Wednesday, June 11, 2014 in the moment, repeat...IMKS

I am not sure I have ever been so chill coming into a race.  I was in California the week prior...perfect taper right?  Just a couple of fishbowls beers were consumed.  Even with getting home on Friday and only having a day to prep for the race, I was just chill as can be.  #odd

I knew I didn't prep like I had last year.  Last year was a whole different caliber.  This year has been a completely different beast to tame.  My head and heart have been all over the place.  So I took the fitness I had and decided to just race to the MY best in that moment on that day.  No pressure, no major time goals, no disapointment...high five EVERY kiddo, smile, push, live in the moment, repeat.

Typically pre-race I feel sick to my stomach, have major anxiety, and sometimes cry.  Prior to the race on Sunday, there were no butterflies, no wonky stomach and not a single tear.  But there was a dramatic photo shoot at the swim start. #evenbetter  Yup, #hotmess #Imadork

Lovely Liz, of the RED LADIES, #Casey'swife

COME HERE CASEY (the stud who just rocked IMTX also on #teamBSC)


Sandy Brown says...look like you're gazing over the H2O...who does that with a straight face!?!?!?! #nostressinghere
high fives and two thumbs up

Was not my fastest swim at this race, nor was it my slowest.  The conditions were perfect so I might have needed to be a bit more serious and attempt to swim straight and not take the long way around the buoys.  No excuses, it was 3 min slower than my PR at this distance and for what I've put in this year...I'll take it.

The bike...hmm, despite some Garmin snaffu's the bike was pretty ok!  My legs were on fire until.mile.40...SERIOUSLY LEGS?  Well at least they warmed up right?!

I had an AMAZING cheer section at mile 35 on the bike.  at the top of a pretty good hill.  Damn my girls are the best.  #lovemyathletes It was such an epic section of cheer, I was asked on the run if I was 'the Kelly' from the bike course!  Ha!  THANKS LADIES!!!  (I'll add more pictures later, I have some good ones!)

The run...hmmm, no real major issues.  I have been running pretty good lately, if I had any expectations for this race, it would have been on the run.  Being present and in the moment was an intention I made from the start.  I wanted to make sure that I was working as hard as I could at that particular moment and if so GREAT!...if not, well I needed to get there.  My legs didn't feel great...ever during the 2 loops.  My mantra during the 2nd loop was "round 2...fight" that from a video game?  hmm. weird as I don't even own a DVD player, much less a video game thing...oh wait, I do have the original Nintendo.

After reviewing my race plan, Michelle wrote me to high 5 every kiddo and I did just that.  Try it!  It totally makes you smile (i.e. have fun!)

Overall it turned out to be exactly what I had hoped.  I smiled almost the whole race, I finished in a respectable place/time and I had FUN!  I won't lie, it is was so nice not chasing PR's, world champ slots, etc, etc, etc.  & even with all the fun I had, I was only 7' slower than my PR on this course...with way less fitness.  I think there is something to be said about limiting stress and having fun in this sport.  Sounds like a good plan for the rest of the season, no? 

Post race shenanigans...

Kept my eye on the prize.
Getting the new babe (no, not mine) ready for the "LaPan medal" photo shoot.
Tuckered babe
Despicable me and aloha pants #chillin

Big thanks to everyone who reaches out every.single.time I race.  It means a ton hearing from everyone.  Lots of xoxoxo to my coach, #teamBSC and my athletes.  #lovebeingacoach 


Thursday, May 1, 2014

...not too shabby...

I cannot believe I am just now actually posting this...I wrote this the day after the marathon!!  Almost a month ago!  Sigh...#worstbloggerever

Towards the end of Scottsdale BSC camp I was starting to get a bit nervous about the looming marathon I had the following weekend.  We all kind of joked around that I was really *nailing* the taper.  Although coach and I experimented with this 'kind of taper' last year following Kona worked then.  Maybe I do better on tired-ish legs?

After returning from camp, I went back and forth in my head where I should line up.  My run training had been consistent.  The majority of the training was all done by HR.  We really didn't even get that much speed work in as this winter was a tough one (in more ways than one).  I wasn't sure what I'd have in me.  When I wrote down my goals at the beginning of the year I wanted to crack 3:45.  That isn't my BQ time (3:40), but it was a manageable number (@ least in my head) for me to hit.  My previous open marathon time was 3:58 and change. 

I had conversations with my coach and my run PIC and I decided to bite the bullet and stick with my original plan.  I often get annoyed with folks *throwing in the towel* before they even try to tackle their goals so there was no way I wasn't @ least going to try.  My confidence was a little low, so I promised myself that if I couldn't keep the 8:35 pace it was NBD.  I had nothing to prove.

I went to high school in STL.  I figured I would run into at least someone I knew and I did!  Always fun to see friends from back in the day, especially LIVE AND NOT ON FACEBOOK!  There were several others I had hoped to see/talk to but with that crowd I was thankful to see at least one!  Congrats to Shawn and his race!

The short and sweet race recap is that I hung out with the 8:45 group until mile 23 ish.  Then the wheels fell off.  I had to slow up.  I was actually kind of devastated watching them run into the distance but I was hurting.  EVERYONE starts hurts at mile 20 (if you're pushing it) and I tried to keep my thoughts positive and not to slow down too much!  I worked way too hard for 23 miles to slow down the last 3!  It was all mental at that point.  Every time I race I am AMAZED at how strong our minds are.  We can use that strength to help or has to choose which way to go.  My new favorite quote from Naomi Judd...

"your body HEARS everything your mind SAYS"

Once I saw the mile 24 sign, I decided to pick up the pace.  The pain is much more manageable knowing it would only last MAX 17-20 minutes right?  I crossed the line at 3:47 and change, 13 in my AG and with a BIG ASS grin on my face.  Not too shabby.  I couldn't have been happier!  Almost a 12' PR and only 2 + min slower than goal time. 7' from a BQ.

hey body, ya hear that?...not too shabby...

Tuesday, April 1, 2014 are stronger than you think...

Camp thoughts…where do I even begin? 

I have attended numerous tri camps in the past 6 years…this was my first time as a coach.  How different it all is.  There is so much that goes on behind the scenes, I’ve never been so grateful for everything my past camp coaches have done to get all the logistics in place than I am right now.  It’s tough work…getting SAG bought and set up, marking courses, organizing travel, showering @ 9:30 pm, meeting and socializing with the other athletes, AND making sure you are taking care of yourself (i.e. feeding hydrating, etc.) WHEW! 

BUT here’s the deal…IT IS ALL WORTH IT!  We had some MAJOR breakthroughs this week…seeing the athletes overcome fears, getting comfortable being uncomfortable, climbing mountains in PR record time…all the exhaustion of planning and organizing goes right out the window.  I am not sure Krista and I could be any more PROUD and satisfied than we are right now.  I would call this camp a HUGE success.

We had an incredible group of athletes this year.  Such a dynamic and diverse group, different athletic abilities, different ages.  We had local Scottsdale athletes, a couple east coast, west coast and several of us from the midwest…many will become friends for life.  Everyone stepped up and put their best foot forward and worked hard.  That’s the point of camp right?  Spend 4-5 days out of your routine; build a big fitness base and WORK HARD.  And that we did…

Thursday was an easy ‘optional’ run.  I put optional in quotes because everyone ran it.  Easy social jog, we didn’t want any matches being burned…we had a big week in front of us. 

Even Baxter needed to hydrate!

The Monday before camp, our coach Michelle was having major FOMO and decided to hop on a plane from Hawaii and join us!  She asked Krista and I to keep it a secret so she could surprise her athletes.  That was a tough secret to keep!  We were all super excited about her arrival late Thursday pm!!   (Needless to say her other athletes were super surprised and excited to see her!  Read her camp blog here!)
Me, Michelle, Krista...BSC coaches!

Our version of pillow service for coach Michelle!

Friday morning was a BIG day…huge.  A long bike to Bartlett Lake, a ~40 min OWS in Bartlett Lake then a 14 mile CLIMB out of the lake (where we spotted IM world champ Rinny and Tim) then enjoy the decent ride home.  It would have been about an 80-mile day, except Jen Sparkles and I decided to ride to Cave Creek and added another 12 miles to our day.  Why not, right?  Actually we I missed our turn…my bad.  ;)

Coach and sparkles :)

Either way it worked out perfect.  It was a tough ride and with a little coaxing of the bodies with nutrition, we all pushed through.  Krista and I were able to see some folks pushing their bodies and most importantly their minds…

’you are stronger than you think’

Barlett Lake!
My friend and inspirational speaker, Jenne Fromm so kindly agreed to take some time out of her Friday evening to virtually ‘hang’ out with us and teach us a little bit of how our minds work both for us and against us.  As usual she changed a couple peoples lives that night.  Everyone should check her out here! She’s quite an amazing individual.  I am honored and proud to call her my friend.

We had an ‘easier’ day on tap for Saturday.  ‘Just’ a 3-hour ride, including a jaunt up 9-mile hill.  Pacing and nutrition was key for this ride, especially since we had a mountain to climb the next day.  Krista and I each rode with a different group.  My group practiced pace lines on our way to the climb, super fun when you don’t ride with a big bike group very often!  Once we got to the bottom of the hill our strategy was this…spin to about mile 5, then add a couple of gears, @ mile 8 ATTACK and catch the front group.  And holy shit, we did it.  PERFECT pacing...

’you are stronger than you think’

Solid bunch of athletes!

Off the bike we had a 4-mile run.  We asked everyone to stay inside themselves for the first 2 miles and negative split this run.  It’s a lot harder to do this as most feel really good off the bike and are ready to charge.  It was noon in the desert and the false flat on the way home made for the negative split to be a SOLID challenge.  I think we had an almost 100% success rate.  A quick 3k swim shower and we had ourselves another HUGE deposit in the bank.

Sunday was the day I had been waiting for…for literally YEARS.  The EPIC Mt. Lemmon climb.  We got up early and caravanned the 2 hours down to Tucson.  Having never had experience Mt. Lemmon, I knew had to pace myself and needed to convenience the others to do the same.  WOW.  What an experience.  It was exactly what I had imagined it would be.  HARD.  BEAUTIFUL.  FUN.  And 2 hours and 45 minutes later, I was at the cookie cabin...
’you are stronger than you think’

Me, Krista and Sippy!  At the top of the Mnt.

Not too long after that, we were ALL eating cookies and pizza.  It was so amazing to see our athletes push the limits especially mentally and literally arrive at the top.  It’s a feeling that brings tears to your eyes when thinking about the metaphor of climbing a mountain, on a bike, by yourself.  

Pizza, Cookie and Sparky!!!

Then we had to get down.  It would be quick (time), it would be fast (speed), and it would be in a wind storm/headwind.  I am not the best/comfortable descending, but holy shit THAT was fun.  We had a couple athletes VERY hesitant to descend and one actually wasn’t going to, she wanted to ride in the SAG wagon down, but Shane with his negotiation skills convinced her he would leap frog with her down.  She drank the cool-aid and we once again had a 100% success rate of both the climb and the descent... 

’you are stronger than you think’

And all of a sudden it was Monday the last day of camp.  L  We had a l5 mile route and a 10 mile route planned for the group.  How would our legs feel after 190 miles of riding 14k feet of climbing?  Would they show up to play?  But of course they did!  I think everyone was a bit sore/tired, but the run got done.  Krista and I had terrorized marked Paradise Valley in a delirium the night before… & the route was absolutely stunning at sunrise.  Such a joy to be there…running.  Especially after the days leading up to it, there were little to no complaints had by any.

Sparkle and Kelly selfie!

Another quick swim and we were done!  (both literally and figuratively)  It was bittersweet at that point.  I didn’t know if the sadness was actually fatigue or if I was terribly sad it had to come to an end.  I think it was a combo of the two!  

Thanks Planet Sun for protecting us all week!!
Camp was a huge success!  Krista gets all the credit!  She worked super hard with figuring the logistics of the rides/runs.  This camp wouldn't have been without her.  She is a solid athlete and an even more amazing coach.  She's been a rock in my world and I am incredibly thankful to have her in my life.  Thank you Krista!!  You are amazing and I am so thankful for our friendship!

Thanks recoverye21 for our CUTE camp tanks!

I also must thank all of the athletes for working so hard and pushing themselves to the limit.  THANK YOU!  They deposited a huge amount of fitness into their ‘bank’ $$cha-ching$$ and it will come in handy very soon ;)   I wish everyone the most success in 2014.

Thank you to Shane and June.  We really couldn't have asked for a better SAG crew!  Water, nutrition, directions, photos, motivation, you name it - they had it ready for us.  We really couldn't have asked for a better support system.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

And last but not least, THANK YOU to our sponsors!!

Recovery e21 - Amazing product.  This stuff has gotten me through the most grueling training rides/runs and 2 Iroman.  Good stuff.  Get it.

Planet Sun - Did I mention not one person got burned in the desert sun?  Not a ONE!!  This stuff is top notch along with the people/company that run it.     

And here I am.  On the plane…revisiting the past 5 days.  Sad, excited, motivated, ready to race, experience new things, new challenges.  I never thought I would be doing what I love, not only as an athlete but now as a coach!!!  I am so inspired and excited to keep the momentum going.  The love and support I have within this community is crazy strong and I am incredibly blessed and thankful to have TeamBSC as my friends and family. 

...until next time, remember ’you are stronger than you think’

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Happy Team BSC Scottsadale Camp Eve!

It's less than 24 hours away.

Team BSC Scottsdale Camp.  My 2nd camp with this amazing crew.  My first as a coach.  EIK!!!  We have some amazing bat shit crazy sessions planned, (many thanks to Krista for all of her planning)! There will be an amazing speaker, a Mt. Lemmon climb (and the obligatory cookie), and we have a MAJOR surprise for our athletes!  I am so excited!!!!

I have not done much outside riding this year...thanks ol man winter and me turning into a wimp in the cold.  #ihatethecold  Later this week...I will have 12 hours of saddle time planned in 3 consecutive days.  Talk about a pain in the ass.  I'll be hurting for sure.  But the benefits of training camp is the huge fitness boost one gets when all has been accomplished.  I'll need it.  Race season is just around the corner for me.

This has been a stressful past couple of months for me and nothing will heal my soul more than 5 days with friends who are just as BSC as I am.  Riding long will help clear my head and get me motivated for the season ahead!  I've had to majorly adjust my race schedule, but there is still an IM on the books for this year...and maybe 2. ;)  Time to get moving!!

Cheers to BSC camp #2!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Welcome to the Puke Party


During the 50th minute of our hour track session last night, those were the words uttered through our cold freezing heavy breathes (sounds like a 50 shades blurb, huh?!) before our last 400. 

(I had to partake in a cupcake tasting @ work for a retirement party just hours before meeting @ the track.  Big mistake, huge!  I held it all in, but just barely.  I really need to lay off the sugar these days.  :))

I invited several gals to join me in my track session last night, b/c misery loves company, right?  I had just come home from ~10 days in the HEAT and it was 20 degrees come track time, and well speed work is almost  always hard.  I needed reinforcements.  I had 2 gals take me up on the pain.  I think my FB invite read...
"Track session 5:45 @ LHS.  It will HURT, but you'll thank me after your next race..."
and I wonder why only 2 showed...;)  One is a BSC athlete, so that didn't surprise me and the other is on a quest for a BQ in the fall, again no surprises that she showed up either. 

It turned out to hurt, and hurt pretty bad, but when it was all said and done, we had run some of our fastest 200/400 splits...EVER.  That's pretty freakin cool!  The thoughts and feelings of pain were immediately replaced with "hell yeah's" and "holy cow, that was my fastest 400 ever".  Good times.

I told my athlete to take the intervals @ ~ 5" more than what we were doing as she hasn't been doing much speed work this winter.  But guess what?!  She ran right with us.  Yup, no bitchin, whining, nada.  BEASTMODE.  Super proud coach.  Check out these splits.  Talk about descending...she pretty much nailed it.


This is what she had to say in her comments in TP...
"That was hard but fun.  Thanks for sending out the invite.  Sometimes I forget the advantages of group workouts. Good stuff."
So the point of this blog is to get out of your comfort zone!  Just SHOW UP.  Seriously, try it.  It will totally pay off.  Pain is temporary....yes, it's scary, yes it hurts, yes it's uncomfortable...but listen, 9 x out of 10 it ISN'T as bad as you think it will be AND it ISN'T as painful as you may think (and if it is, it goes away pretty fast!).  While in the 'moment' imagine finishing your first marathon, or PR'ing that 1/2 distance you've been working so hard for, getting that BQ you want, nabbing that Kona slot, or whatever you are in this for!  Mentally imagery WORKS!  Your body CAN & WILL override the negative thoughts in your head.  Believe in it and take care of WILL get you there if you just show up and do the work!

Friday, February 7, 2014


Life is CRAZY sometimes.  This is my life right now.  I've recently moved (from a dual household to a single one), I've been sick ~3 times this winter (including a MAJOR case of food juice poisoning or at least that's what I think it was), work travels, work travel delays and the worst case of the WINTER blah's, maybe EVER.

I'm currently battling between beating myself up for missing SO MANY WORKOUTS and being nice to myself and limiting the stress or at least not adding any more to my shoulders. 

This is the hardest thing for me to do.  I had such high expectations for my early season races and I see those goals heading from a Class I rapid to an out of control Class V and maybe VI if I don't get my head out of my ass moving.  I am slowly starting to realize that my body cannot handle both the mental/physical stress of my crazy life right now and me beating myself up over missing a workout (or 10).  It's a vicious vicious cycle and if I don't get off the train soon, I won't be training/racing at 100% anytime soon.  I am so fortunate I have the opportunity to race and train and if that means I have to take some time for a little clarity, work, travel, LIFE, well that's the hand I've been dealt and I will take it on the chin, rest up, get healthy (both mentally and physically) and move on....

I know I am not the only one experience stress and the winter blues this year (right?) so I wanted to share some *remedies* I've found lately.  Maybe I'll try a couple of these this weekend....or something similar. 

snake massage - uh, no thanks...I'll get a regular massage on Sunday
beer bath - whaaaaa???!?!?! I'll drink it instead, K?...what a waste to bathe in it!
ironing - I ONLY iron to make running costumes or most recently...the family Kona UPR outfits
drink more OJ - PASS...considering this is what made me produce projectile vomit
spend quality time with a TWO canine(s) - done
shut up and smile - aw, alright...
talk with your hands - does *****dancing ****hands**** while running count?

get outside within 2 hours of waking up - easier said/read than done when it's feels like  MINUS 7* but I'll try :)
make your bed - again...UGHHHHHHHHH
get social - easy peasy...DONE.
limit your caffeine intake - as I sip my coffee....
take vitamin D supplements - I will go tan...I know, I know, I really don't want to hear how bad it is for me...
take a winter vacation - DONE...Austin - > Scottsdale 7 days and counting...yesssssssss
EXERCISE - That's the whole GOAL right?

Here's to surfing those waves!!! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

MAF Training

Michelle has had me training by HR from day 1.  I loathed HR training until she really got me to understand the importance.  Now that I am diving into the world of coaching, I thought I ought to do my own research and put down my own thoughts on the subject.  Michelle had been having me use the maximum aerobic function MAF method of HR training.  Here's link to the article on MAF-test straight from the MAN himself Dr. Phil Maffetone(my next post will be on my personal progress using this method)

One of the reasons I've not been put on the sideline for too long in my IM training is the use of MAF training...i.e. knowing if you are running too hard too often...which is a recipe for injury and illness.  Injuries and sickness are much less likely to occur when you are not running your body into the ground day in and day out.  And the key to having consistency and progress in training/racing is avoiding both of these.  Avoid those niggles and visits to the doc and you avoid setbacks in your training.  PROGRESS!!

MAF training also measures if you are actually running EASY enough.  IMO I see too many people running too hard too often and completely ignoring their 'recovery' runs.  Your body reaps so many benefits due to these recovery runs.  Ah RECOVERY.  When one pushes through and keeps running HARD instead of backing off, you burn the candle on both ends.  HR training keeps you from blowing that fuse. 

Want to get faster?  Slow down.  Build that aerobic base.  This occurs when one actually runs within their HR zone.  This could be SLOW, painfully SLOW.  In fact, you may have to walk when first staring out.   Gah!  I'd be a $$ rich RICH $$$ lady if I had a nickel for every time I've heard, "it's SO painful for me to run slow."  I actually LOVE running slow...I love it because I'm able to BUST out proper speed work when it's on my schedule because I'm RECOVERED.  It's been proven time and time again, building the base = the speed will come once your aerobic capacity improves.   The benefit of this base build is the ability to run FASTER at the SAME effort, meaning the same heart rate.  This type of training is best to be done NOW, during the *off-season*.  Once that base is built it provides a FOUNDATION for speed/strength work that comes later in the season  Without this base getting into the anaerobic sessions is like "building a house on sand".

 In addition there's a bunch of science that shows you will loose some body fat as well...uhh, ok *bonus*!

Ok, the test!!!  I snagged this from LUCHO .  I'm pretty sure he's the the KING of MAF training.

1. Take 180 and subtract your age.
2. Take that number and correct it by the amount next to the statement that best describes your level of fitness:
  • a. Subtract five beats if you are recovering from a major illness or injury that has kept you from training for six months or more.
  • b. Leave the number where it is if you have been working out about two to three days per week for at least a year.
  • c. Add five beats if you have been working out more than three days per week for at least a year.
  • d. Add 10 beats if you have been working out more than five days per week for at least five years without recurring colds, illnesses, injuries or long periods of burnout.
  • e. If you are older than 55 years old or younger than 25 years old, add an additional five beats to whatever number you have right now.

Once you have your target HR let's get to the good part RUNNING...

Perform the MAF Test on a track, running at the maximum aerobic heart rate. A one- to five-mile test, with each one-mile interval recorded, provides good data. The test should be done following an easy 12–15 minute warm up, and be performed about every month throughout the year. *I'm having my athletes perform the 5 mile test as they have some miles under their belt.

While training, create a range of 10 beats below the maximum aerobic heart rate; example, if your target HR was 145, train between 135 and 145 staying as close to 145 as possible. To develop the aerobic system most effectively, all training should be at or below this level during base building. As the aerobic system develops, you will be able to run faster at the same maximum aerobic heart rate.1

GOT IT? :)

Here are some FUN READS on MAF testing and TRAINING.

Mama Simmons

Miss Zippy

Sock Doc

get a hold of me with any additional questions!!