysterically at the finish line, I cried for days, and truth be told I still tear up when I think about the moment I crossed that finish line!
But as I've continued in the sport of running and triathlon, do you know what I've learned? Just about everyone in this field has their battles. We all have a story. And that is what makes us stronger and pushes us to accomplish anything we set our hearts on! I am inspired daily by stories I hear from people I meet in the field as well as those I may never meet! Overcomers are Achievers!
1st Olympic Distance Triathlon - 3:00:09
This race season I completed three 5k's, a Supersprint triathlon, two Sprint triathlons, and an Olympic distance triathlon. In every race I achieved a new personal record. I finish in at least the top 25% of my races. I even won a 1st place and 2nd place in my Age Group in 5k's. I will not let anything stand in my way! Choose not to let anything stand in yours!


Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fibula Stress Fracture

I felt ok after running the 10 for Texas. A couple days later I went out for a run on the trails and I was feeling pain in my calf. I kept thinking/hoping it was just muscle tightness. I finished my run and after it was really hurting. I am getting ready to begin Ironman 70.3 training so I want to play it smart. Right away I began with R.I.C.E (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). I wore my compression sleeves everywhere. I continued to bike and swim because I felt ok doing those. I took a week off from running. Then I went out for a run. And the pain was back in full force. So this time I stopped swimming, biking, and running. I went out one night and had to jog to my car to get thru the rain and that's when I knew I had to get in to see the orthopedist. I was limping. I kept hoping it was a strain in my calf muscle. There was a worry in the back of my mind about a possible stress fracture because I have had them in the past and also because the pain I was feeling was deep. But I was holding onto hope that it was nothing to worry about. I was praying that it was something short lived and would not interfere with my training.

I even took my first ice bath
 Monday morning I called and my appointment was set for Thursday. I continued to rest and just focused on some stretching and weights in the meantime. And Thursday finally came. If you are an athlete you know the fear and dread of finally getting a diagnosis. You want to know so you can begin the healing process, you want the best case scenario, and you want the shortest recovery period.
The dreaded wait....
The diagnosis is a stress fracture in my fibula which means no running for 4 weeks and then I go back to see where we are at that point. The good news is I can still bike and swim. I'm going to just have to delay the run portion of my training for my 70.3. And I fear I'll have to rethink my running. I love to run fast and hard and really push myself to the limit when I run. This is my 3rd stress fracture in my lower legs. I had stress fractures in both tibias at this same time of year in 2013 during Marathon training. I would hate to have to cut back my intensity, but I want to be sure I have a lifetime of running and triathlons ahead of me! I'm going forward with a positive frame of mind. Injury is all too often a part of the process. I will work thru it. I will spend this time focusing on biking and swimming and on strength training. This will not interfere with my goals!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weights and Pull ups

I can say my upper body is weak because it's been neglected during my clavicle/shoulder recovery. While that is true, the real truth is it's always been that way. Even when I've incorporated weights regularly in my fitness regiment, I've never felt strong. I want that to change!
I had my husband spot me with the bar that weighs 45 pounds. In my defense that is 43% my body weight. Lol it was so hard!!!! I was able to do 3! Three!! Haha! Well it's a start! I traded the bar out for my 12lb weights and finished my sets.
Yet another blow to my ego was my attempt at doing pullups. This was as good as it got! I could not stop giggling because it was so hard! But I am holding onto this picture because I am going to look back on it and laugh when I am doing them like a champ!

After all 3 of my bench presses and my 1/2 a pull up I am so sore! Lol!! I've got some serious work to do!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

It's a Stretch!

I tend to sacrifice the stretch in order to get back to my responsibilities sooner. When I stretch regularly I feel so much better, and I know this. I am determined to keep stretching as a part of my daily routine.

I use the Stretch Out Strap and I find it helpful as I have a very limited knowledge on stretching. While it's my goal to stretch daily it is also my goal to learn more about proper and varied stretches.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Climbing to the Top

I love taking a unique and challenging approach each time never giving up until I reach the top!
 I had no idea how intense a 2 hour rock climbing workout could be! Granted we went after I did a 5 mile run. I don't think I'll do that again. I believe I used just about every muscle in my entire body! My muscles were burning and by the end I was shaking as I made my way to the top!
 My youngest, Emerson, wanted to go rock climbing for his 4th birthday. He was a beast. He had no fear. He spent more time climbing in the adult section than he did the kid's section. He came across a little trouble because his reach was just a little too short on some points on the course. But he never gave up! He climbed for two hours and his excitement never waned!
 Daddy only chose the most challenging courses while Mommy did whatever it took to get to the top!

I can't wait to go again! I'm definitely going to make rock climbing a more frequent addition to my workouts!

Monday, October 19, 2015

My CycleOps Saves My Training!


Being a busy mom of four there is not a lot of time to get out on the road for my rides. I usually have at least one kiddo with me, and if I don't it's usually too dark or too busy a traffic time be out there. So my CycleOps Fluid 2 trainer is literally my saving grace for my training! I get on there early in the morning when the boys are still asleep, during naptime, or after bedtime. There have been times when I make a picnic in our workout room for my youngest and get in a quick ride while he eats lunch. I do whatever it takes to get it done while taking as little time away from my family as possible.
I recently did my longest ride ever and it was on my trainer! I rode for 2 1/2 hours! It was as much of a mental challenge as it was a physical challenge! I had to exercise some serious mental fortitude! But I got it done!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Slow Swimming

In my focus to improve my stroke I feel as if I have sacrificed my speed. I am so slow! But I am staying focused and hoping that as my form improves my speed will also improve.

My goal is to see my average pace under the 2 minute mark! I cannot wait for the day!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

My First Love, Trail Running


My love of running first originated on the trails. I have always enjoyed hiking. My husband and I, even when we were first dating would go on long hikes and camping trips. After we had kids, we would take them along. So it was only natural when I started running I headed straight for the trails.
I feel like I can breathe more deeply when I'm out on the trails. I can quiet my mind and be at peace. My own little escape.
My very first race was a 10k trail run. I had only started running 4 weeks before! I worried that a 10k was a little ambitious, but I went for it! My time was 1:08:25/11:00 pace and I thought I was flying! I was so proud!
My next race was almost two months later. It was also a 10k trail run. My time was 59:57/9:38 pace. 8 1/2 minutes off my time and I made my first PR!
After that I was bitten by the speed and distance bug. I was ultra focused on improving! I still hit the trails on occasion, but not as much. I am determined now to get back to the trails more often. While always looking to improve, I need to also remember my love of running and the peace I find on the trails. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Letter to myself for 6 months from today

To Iron Jill,
     For 6 months you have trained for this day. You have put in countless hours, sweat, and I'm sure there were even tears along the way. You never gave up! I am sure the old doubt and anxiety is creeping in but remember to trust your training. On October 10th, you have yet to bike even 35 miles. You are running 10 miles. And while you can swim the distance 1.2 miles you are dreaming of faster times. I know with hard work and determination you have increased your mileage, gotten faster, and are even stronger now. You are ready! Training is not just a physical challenge but a mental one. And each moment you dedicated to your training has brought you to this moment. I want you to go out and fight hard for your goals. But I want you to have fun and enjoy the race. Remember to smile, remember to say an encouraging word to another athlete who may need it, remember that this is your dream and you are living it girl! Things will likely go wrong and you will be challenged in ways you couldn't imagine. And from these things you will learn and grow, so take them in stride. Remember it's one foot (or stroke or rotation) in front of the other and just breathe! You've got this!

Truly yours!!

10 for Texas Race Recap

I was anxious going into this race like I am every other race. My coach had me using heart rate training. Usually I would run full out and hard every run, so I would know what I was capable of. I would also end up injured. Heart rate training has kept me injury free, but I was going into this race not knowing what I was capable of. My coach had given me a goal pace of 8:10!!! I have to admit I thought she was a little crazy, but of course I hoped she was right!! I felt like 8:10 was a very ambitious goal. I figured I would aim for 8:20 and make my stretch goal 8:10 and if I was really lucky I would make it somewhere in between. My friend Meredith and I went on a warm up run before the race and this is something I will always try to do. Usually the first mile of the race I spend working out aches and pains and any kinks I have. This time I didn't have to. I felt great from the start. I was at an 8:00 pace and my legs felt strong and my breathing was steady. A few miles in I saw my coach Gena and her husband Greg. It was great seeing them out there! I was getting hot so I started getting water at every station and taking a drink and pouring the rest on me. I made it to the halfway mark and I still felt great! My pace was steady and each step closer I knew I could do it. At about mile 9 I saw Coach Gena and Greg again. She said I was at an average sub 8 pace! I got excited and started pushing harder and my breathing was all off. Another runner reminded me to focus on my breathing and I did just that. I got it under control, I made it up the bridge and down, and turned the corner towards where I knew the largest crowd would be waiting. I took my headphones out so I could hear the cheering. When I did that it caused my phone to slide out of my armband and fall on the ground. Here is where I learned a very important lesson. Never ever under any circumstances bend over after running really hard for 10 miles. First my knees hit the ground and then I fell forward. The crowd collectively gasped, went silent, and then cheered as I got myself up and started to run again. Oh the humiliation! I remember scanning the crowd wondering if there was anyone out there I knew that may have witnessed  my lack of grace. My friend Leanne snapped this pic right after I got back up. I swallowed my tears, put a smile on my face, and made it to that finish line. I was hyperventilating at that point and had trouble keeping back the tears of humiliation. My parents found me and my mom told me I had to have finished in close to 20 minutes. I waited a few minutes for them to post the first sheet of results. I got my finish time of 1:20:46. I knew it was really good but I still didn't know my pace. I was ready to just get home. In the car I checked results and there it was an 8:04 pace!! 8:04!!! I did it! I didn't just meet my goal I surpassed it! Nothing like a little dose of humility with my pride! 

I ran this course a year ago with a finish time of 1:30:27 and a pace of 9:03. This year I beat my time by 10 minutes!! Ain't nothin' gonna keep me down! Got my PR baby!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

When I run I am free......

When I run I am from self doubt, free from criticism, free from negativity, I am free from any demands put on me. It's just one foot in front of the other and breathe.