Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Double Bakery

Quick wipe down, because somebody hasn't
cleaned his bike since the last downpour.

Having Monday off work presented us with another opportunity to head out for a bike ride. Since Terry had to use his aluminum bike (due to a broken spoke on his regular roadie) when we climbed Ceasars Head a week ago, he felt like he needed to redeem the climb. We first thought about doing Caesars Head again, but then decided against it, in order to avoid all the holiday traffic that was to be expected on that road. We needed an alternative. Enter Double Bakery Ride!

Good thing, that we have plenty of climbing to chose from right around the corner. 3,600 ft over total climbing over 46 miles is coming right up!

The name "Double Bakery" refers to the bakery in Flat Rock and the bakery in Saluda that you could stop at for some on the go carb loading. But we meant business and didn't stop for any baked goods! ;-)

The weather for this little adventure was about perfect. When we started out, it was fairly overcast and on top of that, this route has pretty good tree coverage anyways to help you stay cool(er). We were climbing at a pretty good clip and it's always priceless, when Terry is surprised that I am "already there" when he just got to the top himself! ;-)

By the time we got back to Greenville, the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships (I volunteered for this event last year) were already on the way. This was the last year that we have the event in town and the course is a stone throw away from our house, so we decided to take the dog out for a quick walk and watch the pros go by on their 3rd loop.

When we got there, we had no idea how long we'll have to wait, so we sat down in the shade... Karma was in heaven with having her humans sitting around on her eye level.

We brought extra water for her, since she tends to overheat. She didn't waste time slobbering it up.

The peleton is approaching.
The peleton is almost gone.
We just waited for 20 minutes or so, before the breakway came through, followed by the peleton with maybe a one minute gap at that point.

It was stinking hot, so we left right after the sweeper came through and watch the rest of the race over live feed.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wild Flowers

 After struggling with the heat the day before, I decided to attack my long run early and by 6.15am I was on the bunny trail... ready to tackle the 9 miles on deck.

 The run was 3x 5K... One warm-up 5K, one build to race pace 5K and one medium paced 5K. The warm-up 5K felt very sluggish, but just in time for the build effort, things started to feel better, despite that it was already hot. Overall, I was very pleased with the run. So much better than the day before.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been running past these wild flowers along one section of the Swamp Rabbit Trail and never bothered to take pictures until Sunday... Would have been a shame to not get these shots before the flowers are all gone.

After the run, we headed straight to the Hincapie Warehouse sale... That little trip set me back in my new year's resolution quite a bit. I have no willpower when it comes to food and gear. On the other hand, I scored some awesome bike shorts for 10 bucks a piece... And a bunch of other stuff... I know, it's bad.

But that wasn't the end of Sunday yet. Our friend Cynthia invited us out to her boat house on Lake Lanier for a little open water swim. Originally, we were both supposed to swim, but Terry "forgot" his swim shorts and therefore, I was on my own... Well, not really, I had a boat escort and felt like a V.I.S. (very important swimmer).

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Brick Implosion

Wow... Isn't it nice to have another day added to the weekend? I am sorry, if you are reading this at work... Really sorry, but I am really happy for a long weekend and a shorter work week.

On Friday on my way home from work, I talked to Terry on the phone and he asked me, what I wanted for dinner and there was just one thing on my mind:

I wanted a burger for days now and always decided to stay good and stick to the plan... But my willpower didn't have a chance on Friday.. I pigged out big time and don't feel guilty about it... Not even a little.

Besides eating on Friday night, I also saw an e-mail about a GustoCycle about a 40 mile group ride the next morning and we made the decision to join that group. For the first time in over a year.

 We were close to 20 and it looked like a pretty strong group. The first couple of miles, it went through the neighborhoods and that made the pace very relaxed. As soon as we hit the first open roads, the boys picked up the pace and all I did for the rest of the ride was trying to not get dropped. I tried to draft, but I mostly just chased.

After the ride, we had a four mile brick run on tap. By the time we were done riding, it was already pretty darn hot. The neighborhoods around the shop are pretty hilly, so we ended up with a hot and hilly run. One of those four miles were supposed to be at race pace and that felt like crap, but I held a sub 9 minute pace, so I won't complain all that much.

The problem was, that while I finished up the run, I completely overheated. I assume, I already didn't hydrate enough on the ride. When I was finally back at the shop, I started to get dizzy and felt lightheaded... I ended up having to sit down, cool off and get some cold fluids into my system. Dang, this heat really did me in and this was just the start of summer!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


On Sunday, we joined a Beginner Digital Photography Class with Your Photo Safari. They had a LivingSocial deal for this class sometime late last year and now we finally came around to do the class.

The only function, I ever used at any digital camera is the "auto" mode. This class gave us a chance, to finally get a little more familiar with the camera and their functions.

It was a great class, with a great instructor. Now it's time to practice, practice and the practice some more!

a little better
a little better
auto mode
manual mode... yes, the colors are actually better... you would have thought

auto mode
manual mode... once again better colors

This was fun! If you see a class in your area and are just a little interested in photography, I can only recommend doing a class such as this.

We both don't have fancy cameras (I brought my point and shoot), especially compared to what other people in the class were walking around with, but knowing a couple of features, will help you make better pics with any camera.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Elev. 3208 Feet

I am a big believer in the training plan that coach is giving me. But that also means, that I am somewhat "restricted" when is comes to spontaneous stuff, like riding Caesars Head for fun.

Last year, Caesars Head was part of the training plan due to AOMM training, but with my half ironman focus earlier this year, I mostly had flat or rolling courses on the training plan. Especially, since the Charleston race course was so flat.

Some co-workers and I have been talking about tackling Caesars Head for a year already and last Saturday, we finally made it happen. We also had a Malone Coaching team mate joining us along with some team mates (The Hobnobbers) from the MS Ride later this year. A great jolly group.

Four of us started the ride in Furman for a total of 60 miles and the other three started the in Slater-Marietta for a total of 40 miles. We met up at mile 4/14 to do the climb together. We had two in the group that did this climb for the very first time.

Everyone did an excellent job and the whole group arrived at the top of the mountain within a 20 minutes time frame. We refilled our water bottles and then took a proof picture. Terry is missing still one, because he was busy playing car mechanic for a couple of folks with car trouble.

 And here is the complete group.... Ready for the descent...

Whoop whoop... Ready to buckle down again and follow the plan... Three more weeks before the next race. The first Olympic distance of my the season. That's typically my favorite distance and since my running has been going well recently, I am excited to see what I can do! ;-)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dummy 2.0

Last night, I rode my bike after work. Not even half an hour into the ride, I noticed the need for a pottie break. Good thing that I am riding in the country, by myself on low traffic roads. After a little while, I found a decent spot and took care of that... What I failed to take into account was the wet red dirt in my spot of choice, which ended up in my cleats. This is not the first time, I did that... Last year during the Mitchell dress rehearsal, I did the same thing and thought that's one of those things, that you just have to learn the hard way.... Turns out, I have to learn it the hard way at least twice.

So you might think, I forgot to take my cleat covers with me. Oh no, the cleat covers were securely tucked in my back pocket. I guess I thought I'll save some time... Yeah... That worked. Because for the next 10 minutes, I tried to somehow get the goo out of my cleats to be able to clip in. Once I finally clipped in, I tried, if I can clip out again and that proved to be a major fail.

I then proceeded to change my planned route, so I will mostly have right hand turns in order to decreased the times I will have to stop, because stopping would basically mean to have to take my foot out of my shoe. This was certainly not safe and is not to be recommended!!!

With all that being said, I still had a pretty good ride for a Thursday! ;-)

I guess, I have a date tonight with my cycling shoes, a screw driver and some WD40... Awesome!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's a Race - Always!

Have you ever experienced a training day, when you were racing instead of training?

I hardly train in groups. Most of the time, it's just easier that way. I am pretty much self motivated or motivated by my next race, so I really don't seek training buddies for accountability purposes. Without training partners, you can switch around your schedule five times a day, don't have to worry about matching speeds and paces and where to meet up... As I said, training alone is just easier most of the time. With that being said, I am sometimes just sick and tired to ride by myself (I am fine with running and swimming by myself) and therefore end up in group rides fairly often.

If the group consists of my team mates, chances are, that things are pretty civil and people just put down the hammer every now and then, to just shake out the legs... It's training, we all follow a plan, so we train and don't race.

And then there are group rides put on by bicycle shops, the Donaldson Center rides, some other group rides individuals set up.

Even with a projected pace and several different pace groups, you normally still end up with a pretty diverse group of people, that you don't know and they don't know you. There is always the dude with the fancy bike sporting the race wheels on, there is always somebody with a mirror mounted to their helmet (I get it's for safety, but boy it looks dorky), always somebody with a jersey of a really difficult ride (could be me, that's what I got my AOMM jersey for!) on and there is always the person on the tri bike and that's typically me or another lost triathlete soul.

As I mentioned... This was supposed to be a group ride and while we stand around waiting for it to get rolling, we size each other up. Who is the beginner, who knows their stuff, who looks fast/ slow/ like they can't hold a line... The usual... And then the race is on! What you didn't know that? It's always a race if more than one person is out on a bike... There is no such thing than a leisurely group ride!!

I kid, I kid. Partially.

I don't want to scare anybody away from group rides, but some rides are definitely more beginner friendly then other, no matter what speed was advertised.

The only reason, why I am writing about this, is a recent group ride I did. A ride which I really enjoy doing, despite the occasional knucklehead. I won't get into details, because I am already fired up enough about that one.

We had a pretty civil ride for the first 20-25 miles and then the guy at the front of the pace line put the pedal to the metal. I was second and line and you can be sure, that I won't be the one getting dropped as the only girl in the group. Around 3 miles from home, the guy rotated to the back and I was in the front and my ego wouldn't allow me to slow the group down, so I pushed it as hard as I could possible push it. The route then went down a hill and three of the guys (we dropped the rest of the group - HA!) that stayed in the pace line were able to pass me when the road turned back up. Darn you gravitiy, for me not having enough momentum going up the hill faster at the beginning. I caught one guy back on the hill, but the others I couldn't anymore....

Yes, it sure was racing instead of training, but I guess that kind of racing is good training after all.


Monday, May 14, 2012

Venturing Out

After three weekends on the road (Charleston Half, Appalachian Trail and then Lake Murray), we finally had a weekend at home.

For Saturday, we had a longish bike ride on the plan. We were supposed to ride something between 40 and 50 miles and my thinking was... Let's make it 50+ miles and put "some" climbing in it too! Something close to 3K feet of climbing.... But who's counting! ;-) We are planning on riding Caesar's Head next weekend and we haven't done any substantial climbing lately, so it was time to just grind out a couple of hills.

The weather forecast for Saturday was 0% chance of rain and that's why it started drizzling not even 5 minutes into our ride. My stomach was very iffy for the first 10 miles and actually most of the climbing happened in the first 15 miles when we are basically still around the Paris Mountain foothills.

This was a also a brand new course for us starting directly from our door step to Campobello and back. I mapped it earlier this week and was just hoping that the roads I picked out were okay to ride on. It was quite awesome, if I say so myself. Nice back country roads, low traffic and great views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Minor upset on our way back, when I dropped my chain and subsequently jammed the chain between the chain ring and the frame. This happened to me before, but this time, I took it to a different level because I also bend a metal plate that is mounted onto the frame. It was an ugly sound. Fortunately, Terry was able to bend it back and we could finish the ride. The tri bike is now at the shop for a tune up and repair... This way, the roadie get's to play.

With our bike ride being done, we were not done venturing out for the day. We actually went out... Like to a party!! ;-)

Our Salsa buddies were putting on their annual cookout (in case you wonder... it was 80s themed) and we made it there for a little bit of dancing, a bunch of good food and being able to just catch up with friends that we don't get to see that often anymore, since the triathlon lifestyle has sucked us up.

On Sunday, the weather forecast was calling for rain all day and it basically rained all day. During a phase of light rain, I got in an 8 mile run on the bunny trail. The first 5 miles at an easy pace and then cranked it up some for the last 3 miles. Overall a pretty good run, my legs just feel super tight these days. Terry is giving me leg rubs every night these days and it helps some, but those rubs are super painful. Especially, since I am one of those people that doesn't care for massages... I should start yoga again...

After the run, we moved on to some extreme couching and waiting for a rain break to take the dog out... Yeah... That didn't quite happen and I was nice and soaked, but Karma was finally settling down after driving us bonkers most of the afternoon with her penned up energy.

Ready or not... Here comes another week!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Don't Stop Believing...

.... hold on to that feeeeeeling!

Things click right now!

I think, I am still flying high from Sunday's race... It's hard to explain, why I would still talk about this, but I think I leaped.... And that makes me happy right now.

For the longest my triathlon races looked like this: 
I tore up the swim, raced my heart out on the bike and the proceeded to flake out on the run.

I knew, I did it and I was giving myself a pass for it, since... "I am not a runner!"... Go back to race reports from last year and you probably find this exact statement. As long as I knew, that I gave my all on the swim and the bike, I just didn't care how the run went. I cared that I lost tons of places on the run all the time, I knew that I had to improve my running, if I ever want to be competitive in my age group, but you know... "I am just not a runner!".

Looking back, I was especially dissapointed in myself with my run at the Hickory Knob race last year. It was the last race of the season and I had major back issues, but once I was running and my back losened up, I still wasn't pushing it... So I sat down with Coach Katie and we talked about my off season goals and the focus would be on getting my running up to par.

While she was writing the training plan that would get me there, I was the one who actually had to do the workouts and more importantly start believing in progress. I have been running since 2008, which isn't a very long time. But some people started running yesterday and they are already better runners than I will ever be. I had to come to terms with the fact that this is going to take time and maybe, it just takes me a little longer than other people?

Without a race like Mitchell wrecking my running progress, I soon saw improvements in my runs earlier this year... In my paces and in my heart rates stats. The little progress here and there started boosting my confidence.

Then the bricks got added back into the training plan and I noticed that I had some of my best runs right after I biked for 60 or 70 miles... And I thought, maybe I should just quit running standone run races... Joking.

To make a long story short, I think I finally see all my training to start paying off. On top of that, I think this progress really had the biggest impact on my self confidence and me starting to believe that I can actually run well and fast (for me) during a race...

I can't wait to see what's in store for me...

This week's workouts have me hopeful, that I am not yet at the end of my rope. I see all the girls (ladies) racing in their 40's and 50's and still improving and I just hope that I will be lucky enough to be there with them a couple of decades down the road! ;-)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Too Much Protein!

I am still obsessed with health and exercise podcasts and lately added the Ben Greenfield Podcast to my rotation. I have read a couple of blogs and articles by him over the last couple of years and just thought I'll give it a shot. At the beginning, the podcast felt very long winded, but it has grown on me every since and I enjoy learning about all kinds of aspects about nutrition, training and a more holistic approach to nutrition and training. I am resistant to jump on each and every bandwagon mentioned in the podcast, but so far, there was always a nugget in there for me personally, that I could take away for my nutrition, training and general life.

The other day, I listened to episode #192: What happens when you exercise too much and an interview with Dr. Ted Morter titled How to get rid of migraine headaches forever.

Both podcasts contained some information about how much protein intake is recommended for an individual per day. The episode #193 (by the way: the title is a little misleading, because that was just one question from their Q&A segment) highlighted the protein intake from a macro nutritional standpoint and what happens in your body, if you are taking in more than your recommended amount of protein (here is Ben's response!). The interview dug more into the aspect of how excessive protein consumption is throwing off your body's PH level and causes all kinds of trouble e.g. migraine headaches. Not that I have a problem with that, but this was just the angle of the interview.

In the episode #192, he mentioned the recommended daily protein consumption for athletes as 1.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (or 0.55gr/ lbs) if you are trying to maintain (not increase) your muscle mass and reach nitrogen balance (amount of protein you eat matches the amount of you use). This amount covers what your body needs for body recovery and muscle repair.

At that point, I pulled out a calculator and typed in my stats to find out the amount of protein that I need and ended up with around 70 grams (rounded up) per day. Then I opened my food log on my iPhone and saw this for last Friday:

I almost fell off my chair. Especially since they also talked about the problems that excessive protein intake can cause.

The funny part of this is, that I have been consciously trying to increase my protein intake since the beginning of the year when I refocused on my nutrition. I have been chugging the protein shakes, eating meat almost every day and even started "spiking" my Greek yoghurt (already high protein) with chocolate protein powder. And now that.

My train of thought took a wrong turn, when I started to focus too much on the macro nutrient pie chart in my food log and completely ignored my total protein intake.

After I recovered from my initial shock, I googled the recommended amount of carbs for endurance athletes and found that anything between 7 and 10 grams per kilogram of body weight (3.2-4.5gr/ lbs) goes. That would mean for me that I should eat between 400 to 570 grams per day.

Quite honestly, I am almost relieved about this. I naturally tend more to carbs and trying to up my protein intake was almost a source of stress at times... I am not even kidding about this!

I was also buying into the whole idea of "eating protein helps keeping you full longer" and often felt like eating carbs just makes your want to eat more carbs. But when thinking about it a little more, I think that mostly applied to sugary carbs. But even if I eat straight veggies, they just don't seem to hold me over that long. (If you have it in you to read more on the topic of sugar, I found this 60 minute report pretty intimidating.) So what do you do, if you want to limit your protein intake, but don't want to be hungry all the time? Add fat to your diet! GASP! I know, I know... That statement goes against every fiber of our media and food marketing conditioned body, but believe it or not: Fat doesn't make you fat!

My goal from here on out is to stay at around 70 grams of protein per day. Increase my carb intake to hit around 500 grams per day and up my fat intake.

With all this being said, I am still a firm believer in calorie consumption vs calorie burn as key for weight management, so all of the above is limited by my daily calorie allowance that is determined by my training volume and intensity. But after listening to the podcast and reading up on the topic, I think that changing my macro nutrient ratio is going to help my body to perform better and decrease the chance of creating health issues.

If you made it all the way to here... Congratulations. Looks like you are ready to join the health geek club! ;-)

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, I am just sharing personal experiences and opinions here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Race Report: Lake Murray Sprint Triathlon

750 meter lake swim - 16 mile bike - 3.1 mile run

Results (based on chip time):

Swim 14m 51s (1:44 min/ 100 yards) GR 15/85 AG 2/10
T1 1m 17s
Bike 48m 51s (speed  19.6 mph) GR 28/85 AG 3/10
T2 0m 59s
Run 25m 53s (pace 8:19 min/mile) GR 29/85 AG 5/10

TOTAL 1h 31m 57s GR 23/85 AG 4/10
GR= gender rank AG= age group

Pre Race:

My friend and team mate Audrey and I were heading down to Columbia Saturday around noon. Yes, we could have driven down there in the morning, but we made a little girl's weekend out of it. Once we got checked into the hotel, we grabbed some lunch and then hit the pool for some relaxation. It's sad to say, but I cannot even remember the last time, I have been just laying by the pool and boy did I enjoy that. After the pool time, we headed to Columbia downtown for package pickup and a pizza dinner. As soon we got back to the hotel, we vegged out in front of the TV and had an early night.

The alarm went off at 5:30am. We both brought breakfast, so we had breakfast in the hotel room and then packed up our stuff and headed out to the race site on Dreher Island.

As soon as we were on site, the usual pre race rituals and routines started clicking away and before long, we were standing on the boat ramp, heard the national anthem and then the gun went off for the open division to start. 9 minutes later it was go time for the purple caps.


I went out really hard on this swim. Actually, I was going so hard, that I ended up breast stroking halfway to the first turn buoy to catch my breath. After that, all was good. Good thing with the breast stroke too, because I veered way off course and it gave me the time to get straighten out.

After that, the swim was pretty uneventful. I reached the first turn buoy and stayed closer to the course and even was able to draft off a couple of feet for a little while.

Out of the water, over the boat ramp, I started to take off the wetsuit as I was running along, passing a couple of dudes on the ramp and hit transition.


Taking off the wetsuit took a couple of seconds, but I think it was totally worth wearing it. Everything else was pretty efficient and I am actually happy with my transition time.


The bike course was a lollipop course and rolling. I must have passed one of my age group girls either in transition or right at the beginning of the bike, but then got passed by another girl in my age group right around mile 4. After that, nobody in my age group passed me anymore and not a ton of other girls either.

Around mile 7, I got passed by a team mate of mine and she was yelling at me: "Come on, Kathrin! Kick my a$$!". We passed each other back and forth a couple of times until the very end and I am just happy, that I was able to keep her in my sight.

The course was on fairly quiet back country roads and there was not a ton of traffic, but wouldn't you know, that I had to slow down twice because of cars. The first time, I was about to make a right turn when a car coming from the other direction just kept on turning left even though he must have seen the string of cyclists on the road. The next time, I was just coming down a hill, when a truck with a boat turned off into a boat ramp right in front of me... I was so peed off after that one, because I lost all my momentum from the downhill. What's wrong with people??

Overall, I am very happy with my bike and the average speed especially for it being a rolling course.


Chop chop... Getting stuff done. Things are starting to get more efficient again in transition.


The run course was on paved trails in the state park and also a little rolling. It had a couple of out and back sections and was fairly shaded. Overall a pretty nice course.

Running has been my limiter for the longest, but I made constant progress over the last couple of months and was itching to see what I could do... And I was also determined to really try to push and not give myself an easy out.

After fussing with my visor and watch, I started getting focused and pushed the pace. And I kept pushing and then pulling back when my breathing got out of control and then pushing again. I had no idea what pace I was going, since I was just running with a stop watch and not my Garmin... Really going by feel and not worry about the pace seems to work for me these days during races.

A little after the first mile marker, I got passed by a girl in my age group and then by another one a couple of minutes later. Right then, I knew I wasn't going to place, but I also knew that there was another girl in my age group right behind me and I wanted to make sure, that I am not losing another place.

Coach Katie was standing on one of the last turns, cheering on the participants and gave me pointers on my form (no chicken wings!).

When I crossed the finish line and saw my overall time, I knew I had a good race and a good run. When I checked the results later on, I found out that I just ran a 5K PR. My previous PR was from a standalone 5K back in 2009 and today I beat that time by a good bit after I already swam and cycled. I am so stoked about this... There might be a runner in me after all! ;-)

Post Race:

I ran into some of my team mates right away and grabbed something to drink and then went over to the finish chute again to cheer in my friends that were still out there.

While I didn't place, I still scored some free stuff (t-shirt and water bottle) during the awards ceremony.

After that, we hit the road back to Greenville with a little stopover at a Mexican place where we scored a free desert and free t-shirt as leftovers from Cinco de Mayo.... I probably should buy a lottery ticket today!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Month in Review: April

The first (and the second) of the month slipped by without a proper April review. Life got a little busy and the little free time that I was on the computer was spent on trying to convince my Garmin FR 305 to finally upload my workouts. What a pain that was, but it's finally fixed now... Well partially, but it was time to move on.

Overall, April was a great month. After all, I raced my first half ironman... I sipped on the long distance koolaid and signed up for my second half ironman not even a week after the first one was in the books.

Between training and taper and racing and recovery and being out of town the last weekend in April, the volumes stayed fairly consistant overall, but shifted in between the swim, bike and run portion. I almost cracked the 100 miles of running per month in April... I wonder, if I ever had a 100+ mile running month... Gotta check into that.... Okay, checked into that and no. I never had a 100 mile running month. The highest running mileage so far was 97.58 miles in October of 2010 and I assume that was in preparation for the my very first half marathon. Gotta love having a log to keep up with this kind of useless information! ;-)

The 5 hours of hiking this month was all done on the Appalachian Trail on one day and it made me more sore than my half ironman. Sad but true. For days my calves and butt hurt like CRAZY. Finally, just in time for Sunday sprint race, things have calm down now. Phew!

The walking is as usual our doggy walk time. Karma acts like a spoiled brat, if we don't take her for a walk, because she has gotten so used to it.


To reflect a little on the whole half ironman training and trying to compare it with Mitchell training last year, I have to say that my head is in a completely different zip code right now or maybe the euphoria hasn't quite worn off yet. I do remember a time right after Mitchell, when I thought I would do it all over and more in a heart beat, but never followed through on it.

Mitchell training left me exhausted and a little burned out and made me really scared of tackling another big project like for example a half ironman. While I eventually came around and signed up for this race, I was dreading the amount of time I would have to put into the training. I am not so sure, what exactly is the difference between the two cycles, but I think, I can narrow it down on a couple of components:
  • Last year when training for Mitchell, I was at the same time trying to keep up somewhat of a swimming and running regiment, because I was scheduled to jump into try season right after the bike race. This year my focus has been triathlons all along, which made the training more balanced and not as high in volume or at least it didn't feel as much.
  • Even though I had been running all along through Mitchell training, my running suffered. It is the area, that I still need to improve most in order to play with the faster age group girls and it was dishearting to have to build up again instead of being able to continue improving.
  • Mitchell training consisted of months and months being gone for at least one day out of the weekend and I felt so much pressure at missing out at home and not "pulling my weight". Terry and I talked a lot about this and this was certainly something, that I created more in my head than anything else, but at the time it was just adding stress. For the half, we've done all of our long rides and bricks together and that made a world of difference for me. I always said, that we shouldn't be preparing for a big races at the same time, so one of us can hold down the fort. I completely changed my mind on the matter and am now a true believer, that sharing this journey is much more valuable than keeping a clean house.