The guantlet.

Here’s what’s on tap:

Lake Samammish Half (Half #5, 2014 endurance event #1) 3/8/014

Heroes Half (Half #6, 2014 endurance event #2) Everett, WA 4/27/2014

Bloomsday 12k, Spokane, WA, 5/4/2014

Snohomish Women’s Run Half Marathon (Half #7, 2014 endurance event #3) 5/18/2014

Emerald City 10k, Seattle, WA, 5/25/2014

Seven Hills of Kirkland- 66 mi course (2014 endurance event #4) Kirkland, WA 5/26/2014

Vancouver USA Half (Half #8, 2014 endurance event #5)  Vancouver, WA 6/15/2014

Greenlake open water swim (2014 endurance event #6) 6/29/2014

Seattle to Portland Ride- 200 miles (2014 endurance event #6) 7/12/2014

Ragnar Relay Northwest Passage (2014 endurance event #7)  Blaine, WA 7/18/2014

Seafair Torchlight Run 8k, Seattle, WA, 7/26/2014

Lake Stevens Ironman 70.3 (2014 endurance event #8) 8/17/2014

Beat the Blerch Half Marathon (Half #9, 2014 endurance event #9) 9/21/2014

Portland Half Marathon. (Half #10, 2014 endurance event #10) 10/5/2014

Shoot.  I’ll still need a November and December… I have some ideas, will post when finalized.

I think I have an addiction.  Actually I blame my running group and social media in general for the temptation.  In reality, this year is my last ‘hurrah’ before we start trying to have kids. While I plan to stay active and continue to participate in races with a jog stroller at the helm, I won’t have the time or financial resources to be this ridiculous again.  So here’s to an awesome year-  then I can go back to ticking off bucket list races at a more reasonable rate of 2-3 big (half-marathon distance or so) events a year.

Thanks to you, darling husband, for putting up with these shenanigans this year!

 

 

2014

Oh 2014- you’re off to a big start!

This year will be a huge endurance challenge.  I’m taking on a half-ironman in August (Lake Stevens) and committing to a 12-in-12 endurance challenge.  The latter challenge consists of events that are the half-distance, so 1.2 mile swim events (all though I’ll count 1 mile events for practicality), 56 mile or greater bike rides and half-marathon distance runs.  Happily, I kept up a pretty good base this winter, and so I think I’m in good shape to kill my goals.

In March, I ran the Lake Samammish Half Marathon.

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It was a really interesting experience: I’ve been trying to placate a slightly grumpy posterior tibialis tendon by run- walking.  In training I had been doing a 5:1 walk:run ratio, which I definitely pushed during the LSH.  I finished in the same time as my October half, despite the walking (we won’t mention the course was net-downhill).  And the best part- recovery was a breeze.  No cranky ankles, no cranky IT band.  There might just be something to this run: walk concept.  I just have to get over the fact that I’m not cheating by inserting those walk intervals.

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2014 will be about accepting my body and it’s limitations, but still achieving big things.  Next up: Heroes Half Marathon in Everett, WA on April 27.

Great Day of Play 5k!

So after my triathlon, I decided that maybe I should get just *a little* bit more serious about getting *a little* bit faster.  I’m not fast, I’m happy going slow- but on the other hand, I’ve been running the same pace for years and so maybe just maybe it’s time to spice things up-

I signed up for a local 5k, the Redmond Great Day of Play, to get a baseline for my current pace-  it was fantastic!  A really well-done smallish local race.  For a very reasonable fee, they had a well organized event, staffed with a ton of volunteers, timing chips, great t-shirts and medals!  Plus post-race snack and a root beer-garden.  Awesome!

So I ran this race harder than I like to, and yay for me-  my time reflected that!  I ran an average pace of 9:28/mile, but that’s pretty seriously awesome for me.  My goal is to get that down to 9:00/mile over the next year.  I think I’ll have to do a track workout or ten…

But here was the BEST part of the race:  My husband and stepson came to cheer me on-  my stepson had never been to a race and didn’t neccesarily know the edicate for cheering a loved one as they cross the finish line…

The Iron Girl!

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I completed the Iron Girl Seattle Triathlon last Sunday-  My first triathlon!!  It was an amazing experience and I loved the entire ride, from the training to the finish line.  So much so that I immediately signed up for tri no. 2, the TriFreaks Kirkland Triathlon.  But back to the Iron Girl:

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Here was a race where you saw every size, shape, age and level of fitness.  It was inspiring seeing ladies in their 60s on their bikes, larger ladies who used this race as an opportunity to improve their health, lazy folks who used this as an excuse to get off the couch, and then really serious athletes who’s performance inspired.  I really felt humbled in the presence of this group.

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The race was well organized-  the courses were well marked, the transitions were well managed, the energy was high!

As a mid-pack runner, my ‘absolute’ performance wasn’t anything to write home about but I felt dang good at the finish line.  I pushed myself as hard as I could and I know I gave it everything I had in me. There were aspects of this race that I *loved* relative to long running races, my standard endurance sport.  I loved that this was three races in one.  So at the beginning of each event, I was amped anew and pushed hard through all three races.  During a very long run, it’seasy for me to get tired and slack off and in this sport I love that you get three kicks in the bottom to keep your momentum up.

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Triathlon apparel for the girls.

Let me be more specific: if the girls are bigger than a b-cup, you are going to have a tough time finding clothes in which you can swim, bike and run.  I shunned triathlon for a long time, because I was so utterly befuddled by the issue of what to wear.  Prevailing advice on the internet is that if you’re a larger-busted lady, you should wear a sports bra underneath a tri suit and have a good day.  But sports bras, while they wick away sweat, are not designed to be worn while saturated.  There’s a reason many manufacturers have incorporated built into support into so many tri-tops.  Adding actually-high support, built-in bras to tri apparal isn’t rocket science- if we can make a good bra, we should be able to make a good bra out of quick-drying water and attach it to a shirt.  The folks to figure this out are going to make a lot of money.

Of what is available on the market right now, I’ve found that Athleta is doing the best job.  I’ve tried a few of their garments: the Energy Tank and the Hilo Shoreside bikini.

I started with the Hilo Shoreside Bikini, which boasts high support for C-D cups.  This style also comes in a tankini.  First off, I hate bikinis, but I hate bouncing boobs even more, so I was willing to give it a try.  Trying it on the in the store, I found that the bikini top offered substantially more support than the tankini.  The bottom elastic band of the bikini top actually offers some support which is lacking in the tankini since it is longer and doesn’t have that tight elastic around the rib-cage.  The top is essentially an underwire bra-  which means that sadly, you can’t put it in the little suit spinners at the pool.  But it feels great and I felt really good wearing it in the pool.  Unfortunately, I still felt the bounce when I put it through a post-swim run.  So my search continued.

Back at Athleta, the sales girl sympathized with me, as she is preparing for the same triathlon as me and has the same problem. I tried the Energy tank on and once again, it felt like a pretty darn supportive fit.  I used it during my next open water swim, underneath my wetsuit, and gave it a whirl on a bike/run.  It was glorious.  It easily help up as well as my trusty Moving Comfort sports bra (Moving comfort, can you make a tri-top???), although I’ll have to report back later as to whether it holds up well over time.  Another thing I really like about it:  it has a zipper pocket into which I can put my car key into, which is convenient, since my shorts don’t have one.  Things I don’t love:  The removable boob pads.  Every time you wash it, you have to get in there, unfold them, reorient them.  Check them once again when you get the shirt on.  Why aren’t they a permanent component of the shirt??  And finally, the pocket on the back of the shirt doesn’t have a flap over it, and people have complained that it catches quite a bit of water if worn without a wetsuit over top.  In all, it’s the best solution that I’ve found, and it’s what I wore Sunday during my first Tri!!! (Race review to come!)

If any other ladies stumble across this post, I would love to hear what solutions you’ve come up with!