Ironman Cozumel Part 3

Continued from Ironman Cozumel and Ironman Cozumel Part 2….

Transition 2 – A welcomed separation from Stanley. Although we are buds, 7hrs got the best of us. He was handed off to a volunteer to go rack and I grabbed my run bag and headed into the changing tent. Applied a little more body glide and sunscreen, switched out my shoes, and I was on my way, 5:12 later.

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Heading into T2! Bye Bye Stanley!
Run — It felt so good to walk that I took the first 20-30yards to just walk and stretch out my legs before finding my stride. Similar to the bike, it was a three loop course that consisted of running down the street away from the finish line a little over 4 miles then running back towards the finish line a little over 4miles. It sounds like a boring course but for an ironman when you want support, it was great! And my family took full advantage of this; they spread out over the 4 mile stretch to cheer me on the entire way. The course was relatively flat with a few gradual hills. The best part of the course, aside from the spectators, was that the aid stations were every kilometer (.6 miles). Something about them being every kilometer made them that much easier to stay focused and running in between them.

Lap 1…Sun high and still hot!

I was able to keep that focus and get through 10miles strong, just walking though the aid stations. At about mile 11, I started to struggle a little bit. I was STARVING!! And I couldn’t stomach any more Gu or gummies so I had to turn to the food on the course to get me through. From mile 11 – 16, the aid stations became Kathryn feeding stations. Pretzels and peanuts did the trick. During this time, my walks through the aid stations became a little more leisurely and my focus in between stations had dwindled. I was running 2min, walking 30seconds. Alex even briefly walked with me during this, I’m pitiful, I’m going to starve stretch. Eventually, I was able to build back up to about a 3-4min run 30sec walk.

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Still smiling!
By mile 17 I had found my stride again and was moving pretty good. Still keeping to about 3min run, 30sec walk. Somewhere close to this point, maybe a little before, I passed my mom and I told her “I got this.” My strong stride continued though mile 20, a 10k to go. Although my legs were doing okay, I was just all over getting tired and losing focus.

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Maybe a little pain but staying strong as the sun sets!
This is when I took a new approach and really started playing the mind game. The street was divided with cones so I took to counting cones. This was entertaining because they weren’t evenly spread out. I would run 10 cones then walk 2. This mind game plus a little encouragement from the guys from England I met during bike drop off worked till about a mile to go. Funny thing is, I am sure people thought I was some kind of crazy chick out there, I was counting out loud for all to hear. I didn’t realize it for the longest time though; I was just focused on my cones.

With a mile to go, it felt like I picked it up and was killing it to the finish line but really, that wasn’t quite the case at all. Regardless, I felt strong and I was determined to get there. The smile was still plastered on my face like it had been all day and I could feel my heart beating in my chest, I was about to be an Ironman!

Coming back up the street towards the finish line, I got to stay to the right at the split, as opposed to the left like I had the last two times. I could hear the cheering crowd and the announcer over the loud speakers. I was close. As I made the split, I spotted my parents straight ahead. I bee lined it for them, high fives all around before making my way up the ramp for the final stretch to the finish line. My hands held high, tears in my eyes; I was steps away from being an IRONMAN!!

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The final approach!
There was this huge sense of relief that rushed through my body as I crossed that finish line. It was unreal. I, Kathryn Leach, was officially an IRONMAN!!! Although, I felt confident all day, even during my low points, I had now, really done it! I had completed the 2.4mile swim, the 112mile bike ride, and the 26.2mile run with time to spare before the cut offs.

My run time was 4:48:31, making total time for the day, 13:20:51!!

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I did it!
To be continued….

 

Ironman Cozumel Part 2

Continued from Ironman Cozumel….

Swim – 7am the pro division heads into the water, that was my 30min till go time mark. I lined up with the 1:20 – 1:30 wave since it was a rolling start as opposed to the normal mass start of an Ironman event. Little did we know that 7:30 start would quickly turn into a 7:45, almost 8 o’clock start time. The announcer wasn’t doing a great job of keeping the athletes or the spectators informed and you could sense the frustration amongst the athletes as we stood waiting. Turns out the dock broke, luckily no one was hurt but it made it so they were only allowing about 4 people to start at a time. And what was supposed to be a ramp into the water turned into a jump in the roughly 4 feet of water. I fortunately didn’t have any issues but I did hear of others complaining about hitting their feet hard on the bottom and jarring themselves a bit.

Immediately into the swim I had a little bit of a panic. All along, I was told the swim was with the current but I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere. I kept thinking to myself, if this is with the current, I am in trouble!! This went on for about the first 10(ish) minutes before making a slight turn around the island to where you could feel the difference. Immediately, the swim got easier and you were able to watch the fish swim below you and cruise…. Kind of like an intense snorkeling session. 😉 This went on for a while before the seaweed and jellyfish became a bit of an issue. The seaweed was more so gross but the jellyfish (which you couldn’t actually see) did become a problem. I ended up being stung twice. Lucky for me neither was bad but still irritating (and still scarring…literally) nonetheless. By about the last 15min of the swim, even though I was feeling good, I was about over the salt water. I happily welcomed the swim exit. I ended up finishing the swim in 1:17:00.

Transition 1 – It felt so good to be on land and to run through some fresh, NON SALTY, water. This was the first place I saw my team, Team Kat! Remember how I said my family had an awesome surprise for me the night before the race, well they made Team Kat shirts to support me! They were easy to pick out and I welcomed their smiling faces on the dock. After passing them, I grabbed my transition bag and headed for the changing tent. Y’all, take my word for it, if you’re doing an Ironman in salt water, change your clothes, you won’t regret it, plus it only takes about 2min! I wore my speed suit with a swimsuit underneath then changed into my tri kit for the rest of the day. It felt so good to start in dry, non-salty clothes for the 112mile bike ride. Another piece of advice, take advantage of the help the volunteers are willing to give you. As soon as I walked into the tent they had water in hand and were rinsing off my sandy feet then were quickly helping spray my sunscreen on my back. Thank you Thank you Thank you volunteers! Then it was an easy jog to my man Stanley and out the bike exit as I waved to Team Kat. Total time, 9:53.

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Stanley and I heading out for the next 112miles!!
Bike – The longest part of the day. Initially I felt a little iffy. My legs were great but all the salt water and the waves during the swim had my stomach a little uneasy. I drank a fair amount of water and Gatorade in those first few miles and quickly came back to life. The bike course was a three loop course that could easily be divided up into 4 sections. The first part, the long never ending straight, flat part. This section felt like it went on forever but you could cruise. It was well protected from the sun and wind. Part two, the windy, slightly uphill, sunny section. And calling it the windy section might be a bit of an understatement; I should really call it tornado ally. The wind was something between a head and cross wind coming off of the ocean. It was beautiful but lets just say it was a success to keep moving above about 12mph. The next section was the tail wind. Coming out tornado ally this was welcomed. Easy to gain some extra speed and allow your legs to recover a bit from the last torturous hour in part two. Part four was the fun section. This part went through downtown Cozumel and was lined with loud, cheering spectators. Also this was slightly downhill and with the wind still at your back, by far my favorite section of the course.

Lap one, after getting over my uneasy stomach was smooth sailing. I was on top of my fuel, drinking plenty of fluids and cruising. I am pretty sure I had a huge smile on my face the entire way.

Lap two, was a little more tough, the winds in tornado ally had picked up slightly and the sun was high and hot. This lap took a little out of me and I struggled with my fuel for about an hour, but overall, another strong lap with one big exception. There was a FIRE on the course in part three. A building had caught on fire and there was a huge black cloud of smoke that we had to ride through. Before entering the cloud I took a big breath and held my breath till I got through to the other side. Obviously, not ideal, but it didn’t end up being as bad as it could have been. And major plus…. Team Kat was everywhere on this lap! They were racing me on their mopeds! 

Lap three, at the start of part one, I made my first and only potty stop for the day. It felt so good to get off the bike that I almost didn’t want to get back on again but I knew I had a goal to get across that finish line so I hopped back on and got going. I did great through part one but tornado ally did get me. I remember looking down at my watch shortly after making the turn to tornado ally and seeing that I was only going 11mph. It was so defeating. I felt like I was working soooo hard but was hardly moving. This section was a little over 13miles, so I knew I had at least an hour to push through. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one with those same defeating thoughts though. As I passed one man, he jokingly (but totally dead serious) said, “Will someone please turn off the wind?!” Finally, I made it through the ally and was on my way to the nice tail wind. The tail wind was great but by now, my neck and shoulder were hurting pretty badly making it tough to stay tucked in aero position. This was annoying but overall, no big deal. Thankfully the smoke had cleared on part three and I had clear visual of the city ahead. I knew the city meant ditching he bike and heading for the running shoes, something I happily welcomed!

Total time on the bike: 7:00:15. I was 8:27 into my ironman journey.

To be continued…

Ironman Cozumel

I know I know I know….it has taken me forever to get this series (yes, it is a series) posted! This was such a big event that it has made it hard to wrap my mind around it to write about… so here it goes!

What an overwhelmingly amazing experience. Becoming an ironman is unlike any other experience I have ever had. I think its because of all the many months of training that lead to this one day, that no matter how conditioned you are, you never really know if you will make it across that finish line. A million things can happen from jellyfish stings, to bike malfunctions, to unbearable weather conditions over those 140.6miles. Some of these bumps are inevitable to happen and most you are able to overcome but at the end of the day, you just never know what the outcome will be. All I can say is coming out of this race, crossing the finish line, feeling good and all in one piece, I feel blessed.

Before I get too far ahead of myself though; let me back up a bit to give the whole recap on my Ironman experience….

Wednesday — Mom, Dad, Alex, and I got up bright and early for a day of travel. First stop the Charlotte airport, then the Atlanta airport, and then the Cancun airport. You’d think we would be done traveling by then, but no, the fun had just begun. Once arriving in the Cancun airport, going through customs, and picking up our luggage….which I should really rephrase as my luggage with a few pieces of clothing for everyone else (dang there is a lot of gear for this silly sport), we were off to stand in a giant line to take a taxi to Playa de Carmen. This was about an hour ride where I was sure I would get sick as the driver zipped through the streets of Mexico. Once there, I completely understood why everyone told me to send my bike with TriBike Transport, we had to lug all of our bags through the cobblestone streets, wait in another line, and then take a ferryboat to Cozumel. I felt bad for all those who were trying to pull their massive bike boxes and load them onto the boat. You could see the fear in their eyes as their bikes were passed over the water onto the boat as the ocean was super rough that day. I will say though, this is when the Ironman became real for me. Seeing all the Ironman tattoos and bike boxes made the event become a reality. Finally, after a nauseating boat ride to Cozumel and a quick taxi ride to the hotel, we had made it! Only a mere 14 hours of travel!!!

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On the ferry to Cozumel trying not to toss our cookies! 
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We made it!! The hotel even welcomed me! 😉

Thursday – Happy Thanksgiving! It certainly didn’t feel like Thanksgiving but it was a nice and relaxing day to recover from the previous day of travel. I did get in a short run followed by a quick swim in the beautiful blue water. It was so cool to be able to see the ocean floor and all the fish swimming about. Then a few hours on the beach (in the shade with 50spf on of course) and we were ready to watch the Panthers game. Yes, in Mexico, the crazy people from Dallas and my family did find a way to get the game projected on a wall of one of the bars at the hotel. The night closed with a traditional Mexican buffet and show.

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Typical beach attire right?! Cap, googles, and a speed suit for me! 
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And the family made sure to enjoy all of what the resort had to offer! Drinks all around! (water for me!)

Friday – The Ironman crazy festivities began. First thing was swim practice. They opened up the end of the swim course for all the athletes to get a feel for what race day would be like. It was really cool to meet so many other athletes who were also about to embark on this big adventure. You could quickly distinguish between the seasoned athletes and the newbies.

Next stop was packet pick-up. Here was the first time I realized that the language barrier was going to be a real thing. Going through the lines trying to communicate was quite the challenge. Also, since you cannot fly with the CO2 cartridges (used in the case that you get a flat on race day), my dad and I were on the hunt to find those at expo. We did manage to find them but then the question of where to pick up my bike became our next struggle. My bike, Mister Stanley, was only a couple blocks away but finding someone who spoke English to communicate that to us was nothing short of a miracle. Once finding the TriBike Transport bike lot, we headed back to the hotel for the remainder of the day where I was able to get in quick bike tune up and go for a smooth 10mile ride.

Saturday – Busy busy busy! I got up early to get in a quick brick workout. 20min on the bike followed by a 10min run. Then I packed up all my transition and special needs bags for the next day, had a good, hearty breakfast, and jumped on my bike again to go deliver all my gear for the next day. The ride to transition 1 was the moment I realized I was really going to do this. As I took the 2mile ride nice and easy, soaking up the beautiful views along the ocean all I could think about was how awesome, it was going to be to see that finish line and hear my name, “KATHRYN LEACH, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN” the next day.

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All the gear! Yikes!

Transition 1 was hectic to say the least but I was very impressed with the security. When you first got there, you were corralled to where you got your first piece of body marking done then they took a picture of everyone with their number and bike, then you individually went to another station where they recorded your number and a description of your bike before they let you into the bike drop area. Once in the most massive transition I have ever seen it was time to find my bike spot. It was exciting to see my name and USA on the spot reserved for Stanley surrounded by a multitude of people from other countries. After racking my bike, I hung my transition bag with all the others and continued on with more body marking and a quick walk down to the water where I met a couple guys from England who where about to take on their first ever triathlon!!! They were funny but you could sense their nerves, they were asking tons of questions and definitely got my confidence up a bit since I had some answers for once (HAHA).

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Bye Bye Mister Stanley! Enjoy your bike sleepover!

Next, it was time to head to transition 2, in downtown. I hopped on a bus and was there in no time. I dropped my bag, saw where the changing tents and run out would be, and walked past the finish line. All I could think about as I saw the bleachers and massive finish line was OMG THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING! After aimlessly wondering the city for what seemed to be forever to find the bus again, I managed to find the hotel where the busses picked up and headed back towards my hotel. I was officially all checked in and ready to race the next day.

Finally a little R&R on the beach before the night closed with a moped pick-up and an early dinner before and a super awesome surprise from my family.

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Is my beach attire improving?! 
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Boys and there toys! The mopeds used to get around on all the closed roads come race day!

Sunday – The day to become an IRONMAN!!! That 4:30 alarm sounded and I was quickly awaken… well, lets be real, I was awake almost all night anyways so I happily welcomed the alarm saying that, YES YOU CAN FINALLY GET UP NOW. First thing I saw when walking into the bathroom was a sweet, pump up note from my brother. I couldn’t help by smile since I could really sense how excited he was for me. Then it was time to choke down breakfast. I don’t know about you but eating a substantial amount of calories at what seems like the middle of the night is rough. The pump up music Alex was playing (Yes, we were jamming at 4:30 in the morning) and all the sweet messages from friends and family made it a little easier though. Before I knew it, 5am had rolled around and it was time to hit the road via moped to transition 1. Alex and I giggled a little as we were driving this little scooter through the dark, rainy morning.

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Headed to the race start!! 

Once arriving at T1, I got Stanley ready and did one final walk through before loading the bus to head to the start line. While in line for the bus, I met a nice girl from New York. This was her second Ironman and she was looking for redemption. We rode the bus together and she told me all about her first Ironman experience. I loved hearing all about it as it got me that much more excited for the gun to go off. By the time I stepped off the bus, the sun was finally starting to rise.

Stepping off the bus there was this sense of calm. It was almost only athletes at the start, very few spectators due to logistics of the race. People were dropping there morning clothes, eating a last minute snack, and helping one another apply sunscreen and body glide, as well as zip each other into our respective speed suits. This is when you could really feel the community of the sport. Everyone was happy and ready to help cheer each other on to having a great race.

To be continued….

Ironman Training Thoughts

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Hey Y’all! I hope you are doing great! I am exhausted and running on E as per usual. Between working two jobs (Jenny Craig and personal training), attempting to have a social life, taking classes to keep all my certifications up to date, and ironman training, I am stretching myself to the limit. I love all that I am doing but dang, can it just slow down a bit?! As I like to tell my friends and family, hang on till December 1 and I will become a normal human again! December 1 is only 80 days away which means the Ironman is only 78 DAYS away!!! CRAZY!!!!! So for today, here are my training thoughts….

  1. Displaying IMG_0542.jpgHOLY CRAP THIS TAKES ALOT OF TIME! Yes, I knew it would, but gosh darn it seems like I am always training…. get home from work at 8pm and you think you’re done for the day….NOPE! Time to get on the bike in the apartment and spin for a couple hours then make dinner, shower, and go to bed. There are definitely some long days involved with getting ready for this race. Displaying IMG_0454.jpg
  2. Lake Norman needs more water. Although I am proud of myself for building up to some super long, continuous, open water swims, I am really tired of
    getting out of the water with a slightly orange tint (thank you red clay).
  3. This girl can eat! 4+ hour workouts really rev up the metabolism. I feel like there are days when (read as: most everyday) I just can’t eat enough to keep up.
  4. Displaying IMG_0777.jpgI think my new favorite of the three sports is biking. I have always been partial to running (which is why I say I think) but right now I am really loving my long rides. In fact, I really look forward to my 60+ mile rides. Something about going a really long distance under your own power and maintaining 16+ mph the entire time is really cool.
  5. However, biking is a struggle. Combine the fact that I am exerting myself for hours on end and I’ve already got a reved up metabolism, I hit like 3 hours in and I AM STARVING!! This is something I am working on but is taking some major work. I currently take a GU every 45min and am sipping gatorade endurance and water but it is just not cutting it. I think next long ride I am going to try an almond butter sandwich at the 2.5 – 3hr mark and see how that works out.
  6. I am having some issues with my neck and shoulder that stem from my soccer day which unfortunately throws a kink in training every now and again. I constantly have knots that run down my neck and under my left shoulder blade. This causes a lot of pain in my left shoulder and arm all the way down behind my elbow and when its really acting up all the way into my hand. Although this stinks, if this is the only “injury” I am having to deal with I feel like I am doing really good!
  7. I feel like I am going to be one of those people who says “I am never going to do another one of these again” and turns around and immediately signs up for the next one. The training is long and grueling but I couldn’t be more anxious and excited to get to race day. It is crazy that such a big life goal of mine in getting so close.
  8. I am most nervous about the logistics of getting to and the actual race itself at this point. My flight is booked but now the questions of, how will I get my bike there? What if it gets lost in transit? What if I need help making bike adjustments to my once I get there? What if everyone speaks spanish and I can’t communicate? How will I bring all my food down there? I can’t drink the water there so how am I supposed to drink on the race course? How will my hydration and nutrition needs change if I get down there and it is a sunny 90+ Displaying IMG_0568.jpgdegree day? The list goes on and on!
  9. I am so thankful for my family and friends that are being so patient and supportive of me as I take on this big adventure. Really, even though I am doing the training on my own, knowing I have a support crew cheering me on often from a distance means a TON and often what keeps me going.
  10. Training is tough. It is wearing me out. BUT I am so happy and excited to be taking on this big challenge! I cannot wait till race day when I get to put these many months of training to the test! I am confident I will be able to complete it but that doesn’t make it any less intimidating right now!

There you have it, my current thoughts on ironman training… I will be sure to check in as the race gets closer! If you’ve ever done an Ironman yourself, I would love any input you may have! Have a great day!

Stumpy Creek Sprint Triathlon

Hello Hello! How are y’all doing? I hope you’ve had a great weekend and are all set to make this a wonderful week. My weekend was pretty fantastic as I opened my racing season with a local sprint triathlon, so for today’s post I will give you a race day recap…..

5:30AM — Beep beep beep!! Time to rise and shine!!

6:00AM — Breakfast in hand and I am headed out the door.

6:15AM — Arrive at Stumpy Creek Park on Lake Norman.

6:15 – 6:45AM — Last minute bike tune-up, transition set up, body marking, and collecting my timing chip.

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6:55 — National Anthem.

7:00 — The first wave is headed to the start line. Time to start warming up.

7:12 — My wave heads into the water [read: muddy bath water].

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7:15 — The gun goes off and I am off to the races. I started off maybe a bit too hard and got myself out of breath early but by the second turn I felt like I had found my groove. Then…myself and what seems like the rest of the sprint triathlon mis – sight the third turn and start to cut back towards shore a little early before seeing the correct third turn way to our right. I think its pretty likely at this point my 750yd swim has easily turned into an 850yd swim. I make it around the third and fourth turns and head back to shore. Total time 16:02.

Transition 1: In and out, speedy speedy! I had some time to make up after my slow swim. A little over :40 seconds to get from the swim to my bike. Coming out of the swim I wasn’t on the leader board but by the time I exited T1 I had gotten myself into 7th place.

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Bike: The bike course was tough. Very hilly and truthfully quite a dangerous course. I always appreciate the police and volunteers out on the course but unfortunately in this race things were a bit rocky. I had to duck under a truck’s mirror at one point and my dad watched several others have near head on collisions.  Throughout the danger and rough roads, I was still able to pick off quite a few more throughout this leg. I averaged 18.18mph to be the fastest female on the course. By the end of the bike I was in second place amongst the age group women.

Transition 2: Again, in and out. With a quick flying dismount and a change of shoes and I was on my way to the run.

Run: BRUTAL. Holy Moly it was hilly and hot!!! I definitely didn’t have the run I had hoped for. I managed to average an 8:45 pace which wasn’t terrible but far from what I am capable of.

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Finish: 1:24:18 and 2nd place OVERALL the women!!! A podium finish for my season opener!!


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Overall thoughts of the race….I still hate sprint triathlons. Something about going as hard as you can the entire time and not being able to find a rhythm the entire time is just not for me. More specifically to the race….not impressed. The swim was fine, very rocky start but nothing out of the ordinary. The safety personal on the water though…lacking significantly! Mom said she thought she was going to watch someone drown out there. The bike was well…dangerous! The fact that bikers were crossing in front of traffic and in front of one another was not good. They need to have a better plan going into next year. Run, nothing really notable. It was a tough course but that is nothing to complain about. Didn’t love the “off-road” section to the finish but still it wasn’t a bad run.

So there you have it, my season opener at Stumpy Creek. What’d you do this weekend? Anyone else race? Let me know in the comments below!

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Six Things Sunday 2

Hey y’all! I hope you had a great week and an even better weekend. Since my posts are (unfortunately) turning into weekly thing and less of a daily thing, let me catch you up on this past week and whats going on with me in this week’s Six Things Sunday post.

1. Buzz City. Yesterday afternoon my roommate came across a couple free tickets to the Charlotte Hornets game and I was lucky enough to get to tag along. We met with a couple of her friends who ended up being awesome and a were fun to go out with before and after the game. Before the game we hit up Whiskey River and after we headed over to Tilt. However, at the game our tickets introduced us to some interesting characters…including two that made us feel really old. We had two 18 year old guys, one of which was stroking a rabbits foot, ask us to buy them beer, of course we said no but their skinny jeans and rabbits foot were hard to turn down. 😉

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2. Mason Jar Salads. Again the new roomie coming into play. She introduced me to these last week and I have to say they are awesome and keep everything super delicious and fresh. This week I used a lite blue cheese dressing, carrots, cucumber, broccoli, baked chicken, a hard boiled egg, and lettuce. What is especially nice about them is they are an easy make ahead lunch. The trick is to put the dressing in the bottom and keep the hearty veggies closest to the dressing. My layering is in the order that I gave you the ingredients. I highly recommend giving these a try if you are needing an easy lunch option.

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3. Harris YMCA triathlon group. Over the last two weeks I have gotten to work with the tri group and y’all they are a great group. I feel like I can learn so much from the head coach who has so much experience with coaching and each member of the team brings so much to the table whether it be a little bit of spunk or years of experience with the sport. They are so much fun to be around and I am just so excited to get to spend time with them week after week.

4. Cat pee. Okay so this one isn’t as much fun but I need your help. If you recall in a post a while back, I told you about my additional roommate, Izzy. Izzy is my roommate’s cat and she has decided that my bed is a litter box sometimes. Well actually she went on it 3x last week. My current solution to the problem is putting a shower curtain liner on top of my bed everyday but what do you suggest to get her to stop the behavior?

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5. Fuzzy Slippers. I don’t know if it is because its cold outside or the fact that I wear heels most everyday but slippers are a new favorite! Soft, cushy pillows for your tootsies… what could be better after a long day?!IMG_9217

6. Healthy Daddy. Early last week my dad finally went in to have his hip replaced and surgery went great! He is now home from the hospital and is up and moving around well already. I am so happy he was able to get this done and that he is on his way to a great recovery.

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Thats it for this week, I hope each of you has a great week and hopefully I’ll be back before next Sunday!

Let’s Get the Party Started!

Happy Monday Y’all! I’m sure many of you are headed back to work or school after a nice hiatus through the holidays. I unfortunately did work through the holidays but still managed to squeeze in all the holiday fun I wanted (see yesterday’s post) which has put quite the damper on my typical healthy eating and regular exercise routine. Originally I had planned to kickstart my workouts at the beginning of December after taking a short break to recover from the marathon, as I mentioned in my Offseason Training post. That worked great till about the week of Christmas…. So here I am, ready to kick off the new year with a new training program but this time with a new goal.

This new goal is something I have wanted to accomplish for a long time. And I especially wanted to accomplish before turning 25. So this is the year. I am training for my first ever FULL IRONMAN!!! Thats right, that 140.6mile race consisting of a 2.4mile swim, 112mile bike, and 26.2mile run. I signed up over Christmas (Merry Christmas to me) to compete in Ironman Cozumel November 29th, 2015. And you might ask why before 25, well the answer is simple. 25 is when I move into the big girls league. Racing at 24, my age group is still small and tends to be a little less competitive but come 25 and beyond, the numbers and the competition greatly increase.

So now comes the hard part…training. How in the world do you train for a race this long? How long do you train for this? Should I complete all the distances before going into that day? Should I do a half iron as a warm up for this race? The questions go on and on. So for now, although as I talk to more people this may change, I am going to start my training now. I have found a 36week program online from Trifuel (anyone used it before??) that has gotten good reviews from others who have used it before with the only caveat to add a little extra distance to the long runs. I know 36weeks puts me starting the week of March 23rd so in the time leading up to then, I am going to work on building a base. I plan to pick a half marathon to do in the month of March as kind of my season opener so I will train for that plus adding in some miles on the bike and in the pool as cross-training. However, up till March, my main focus will the half marathon and strength training.

And since training for an Ironman is soooo many grueling hours, I figured why not reward myself?! I have created a jar that I will be putting a dollar in for every workout that I do leading up to the race. That way, when the race is all said and done at the end of November and I am an IRONMAN, I will be able to treat myself to something nice. Not sure what it will be yet but once I figure it out I will let you know.

So there you have it, my 2015 goal. What are your goals for 2015? Please share in the comments below.

LET’S GET THIS training PARTY STARTED!!! 
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