Category Archives: Goals

Home Stretch

IMG_1064It’s go time.  And it so is.

I have been following a rigid training plan since MAY, when 70.3 training began.  That’s a lot of gluten-free waffles.  I’ve probably peaked at least three times.  Races are often described as the “victory lap” at the end of a training cycle.  After eight months, some significant emotional challenges, and about a gillion miles, I’m beyond ready to put this training cycle to bed.  If I sound demoralized, I’m not at all.  I’m just a bit overcooked.  Very ready.

Goal-setting and planning for this race has been a bit of a conundrum.  I registered for CIM a few weeks before I dropped out of Augusta, needing a big challenge I knew I could enjoy meeting.  When I transitioned from triathlon to marathon training, I was a bit nervous about my past tibial tendinitis or ITB issues flaring up.  To avoid injury and increase enjoyment, I experimented with walking breaks during my long runs.  It was wonderful.  I felt very strong and unbelievably calm.  No joke, I actually enjoyed my twenty milers!  They were faster than my first marathon pace (even with a break every 9 minutes) and recovery was really quick.  I figured I would transition to continuous long runs once I had ramped up my mileage without injury.  But I just never did.  For runs ten miles and fewer, I ran through but all my significant long runs had regular breaks.

I didn’t have any ego issues with frequent walking breaks initially but now I feel slightly less comfortable with them.  I’ve debated several different race plans:

9 or 10 minutes running / 1 minute walking

Pro: I’ve trained this way.  It’s very psychologically comforting to know that there’s always another break on the horizon, usually before I need it.

Con: It’s awkward to stop, especially early in the race.  I have to run faster to maintain my overall pace.  My walking breaks may not align with the aid stations.

Straight running

Pro: Running pace is slower since it’s continuous. Ego boost.

Con: Much more physically demanding.  Haven’t run anywhere near that far continuously in over a year.  Much more challenging mentally.

Walking at aid stations

Pro: Similar to my training.  Running pace can be a bit slower since walking breaks are less frequent.  Walking breaks are proactive enough to stave off fatigue later in the race. Won’t back people up.

Cons: Walking breaks aren’t quite as often but hey, it is a race….

I’ve settled on the compromise option: walking for 0:45-1:00 through the aid stations beginning at mile 3.    I will PR this race, without question.  By how much, I’m not sure but I’m aiming for >4:30 (10:17 pace) which is totally doable, even with walking breaks.

This race marks the end of my Beginner Chapter.  My intention for CIM is to enjoy (relatively) easy racing one last time.  In the new year, it’s time to get brave and get fast!

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2013 – Part 1 Done!

We’re halfway through 2013!


Let’s check in!

Here are the things I stated that I will do:

* I will PR all distances (5k, 10k, half marathon).

Not quiiiiite yet.  I expected to get the 10k AND half marathon PR’s knocked out in March but I had to DNS both scheduled races due to posterior tibial tendonitis.  I’ve recovered and got my 5k PR at See Jane Run!  Woot!  I have a half marathon scheduled next month as a training race for Portland.  I expect to PR there.  Just gotta get a 10K on the schedule…

* I will become a wife.

Not yet.  Not behind on this one, unless you consider being engaged for almost three years “behind.”  If you do, there’s a delightful movie starring Emily Blunt and Jason Segal that you should see.  We’re getting married in November or at the latest, the first week of December so I should get this one in just under the wire.  

* I will become a triathlete.


* I will run the Chicago  Portland Marathon.

Not yet.  Training has begun!  Lots of miles and PR’s between now and October 6th.  

So basically, I’m nailing it right?

In the last six months, I have:

* Dealt with my first semi-significant injury and regained much of my lost running fitness.

* Improved my swimming, including open water swimming!

* Maintained my weight, mostly….

* Learned to LOVE cycling.  Not sure I saw that one coming back in January

* Stayed committed to triathlon training and absolutely loved it.

* Rode my bike with friends and had a great time!

* Joined a triathlon club and met an awesome training partner.

* Purchased my wedding dress.  I swear, we’re totally getting married.

* Blogged on the regular!

2013 has been pretty amazing so far.  Only becoming a marathoner and married lady in the second half of the year can top the first half!

How’s your year going?  Meeting goals?  Changing goals?  Crushing goals?




Swim: 0.5 miles – 20:00 (2:35/100m)

T1 – 2:30

Bike: 14 miles – 52:00 (16.15 mph)

T2 – 1:30

Run: 3.1 miles – 30:00 (9:40 mm)




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Change of Plan

During half marathon training, I secretly decided that, someday,  I would run a full marathon.

(It must have been a really good run when I made that decision because in mile 5 of my half marathon, I was convinced that full marathons were a HOAX.)

There was no question in my mind which would be my first: Chicago.  By all accounts, it’s an amazing first marathon.  I’ve always wanted to visit the city, mostly to eat at the restaurants of Grant Achatz and Rick Bayless.  The first marathon recap I ever read was Liz’s description of the 2010 marathon, so it’s been on my radar since before racing even felt like a possibility.  Chicago is typically held on my birthday weekend (10/7), allowing me to celebrate a new age with a huge accomplishment.  Not a bad tradition!  I went public with my intentions several months ago and have completely adjusted to the reality that I would run the Chicago Marathon on 10/13/2013.

So, yesterday, I was randomly reading an article that mentioned the Portland Marathon.  On 10/6.  In Portland, OR.  I love Portland.  I live (relatively) near Portland.  It’s supposed to be very friendly to first-timers.  Registration is open.



My attachment to Chicago was a bit hard to let go of but as I considered the huge list of pro’s, it was a no-brainer:


  • BIRTHDAY WEEKEND!!! Aaaaaaand I will get my first marathon in on the last day of age 30.  F*CK YES.
  • Much closer to California so the travel is less expensive and less stressful.
  • MUCH closer to Seattle so spectating will be much easier, more convenient, and less expensive for my family.
  • Food trucks.  Food trucks.
  • Bestie lives in Portland.
  • Less expensive!
  • Mid 50’s.  After training all summer, how GOOD will that feel?
  • The Chicago Marathon will always be there and because it won’t be my first one, I won’t need my entourage to travel with me!

I pondered for about 10 minutes, got the blessing from my parents and dude, and registered!  And then I got REALLY excited.  Woke up this morning, still REALLY excited.


I Would Like To; I Will…


He told me to tell you "Happy New Year" also.

He told me to tell you “Happy New Year” also.

After my epic post recapping 2012, I’m ready to move into 2013.  It’s hard to imagine having a more intense or accomplished year than the one that just passed but I’ve got some big plans.

I’ve never been a resolution girl.  I connote “resolution” with failure.   It seems like people resolve to do things that they don’t really believe they’re capable of.  It’s a very “diet starts Monday” attitude and the January 1st date just feels so arbitrary!  Huge BRAVA to the many whose resolutions lead to permanent positive change.

I’m pretty sure that the likelihood of following through on any type of goal or resolution is directly proportional to your belief that you CAN accomplish it.  To that end, I have things in 2013 that I would like to do and things that I will do.

Things I Would Like To Do:

These are all things that would be great to do in 2013.  I’m not sure they’ll happen for various reasons: may not be physically capable, may not be interested enough to fully commit,  may chicken out…  In any case, I won’t be heartbroken if they don’t happen this year but I bet most, if not all, will!

  • Take spin class(es)!
  • Make running friends and run with them!
  • Join a Masters swim team!
  • More trail running (need friends…)!
  • Group rides!
  • Run 800 miles!
  • Attend 150 TDM classes!
  • Run a 24 minute 5K
  • Run 10 races!
  •  Ride in a cycling race (metric century, maybe?)!
  • Track workouts!
  • Blog 3 times a week!
  • Figure out a nutrition plan that allows me to both feel slim AND have great workouts!
  • Be honest in my TDM practice every time.  Drop the ego but push myself past my limits.
Things I Will Do:

These are things that are happening in 2013.  Fully committed.  Fully excited.  Fully ALL IN.

In 2013, I will PR all distances (5K, 10K, half marathon).

I will become a wife.

I will become a triathlete.

I will run the Chicago Marathon.

BRING IT, ’13.

TrizzleFrizzle and a Confession

TriFri is officially my favorite day of the week!

Sleepy Swimmy

Good morning, World!

So, swimming is still really hard and I’m kind of obsessed with figuring out how to do it.  Earlier this week, I did my second workout of 400 meters.  It was difficult but I had a few lengths of the pool that felt easy and fluid.  I had many more that left me gasping for air or coughing up water after attempting to breathe bilaterally.  Still, I loooooooooove being in the pool.

Despite still struggling, I decided to introduce swimming into TRIFRI!  We’re having major storms in the Bay Area (sorry to all the folks running North Face 50 and CIM!)  so it was a perfect day for my first sprint tri: gym style!

I packed up a ridiculous amount of gear and headed to 24 Hour.

So, so much gear...

So, so much crap…

First up: swim!  My plan was 4 x 25, 4 x 50, 4 x 25.  I evidently can’t read a calendar and my workout was cut slightly short by the aqua workout class.  I managed to do 350 in just under 16 minutes.  I’m pretty sure that’s extremely slow but it was only my third swim workout!  I have yet to make it a full lap freestyle without either my lungs or legs giving out.  I was able to get through the 50’s by switching to breaststroke.  I focused on keeping my head down, hips up, legs straight and rotating my body.  With only 50 yards (or meters or whatever the distance of my pool is) left, the aqua aerobics ladies started to do their thing and I was out!

Swim: 15:48

So, you know you’re insane when you’re rushing through your “transition” during your gym workout.  What can I tell you?  It’s important for me to do things correctly AND efficiently.  You can’t fight your nature.  Unless you’re trying to put a Lululemon Power-Y on a soaking wet body.  It was like trying to roll a condom over a side of beef.  Finally, I was semi-dry and onto the bike!

My bike plan was 12 miles, mostly cruising, some hills.  Did that.  Listened to Pandora.  Texted a bit with my beezy.  Sweated like I have never sweated before.  Had a BALL!

Bike: 29:47.

I love that pace because with my major cycling fear, it will take me three times that long to ride that distance on a road with other humans.  Hurrah for stationary.

Off the bike and onto the run.  This “transition” consisted of wiping down my drenched body and hopping onto the treadmill.  #NailedIt.  I got on a treadmill, set it to 6.0 and cruised.  I felt really…..(come si dice?)…..AWESOMEAMAZINGBALLS.  I didn’t have any noticeable heaviness in my legs.  I actually felt really fresh and warmed up.  That conservative pace was nice for the first half mile and I progressively sped up throughout the 3.1 miles.

Run: 29:28 / 9:30 avg

At the end, I was a bit tired but had much, much, much more in the tank.  Perfect for a workout and very encouraging.  I have never been so sweaty in my life but had a HUGE smile on my face as I chugged water in the locker room.  This workout was SO. FUN.  And illuminating.  I have a lot of work to do before I can go “live” as a triathlete but it feels like something I was really meant to do.


I said it.

I am becoming a triathlete.

Base Building and Bad Haircutting

Sick day #2.

My legs are itching to go but I’m still laid out with this fluey yuckiness.  After two nights of NyQuil sleep, I could probably work out but it’s not worth pushing it and setting myself back another few days.  So the day wouldn’t be a total wash, I figured I could sit through a haircut.  I asked for a few inches off (my hair was down my back) and light, not pronounced layering.  This is what I got:


She just kept cutting shorter and shorter!  In and in and in!  There’s really nothing that can be done once it’s in motion so I just rolled with it.  My hair grows quickly so it’s not really a big deal.  Except…

B*tch stole my ponytail!

And yet, the world continues to turn.  Sigh…

So, if I can’t run, at least I can plan running!  A few nights ago, I had a moment of concern.  I attribute a lot of my training success to the fact that I had a clear plan and a goal to work towards.  While I have a number of large goals (run faster, run further, cycle without dying, swim without drowning), I don’t have a specific race that I’m training for.  I began to worry that without a plan that culminated in something meaningful, I would lose my fitness and lose my way.

Since I respond well to plans, it seemed that a base building plan would be beneficial.  I thought about the areas in which I would like to grow as a runner before my next round of half marathon training:

Get Faster!

* Acclimate my body to four days a week of running including back to back days.

* Increase my mileage incrementally to prevent injury.
In the absence of a base building plan that met my needs, I developed my own!  Like my half marathon training, it is rather conservative.  It is basically four blocks of four weeks and will take me into the beginning of February.  I cycle through six, eight, and ten mile long runs and end each cycle with a cutback run of four miles.  You’ll notice that the first two cycles are out of order.  This is because I had concerts on the weekends where I was scheduled to do ten miles.  Knowing how fatiguing those runs can be, I swapped them with the cutback four miler.

Each week will include at least one speedwork session.  My immediate neighborhood is hilly so I plan to run from home more frequently.  Most exciting,  I hope to do at least one run a week on trails!  I’ve even embarked on the process of buying trail shoes.  I’m ridiculously indecisive when purchasing anything over $70 so it might take awhile.

One question I’ve had trouble understanding about base training:  if I’m regularly running up to 10 miles, am I half marathon “ready” all the time?  I think I’ll probably do one in February or early March and see how it goes!  I’ll certainly be prepared enough to do 13.1 without injury.

How do you maintain and develop your fitness between training cycles?