How to survive and thrive as a full time working mom and triathlete!

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve updated this blog. I started a writing a post last August about my return to triathlon training and racing after having Mason, but never had a chance to finish before publishing it.

With the school year ending and Summer Break in full swing, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the year: full time teaching, training for triathlons, and spending time with my baby boy. I often get asked how I manage to teach, train, and take care of my  baby. I wanted to share my tips and what I’ve learned this year for any new working moms trying to balance it all!

  • Write out a schedule: Every Sunday afternoon, I would sit with a pad of paper and write out my training schedule for the week. I would make sure to include any appointments, tutoring jobs after school, and the time of the day I would get my workout in. Three mornings a week, I left the house to either go to crossfit or the pool before work. My husband handled the morning routines on those training days. I typically worked out from home (i.e. bike trainer, stretching, etc.) on days where I’m I wasn’t at the gym or pool.
  • Food prep: During Mason’s Sunday afternoon naps, I spent a few hours meal prepping for the week. This meant that I had to make it to Costco or the grocery store on Saturday or Sunday mornings. Food prepping was so important! It allowed me time to train after work, pick up Mason at 4:30 and not have to worry about cooking dinner. I didn’t branch out too much, and stuck with chicken thighs, meatloaf, steamed veggies, and hard-boiled eggs. I would also prepare my massive salads for lunch and make 2 of them at a time.

My Sunday routine!

  • Packing my bags the night before: My life revolved around packing and unpacking bags. Staying organized was key! Between my pool bag, crossfit bag, lunch bag, pumping bag, staying organized allowed me to be as efficient as possible. After Mason went to bed, I spent time packing everything for the next day and putting it in my car.

SO many bags!

  • Communication with my husband: It was so important that I kept my husband in the loop regarding my training and schedule. As things changed, I kept him updated and he was also able to adjust.
  • Expect the unexpected: As a super type A person, before I had Mason I was so focused on making sure every workout was done. I had to let go a bit and learn how to expect the unexpected. There were a few times where I got a text while at work that Mason had a fever. I left work, took him to the doctor and spent the rest of the afternoon with him. So what if my swim workout that afternoon didn’t happen. I learned to let go! I thought that by being a teacher, my immune system would be so much stronger. Well, I was wrong. I got sick more times this year than the past 10-15 years combined! I had two sinus infections, which meant time off of training in addition to numerous colds.
  • Be efficient: I managed to breastfeed and pump until Mason was about 10 months old. My best tip is to get a car adapter and pump while driving. My commute was about 20 minutes, which was the perfect amount of time for me to pump.
  • Early to bed, early to rise: In order to fit everything in, my alarm went off between 4:15 and 4:30 A.M. daily. I planned to do my longest workout in the morning, and had to be done by around 6:00 a.m. in order to shower, get ready, and feed Mason. I had to be out of the door by 6:50. Luckily I get out of school at 2:45 and managed to fit in another workout picking him up by 4:30 P.M. In order to maintain this schedule and get quality sleep, I was in bed at 8:00 p.m. Was it worth it? Absolutely!

One of my MANY 4:15 A,M. training rides during the work week.

Mason loves staying hydrated!

Love hugging Mason after a morning run!

Now that it’s Summer Break, Mason will be in daycare three days a week in order to keep his spot for the Fall. I’m training for a Ohio 70.3 at the end of July, and Ironnman Chattanooga at the end of September. I’m planning on doing my big training days when Mason is in daycare during the week so that I can spend time with Marc and Mason on the weekends. I didn’t think it would be possible to do another full Ironman once I had a child, but I am glad that I figured it out. After finishing IM Lake Placid 2 years ago, I knew I wanted to do another one, and this is the perfect opportunity! I am super excited to be training for another full Ironman! Thanks to Coeur Sports for your support as well as my super inspiring teammates, I love being an ambassador and I am looking forward to racing and training in my super comfortable gear!

Spending time with Mason at the pool 🙂

Can’t wait to travel and race with these two plus Annette!

Diamond in the Rough Olympic race

Representing Crossfit Hardshells 🙂

Loving this one piece tri suit!

First race of the season! Won my AG 🙂

 

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34 weeks!!

My last update was in mid-December when I hit the halfway point. Today, I’ve reached the 34 week mark! I wanted to provide some updates regarding my training and overall well being. I’m continuing to workout daily and stay active. It’s all about exercising at the moment, but I’m looking forward to getting back into training mode post-baby delivery.

We had our gender reveal party on December 24th… and it’s a boy! For some reason, a lot of our friends and family (especially Marc) were convinced that it would be a girl. I think I heard someone say that they had “lost the car” on the gender bet after the reveal.

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We are having a boy!!

Swimming: I was continuing to swim at least 2 times per week until about 2 weeks ago. It’s been great spending my mornings at crossfit instead of going to the pool. Instead of swimming solo, I’ve preferred the company of others lately. Having said that, I plan on returning to the pool soon! My swim speed has slowed down. Lately, I’ve been using the pull buoy more for my sinking belly, and using the paddles to keep my strength. I was challenged at the end of December by the Coeur century swim challenge, as swimming 10,000 meters proved to be pretty tedious. I divided it up and completed it in 4 sessions before work and swam 4 days in a row.

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Coeur century swim at the end of December. I did it!

I swam 3200 yards for my 32nd birthday. I also had an epic swim workout organized by my Coeur teammate. I swam 5,500 yards! It was fun because I was in a lane with encouraging females that kept me going. I took a ton of breaks and stayed hydrated. I was amazed at how great I felt! These challenges have helped me stay more motivated to get back to the pool. I’m hoping to swim until the very end, and get back to the pool within the next week.

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Biking: I’ve been biking 2-3 times per week on the trainer. As of a couple of days ago, it’s been harder to stay in aero position due to my growing bump, so I switch between aero and sitting up so that I can stay comfortable. My power and heart rate are pathetic, but I’m happy to be on my bike! I bike anywhere between 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 30 mins each time.

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Running: I stopped running a while ago. Every time I’d go on a run my heart rate would instantly spike. It made me nervous because I’m trying to keep my heart rate under control. As the weather gets warmer, I plan on walking more with my dog.

Crossfit: I’m LOVING crossfit these days. I’m attending classes 5 times per week. I’ve been modifying when needed and swapping out certain exercises that I’m not comfortable with. No more toes to bar, sit-ups, and I stopped somewhere around week 26 with burpees.  I’ve been subbing in air squats, lunges and ring rows. I also stopped doing snatches and overhead squats.

I’m keeping my workouts at a lower intensity, and taking breaks when needed. Everyone at the gym has been so supportive! About 4-6 weeks ago I hit a PR for my clean by 20 lbs!! I’ve been participating in the crossfit open, and modifying  the movements as needed.

People have asked me about crossfit and restrictions. I’ve read a zillion blogs about peoples’ experiences and how they made modifications. I’ve been sticking with my motto of just listening to my body, and  I plan on crossfitting for as long as it’s comfortable. A month ago I did a crossfit photo shoot with my closest friend Sara. It was a blast!

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Weekly photo shoot! One of many!

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Marc decided to jump in on the fun!

 

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The 5:30 AM crossfit crew after 17.1

 

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PR on my clean!

 

Coeur: I am SO honored to be an ambassador for the 2017 season, and it means a lot to me. I love everything that this company stands for. I hope that I inspire other women to keep up with their fitness when pregnant. I recently received my team kit, and it’s gorgeous! The opportunity to race in this kit is going to be the best motivation to train and race postpartum! I hope to do some short running races and maybe a sprint or olympic distance triathlon in the fall.

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Cravings: People ask me what I crave these days. I’m loving anything spicy!! I add cayenne pepper and hot sauce to my lunches and dinners. I’m continuing to eat healthy, and my meals haven’t changed much. I don’t see pregnancy as an excuse to eat horribly, but instead take the opportunity to nourish my baby with healthy foods. Within the last week or so, I’ve had to eat many small meals a day because my stomach is being compressed by the baby.

Less time dedicated to triathlon training means more time for other things. I’ve been cooking a lot more and experimenting with new recipes. I’ve also spent more time relaxing, which didn’t really exist in my vocabulary before pregnancy.

I’m itching to get back into training for real and racing, but will remain patient and make sure I recover properly. I’ve been equating my pregnancy to a triathlon, but unlike a race, the finish line is unknown. I’ve read that only 5% of people give birth on their due date. The finish line could be anywhere from 4-7 weeks!

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Little Lizmi: HALFWAY THERE!

I announced it on social media at the beginning of November, but in case you missed it, I’m pregnant!! I want to blog about my experiences because throughout my journey, I have been inspired by other triathletes’ pregnancy stories.

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Our big announcement

I completed my first Ironman at Lake Placid on July 24th, and had the time of my life! My husband and I decided earlier in the year that we would start trying for a baby after the event. Given the stories I have heard from other women, I thought it would take a while. I even signed up for a few Fall races, assuming it would take months before the pregnancy tests would confirm the pregnancy: a half marathon and Olympic distance triathlon.

Fast forward to August 24th, exactly 1 month following Lake Placid, when I discovered that I was pregnant! I noticed in the week preceding the good news that my running was suffering. My pace was slow and heart rate was super high. I thought maybe I was still recovering from the Ironman. My husband’s birthday was the 25th of August, and what a perfect birthday gift!

I found about the pregnancy during my first week back at school. I slept 9-10 hours a night and woke up exhausted. I came home from work and sat on the couch. I was nauseous and my sense of smell was very heightened. Over the subsequent weekends, I took 2-3 naps per day. It was like I was in peak Ironman training, but I was sitting on the couch and my body was making a baby.

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Weekends were no longer spent on long bike rides and runs, but hanging out on my couch my cute dog Charlie and listening to my body.

I managed to get on my bike trainer for 30-45 minutes and took my dogs on walks daily. I forced my self to wake up early and swim a few days a week, but the thought of running disgusted me. My motto remained the same over the first couple of weeks: “listen to your body,” and “you’re making a baby and it’s a lot of work.” I went from training multiple times a day for my Ironman to light biking and walks. What a change!

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One of my many walks with Charlie and Marc

I have loved Googling and reading about my pregnancy, especially the development of the baby. I also read as much as I could about exercising, diet, crossfit, etc. I would spend hours on my iPad reading through articles and blogs.

I was gradually able to increase the days I was able to work out. I had to make up excuses to cancel on my friends for races and training. I said my ankle was still bothering me from the Ironman. I wasn’t ready to share my news until the 2nd trimester.

Somewhere around week 10 or 11, I began to feel so much better! I was able to return to Crossfit on a more regular basis and managed to do an hour of exercise every day. I also started running again, and that was humbling! I’ve been running at the local high school track, so that I could stop the moment I felt uncomfortable. The goal of my running completely changed. I don’t care AT ALL about my pace, and I try to keep my heart rate in the low 140,’s, which results in an 11 minute pace. I am just so happy to be running and doing what I love.

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Running on the track in my favorite Coeur leggings

Since then I have been running once or twice a week for 4 miles. One of my friends was unable to run a 10k  during my 16th week, and I ran in her place. It was so fun to run a race with zero expectations. I smiled a lot and was so thankful to be out running through Annapolis. I had the opportunity to hang out with 2 of my Coeur Sports teammates. Plus the post race brunch was so much fun!

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At the starting line at the Annapolis 10k

Showing my heart and courage in my amazing Coeur top!

Showing my heart and courage in my amazing Coeur top!

At the beginning of November, I found out that I had made the Coeur Sports Ambassador team. I had emailed them prior to making my announcement so that I was transparent and honest. They were SO incredibly supportive and excited for me! Thanks Coeur for your support!! Although I will be unable to race for part of the year, I hope to blog about my journey and answer any questions that other women may have. Please contact me if you have any questions!! I love this group of amazing and inspiring women, and hope to support everyone while I am not able to race. I am so grateful to be a part of this team; it means the world to me!

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THANKS COEUR FOR THE INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY!

Over the past couple of weeks I have been working out everyday, and my symptoms are minimal. I am lowering the weights and intensity at crossfit and monitoring my heart rate. My bike power and heart rate have dropped to record lows, but I don’t even care! I am happy to just be exercising and doing what I love!

I am enjoying my time in the 2nd trimester, because soon my belly will grow larger, I will become more tired, and my exercising will be more limited. When this happens, I plan to do a TON of swimming! I am determined to exercise as long as its physically possible.

I am no longer training, but exercising.  I want to stay as fit and healthy as I can and have an easier recovery after I give birth, and be able to bounce back quicker. Time will fly and before I know it May will be here. I hope to return to training and racing as soon as my body is ready, but have no plans, because it will be important to listen to my body. My body will tell me when I am ready! Thanks for reading! Please e-mail me if you have any questions, I love talking about this topic! 20 weeks down and 20 to go! 🙂

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Running with heart! 🙂

 

One of the best days of my life.. Ironman Lake Placid

If you had asked me 2 years ago if I would ever do an Ironman, my answer would have been hell no.. that is the craziest event ever!!! Last August my good friend and training buddy Alberto wanted to do his third Ironman, and was thinking of Cozumel. The idea of an Ironman, scared me, but at the same time really excited me. The challenge seemed like something I could take on. We ended up deciding on Lake Placid, the timing was great, the venue is beautiful, and we didn’t have to worry about flying with our bikes.

After signing up at the end of August, I thought about this race every day. It seemed so far away, and that it would never come. It sounds so corny, but I loved the journey of training for this race. I’m definitely a type A person, and I love setting goals and working towards them. Every early alarm and workout before work was getting me one step closer to the big day!

We drove up on Wednesday morning, happy to leave the DC heat and humidity behind! We are expert road trippers, and always have a blast!

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3 people racing…. so much gear!

 

The days before the race were stress free, we had no lines at packet pick up and got in a few easy workouts. I was feeling such a mix of emotions, I was extremely excited, nervous, and anxious for the big day. Since it was my first Ironman, I had no idea what to expect and all of the what if’s and things that were out of my control were making me the most stressed out. After a phone call with my amazing coach Debi, I was feeling so much better about the big day!

On Friday I had the chance to meet up with some of the amazing Coeur Sports ladies. It was awesome to meet them in person!

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On Saturday we racked out bikes, packed our bags and I couldn’t believe that I would be doing an Ironman the next day!

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With Alberto and Annette after racking out bikes

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Racking my bike!

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We put these party hats on our transition bags so we could find them! It worked well! 🙂

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So many bags!

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My amazing husband Marc keeping himself busy while I rack my bike

Race Day

After tossing and turning and barely getting any sleep, my alarm went off at 3:30. I had my breakfast and we left for the race at 4:45. The morning was stress free, and before I knew it was pushing my way through the crowds to get my spot in the 1:00-1:10 swim wave.

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With Alberto and Annette on race morning. SO nervous/excited for the day ahead!

Swim

It was a really anti-climatic start. I’m used to treading water anxiously awaiting the horn to go off. I calmly walked through the timing mat into the water and began swimming toward the first buoy. Lake Placid is known for the underwater cable, and if you follow it, you stay on course and there is no need to sight the buoys. Of course everyone wants to get on the cable!

I started to the left of it, but after the first buoy I was able to get on that cable and stick with it the entire first loop. It definitely got aggressive, people kicking me in the face, getting punched a few times, I never got annoyed by it, but just laughed in my head and stayed positive. It was all part of the experience!

After the first loop I checked my watch and I had swam the 1.2 miles in 33 mins, which is the time I usually swim for  70.3’s. I ran up the beach, and jumped in the water for more fun! The 2nd loop wasn’t as crowded. In order to keep my mind occupied I counted my strokes to 100, and then started over and over again.

Before I knew it I had two more buoys to go. I was feeling great, and in no time the swim was done! I looked at my watch.. holy crap.. 1:06! I couldn’t believe it! I ran down the carpet and through the crowds. I was screaming, cheering, and smiling, which made the spectators go crazy and cheer even louder! I was easily able to find my bag, ran into the changing tent, had a quick transition and started my bike ride.

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SO excited about my swim!

Bike

What a beautiful bike course! It started with about 6 miles worth of climbing out of town.I kept it easy and tried my best to bring my heart rate down. I let tons of people just fly right by me. This was my race, and my day. In the 70.3 distance and shorter I get really caught up in the competition, and if someone in my age group passes me I try my best to speed up and pass them back. Not today, I didn’t want to risk or ruin my race doing that.

4_m-100728671-DIGITAL_HIGHRES-1320_009594-260587213_m-100728671-DIGITAL_HIGHRES-1320_023750-2605881I was so at peace and in such a zen mode, which is very unlike me on race day. I am usually very high strung, competitive and can get anxious at times. I had many mantra’s going through my head. During my last long run 2 weeks before the race, I was repeating the word “patience.” I knew that is what the Ironman distance requires, and I definitely lack it at times.

My word of the day was patience, and I kept reminding myself of that. I then started thinking of other P words, which kept my mind occupied- positivity, powerful, perseverance, prepared, pumped up.

Before I knew it the first loop was over. I stopped at the special needs bag to grab another concentrated bottle of infinit. I spotted Marc and Sandra, and was screaming and cheering.

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About to start the 2nd loop, loved having Marc and Sandra out there to cheer me on

 

I could feel that it was getting warmer, so I made sure to continue to stay hydrated, and at every aid station I grabbed an extra bottle of water to pour on myself. Throughout the bike course I spotted the Coeur Sports ladies and screamed and cheered them on!

I didn’t go too crazy on the bike because I knew I had a marathon to run, and didn’t know what to expect. It would be my first marathon ever!! Sorry if this is TMI, but I definitely stayed hydrated and peed 8 or 9 times on my bike.. I lost count! The bike course was a blast, I loved flying down the Keane descent, and climbing the 3 bears with tons of people cheering on the side of the road.

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Run

I couldn’t wait to get on the run course, it is my favorite part of the race! When I got off my bike the insides of my legs were very tight and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to run. I calmly grabbed my transition bag, and went towards the changing tent. The volunteers were super awesome and put my socks on for me!

I walked out the changing tent, and over the timing mat and started to run. The energy in town was awesome! The first couple of miles are down hill with people cheering. I tried my best to start easy and not get too excited and run too fast. It was all about patience! I spotted Marc and Sandra and high-fived them.

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I walked every aid station, table to table, stayed hydrated and shoved ice in my hat and in my sports bra. I was constantly monitoring my pace and heart race, and assessing how I was feeling. I was checking in with myself, and had mile 18 on my mind. I really wanted to have a strong finish and didn’t want to go too fast and end up blowing up or ruining my race.

I was cheering on the ladies of Coeur, saying great job as I passed people, and I was so grateful to be running and working towards my goal of finishing. I’ve never had so much fun in a race before! I felt really great and was laughing in my head at the men walking and talking about their amazing bike splits.I thanked all the volunteers at every aid station.

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Running on River Road

This was my day, my race, and I was in complete control. I ran back into town and spotted Marc and Sandra again, the energy was incredible. Running along Mirror Lake people were calling my name (it is written on my race number), and I was smiling and high-fiving people. The more energy and positivity you show, the more you get back from the crowds.

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Starting the 2nd loop!

Before I knew it, I hit mile 18… game on! My longest run ever was 18.5 miles, and this was my first marathon. I was feeling great and started going a bit faster. I didn’t want to push too much and blow up.

At mile 23 I was still feeling strong and energetic and started pushing the pace, I skipped the aid stations. I was doing math in my head, and I knew I was close to breaking the 12 hour mark, and the 4 hour mark for the marathon. My last 5k I hit the fastest splits of the marathon.

When I hit mile 25 it was go time.  I  ran down Mirror Lake Drive for the last time, a flood of emotions came over me, and I definitely shed some tears of pure joy and excitement. I thought about all of my hard work and dedication training for this race, and how a year ago finishing felt like it would be an impossible goal to reach.

I ran the final .2 around the oval and just took it all in. While I should have slowed down to enjoy the moment, I knew that I would be close to breaking 12 hours. I threw my arms up  and was screaming and bursting with excitement and joy!!!!

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As I’m writing this, I am realizing how hard it is to put into words how I felt crossing that finish line. It was unlike anything I have ever experienced!

I ended up with a 12:00:24, and a 4:02 marathon, with negative splits! I was given my medal, took a photo, and sat down and shed some more tears. Just like that it was over. My wedding was the best day of my life, and this experience was #2. I didn’t expect to have so much fun and love this distance. The entire day was so epic!! I will definitely be signing up for another ironman at some point.

Post Race

I found Marc pretty quickly after the race and he gave me a huge hug!! We got some photos together and I told him all about the day. Shortly after Alberto finished and we went back to the house. I was so sore and tight, walking was difficult. I got a double scoop of ice cream before leaving Main Street… so good! We shared our stories from the day, and went back to watch some of the final finishers. We got to see Annette cross the finish line– she has so much grit and determination!

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Celebrating with Marc ❤

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SO much happiness in this photo! Can’t wait for the next IM!

I barely slept that night due to all the caffeine I consumed, and I woke up at 4 am to eat some more. The next day I bought some finisher gear, and we had a delicious huge breakfast. We spent the day relaxing and walking around town, and ended the day with a dinner outside at the Lake Placid Brewery.

The journey of training and completing an Ironman will never be forgotten. It sounds so incredibly cheesy and cliche, but my whole journey the past year really taught me some valuable life lessons. To set goals that seem impossible, but exciting.  Patience (which I lack at times), and to appreciate the journey. The race was the reward for all of my hard work.

I want to give a HUGE shout out to my coach Debi. She was always there to answer my questions throughout this journey, and her advice leading up to the race really stuck with me on race day. The training was perfect, and I stayed injury free and happy throughout. Her experience and advice were spot on. I couldn’t have done it with out her!

Another shout out to Coeur Sports! I’ve loved being an ambassador and representing such an amazing brand who believes in empowering women! I was so proud to be wearing my kit, and cheering on my teammates and competitors. It was so fun to meet my teammates in person, it felt like we had been friends for years! Everyone was so warm and friendly! I look forward to seeing everyone again at some point, and continuing to meet others. They also sent me an awesome t-shirt and note.. THANKS!

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Lastly, a MEGA HUGE shout out to my husband Marc.Before signing up for this race I double checked with him, and made sure he was aware of the time commitment it would take to train for this race. He was completely cool with it, and SO supportive. He knows how much joy this sport brings to my life, and how happy it makes me. He never complained about my alarm going off at 4:15 during the week, or me being gone on Saturday morning/afternoon. He drove by himself for 8 hours to be there for me and cheer me on! He is the best ! ❤

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Marc is SO tired from racing! We love silly photos!

Thanks also to Sandra for being out there all day cheering me on, taking photos, and being so supportive! Your sense of humor and jokes kept me so calm in the days leading up to the race!  Congrats to my training buddies Alberto for completing his 3rd Ironman and Annette for completing her 1st!

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Congrats to Annette and Alberto!

I will never forget this day, and I’m looking forward to my next Ironman! It was EPIC!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eagleman 70.3 Race Report

This is VERY delayed, but I wanted to write a race report for Eagleman before my next race… so here it goes!!

I was originally signed up for the Monticelloman 70.3 in the beginning of May. I haven’t been sick in years, but the week leading up to the race I got an awful cold/sinus infection. I went with my friends to Charlottesville, and made the best of the weekend. I ended up not racing, and turned it into a mini-vacation.

Enjoying Charlottesville!

Enjoying Charlottesville!

I was really eager to race, and the Sunday I got home I signed up for Eagleman 70.3 with Sandra, Alberto, and Annette. I have heard so many horror stories about this race, and everyone always talks about the wind and the heat. It is the local race that I have always been scared to do.

My training was going well leading up to race day. Over Memorial Day weekend I traveled to Lake Placid with Sandra, Alberto, and Annette for a mega fun and epic training weekend! We had a blast!!!

A fun training ride in Columbia.

A fun training ride in Columbia.

Training weekend in Lake Placid

Training weekend in Lake Placid

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Biking on the IMLP course

Biking on the IMLP course

Pre-Ride photo

Pre-Ride photo

BACON!

BACON!

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Eagleman Race Report

On Friday we drove to Cambridge, and stopped for lunch at The Jetty Bar. It was a beautiful day, and felt like I was on vacation and not an hour away from home.

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We arrived at the expo and it was pretty empty! We got our packets, and took some fun pre-race photos! We had dinner on the water in St. Michael’s. On Saturday before the race we stayed super hydrated and did a little outlet shopping in the morning.

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Pre-Race photo!

Dinner in St. Michal's

Dinner in St. Micheal’s

Checking out the swim course

Checking out the swim course

Pre race dinner in St. Michael's

Pre-race dinner in St. Michael’s

The morning of the race went as planned. I arrived at transition with plenty of time to set up my bike. My wave was one of the last, so I hung out in the shade with Sandra, and before I knew it, it was time to warm-up.
Swim
 
The gun went off, and I was feeling great! Best I have ever felt in a race during the swim portion. The buoys were close together and I didn’t have any issues with sighting. I was surprised and swam a 32:32.. my PR was a 30 something from Beach to Battleship, but that was with a major current. Felt really strong throughout! All of the long swim workouts for IM training paid off!
Bike
My HR monitor not working, and I ended up going by  feel. Around mile 25 I felt that maybe I was going too fast, so held back a bit so I didn’t kill myself for the run. I also wasn’t sure how the wind would be so I wanted to hold back a bit and conserve some energy. I hit some major wind in the second half, but kept my pacing and heart rate under control.
When I got to transition it was SUPER hot! The real feel was in the upper 90’s. The run would be interesting.
I usually pee on my bike twice during 70.3’s, but I didn’t really have to go .. which is crazy after having 6 bottles. I stopped at the portapotty’s when exiting transition and finally peed.
Run
Where to start… I got on the run feeling decent, but not my normal self compared to other 70.3’s. I could feel the heat and humidity, so I decided to go by feel. I felt really bloated and full, and my legs felt heavy. I had a cliff block at  miles 2, 4, and 6. I couldn’t take it anything else for the rest of the race- no gels, no cliff blocks. I had water at every aid station. I took sponges and ice and put it in my hat and sports bra. The thought of gels and cliff blocks made me want to vomit.
It became all about survival and getting to the finish. I kept telling myself “right left right left” and just chugged along.I didn’t even worry about the pace that my watch said, because I wanted to make it to the finish without passing out, throwing up, or ending up in a ditch on the side of the road!!! It was all about surviving.
It was a struggle from the start and my legs just wouldn’t do their thing. This was my far my slowest 70.3 run,  but I am proud of myself for just going my feel and finishing. My last mile was my fastest 7:51. Immediately after crossing the finish line I threw up SO much yellow liquid on the finishing carpet. I was put into a wheelchair, given my medal and hat, and then got wheeled over to the medical tent. This run was the hardest thing for me both mentally and physically, but I did it!
Welcome to the gun show!

Welcome to the gun show!

Thank you SO much to Coeur Sports, I loved rocking the kit out on the course!! When times got tough, I thought of heart and courage and making it to the finish!  A huge thank you to my coach, Debi Bernardes for all of your training and advice!
My next race will be Ironman Lake Placid in 11 days! I can’t wait!!!! It will be my first full Ironman! 🙂
Dying on the run...

Dying on the run…

Post race with Alberto and Annette

Post race with Alberto and Annette

Post race-- bacon cheeseburgers at The Jetty!

Post race =  bacon cheeseburgers at The Jetty!

2015 Summary

2015 was a crazy, fun, and exciting year between training, racing, and awesome life changes. Marc and I got a puppy in March and bought a house in June!

The year started with a couple of running races, Rock and Roll Half Marathon which ended up being pretty miserable because of the weather. It was cold and rainy, and I didn’t get the time I was hoping for. I still managed to have fun and make the best of it!

Next up was the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, which ended up being short of 10 miles because of an accident the morning of the race. At the end of April I raced Pikes Peek 10k, which is one of my favorite running races. It is local and downhill, which means fast times! I felt awesome during the race and managed to run a 41:15. It finished by my apartment and Marc was the end with our puppy Charlie!

Finish line at Pikes Peek 10k

post race with charlie

After Pikes Peek 10k with my puppy Charlie

 

I started my triathlon season with the Raleigh 70.3. Raleigh was a pretty cool city, and I had fun racing there! The run was surprisingly hot, but I managed to pull off my usual half marathon time for a 70,3, which was a 1:40.

 

Racing Raleigh 70.3 with a smile

finish line

Being silly at the expo with Sandra and Alberto

 

 

After Raleigh, Marc and I bought a house!! We moved at the end of June!

house

HOMEOWNERS!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In June and July I raced 2 local Olympic distance races, Diamond in the Rough and Fort Ritchie. It was amazing being able to sleep in my own bed, and wake up and drive to a race. I also forgot how much fun it is to race this distance, I had a blast!!!!  I ended up 4th in Diamond in the Rough, and 2nd at Fort Ritchie.

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1st place at Fort Ritchie (2nd overall because of a girl in the Elite wave)

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4th place at Diamond in the Rough

 

 

 

 

ft ritchie

Swimming, biking and running at Fort Ritchie! What a fun race!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marc and I were being silly the night before Fort Ritchie!

Marc and I were being silly the night before Fort Ritchie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My next road trip was to the Poconos Half in mid August. I really enjoyed the course! I earned a spot on the podium, and got 2nd place in my age group.

ROAD TRIP!!

ROAD TRIP!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pre-race swim practice!

Pre-race swim practice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Racking our bikes before the race

Racking our bikes before the race

2nd place in my AG

2nd place in my AG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My last triathlon of the season was Beach to Battleship. After racing a bunch of hot and hilly races, I was excited to see what I could do on a flat course with cool fall weather. I road tripped down with Sandra and Alberto. We had fun exploring the downtown area. The night before the race we went to Walmart to get some gear for the morning that we could leave behind at the swim start. We ended up getting the really awesome orange hats pictured below. This was my favorite race all year! I managed a PR in each leg of the triathlon. I finally broke 5 hours which has been a goal for the past 2 seasons! I ended up with a 4:51, which was huge for me!!!!! I earned myself a spot on the podium, as second place female. It was the PERFECT way to end the 2015 triathlon season. It makes me hungry and excited for 2016!!

 

 

At the expo

At the expo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Racking our bikes!

Racking our bikes!

We had to make a trip to K-Mart to buy hats so we could stay warm before the race.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2nd place overall female!! Finally broke 5 hours :)

2nd place overall female!! Finally broke 5 hours 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Being silly!

Being silly!

Post race! Last triathlon of the season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My last running race was the Annapolis Half Marathon! It’s always a fun time racing with Sandra, Alberto and Annette! My pace was faster than last year, but the course measured 13.5 miles on my garmin. After talking to a ton of people, the course was actually a bit longer. My pace per mile was a 7:17 this year, compared to 7:23 last year. It may only be 6 seconds per mile faster, but it makes me happy! I took 2 weeks off from training, and was eager to get back into a routine.

 

Last running race of 2015!

Last running race of 2015!

 

I found out that I got accepted to be a Coeur Sports Ambassador! I am SOOO excited and honored to be a part of this amazing group of inspiring women! In 2016 I will be training for my first Ironman, Lake Placid!!! After 2 years of racing the 70.3 distance, I am ready to step it up and train for a full Ironman. It makes me nervous, but I know with consistent training and handwork this is a goal that I can and will achieve! 2016 is going to be an epic year!!

Ironman Lake Placid Logo

 

 

 

 

70.3 World Championship – Mont Tremblant

My goal for the 2014 season was to qualify for this race, and I trained all season with this goal in mind. When I qualified at the Muncie 70.3, I couldn’t wait to train hard and compete in Mont Tremblant.  Before I knew it, it was time to travel up to Canada. I have 3 amazing friends, Alberto, Sandra and Annette who road tripped up with me, supported me and cheered me on! They are the best!!

We left at 4am on Thursday, and with stops made it to Canada in 13 hours. Friday and Saturday consisted of walking around the village and expo, racking my bike, picking up my bib number/chip, driving the course, swimming in the lake, and endless amounts of laughter and good times!! There were triathletes everywhere and of so many different nationalities! I loved the pre-race atmosphere, there was so much energy in the village!

Entering our awesome condo!
Entering our awesome condo!

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Sandra, Annette and I enjoying our first day in Mont Tremblant.
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Photo in front of the mdot
Swimming in the beautiful lake!
Swimming in the beautiful lake!
Lake Tremblant
Lake Tremblant
There were amazing views at the top of the mountain
There were amazing views at the top of the mountain

Swim exit

VIP’s!!!!!!

 

Gorgeous sunset!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra and Annette helped me put my race tattoos on the night before. Of course there was tons of laughter!

Sandra and Annette helped me put my race tattoos on the night before. Of course there was tons of laughter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2484!!

2484!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We estimated about 10 million dollars worth of bikes in transition!

We estimated about 10 million dollars worth of bikes in transition!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RACE DAY

I woke up at 5:15 excited and ready to race! The previous 2 nights before the race I slept about 10 hours, so I was feeling very well rested. Setting up transition in the morning was really easy because we had to drop off our transition bags along with our bikes the day before. All I had to bring was my wetsuit, cap, goggles, and bottles to put on my bike. It was in the low 40’s and I knew the temperatures were going to rise once the sun came up.

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Right before the race there was a huge fighter jet that flew over the beach, it was awesome! I watched the pro’s go off, and at the start of each swim wave they shot off small fireworks.  I had good warm-up, chatted with a few girls in my wave, and before I knew it we were lined up on the beach, and it was go time! The swim start was crazy, got smacked in the face and swam over, but that’s normal! I had some trouble sighting the buoy’s on the way in because the sun was in my eyes.

 

Sandra took this awesome picture at the swim start.
Sandra took this awesome picture at the swim start.
At the swim exit, always smiling!!!
At the swim exit, always smiling!!!

I exited the water, used the wetsuit strippers and ran down the red carpet into the transition tent. I was able to located my gear quickly, find my bike and off I went! I felt great at start, but didn’t want to push too hard and regret it. When I got out on highway 117 there was some wind, and some long climbs. On the other side of the highway I kept seeing HUGE packs of about 50 people biking in pacelines, and obviously drafting! It was absurd!

Around mile 42 I was going up a hill with a group of girls, and I heard the motorcyle. There was nothing I could have done because there was a girl in front of me, and another few behind me. Three or four of us got a red card, which meant we would have to serve a 4 minute penalty. I biked pretty angry and pissed off for the last 14 miles, it was really unfair considering all the drafting I observed out on the course. I stayed focused, and just kept telling myself to stay calm and keep with my race plan. The last 10 miles were an out and back, and the hilliest part of the course. I dropped to my easiest gears, and made it up those hills. I had the most fun flying down them on the way back!

About 100 meters before the bike in was the penalty tent, one girl from our pack arrived about 15 seconds before me, and a few others came in after me. We were both complaining about how it was so unfair. Sandra was able to get a photo of us! I really had to go to the bathroom, and wasn’t going to waste any more time in my race, so in spite of my stupid penalty, I “left my mark” in that penalty tent.. if you know what I mean!

Pissed off in the penalty tent!!
Pissed off in the penalty tent!!

I started off the run on a mission to catch the girls that were able to get out on the run before me. I kept it steady and stayed positive and calm. The course was incredibly hilly! The aid stations were awesome, and the volunteers were great! At the end of each loop we ran up a monster of a hill in the village,and then directly down it, major quad burner! I was able to catch some girls from my age group, as well as other females in front of me. The last 2.5 miles I dug really deep and pushed hard to the finish! I loved getting to the village and hearing the crowds and seeing people everywhere cheering!

Staying positive on the run!
Staying positive on the run!
FINISH LINE!!
FINISH LINE!!
Post race!

Post race!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am really proud and happy to have made it to Worlds and to have competed against top triathletes. Although my time was not what I had hoped, the journey and experience was priceless and made it all worth it! Next season I will break 5 hours!

Thanks to my amazing friends Sandra, Alberto and Annette for traveling to Mont Tremblant and cheering me on! I am so lucky to have friends like you guys! Thanks to my husband Marc for putting up with early alarms and long training days. Lastly, thanks to my coach Debi for your awesome workouts and advice!