Sunday, February 27, 2011

55 Miles! Boo Yah!

Before leaving work Friday afternoon, I mentioned to my co-workers, that I am planning on riding around 50 miles the next day.... The reaction? "50 miles is even a long trip in the car!" ;-)

Because I had a commitment in the morning, I did my ride in the afternoon. Everyone else, of course, already rode earlier that day, so I was on my own. While I was a little worried to ride alone (and Terry being even more worried) in the mountains, I really ended up with a wonderful ride. It certainly helped, that I didn't run into crazy rednecks... Quite the opposite really, people were waiving and saying hi.... I assume, they are used to cyclist on this route.

Here are some pictures from the road:

Once I was back at the house and told Terry, that I did 55 miles.... he responded: "Well, that just a little over half the distance you have to ride for Mt Mitchell!" Thanks babe... Always so supportive! ;-)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Cookie Monster

Welcome to everybody coming over from the Healthy Living Blog. Thank you for dropping in!

For my regular readers: I have been part of the "Friday Feature" on HLB with a little interview.


Yesterday, I finally received my order of Girl Scout Cookies... 5 boxes of Caramel Delight... The one and only kind (for me anyways!).

Way back when I ordered them, I actually called hubs and asked him how many boxes he wanted and he said something about none at all. I then reminded him, that last year, he ended up breaking into my cookie stash and demolishing a box in one day. After that, he said he wanted one box. I ordered 2 for him... 3 for me... Seriously, I have those boxes for a while!

Anyways... So last night, he asked me where the cookies are, since I stated on FB, that I just had my first GC cookie of the season and wouldn't let go of the topic until I got the boxes... I was smart enough to leave one box at work right away... I might want to secure all of "my" boxes there... Just seems to be safer! ;-)

So there you have it.... The ultimate cookie battle in our household....

PS: For my German readers.... This is only such a big deal, because Girl Scout Cookies are only available for a couple of weeks (months?) each year.

"I just had ONE cookie"... Up to that point maybe! ;-)

Happy weekend, everyone! ;-)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Outside: Where Living is Risky

Last week was an interesting blog post on titled "Don't fear riding a bicycle, fear sitting in that chair". It really struck a cord with me, especially because I sometimes end up defending myself in terms of being "crazy enough" to ride a bike on a road... A road that is also used by cars, trucks and nutjobs.

Living is risky. Being active (whatever your activity of choice may be) bears certain risks, but being inactive doesn't make you live forever either... Quite the opposite actually. Here are some graphs that the Centers of Disease and Prevention published and that links inactivity to obesity and diabetes. It's really a no brainer, but it's still interesting to see these maps right next to each other.

There is still so much to do in order to make being active outside more accessible and safe for everyone, but there are also tons of options already available.

In the meantime, we just have to do our part in being as safe as possible out there... I am always suprised about how many people I see on the SRT without helmets on. What is especially ridiculous, when the kids wear helmets, but the parents don't. It's the helmets and the lights and the reflect gear that will protect us to a certain degree while we are out there....

It's expecting that other people screw up in traffic and act accordingly.... People are only people and make mistakes no matter if you are in a car or on a bike or just walking down the street, so open your eyes when you are out there and watch what everyone else around you is doing, especially if you don't have a cushion of steel around you.

Okay, I am getting of my soap box now.... Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mark Your Calendars! Vol II/2011


"Girl's Morning Out" at Carolina Triathlon in downtown Greenville. Gather at 8:45am to pedal promptly at 9am. This is a 30-mile "C" ride hosted every Thursday by GHS EveryWoman Cycling Team and Carolina Triathlon. Road bikes and helmets are required. Everyone is welcome and nobody is left behind.


Historic Marion Runfest 10 Mile, 10K, 5K, 1 Mile and Trot Trot
in Marion SC (Race Site: Marion Opera House -100 Northeast Court Street)
For more information and pricing click here and look for "Historic Marion Race".

ON ON TRI Group Run @ 7am, 400 E. McBee Ave. Ste. 104 Greenville SC
60 to 90 minutes at a moderate pace
if you want to find out what a "moderate" pace is for them call 864-232-9400

Peacock Strides for Babies 5K Run/Walk and 1 mile Family Fun Walk
in Mauldin SC
Race benefits CJ Foundation for SIDS in memory of Emily Ware
Click here to register and for more information.

Rachel Toor will present at Furman University Physical Activities Center at 7 p.m.

Moonlight & Magnolias 5K Run/Walk
in Greer, 1020 Anderson Ridge Road (CESA's MESA Complex)
Click here to register and for more information.

Amby Burfoot will present in the Furman University Center's Burgiss Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

12th Annual Assault on the Carolinas - Brevard, NC
Ready to roll at 9 a.m. and features three ride options (100k, 60k and 40k).
Register here.

6/4 (tentative date)
4th Annual 100 Miles of Nowhere organized by the FatCyclist

Setting the Pace at Whitten Center 10K and 5K Run/Walk at 8:30 a.m.
Clinton, SC
Entry $25 before August 26th. Late entry is $30.


The Y Tri Series:

DISCOUNT: The 4 race special has been extended.  Register for 4 races and get $20 off per race! Use the discount code of "earlybird" when you register for each race. Remember you MUST register for 4 races before March 1 to receive this pricing.

04/10 – Rock Hill, SC
05/07 – Rock Hill, SC
06/18 – Ft Mill, SC
07/16 – Columbia, SC
07/31 –Blacksburg, SC
08/27 – Toccoa, GA
09/10 – Surf City Beach, NC
09/17 – Hartsville, SC
For more information (pricing, distances, if duathlon event is available etc) check the website.

Other YMCA Tri/Du Events:

4/16 Greenwood YMCA
6/4 Middle Tyger YMCA
8/ 6 Union County YMCA
8/ 13 Laurens Family YMCA
9/ 24 Tri the Ridge Pickens County YMCA

2011 XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series

3/12 Doug Harris Memorial 10K/5K (Clemson Issaqueena Forest)
7/10 Harbison Half Marathon (Columbia)
8/? Table Rock 15K

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Taking NTC outside!

Last night, I had weights on the schedule. The weather was so beautiful and mild, that I decided to take the Nike Training Club outside on the porch.

Raised Push-ups

Toe Touches

Sumo Squat w/ Lateral Raise - Step 1

Sumo Squat w/ Lateral Raise - Step 2

The best part of the workout was to see the night sky, every time I was doing toe touches or flutter kicks.... The bats on the other hand, sometimes came a little too close for comfort! ;-)

Night Sky - Digitally enhanced for visualization purposes! ;-)

This is something, I really want to keep up when it's nice outside and the mosquitos haven't taken over the yard yet.

Also thinking about doing my yoga like this at least a couple of times out of the month. I discovered an iPhone app (review to follow) that I like so far and found, that I enjoy the solitude while practising yoga. I did yoga videos in the past, but always thought they were boring (maybe the wrong videos) and distracting.... just like having so many people around you in class and the mirrors in the studios can be distracting - at least for me.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Race Report: 2011 Myrtle Beach Half Marathon

Results based on gun time:

2:18:21 - 10:34 min per mile average 
age group 132/264
overall 1686/ 3115

Chip time 2:14:35 - 10:15 min per mile average


We left Greenville around lunch time and had a smooth ride until we got right outside of MB. 45 minutes for 10 miles was quite a delay, but there's nothing you can do about that. Our first stop was the convention center to pick up our race package and then we headed over to the hotel. The FB'ing happened the whole time on the drive down here and once we were at the hotel, we got going to get the crew together to meet up for dinner. Try to get a table for 10 in MB.... Well, it took us a while, but eventually we sat and we ordered and after a little mix up in the kitchen... I also got my pizza... yum yum yum.

We got back to the hotel, later than we had planned, but were still in bed and asleep at a decent hour.

The alarm went off at a little before five. Terry had breakfast at the hotel, while I had brought my food along and had a pita bread with hummus in the room. I actually went back to bed, but eventually rolled out of there to get dressed etc. The hotel was just half a mile from the start line and we walk over along with tons of other hotel guests. We made it to the start line with 15 minutes to spare. While walking to the back half of the field, I actually ran into Brian and Todd from the relay team.

I chit chatted a little with the people around me, but then put my earphones in and zoned out. I don't run with music often, but every now and then, I just want to.

One more thing about this... It is February and I stood at the starting line at 6:30am in shorts and a t-shirt and I wasn't even a little chilly. This sure was warmer than anything we have experienced in the last couple of months.


The plan for this race was to run the 1st half at an under 172 bpm heart rate and 2nd half between 172 and 178 bpm. Shooting for a negative split. So I actually set up the display of the Garmin only to see time and heart rate. I saw my splits whenever it auto-lapped, but that was it.

It took a little while to get over the start line as usual with races of this kind of size. I started out at a really comfortable pace and when I looked at my HR, I was exactly where I was supposed to. Somewhere on mile 3, I felt a tap on my shoulder and I saw to other relay team mates, so I chit chatted a little with them. They were doing the marathon and wanted to slow down, so after a mile or so, I was on my own again... But we were close together for quite a while.

Until the turn around point, I felt like I had a very good race... Doing exactly, what I was supposed to do and feeling, that I had enough left in the tank to negative split this puppy. I was smiling a lot during the first half and for whatever reason, I was also tearing up a lot (PMS'ing or what?). No clue, what that was all about, but I saw the sunrise... tearing up... inspirational quotes on shirts and signs.... tearing up... It was quite interesting.

Honestly, I was looking forward to the turn around point, so I can finally just run and not slow down whenever my heart rate got too high. I knew my time up to that point and saw my splits and knew that I have to move some, if I wanted to reach my goals.

Well and then I saw my first splits in the second half and even though I was working harder, it didn't reflect in my pace. It almost seemed like the opposite... The harder I worked (higher HR), the slower I seemed to become. So I can make tons of guesses now, what happened and why it happened differently from how I expected it... But really, I don't know...

At mile 11, some girls were passing out beads and since the race wasn't going too great at this point anyways, I thought, I might as well can pick up a little souvenir. When I saw the 12 mile marker, I felt completely deflated for a minute and actually walked a little. I thought, I won't have to walk this time (not that there's anything wrong with it).... So I used the little break to eat the remainders of my sport beans and then got going again to bring this show home.

I crossed the finish line before 9am that morning... While I don't like such an early start, it was really nice to be done this early...


What's really tragic is, that I missed the spot where they handed out the beer at the finish. And speaking of liquids... The food and drink station were so crowded, that I ended up skipping the food and just grabbed some Gatorade and water before heading back to the hotel.

On the way back, I chatted with a lady that just broke the 2 hour mark for the first time.... Great job! I wonder, how many more years of running it's going to take me until I reach this goal.

Once I showered and had a quick snack, I headed back to the finish line and got there right in time for Terry to get it... He PR'd and what's almost better than PR'ing... He felt fine and didn't have to fight with the cramping, that he usually has! Yay!

After resting some more, we met up the crew for nice lunch and some beer!!! I have been really good eating wise the whole week leading up to the race and of course, everything went out of the window the moment I crossed that finish line... That was a good burger... And some mighty good beer! ;-)

Race Review:

What can I say about this race.

It's run very well, the course is good... I was just hoping to see a little more of the ocean, but that didn't happen for the halfers...  As mentioned above, the food/drink station at the finish was crowded. The swag was nice. They had women fit race shirts this year (last year's shirts were BIG) in a technical fabric and beach towels... I thought the towels were a nice touch.

Are we going to run this race again next year... Maybe.... I honestly don't care for Myrtle Beach too much, but it's kinda nice to go to the beach in February, especially with the weather we had.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ice Cream

It's one of the reasons, why I run (and swim and bike) !! ;-)

We are back home and now just relax and hang out for the rest of the Sunday. Race report will follow soon!

Friday, February 18, 2011

That was QUICK!

Yesterday, I stopped by Sunshine Cycle on my way back from work to fill up my SportsBeans storage. While I was a big GelBlast fan in the past, I really like the beans right now, because they are smaller and easier to chew, especially while running.

I was elated to see, that they changed the packaging from "itsy bitsy tiny little tear flap" to "rip across the whole bag flap". The new bags are also resealable. Due to this, I don't expect nutrition emergencies like last weekend at the GVRR for tomorrow.

"I am a SportsBean and the rip across the whole bag flap was my idea."

They obviously read this blog and heard my whining last week... So this product change was mighty quick, don't you think? It's also possible, that I had a really really old bag of SportsBeans in my nutrition drawer and they changed the packaging six months ago... ;-)


While you are reading this, I am most likely on my way down to Myrtle Beach. The weather is supposed to be beautiful and I can't wait for the race to be over and the festivities to start! ;-)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mark Your Calendars! Vol I/2011

Let's throw a new feature for this channel on the wall and see, if it's going to stick. I get a ton of info about local races and workshops and whatnot in my mailbox, over facebook and blogs etc and I thought it would be nice to gather everything in a blog post for reference once in a while...


Greenville Cycling Center Nutrition Workshop at GHS Family YMCA in Simpsonville
TIME: 9 - 2 pm, With break for lunch
COST: $5, Lunch not included
Register here.

"Tour de Love" AOMM training ride #2 from the Great Escape Bicycle  Shop in Spartanburg. Ready to roll at 9 a.m.  with a 60 and 32 mile option. Cost $10.

Rachel Toor will present at Furman University Physical Activities Center at 7 p.m.

Amby Burfoot will present in the Furman University Center's Burgiss Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

12th Annual Assault on the Carolinas - Brevard, NC
Ready to roll at 9 a.m. and features three ride options (100k, 60k and 40k).
Register here.

6/4 (tentative date)
4th Annual 100 Miles of Nowhere organized by the FatCyclist

Setting the Pace at Whitten Center 10K and 5K Run/Walk at 8:30 a.m.
Clinton, SC
Entry $25 before August 26th. Late entry is $30.


The Y Tri Series:

04/10 – Rock Hill, SC
05/07 – Rock Hill, SC
06/18 – Ft Mill, SC
07/16 – Columbia, SC
07/31 –Blacksburg, SC
08/27 – Toccoa, GA
09/10 – Surf City Beach, NC
09/17 – Hartsville, SC
For more information (pricing, distances etc) check the website.

The "other" Y Tri/Du Series:

4/16 Greenwood YMCA
6/4 Middle Tyger YMCA
8/ 6 Union County YMCA
8/ 13 Laurens Family YMCA
9/ 24 Tri the Ridge Pickens County YMCA
Can't find the website for this series right now, but registration on is open.

2011 XTERRA South Carolina Trail Run Series

3/12 Doug Harris Memorial 10K/5K (Clemson Issaqueena Forest)
7/10 Harbison Half Marathon (Columbia)
8/? Table Rock 15K

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Spring's around the corner...

How to: Take a pic of yourself and still look surprised!
Seriously, spring is just around the corner.

Not only the temps are up, but it's also light outside for longer. Sure, it took me some planning ahead to be able to make the most of the longer daylight... But it was totally worth it... The planning included to have my running stuff packed in the car, leave work on time and run close to work instead of driving to Greenville and waste time and daylight on the interstate.

And yes, I am wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt in Febuary!!!! This is pure awesomeness right there.

The run itself was pretty decent too. I did the run course (4 miles) of the Middle Tyger Tri which has two decents hills (one right around mile 1 and the other one in mile 4). The first two miles were alright and the last two miles were better. I smiled from cheek to cheek for most of the run, just because.


Last year right around this time, I spend a good chunk of each day checking the weather for the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon. There was talk of snow in the week leading up to MB. Around here, I don't belive in snow until I actually see and when it actually starts sticking on the road. Anything before that.... Complete ignorance of the possibility, unless of course, I am a couple of days out to run my first ever half marathon. A race that I actually trained for several months... with a coach and whatnot. We all know, how last year's race ended.... before it even started.

But just for the old times sake....

Sorry for the crappy graphics... Windows Paint is a pain.

It seriously looks like perfect running weather. The race starts at 6.30am which is about two hours too early for my taste. On the other hand the whole group will be done by lunch (we have several running friends to the half and full) and I heard we'll be at Hooters.... From what I understand, some of the G'ville running folks have that tradition going on. Sounds like a plan to me.

While last year, MB half was basically my triple A race, it's "just" another half this year. We signed up for it, because we got it for cheap (35 bucks, if I remember correctly) due to the cancellation of the race. I don't expect much from this race, I really didn't train as specific this year, especially because my focus (Mitchell, Mitchell) is different this time around. I am once again working with Katie as coach, but that is more geared towards Mitchell and the tri season as well.

Also, last year this was supposed to be my very first half and now, it's going to be my fourth..... in less than four months. I am not saying that I am a seasoned halfer now.... But the new car smell is gone a little. What I am looking forward most to, is spending time with our running friends... Cheer my marathoning friends over the finish line and enjoy a couple of adult beverages at the post race party before getting my head back into the game for Mitchell training during the next weeks and months.

So, to wrap this all over the place post up, here is a quote from Marathon Mama's post from yesterday on the "portability" of running.

"When you’re training for longer races, running is portable the way an infant is portable. Sure, you can just pick up and carry a  baby, but all the insane crap you need to keep it happy is a whole nother story."
~ Marathon Mama

I had to laugh when I read this, because I can sometimes still surprise myself by all the things and I have to remember before heading out for a long run... Looking like a cyborg. ;-)))

Monday, February 14, 2011

Race Report: 2011 Green Valley Road Race 10-miler

Results based on gun time:
1:38:17 - 9:49 min per mile average
Overall 196/244

It shouldn't look this hard at mile 2.


Well, this was definitely a most unusual pre race evening. I had food from a place that I normally don't eat at, I had a beer* and a piece of birthday cake... Oh and a quesadilla for lunch.

* and was wishing all evening, that we don't have this race lined up, so I could have more than one beer

As you may already know, my stomach is funny while running sometimes... And when my stomach is not weird for real, I psych myself out until my stomach feels funny. To keep the mental drama as small as possible, I don't do the following things the day before a race: I don't drink my beloved coke zero (had one for lunch), I don't eat/ drink dairy products, I don't drink alcohol and I don't have cake/ donuts/ chocolate. Well, I managed to not follow every single pre-race rule that I set for myself.... Don't worry, I am not forshadowing any GI emergencies during the race, but it sure made for some interesting chatter in my brain.

We also stayed up way past our bedtime (we are old farts) and didn't prepare our race outfits. Well, good thing, that the race didn't start until 8.45am and the venue was just two miles from the house. That's always good.

So when we finally rolled out of bed, Terry cooked me a fried egg sandwhich (this might sounds funny, but it's actually a food that works good for me before runs) and we got our stuff together. I also checked the weather forecast and the day was going to start out chilly, but was supposed to warm nicely. I still decided to go with a sweater (only one layer is progress) and some 3/4 tights.... Spring is just around the corner! ;-)

We made it to the package pick-up just before the masses rolled in and spend the rest of the time chit-chatting the time away with our running friends.


Somebody said "GO" over a megaphone and off we were.... Actually, that "Gooooo" took me completely by surprise, but the race started right on time. With ice cubes on my feet for the first couple of miles. It took me a while to physically warmed up, but pace wise, I was doing pretty good. I figured, I might have a shot at doing really well in this race.

Starting at mile five, things started to get more labored and it sure doesn't help that in my opinion the roughest hills in the course also begin in mile five. I did a couple of power hikes up the hill and lost several people, I ran with so far. At the second aid station, I grabbed a cup of Gatorade, which is very unusual for me, but I felt like the fried egg sandwhich two hours earlier, probably didn't fuel me enough and my stomach felt a little funky, so I didn't want to eat my SportBeans. I walked through that aid station and walked until I finished my cup and felt a little better after that. The next couple of miles were rolling hills, which the downhill portion is always a lot of fun, but what comes down, must go up and the uphills didn't feel too awesome. Especially the long uphill passing the TR YMCA until Sunrift.

I was looking forward to the third aid station at mile 7 and more Gatorade, but found the aid station abandoned. So stomach or not (Seriously, I don't know, if my stomach funny feeling was all mental or not... It's hard to tell for me), I had to get some calories in me. I tried to open my bag of SportBeans, ripped off the flap only to see that the flap is gone, but the bag is still closed. I fumbled around with it a little and then gave up. At the mile marker 8, I was just plain hungry and fiddled with the bag until I finally got it open and stuffed some beans in my mouth. Mile 9 was the walk of death, my legs didn't respond at all, but instead of doing the run/walk thing, I slowed down as much as I needed to, to actually be able to keep on running/jogging. Mile 9 came in with a 10:55 split. Oh geez! But after that, I started to feel better again and clocked the last mile again at a sub 10 minute/ mile pace.

I did this race almost two minutes slower than last year and I am a little dissapointed about that. Especially because I think that I got faster in general compared to last year, but I just don't seemed to be able to translate the good training right now into good racing. I hope that next week at the MB half, things are going a little better for me.

What did we learn here? Fuel better, fuel earlier and open the nutrition bags before you even leave the house. Tthis way, you don't have to play around with your nutrition during the race.


Terry and Alex (from the relay team) waited at the finish line for me. We took off right away to the food tables and hung out for a little bit. We also did the early sign-up for the 11K trail race in May. They ran the special again, that you can sign up for 10 bucks that day. Sweet. After that, we got back home right away... The rest of the day, I was pretty useless and surprisingly sore.

Race Review:

This is a great race with a nice course. The size of the field is just what I like and we always see a lot of familiar faces out here. Of course it's super convienent for us, just minutes from the house. They had s/l shirts this year and gloves as goodies which is always nice. I believe there was also one more aid station on the course than last year which I also liked, even though I was carrying my bottle as usual. The only beef that I have is that there was nobody at the last aid station when I got there and there were also no filled cups sitting on the table ready to be grabbed, just in case the aid station volunteer had to leave his/her post for a moment.

But still, I will definitely do this race again next year, if it works with my schedule.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Surprise Success!!

I did it... I pulled off my first ever surprise party for Terry and he didn't have a clue until we were almost at the table! Yay!!

And despite him saying ten thousand times the next before, that he really looks forward to a low key evening with just the two of us.... He enjoyed himself and I think we all had a great evening.

Everyone just really played along nicely during the week and not leaking anything (!) and one of our friends helped out with getting the balloon and the cake to Wild Wings... Perfect surprise.... SWEET!

Here a couple of pictures:

Here the balloon again, without an old banana in the background.

Presenting the cake to the bday boy.

The crew singing "Happy Birthday"! ;-) Gotta love them!

In other news:

This morning, Terry and I ran the Green Valley 10-miler (race report will follow once the results are posted) and it sure was beautiful out there.... Just really really chilly at the start. My feet were frozen for the first three miles.

I am really sore right now, which is half due to the race and the other half I believe is yesterday morning's yoga class. It's the same soreness that I had last week after the power yoga class and I thought it was due to the fact, that I haven't done any "power" yoga in a while. Well, I was just as sore after yesterday's class and the only thing those two classes had in common is "pigeon pose".

Pic from

"It opens and increases the flexibility of the hips...."

Well and that seems the problem... While I don't feel that I am overdoing it during practice, having sore hips and buns two weeks in a row most likely due to pigeon pose tells me, that my hips are way too tight..... Instead of writing this blog, I really should get my yoga on.... I am just way too lazy right now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy Birthday, My Love!

Today is my lovely husband's birthday!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Pooh Bear! ;-)

It's a big milestone birthday and by the time this blog publishes, you most likely already know, that I got several of our friends together for a little suprise birthday party.

I know, I know.... You wanted to have a relaxed birthday.... Just the two of us... yada, yada, yada..... I hope you enjoyed yourself anyways..... Oh boy.... I really hope so.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pledge at

Yesterday, I added a new banner to the blog on the sidebar. You probably didn't notice it, when you read this channel over a RSS feed or reader... So here it is in the blog, so you can't say you didn't know! ;-)

It's the banner for and I would really like for you to sign the pledge.... pretty please.

Don't worry, you won't sign you life away and your e-mail address won't be sold to phony companies. All you say with your pledge is:

"I am for bikes. I'm for long rides and short rides. I'm for commuting to work, weekend rides, racing, riding to school, or just a quick spin around the block. I believe that no matter how I ride, biking makes me happy and is great for my health, my community and the environment we all share. That is why I am pledging my name in support of a better future for bicycling—one that is safe and fun for everyone. By uniting my voice with a million others, I believe that we can make our world a better place to ride. "

Strength in numbers and to show that this is what the people want. That adding a bike lane to a road is not some fashion statement, but actually what is needed and wanted in your area.

It's also not only about bikes... It's also about walking and making the streets a safer place for alternative modes of transportation in general.

Happy Thursday everyone! ;-)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Take a break or I make you take one!

Well, the good thing about this weekend... I finally got the mileage in that I was supposed to get in.

The bad part about the weekend was, that is was packed to the brim with stuff... training, errands, housework, a Superbowl party. So, there was hardly a minute to just get some rest.

Yesterday by lunch, I had a blazing headache and running a fever.... So I was home by 1 pm and in bed until this morning 6am when it was time to start the day all over again.

I skipped my strength workout last night, opted for more sleep this morning instead of swimming and skipped my run this afternoon.

Hopefully, with another night of solid sleep, I'll be back on the trainer with full force tomorrow afternoon.

Wish me luck. ;-)

PS: That's what I get for bragging the other day, that I haven't been sick this winter yet. But I really learned a valuable lesson last year with my two colds in four weeks spree.... I rather skip one workout more than necessary, to make sure that I am not back sick in a couple of days and drag things along even longer.

PPS: Whenever I feel under the weather, the first thing that goes out of the window is responsible eating.

Exhibit A: Cheesecake Frozen Yogurt w/ Twix..... yum!
Oh and by the way.... I don't think a frozen yogurt in itself is irresponsible to eat... But you have no idea what else I had today! ;-)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

App Review: Nike Training Club

I joined the cult and got myself an iPhone last October.... You might heard me say before, that I would NEVER get an iPhone. Never say never. What can I say.... I LOVE it... Maybe a little too much sometimes, at least that's the hubby's opinion. Oh well.

Every now and then, I am browsing the app store for the next useful thing and while doing this, I came across the Nike Training Club (NTC).

I have been looking into a couple of other strength training/ conditioning apps (Jillian Michaels Slim Down and BodyFitness) previously, but just didn't like them that much. I found them nice to get new ideas for strength exercises, but other than for inspiration or as reference, I might never use those apps again.

What I was always missing was a voice-guided exercise that I can just follow, without having to go back to my phone and check what the next move was. That was the reason why I downloaded NTC in the first place, because it promised just that.

This is the entry screen of the NTC app. It shows you the total minutes of workouts you did with the app and when you are going to unlock your next reward. Rewards are recipes or trainer tipps etc, but to access those you need a NTC user and password and for that, I am too lazy. One of these days maybe.

From the entry screen, you can either use the "Quick Start" option that will take you straight to a workout that you determined in the past... Your favorite workout, your workout when you are pressed for time etc.

The other option is "Get Workout" were you browse through the options to select, what you want to do that day.

You decide what your goal is for your workout and select one. So far, I did one workout from the "get toned" and one from the "get strong" category... They shared some exercises, but also differed at some. The biggest different was the increased cardio at the "get toned" workout.

Once you decide your goal, you then choose your level: beginner (4-5 workouts per month), intermediate (2-3 workouts a week) or advanced (3-5+ workouts a week). For each level it gives you around 10 workouts variing from 30 to 45 minutes (including warm-up and stretching)... Only the "get focused" workouts are shorter with 15 minutes focus on a specific area. By tapping on the workout, you can preview what kind of equipment (dumbells, jump rope, medicine ball) you need and look at the moves that is going to use. If you don't know a move, then you can tap on it and it shows a quick instructional video.

Time to get cracking.... But before you do, you can set to workout with or without music and select music from your own library. Sweet.

But at one point, you got to start the workout and that's when I just put the iPhone somewhere convenient to get to. At the top you see the total workout time remaining and at the bottom the time remaining for this particular exercise. If you can't remember what "slide and glide" was, then you just tap on the picture of the girl and the workout will be paused, while you watch the instructional video (again).

The workouts themselves are one exercise after the other etc with no breaks... ZIPP. There are sometimes recovery minutes in between the warm-up and some set-ups, but basically you go go go until the stretching portion.

For my first workout I choose the advanced level and I was supposed to use 8 lbs dumbells which I don't have, so I used my 5 lbs weights. I also don't have a medicine ball at home, so I used a weight for those exercises as well.... I consider myself fairly strong, but I was not able to do this first workout 100%, even with the lower weights.... Right now, I just cannot hold a 1 minute sideplank, especially after do a couple of push-ups already. But it gives me something to shoot for and I am on a quest to complete this workout... all of it... eventually!

Needless to say, the routine kicked my bootie! I was dripping in sweat and I was sore that evening and even worse the next day... But that Sunday afternoon bike ride had maybe something to do with it as well. Anywho, I really enjoyed this workout and did the next one the very next day. A little easier one, because I was very very sore.


  • voice-guided workouts
  • it's free!!!
  • tough workouts that really make you work hard
  • not much equipment required and you can also modify to make it easier or harder
  • flexible... on nobody's schedule but your own
  • BIG app... I had to make some room on the iPhone to be able to put it on there. While I dislike that, I think it's still worth it.
Room for Improvement:
  • a couple more workouts to choose from
  • option to create own workouts with the exercises already in the app

Note: all screen shots are taking from the app store website

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Month In Review: January

This doesn't look all bad.

I actually went back to see what I did last year in January and saw, that I spent a lot of January 2010 battling different stages of colds and other sick stuff.

This was last year in January for comparison:

Bike: 98.26 miles/ 6h 28m 01s
Run: 53.95 miles/ 9h 23m 12s
Swim: 14,200 yards/ 6h 05m

Much better this year. Of course much more cycling, but most of all... No cold, no sick stuff going on... Sweet!