Sunday, September 26, 2010

Weekend Update

Phil and I spent the weekend in and around Detroit visiting our friend Parrish and attending the Torno wedding.

Fridays lunch was at Krazy Jims Blimpy burger in Ann Arbor. It was featured on the Food Networks show "Diners Drive-ins and Dives". It was greasy and amazing.

After Parrish gave us the grand tour of Ann Arbor, we grabbed a drink at a local brewery. I ordered the sampler and it was way more beer than I bargained for. Dont worry, I didn't let any of it go to waste.

I loved being able to spend the day with Parrish. We were able to catch up and have some much needed girl talk. :) Love you, Parrish!

Saturday was all about Jarrett and Michelle's wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony followed by a really fun reception. Here is the happy couple cutting the cake.

I also wound up catching Michelle's boquet. It just came right at me and there was nothing I could do about it. Not like I minded :)

Phil and I really enjoyed ourselves. We danced, drank way too much, met some really fun people and got to spend time with good friends.

This post took me entirely too long to do because I have a sleeping pug on my laptop. Excuse any typos :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A good reason to not work out

Last night I did not work out. Unless you count the dancing around my kitchen (literally) and singing at the top of my lungs while baking cookies a work out. Any calories I burned from dancing, I most certainly got back from dipping my finger in the cookie dough. Oops :)

I baked 4 dozen perfectly cooked oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for Phil. Today is his birthday and they are his favorite! I watched them in the oven oh-so-carefully because he likes them ever so slightly under baked and I tend to always always always let them go for a minute too long. But this time- I succeeded in having all 48 cookies turn out perfectly for the birthday boy.

Happy Birthday, Phil! :) 

Ps- I also made homemade sweet potato ravioli with a light asiago cream sauce! Ill post the recipe soon.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Phil's Nations Triathlon Race Report

As promised, here is Phil's race report. Grab a cup of coffee or a coke and settle in for a few is a little long!

Written by Phil:

5:00am: Alarm.  I do not enjoy waking up early.  Never have, never
will.  I am like a baby when it comes to sleep, if I do not get my
eight hours I am cranky.  I would like to say that today was
different, but I was not excited to be up at this dark hour.

I had been stressing over this morning for the last two days.  I
always stress about packing my bag and forgetting something.  I
generally lay everything I need on the table or the couch and pack the
morning of the event.  I tried to overcome this to reduce time and
packed everything the night before, it was a bit stressful, but I had
to trust myself.

I filled my water bottles, grabbed my bag, and Lauren and I started
our four mile journey to the race course.  Since my race bicycle was
already in the transition area, I was on my mountain bike.  This made
things easier as it was raining.  Now, rain comes I all sizes,
direction, and rate.  It was pouring!  The rain drops were massive and
stung my eyes as we proceeded.  The only redeeming quality of this
rain was that it was falling straight down and not “Raining Sideways.”
 We finally arrived, both completely soaked.  Yuck.  I locked up my
bicycle, gave Lauren a kiss and proceeded to enter the transition

My makeshift trash bag bicycle cover I set up the day before seemed to
work well!  My handle bars and seat were both still nice and dry.  I
got my area all set up and put on my wetsuit.  Burrrr!  It was cold
getting the suit on, but after I was fully encased it felt quite warm!

The start of the race was delayed 20 minutes due to the rain.  I was
initially annoyed as I just wanted to get started, but it allowed for
a restroom break and the wetsuit kept me warm.

Wave 12 was finally called and I entered the water.  I positioned
myself at the front middle of the pack.  I had two new pieces of gear
for this race, new goggles and a wetsuit. The wetsuit was already
proving it’s worth as I bobbed around without effort waiting for the
starting gun.  The goggles felt great as they sat on the bones on my
face instead of pressing into soft tissue like my old ones.

Boom!  We were off!  The wetsuit feels amazing!  There are people
everywhere, but I have enough room to do three stroke breathing and
get into a rhythm.

I get to the second marker (200m) and realize I forgot to start my
watch!  First mistake!  I quit stroking for a moment and start my
watch.  How much time am I missing on my watch?!  This would be a
question I would ask myself throughout the entire race!  After
starting my watch I realized that the water was so murky that you
could not even see your hand when pulling through the water.  This
meant that visibility was less than 4 inches… I hoped no one would go
under as it would be impossible to see them.

The swim was going very well.  I was a bit too far outside the buoys
as I approached the memorial bridge.  I worked myself back into the
middle off the pack to avoid the arch supporting the structure.

I couldn’t stop thinking about two things as I swam.  The first
thought was how much extra do I end up swimming because I am so far
away from the buoys.  I still do not know the answer to this question.
 The second was the shape of the swim course.  The announcer kept
saying the swim course was setup to look like the Washington monument.
 As I approached the ‘point’ I was wondering if this would be true.
It actually did look like the Washington monument as you had slight
turns from the buoys beyond the point of the monument.  This kept my
mind off the actual act of swimming.
Swim Course

As I approached the ‘point’ of the course I tried to hug the buoys.
Ugh.  People everywhere!  I was now working my way into the group that
had started before me.  The rest of the swim was spent mainly doing
two stroke breathing with lots of scouting and planning.  I worked my
way well into the two groups that started before me, and attempted to
not swim over anyone as I know I hate getting kicked or hit as I swim.

After navigating through the sea of athletes I was finally out of the
water and on the dock.  The swim went great!  My new gear worked
perfectly!  The path to the transition was quite a distance.  I
decided to leave my wetsuit zipped up until I actually made it to the
entrance of the transition.  I figured I could run faster with
something stuck to my body, rather than having a floppy piece of
rubber attached to my waist.  This seemed to work well.  Running into
the chute before the transition I saw Lauren and started screaming and
twirling my swim cap over my head.  From the photo I think everyone
around me thought I was nuts.  After unsuccessfully attempting to
throw my swim cap to Lauren I made my way to row 25 and took a right
hand turn towards my station.  I peeled my wetsuit off using the
‘little kid’ method; essentially I stepped my wetsuit with one leg and
pulled my other leg up.  It worked nicely.  I tore open the trash bag
I used to keep my shoes and gear dry, Velcroed my shoes, un-racked my
bicycle and took off.

I ran through the muddy transition area and hopped on my bicycle.  I
began my 25 mile journey with a seamless clip-in.  The bicycle portion
went really well.  I did a lot of passing and was rarely passed.
Nearly every person that overtook me had a tri specific bicycle with
an aero helmet.  Since they were so decked out I did not feel
obligated to keep up.

There were only a few highlights in the bicycle.  I spotted around 5
people with flat tires and one guy running barefoot carrying his
bicycle with around 5 miles left to cycle!  I may have heard someone
from the other direction run off the road.  It happened beyond my
field of vision and I did not turn around to check, but it sounded
like a large object crashing into foliage.  I just hoped he was
alright.  I paced my speed off of a guy in the same jersey as me (Just
by chance!).  At one point there were three cyclist’s with the same
jersey riding near me.  We passed a cheer station where someone
thought we were on the same team and yelled, “Go team green!”  That
amused me and eventually I caught up and talked to the guy I was
pacing off.

The entire bicycle ride I was checking my mileage, the time on my
watch, then calculating average speed and project finishing time, this
was an inexact science as I still did not know how much time I missed
when I forgot to start my watch.  My realistic goal from the beginning
was to break 3 hours, with a lofty goal of breaking 2:30.  From my
calculations I could reach my lofty goal if I kept my cycling pace and
ran a sub 8 minute mile pace.  “Easy!” I thought, but was still
questioning if my legs would brick up on the transition and how Haines
Point would treat me.

As I neared the finish, I successfully took both my feet out of my
shoes before the stop line, pedaled for the last 200 meters on top of
my shoes and ran into the transition area barefoot.  Lauren was at the
dismount line cheering me on and taking photos!  It was a great

I again made my way to row 25, this time taking the outside, less
muddy access corridor.  I grabbed my dry socks out of my trash bag and
inserted my feet into sopping wet shoes and ran away into the mud!

I saw Lauren again leaving the transition, cheering and taking photos!
 No bricking, Legs felt great! I got the see Lauren!  “To the finish”
I thought!

Since I run around DC quite often I knew the run course well.  The
description stated there was a short steep hill around mile one.  I
knew this was an overstatement.  The hill they reference is right
before the finish of the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler.  It is fairly
short, but is definitely not very steep.  After the massive hill the
course looped around Haines Point.  Haines Point is very scenic, but
having completed many training runs and rides at this location, it has
lost luster.  Haines point is now just a painfully long and monotonous
loop.  The only milestone you have is reaching the end of the point
and essentially running back on different, but similar looking road.
I was feeling great throughout the run.  Determining my pace during
races has always been a difficult task.  I can generally tell how fast
I am running when training, but for some reason racing is different.
I forgot what time I transitioned and kept missing the mile markers to
look at my watch, so I could not determine how fast or slow I was
going.  For around two miles I was essentially pacing off of a guy in
front of me.  Around mile three and a half I caught up with him.
Seeing that he had a fancy GPS watch I asked him if he had a pace
function.  He replied that he did and the pace was right at a 7 minute
mile!  I was ecstatic!  During my training runs before the race I
would struggle to keep a 7 to 7:30 minute mile pace.  The pace I was
running felt great and more like a 7:45 minute pace!  I ran with him
for about a mile until his shoe came untied.  I wished him luck and

At this point I forgot about the sub 2:30 finish, I knew that would
definitely happen.  I was only picturing one thing at this point, the
small bridge over the inflow for the Tidal Basin for the Jefferson
Memorial.  The small bridge would mean that I have .2 miles left, so I
could sprint the rest of the way.

As I reached the bridge all focus turned to the finish line.  I passed
around 8 people in a large group.  There was around a 50 meter gap
before the next runner.  I knew I could make this distance up and pass
one more competitor.  I dug deep.  I sprinted hard.  I always have a
focused tunnel vision for hard finishes.  I do not look at the crowd,
I look at the finish.  Every picture of me finishing shows my very
upright running style and the appearance that my eyes are closed.  I
think this is because I am looking at the finish line mat and do not
want to trip over it.  When the photos are posted I will see if it
happened at this race, but I bet I will look exactly the same.

I ended up passing the competitor with around 50 feet left before the
finish.  I pretended all the cheering was for me and crossed the line.

Time on Watch:  2:16:39

There was no way that it took me more that 10 minutes to swim 200
meters!  I had surpassed my lofty goal!  I proceeded to get my medal,
and walked towards the post race celebration.

One cool thing they did was have a race receipt report offered
immediately after the finish.  Essentially you could have all your
times printed off immediately.  In some ways I wanted to wait until
the times were posted on the Internet, but I knew if I waited I would
be checking for the results online every minute, so I got my times

Swim    24:09           (1:36 per 100 meters)
T1      3:38
Bike    1:07:05 (22.21 Average MPH)
T2      1:53
Run     42:47           (6:52 Miles Pace)

Overall Time: 2:19:30

Very Excited!!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Rock and Roll Philadelphia 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Normally I would not think to wirte a race report for just a run- but I had so many ups and down during this damn race and I need to let it out.

The weekend in Philly was great- got to have an amazing dinner and spend some time with my family. We always have a ton of fun together!

Race morning: Nikki lives in downtown Philly so staying at her place was awesome because we were able to walk to the starting line. I woke up at 6:30 which gave me plenty of time to eat a little, use the restroom (yay no porta-potty!), stretch and walk over the start with plenty of time. I was feeling great in the morning- my stomach was not giving me any problems and I felt awake and ready to run. I also felt well prepared because I have been doing long runs every weekend for the past several weeks- so 13.1 is only 1 mile longer than my longest training run. Easy.

The race was super crowded but extremely well organized. I left Phil, Bill and Char and took my place in my assigned corral. My corral starting moving around 9 minutes after the initial gun went off and I started my Garmin GPS watch as soon as I crossed the start mat. Within my first three or four strides my left IT band felt awful. Great.

After the first mile I decided I needed to make a friend. On all of my long training runs I have had someone to talk to (Whitney, Bill, ect) so I needed to talk to someone to take my mind off the running. I started talking to this girl Kris- who after running with her for a mile told me she was running the NY marathon in a few weeks and expected to break 3 hours. Needless to say, I was not able to keep up with her long.

At mile marker 3 I stopped and stretched. I was happy with my pace- when I was running I was running 8:30 minute miles but with the stopping and stretching it made it more like a 10 minute pace.

Just as I was feeling really awful I hear my friend Rachael scream my name! I couldn't see her, but I heard her and I screamed back, and kept on running. That got me to the next mile marker feeling strong.

Miles 4-6 were the worst. I felt awful. All around awful. My legs felt heavy, I was hot, and I felt really tired. Then I was frustrated with myself that I was feeling this way- all of my training runs were awesome! What the hell. I even had a 5 year old yell at me...I started to walk for a minute around mile 5 and she exclaimed "Hey! This is a running race! You don't walk in a running race!". So I listened to the little brat and kicked it up a notch. Mile marker 5 was also when I realized that the course mile markers and my GPS watch were not agreeing on the mileage. At mile marker 5 on the course, my watch said it was 5.6. I think the course was a bit long.

After mile 6 I decided to chuck the negative attitude and just run. I cheered at people when the cheered for me. I offered encouragement to those who stopped and walked or moved over to the side to stretch. I allowed myself to stop and stretch for 30 seconds at every mile marker. I probably could have pushed through, but then my IT band would have been bothering me all week, and with my first tri coming up, I did not want that.

My goal time was 2 hours and 10 minutes. Because I was running at such a good pace when I was running, I was able to stop and stretch and still be on target. I was able to do this until mile 11 (now mile 11.7 on my watch!). Somehow between mile 11 and the finish, I lost 3 minutes and crossed the finish line at 2:13. The distance on my watch said if the course was as long as my watch argues then I did indeed meet my goal of running 13.1 in 2 hours and 10 minutes. :)

But my official time for the race is 2:13. Not too even though I felt like crap for a few miles, I think I did pretty well. I'm sure I will be faster for the next one..and hopefully won't feel as gross. Bring on the full marathon!

Here are some pictures:

Sporting our finishers medals!

Phil being mean

me, Phil, Char and Bill

Rach came to cheer us on!
celebration cheesesteak. Nom Nom Nom

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Random thoughts and happenings

1. I am officially registered for the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in March. My first marathon!

2. I went rock climbing with Genie last night at Sportrock and realized how much I miss it. From here on out, I think rock climbing will count as one of my strength work outs during the week. I also miss the social aspect of having girl talk between climbs :)

Climbing at New River Gorge, WV

3. Last week I cut my hair. 8 inches chopped off. It looks super cute! Ill post a picture once I have one

4. Today at swim practice I swam 400 meters with out stopping...I am pretty pumped. The first time I got in a pool to swim (like 2 months ago) I could not even swim 25 meters without almost dying. This also gives me a ton of confidence for my first tri next month because I know I can complete the swim with no issues.

5. Phil and I are going to Jamaica in November...I am pretty excited.  I will most likely bring my goggles and swim in the ocean once or twice. I will also eat a ton of food, enjoy drinks with tiny umbrellas, and sit on a beach chair for countless hours.

6. I just ordered my Team Z tri jersey. I feel like an official member now.

7. I am shopping for a tri bike. Right now I have a very basic road bike that is a touch too big for me, so I have to reach for the handlebars a little more than I would like. Now is a good time to start to look for a bike because stores are trying to get rid of all the 2010 models so you can get some great deals. A tri bike has a different geometry than a road bike so that you use less leg muscles biking so you have more energy for the run. These are two of the sexy bikes that are in my price range as well as have great reviews and come in my size! (its hard to find a bike that fits well because I am so tiny)

Bonus points for them being purple and pink! The pictures above are the 2011 models I most likely would not have a choice of color if I were to get a great deal on a 2010 model.

8. I need to cook! I love cooking and baking and lately I have not had the time to spend hours in the kitchen. I have a recipe for sweet potato raviolis that I need to make. And apple spiced cupcakes with brie cheese frosting. yum yum.

9. I am excited for the Philly rock and roll half marathon this weekend!

10. I am 90% sure that I am going to sign up for Ironman Cozumel. I think it is going to be one of those things where I register saying to myself "meh, it is a year away"...and then realize what I just got myself into and freak out slightly.

11. Phil's race report for Nations is coming soon, I promise! He wrote a small novel and just wants to edit it.

happy almost weekend!

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Nations Triathlon- Race report from a spectator

Yesterday was the Nations Tri- a triathlon in the heart of DC. Phil participated and I went to cheer him on. We woke up at 5am and then biked downtown at 545 am in the pouring rain. Torrential downpour. I was soaked to the core. It didnt really matter for Phil because he was going to get in the water anyway. But me...I stood there in wet clothes for several hours to be Phil's cheerleader. It must be love.

I was able to catch him running in from the swim, dismounting on the bike, and starting the run. I was waiting for him at the finish line but I never saw him! After about an hour and ten minutes I thought to myself "It does not take Phil this long to run 6 miles...maybe something happened, I should check my cell phone"

So I check my cell phone....4 missed calls from Phil and 2 texts. "Babe, where are you? I'm all done!"

WHAT? How the hell did I miss him at the finish? I was right there and he was wearing a bright yellow tri top and a goofy sweat band...and he is taller than 95% of the people! Anyways, I missed him.

Phil kicked some major ass- his total time for an Olympic tri (1500 meter swim, 26 mile bike, 6.2 mile run) was 2 hours and 19 minutes! That put him 25th in his age group and 185th overall out of almost 5,000 people!

He is going to write his own race report and I'll post it here for you all to read...and I'll include the few pictures I got of him yesterday.

Yesterday also made me very anxious and excited for my first tri in a month...I hate standing on the sidelines, I want to be in the action!!!

Congrats to Phil on such a wonderful race. Love you...even if it means standing in wet clothes for hours :)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

Labor day weekend for most 24 year olds consist of drinking copious amounts of beer, staying out late partying and eating lots of food. The only part of that I adhered to was eating a ton of food. This was my weekend:

Friday, September 3rd

Phil and I both got out of work early so we decided to go for a swim to kick off the holiday weekend.

last weekend the pool at our place is open :(

After our swim we went out to dinner and then called it a night because we both had to get up and ride in the morning.

Yes, you read that correctly. We were IN BED at 10:35 on a Friday night of a holiday weekend.

Saturday, September 4

I was up and out of the house by 7 am to drive to Nokesville, VA for my first Team Z group ride. I was excited to meet other Z'ers and have some company for a long ride. I chose the 40 mile option. It was beautiful! Nice rolling hills (some steeper than others...) and amazing scenery. I met several people, but rode the whole 40 miles with Nikki. It was nice to have someone to chat with during the whole ride. Nikki owns a bike rental and touring company in DC called bike and roll. She was able to give me to pointers on my pedal stroke and cycling in general. It was awesome. This is Nikki and I after our 40 mile ride!

After the ride I attended a clinic put on by Team Z that discussed the 5 muscle groups that are weakest in triathletes. We even did "tests" to see how strong we were in those areas...I failed every single one. I have a ton of strength training to do! And here I was thinking I was pretty strong... womp womp.

Saturday night consisted of grilling some burgers, stretching, and relaxing on the couch. Then we decided to go to bed early because both Phil and I wanted to run in the morning.

Yup, 10:23 on a Saturday night. Don't laugh. Ok laugh...its pathetic.

Sunday, September 5

I was at Fletcher's boathouse at 8am ready for a nice long run. The weather was amazing and the trail is shaded which equals an enjoyable run! I met up with some Z'ers for the run and wound up running the whole 10 miles with Amanda. We ran at the same pace and had alot in common so it was nice to have someone to talk to. I am meeting alot of friends!

sporting my favorite running hat!

After my run, Phil and I went out to brunch with a few friends. Then we came home and took a nap by the pool. Then we woke up and went out to dinner (Are you seeing the theme here? Sleep. Eat. Workout. Eat.)

Jared and Karl enjoying sushi and bento boxes!

After dinner, I was determined to stay up until midnight to make myself feel like less of a loser...I was even going to take a picture of it as proof! Except...I fell asleep before 11 and did not take a picture. :(

Monday, September 6

I slept in today. Until 10:30. 12 hours of sleep. AMAZING. Phil on the other hand got up and rode 60 miles. What an over achiever! The remainder of the day consisted of taking Brizzy to the dog park and then all three of us falling asleep on the couch for a while.

You cant tell in this picture, but Brizzy is laying on Phils stomach. It makes my heart melt when I see my two loves snuggling :)

All in all it was a good weekend! I had a great time meeting some other Team Z'ers, spending time with the boyfriend and getting some miles in on my bike and legs...even if it meant that I was asleep before 11pm every night of a holiday weekend. Speaking of which, time for bed- swim practice in the morning! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meet my friend Tony

Blog followers, meet Tony.

Last February Tony snowboarded into a tree at 40mph. He has endured several surgeries and is currently sporting an external fixator. It looks like a torture device out of one of the "Saw" movies.Check out his blog for more gross pictures and to read about his story.

Now to the point- Phil and I decided to get Tony a present. A little something that says we care. Obviously Phil decided on getting Tony the  "shake weight". Here is a video of Tony playing with his new favorite toy for your laughing pleasure.

I woke up for track practice!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, I am very proud to say that I woke up at 5:30 this morning and hauled my butt to a nearby high school track for Team Z track practice. Go me!

I am really loving the 2 track practices I have been to so far. I have been coached on my running stride and form and it has made such a difference! For example, today I was told to run 4 laps around the track going at an easy jog pace and time myself- my pace was a 9:40 minute mile. The coach then gave me some tips regarding my posture, leg cadence (how quickly your legs turn over when running), and breathing technique and told me run the same 4 laps at the same effort and time myself. My pace dropped to an 8:20 minute mile! Felt pretty awesome considering that is the fastest pace I have ever been able to sustain.

Also- swim practice was canceled tomorrow morning due to a ruptured pipe at the pool. See email below (so you know I am not lying!)


I am sorry to report that the Marymount pool will also be closed tomorrow. They had a pipe burst and are trying their best to repair it as soon as possible.

PLEASE do not take this as an opportunity to skip your swim workouts. Check out local pools, coordinate with other Zrs, and get the workouts in.

My apologies for the inconvenience.


Yay for not having to wake up at 4:45 tomorrow! woop woop!