Friday, November 11, 2011

Running Skirts Group Run

Now that I have entered the technological side of running, my eyes have been opened to how many runners are out there on Facebook, Twitter, the blogosphere, and the Internet in general!  In my quest to get out there and actually meet some of these other runners, on Wednesday I Googled "running groups Carlsbad" and immediately I saw a group I wanted to check out: Running Skirts in Encinitas.  They have a meet-up group and they sponsor group runs on Thursday nights at 6pm.  

I was a little bit apprehensive about going to run with a bunch of other women, that tiny fear crept into my stomach.  A little demon kept nagging me with questions, such as "Will you be fast enough to keep up?  Will you be able to run as far as they do?  Do you really think of yourself as a real runner?"  Luckily, I killed that little demon and made my way happily down to Encinitas to meet some new runners.  
Store owners Cindy Lynch and Christy Baker (identical twins!)

Featured in Competitor Magazine!
Brooke, the first person to greet me when I got there (and a VERY fast lady!)

I'm so glad that I did!  There were some very fast ladies, some runners who just wanted to socialize while running, just a general mix of women (and three men) who love lacing up their shoes and hitting the road.  Not everyone had to do the same workout, but most of us ended up doing a 4 mile run.  And then, after we all got back, they did a raffle for a free thermal shirt, which my friend Leonie ended up winning!  

What a fantastic group of women who are totally inspiring!  Thanks for a great run!

Do you run with a group or are you a loner?  If you do run with a group, how did you find them?  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Embracing Your Love Handles...

When we were 11 or 12, our mom decided to see how we would fare in the modeling world (well, the modeling world of Winston-Salem, NC which isn't saying much). I clearly remember thinking it was quite possibly the most bogus idea in the history of crazy mom ideas, but without a license or source of income, my hand was forced. We waltzed into the modeling agency thinking, "Well, now that we're stuck, we might as well sieze the challenge.  And who wouldn't want identical twin models?  Doublemint is always hiring, right?!"

That's when it happened.  The moment our body images changed for the worse. We were told, "I think they would be great candidates, but they are kind of hippy."  No, she was not referring to bell-bottoms and peace signs either.

Yup, at the very vulnerable age of 11 or 12, a stranger's comments resulted in 20 years of a semi-negative body image. Now you should know this: we both stand a little over 5' 9" tall and weigh between 140-145.  We are not what you would consider "big" girls. Yet still, we are constantly searching for shirts that cover the "muffin top."

Disclaimer: THIS IS NOT ONE OF US!

It seems that no matter how much we run, how much ab work we do, or how healthy we eat, that spare tire (even a small one) seems to hang out just above our pants.  What the heck?! 

So today I say, screw the body image I've held for all these years.  I'm faster now than I was as an active duty Marine (well, mostly anway).  I enjoy running.  I have a 1-year old daughter.  These love handles are not going anywhere.  I have logged about 30-50 miles a week (and lost almost 20 pounds) since my husband deployed in May and I STILL have a muffin top. And you know what, I may not flaunt it like those teen girls trolling the mall these days, but today, I don't hate it quite as much.

Do you have a defining moment where your body image changed for either the positive or negative?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wowzer Wednesday: 12 in 12

Our dear friend Lynsey (basically our sister), is SO CLOSE to completing her 12 in 12 5k challenge for 2011!  She and her husband and their adorable son, Mason, have endured rain, heat, and now cold temps in their quest to complete one 5k per month.  This is an amazing goal for Lynsey considering she HATES running!  But she's doing great and so close to the "finish line."  We're so proud of you Lyns!  Here's a few pictures from the races they've done over the last year (in no particular order and stolen from FB):

They couldn't find a local 5k in February, so they made their own!!  How clever!

This is from the last day of one month...Lynsey and Mason knocked out a great 5k full of hills!

Great running buddy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Falling Short...

Last Tuesday, we did a goals post capturing the top 5 things we wanted to change/accomplish in November.  Here's an update on our quest to better our lives and our running:

Jennifer's Goals
1. Run 5 days a week. Done.  Ran 5 days, biked one.
2. Do speed work once a week.  I had good intentions of doing this.  However, it didn't happen because I got caught up in the fact that my RunKeeper app was not functioning properly.
3. Go to bed by 10:30 every night!  Hasn't happened once since we posted last week.  I've gotten better about going to bed at a reasonable hour, especially since deleting Words With Friends!!  I'm a total addict.
4. Learn about fueling/nutrition for before/during longer runs.  Haven't done much to work on this one yet.  Geez, I'm really starting to sound like quite a slacker!
5. Eat sweets no more than three times a week.  I've eaten sweets every day (multiple times) this week.  But here's the main reason: I was supposed to head home last Thursday.  Finally, after 3 weeks, I'd get to see my running group and leave these dreaded hills of northern VA! About halfway home, my car broke down.  After getting towed to a garage in Emporia,VA, and waiting for several hours, I was told that it would be $3200 to fix three broken catalytic converters!  You know what I did when I heard that?  I broke out the jogging stroller and headed out on a run.  You hear numbers that big and you have to do something to calm yourself down!  Well, I'm back at my in-laws and have been her for nearly a month now.  At least I get to jog without the stroller in tow! 

So all in all, I haven't exactly been dedicated to the goals.  This week I promise to try harder. I will get to bed earlier and eat less sugar.  Note I say all this as I sip champagne on a Monday afternoon:)

Jess' Goals
1. Complete speed work once a week.  Completed!  I did a hill sprint workout this week. 
2. Add two yoga workouts per week.  50% complete.  Last Friday I did a yoga video that I found OnDemand.  Considering I'm surrounded by yoga studios here in SoCal, I'd be better off finding a class!
3.  35 miles per week.  If you count biking, then I definitely reached this goal!  I think it's going to continue to be a mix of bike/run miles until my plantar fasciitis goes away :-(
4. Eliminate Monster energy drinks from my daily intake.  DONE!!!  Haven't had a single bit of caffeine since Sunday, 30 October.  Giving it up came with the price of a three day headache, but I feel SO MUCH better now!
5. Find one new trail to run every week. DONE!  Checkout my review of the Eucalyptus Grove Trail.

Here's to our (mine and your) goals!
(Photo from Zen of Erica)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Interview with Leonie Campbell

If you've been following the blog at all, you've heard me mention my best buddy, Leonie Campbell.  She and I work and train together (ok, she trains and I try to tag along when I'm not afraid she'll run me into the ground!).  I thought it would be interesting and informative to do an interview with her, as she is as close to a professional athlete as I can get right now!!  
Getting ready to start the swim at the Hard Corps Sprint Tri

Q1: How long have you been running? 
A1: I come from a family of runners.  I grew up with a dad that ran 8 miles a day and a mom who ran 3 every morning.  My brother and I would bike with Mom when we were little on the weekends, and then started running with her when we were in middle school.

Q2: When did you begin doing triathlons? 
A2: I did my first triathlon in 2008 in North Carolina.  My first few were relays since I could only swim (busted ankle) and worked my way to a full race by the end of the season with the Wilmington Sprint Triathlon.

Q3: What do you consider to be the toughest part of a tri? 
A3: Going to sleep the night before and waking up the morning of a race! The first part of the run is typically the most awkward.  Your body has to adjust from being on a bike for miles to running in a matter of seconds.  Things can feel rather discombobulated.

Q4: How many miles do you average in a week?  
A4: Swimming, biking, or running?  Swimming - about 10000 yds.  Biking - 100-150 miles.  Running - 20-25 miles

Q5: What makes tris so much fun?  
A5: I'm addicted.  Addicts need to feed their addiction.  I enjoy the combination of the sports, the people you meet racing in different places, and being outdoors.

Q6: What one piece of advice would you give to a runner looking to get a PR in their next 5k?
A6: Find a track.  Do intervals....6x400 at your goal 5k race pace will work wonders.

Q7: What nutritional supplements do you use specific for endurance training? 
I use Hammer Nutrition's Daily Essentials Kit.  However, I do not think that anything substitutes a well rounded diet based on whole foods.
Leonie and me trying to take our own picture :-)

Q8: How does someone go from running to the world of triathlon?  
A8: I'm originally a swimmer (water polo player) which probably makes the transition a bit easier since swimming is the most technical of the three disciplines.  So, I asked my husband, Knight, for his answer to this questions since he is a runner who has become a triathlete.  His simple answer - "Buy a bike. Suck up the swim." In a few more words, he added that if you find that you like your first race, finding a swim class or swim coach can really help make the swim more manageable.  As a runner, he may get a little behind on the swim, but spends the bike and run hunting people down.  I end up running in fear of being caught.  Being the hunter rather than the hunted is usually preferred.

Q9: What is your favorite gadget to train with?  
A9: Does my husband count?  For me, having a training partner far out paces any gadget out there.  That being said, I do train with a Garmin 310 and use Training Peaks to track my workout schedule and load.  I like the Garmin over the Timex because of the ability to easily move it from your bike to your wrist for the run.
Leonie with her favorite training "gadget", her husband Knight!

Q10: What is your most embarrassing moment (race or non-race related) 
A10: Race related - miss counting laps of the bike course for the TritonMan Sprint.  I got a number of phone calls and Facebook post the next few days asking how I do my job if I can't count to 3.

Q11: Tri gear is expensive. What do you splurge on? What do you save on?
A11: Hmmm....The only two places you can "buy time" is the swim and the bike.  Getting a triathlon specific wetsuit for swimmer or non-swimmer will make you faster.  The difference for non-swimmers (ie someone who isn't a competitive swimmer) can be upwards of 10 minutes in an olympic distance race (1500m swim).  Wetsuits run from $100 - $700. My go to wetsuit this season is a sleeveless that cost me less than $150.  Patience, coupons, last season's models.

After a couple races or maybe an entire season, you may decide it's time to upgrade from a mountain bike or road bike to a triathlon specific bike.  It's a big investment and doing the research or finding a friend that can help you is a must.  Buying a good bike is worth the investment if you are making that leap.  Do not buy a bike based on the brand.  Ultimately, the most important factor in the bike is that it fits you.  There are dozens of manufacturers that manufacture a variety of different frames.  Find the bike that you are comfortable on and fits you in your price point.  If you have a choice between flashy wheels or better components, go with the components.  Wheels are easy to upgrade later.

Q12: What's your favorite post-race meal?  
A12: Chipolte Burrito Bowl

My favorite picture of Leonie!!!!

Here are some of her amazing race performance highlights:

USAT All American Honors Female 25-29
All Marine National Triathlon Team
1st Alternate Armed Forces Military World Championships
La Quinta Desert International                     7th Overall
Super Seal                                                       9th Overall
Armed Forces Championship                      7th Overall
Wildflower Olympic                                       11th Overall
Orange Country Triathlon                             7th Overall
Escape from Alcatraz                                    15th Overall
Breath Of Life Ventura Triathlon                  2nd Overall
Camp Pendleton Sprint                                 3rd Overall
Santa Barbara Long Course                         5th Overall
Oceanside Pier Swim                                    1st 25-29 Age Group
Tri Rock Olympic                                            1st Overall
Orangeman 70.3                                            4th Overall
SharkFest San Diego                                     1st 25-29 Age Group

Las Vegas Triathlon                                       7th Overall
Marina Del Playa Triathlon                           3rd Overall
Blue Water Triathlon                                      3rd Overall
Oceanside Pier Swim                                    3rd 25-29 Age Group

Solana Beach Triathlon                                12th Overall
Pendleton Sprint Triathlon                            6th Overall
Surf Town Triathlon                                        3rd Overall
Orange County Triathlon                               9th Overall
San Diego Classic                                          7th Overall