Thursday, October 30, 2014

Finding motivation and Beating the Blerch

I was on a high coming off of the triathlon season. I know this happens to many, if not most athletes once the season is finished, but for some reason I thought I would be different. Though I am still training for a couple half marathons in 2-3 weeks, I miss tri training! Its not like I can't do it... I'm just not motivated to do so. My next tri is at least 6 months away, its getting cold outside, its constantly DARK (like, does the sun every come up around here?)... UGH!

You know what its time for?


You heard me. BEAT THE BLERCH.

Before we get all confused and you start googling "Blerches", let met backtrack for a sec. This past weekend, my parents threw me a "you-survived-your-first-ironman-and-by-the-way-lets-celebrate-your-thirtieth-birthday-because-you-were-too-busy-training-for-said-ironman-to-celebrate-it-yourself-and-remember-when-you-loved-my-little-ponies-thats-the-theme-because-you-are-still-our-baby-girl".

To this I say: I love my family.

My party was awesome. My mom purchased a "costume" for me, to which I proudly wore all night long and consisted of a child's My Little Pony tshirt and rainbow striped tights with a denim skirt that I dug out of the drawer. It was all very special. I had an MLP cake with the IM logo on its butt with matching IM cookies in hot pink and lime green (the colors of the shirts my parents made for my cheering group). It really was awesome and super thoughtful. All my IL relatives came, our family friends, and to top it off? My best friend flew in AS A SURPRISE and showed up at my parents front door Saturday morning. Needless to say, I was shocked and surprised... and I cried. It was that cry that happens when you are overwhelmed by too many emotions and it takes a few seconds to sink in. The last time that happened was about 10 minutes after I crossed the finish line at Wisconsin and saw my family for the first time.

That was my party.

Anyway, back to the Blerch.

There is a hilarious Oatmeal comic called, "The terrible and wonderful reasons why I run long distances". First of all, I love the Oatmeal. I think I've read almost all of the comics, I even own the cat and dog comic books. When I found out the author was publishing a book based on the above titled comic, I was thrilled. I was waiting for it to come out for weeks... then I forgot about it because I never pre-ordered it and I hit the post-IM slump.

Dayle and I love the Blerch. Its our motivation for when we want to sit on the couch and slack off. The Blerch is descibed as a fat little cherub that follows the author as he runs. He is the ultimate Un-Motivator. He tells you to be lazy, to pig out, to quit. So, its up to you and you alone to beat the Blerch.

Read about the Blerch here:

When my BF visited this weekend, she was finally able to give me my birthday present. She nailed it completely. NAILED IT.

I started reading the rest of the comic/book this morning after a particularly "Blerch-y" night last night. I meant to set up my bike on the trainer after work. Instead, I gorged on leftover pizza and savory white chedder and caramel mixed popcorn and leftover IM cookies while watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I woke up this morning, read some of the book, and I decided that was my last big night of binge eating. You have to start over somewhere, right? I have been running 3x a week and lifting at least 1-2x a week, but its not nearly what I was doing pre-IM. I understand my body needed a break. But you can't qualify for Kona sitting on your butt eating. And Blerching.

So here's to Beating the Blerch, one day at a time!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Training partners

I did about 98% of triathlon training on my own this past year. Truthfully, the majority of most of my training over the years has been a solo effort. I never made a significant effort to find training groups or partners - I think I was able to build a lot of mental toughness by doing long rides and runs by myself. This past weekend, I got a small taste of what it is like to train with friends. The verdict? I enjoyed myself way more than I expected to.

This past weekend a few friends and I participated in a recreation/charity ride in the town where Dayle lives. Our friend T came down from Chicago the night before and we went out for dinner and scared ourselves watching American Horror Story. The following morning, we got bundled up (the weather was in the high 40's/low 50's) and started our ride, complete with a sip of coffee and Baileys.

It was VERY chilly at first - my toes and fingers were frozen, lips and cheeks chilly. But we managed to put in just under 60 miles together, all the while chatting and catching up. We only got lost once and despite the chilly weather, we enjoyed the scenery and time together. It was awesome. It wasn't a real training ride, so we weren't pushing the pace by any means... and I realized that sometimes you need to put that competitiveness aside and just, literally, enjoy the ride.

Following the ride, I collected my weekend gear and my pup and headed to my parents house. It was a short weekend, but amazing nonetheless. I met someone up there, someone who I actually met ON the Ironman Wisconsin bike course... but thats a story for another day. Sunday morning, we set out on a 10 miler on the good ole prairie path... my home away from home for so many countless miles over the years. The run flew by as we chatted, I felt nice and smooth throughout its entirety. Once finished, we explored a bit of the downtown where I grew up - I channeled my inner child and visited the "popcorn shop" to sample some of my favorite candies and checked out the new chocolate shop where I indulged in a salted caramel caramel apple (it was heavenly) and chocolate (my true weakness).

I really enjoyed biking and running with friends this weekend. I know that my solo workouts are still crucial to my own training, just because I feel it improves my mental health and lets me work things out in my personal life. But I think there might be a place in there to involve other people too. I think I would really benefit from an active, local triathlon club (one that isn't an hour away like Tri-Sharks)... when I end up moving in a handful of months, I'm going to try to keep that in mind!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


I really want to be a SOAS brand ambassador... I want to represent the company and share my experiences with triathlon and life. I love the niche that they are filling - female run company producing apparel for women that is fun and stylish but super functional. I spent hours upon hours researching brands and fit and reading reviews prior to purchasing my tri kit. I finally, FINALLY ordered my SOAS kit - I fell in love with the vintage one immediately. The day it came in I put in on and jumped on my trainer to test it out - LOVED IT. It fit perfectly and I love how I feel in it. I get compliments all the time and it makes it easier for my supporters and cheerleaders to spot me on the course!

Off Season Training

I'm confused as to what I'm supposed to be doing in the "off-season". However, I still have some goals that I think I need to accomplish:

1. Become a stronger cyclist. Period.

This is the weak point in my race I believe. I averaged a tad under 19 mph (18.98 or something like that) for 112 miles and 19.5 mph for 56 miles in both 70.3's I did this year. I need to be able to do at least 19.5 mph, if not a bit faster. The girl that won Louisville in my age group did 20.6 and the girls who got 2nd and 3rd did 20.0 and 20.2 respectively... i.e. I need to be faster if I want to have a chance at Kona.

2. Improve nutrition/recovery.

As far as actual races are concerned, I think I did pretty well at keeping myself hydrated and fed. I broke a sacred race rule by trying something new the day of IM - I bought uncrustables sandwiches and ate three of them during the day. PB&Js were perfection during the race. That along with the Gu chomps and gels and salt tabs and Skratch and bluberry bagels... and small amounts of E.L. fudge cookies and Mountain Dew made my race fantastic. I honestly felt great during the race and after... until about 2 hours after finishing when I couldn't stay out of the bathroom. Seriously, every 20 minutes. It got a little rough. Thank God for port-a-potties everywhere near the finish line. And pepto bismol. Okay, enough.

I need to really do something about my post-workout recovery... as in I need to eat something. I try to drink chocolate milk at a minimum but I'm not always hungry and then sometimes I just skip meals. Its not great. I need to fix that.

3. Improve sleep habits.

Learn how to use the sleep button on the TV. Quit falling asleep with lights on and waking up in the middle of the night. Be an adult.

I'm also going to try swimming a bit more often and change my running training - vary the workouts, incorporate speed workouts and actual tempo runs v. running aimlessly and making up goals as I run along. I may try yoga... Perhaps just in the comfort of my own house though.