Triathlon Research Camp- Day 1

day 1 swim start

Holy crap I’m training in Kona.  I mean, that much should be obvious seeing as I signed up for a triathlon camp here, but the reality really hit me on the first day of the camp.  This place is literally legendary, and not only do I get to experience parts of this course, but I get to work with some of the best in the world on getting BETTER at this sport I love here.

Incredible.

Day 1 of the camp was like going to the most amazing tapas restaurant in the world- I got to “sample” a little bit of everything and really whet my appetite for the week to come.

The morning was spent doing time trials on the swim, bike and run to (1) establish our starting points and (2) get some video analysis done to look at our form, technique and areas of improvement.

Since I literally have nowhere to go but up, I was both nervous and excited to get out there and figure out my starting point.

My starting point is slow kittens.  And yet, I actually did right around where I expected for each of the three trials.

We started out with a 3k run time trial (that’s about 2 miles for us normal people in the US- :D).  We rode our bikes up to a large parking lot that bordered the bluest water I’ve ever seen and then ran a 3 loop course on the black top.

I’m not going to lie, I was SO relieved that we got to do the run first.  It is by far the most challenging of the three disciplines for me, and was the bit I was the most nervous about.

Even with the heat and humidity, I finished the time trial in right around 25 minutes (which

for me at a 12:44ish pace is actually pretty damn good), and I was really happy with it.

We then had a chance to have a quick chat with Olympic Gold Medalist coach Chris Pilone about our running trial, and I am SO excited to work with him in a more individual small group setting later this week.  This guy is a coaching genius, and I have a feeling my running will transform based on his guidance.

day 1 chris pilone

Chris Pilone

Let me just say, there are some BEASTS in my group.  We are broken into squads of 8 athletes, which is great because it’s a small group where we can really get to know each other, get a lot of individual attention, and it’s not too cumbersome for the time trial efforts.  These other athletes are beyond inspiring and supportive, and we spent the entire day encouraging each other and witnessing some fast performances!

Vanessa, one of the many amazing people in my group!

Vanessa, one of the many amazing people in my group!

After the run, much to my relief, we hopped on our bikes for a super short spin over to a beautiful outdoor pool for our swim time trials.  It felt great to sink into the cool water and get in a quick warm up before putting down our efforts.

We did two trials.  A 100m all out sprint, and then after about 45 seconds of recovery a 500m effort.

For me, this was my strongest effort of the day.  I felt really smooth and strong in the water, which surprised me given how little swim training I’ve done this season.

I also got the chance to meet Rick Wells, a commonwealth games swim coach who, within about 30 seconds of seeing me in the water gave me two great pointers on my form that already had me swimming stronger.  This dude is probably still one of the fastest swimmers in the world, and with his coaching this week, I bet I see some serious improvements on not only my swim technique, but swim times.

day 1 swim

Next up was the bike video analysis.  We rode a short ways over to one of the most picturesque spots I’ve ever seen where Tri Research had wind trainers set up under banyan trees overlooking the ocean.  We got set up on the trainers to do a bit of pedaling, focusing on a really easy spin effort with some cadence pick ups so that the coaches could really see our form and fit on our bikes.

Here I was introduced to Ivan O’Gorman, a Retul bike fitter, also known as the Irish mad scientist of fit.  (Okay, maybe that’s what I’m calling him in my head, but trust me, it suits him.)  He spent some time watching each of us during the spin, and then came around with some great feedback afterwards on our fit.

For this camp, I actually brought my road bike, as I haven’t had a really great professional fit on it and I know there’s a lot of room for improvement with my positioning.  He had some great tips on how I could tweak my saddle position to get more power out of my legs, and to also get my upper body in a better and more comfortable position.  I’ll actually be working with him Thursday evening one on one to make those changes, and I have a feeling I’m going to feel like I’m riding a whole new bike once he’s done.

day 1 under the trees

Finally, it was time for the bike time trial.  I won’t lie, this is the one I was most looking forward to.  Our coaches drove us out along the legendary Queen K highway to a point about 16 miles out from the hotel.  From there we pushed off for a 15k time trial back towards town.

I literally can’t find the words to describe how beautiful it was.  To the right I had the most blue, beautiful water I’ve ever seen, meeting the perfect blue of the sky.  To the left, the lava fields, which looked sort of like the surface of the moon, only black as pitch and just as foreign.

I put down a decent effort given the gently rolling terrain (not used to that being from Florida where it is FLAT) and the crazy wind conditions (I swear I had a headwind, wicked cross wind and a tail wind at different points, all while riding a straight line in the same direction!).  I averaged around 15.8 for the effort, which was exactly where I expected to be.

day 1 time trial

Following the morning of intense activity, we headed back to the hotel for a quick shower and much deserved lunch.

Not like I need to tell ya’ll this, but I totally ate ALL OF THE FOODS… and then some.  The amount of deliciously prepared fresh fish and veggies available on this island makes me swoon, and was exactly what I wanted and needed after a great morning.

The afternoon was just as spectacular, but in a totally different way.

After lunch we enjoyed presentations from key members of the Sansego Coaching team to give us a basis for the breakout sessions we would be attending during the week.

We kicked off with a great lecture to get us pumped up about Goal Setting and Season Planning.  Following that, one of my favorite coaches for the week, Frank “The Great Dane” Frank Jakobsen discussed periodization.  We then hopped into Principles of Fitness and Running form with Olympic Gold Medalist coach Chris Pilone,  and followed that up with a both hilarious and informative lecture of Workout Planning and Time Management by Matt Koorey.

The day wrapped up with Craig lighting a fire under each of us with a great session on Motivation and Mindset.

These talks not only gave me numerous “take away” points in each, but really set the tone for the level of excellence, competence, and just overall fantastic coaching we would receive for the week to come.

Want to know what happens next?  Be sure to check out the Day 2 recap!

Questions- What is your favorite place to swim, bike or run and why?  Have you ever been to Kona?  What athlete do you most admire?  

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Triathlon Research Camp- Check In Day

I don’t think I’ve ever been wide awake at 4 a.m. local time and not been drunk.  Then again, even if I’ve been awake and drunk, chances are good that I wasn’t exactly all that “with it…” but I digress.

I’m in Hawaii, and it’s amazing.  Not only am I bright eyed and bushy tailed at 4 a.m. local time (6 hours behind my actual time zone of 10 a.m.), but I’m getting ready for day one of Triathlon Research’s Summer Training Camp with Craig Alexander.

Yes kittens, CRAIG FREAKING ALEXANDER.  He and his coaching group, Sansego, are here for 5 days to help whip me into shape to go from just “doing” triathlons to actually racing them.

Nervous in an understatement.

So is excited.

I’ll be chronicling all the details here, because I’m certain I’ll want to remember every minute.

Check In Day:

The camp will officially kick off today, on the 22nd of September, which meant yesterday my mission in life was to get my butt to KONA.

As I live in Florida, that’s a long trip.  A REALLY long trip kittens.  Reported in to the airport bright and early at 6 a.m. local time, and landed 12 hours by the clock, but 18 ACTUAL hours later in Hawaii.

As proof: I give you airport sunrise from Florida

airport sunrise

And airplane sunset from right over Kona:

airport sunset

Strangely, took off and it was 85 and humid.  Landed and it was 85 and humid.  Something tells me I’m going to feel right at home.

It was dark by the time I was on the ground in Kona, but I wish it hadn’t been.  This was easily the best airport I’ve ever been in from a pure uniqueness factor.  It was completely outdoors, open air, and had these sort of hut like shelters throughout in case of bad weather.  I had a moment of wondering if they just dropped us off in the middle of some rainforest community before I saw the signs for baggage claim and a few Triathlon Research shirts and knew I was in the right place.

Headed to the hotel for a flawless check in, minus the fact that when I stumbled into the lobby, jet lagged, sweating, and juggling suitcases, Craig was standing there and after hugging a few people I’m pretty sure I just stopped, stared with my jaw open, mumbled something about being star struck, and then walked away.

Brilliant.

But on the upside, I got some SWEET swag to go along with my room key at the absolutely beautiful King Kam Marriott, and amazing smelling Hawaiian Lei.

Camp swag Kona

As much as I wanted to enjoy the spectacular pool and party the night away, by the time I got my bike put back together and had a chance to meet a bunch of the Tri Research peeps that I’ve been working with for months, I was so exhausted I couldn’t hold my head up.

I figured that just this once, sleep is more important that wine.

Today we start off with a “bang;” time trials in all three disciplines to get some great baseline measurements of fitness, as well as all the other neato things we can track and measure.

Then, this afternoon we get to meet the amazing coaches at Sansego and start on this sweet 5 day journey.

Stay tuned for updates kittens, I promise there will be many, and they will be hilarious and informative as always.

Questions- Have you ever heard of the Triathlon Research camps?  Who is your favorite pro triathlete?  Can you hear my stomach growling for breakfast from where you live?

Doc’s Skincare Product Review- Sunscreen and Chamois Cream

It’s possible I have the most sensitive skin on the planet.

And living in Florida where it’s hot and sunny year round, that can be more than a bit of a challenge.  Sunscreen is absolutely crucial, but nearly every brand I’ve ever used causes my skin to break out in either adolescent acne, or a rash that can range from looking like bug bites all the way to chicken pox.

See?  This was the result of a bad sunscreen experience about a year back.

allergic reaction rash

Another “fun” side effect of having such sensitive skin is that products that are designed to prevent chaffage can also cause a rash or irritation that causes my bum to look more like a baboon’s than a normal human.

In fact, my husband has dubbed the effect “hyena ass.”  I’m not posting a picture of that, you’ll need to use your imagination.  It’s bad.

So when I interviewed Coner Mullervy for Trail and Tarmac and he mentioned Doc’s SkinCare chamois cream as being his absolute favorite, I decided to do a bit of research.

From Doc’s website:

At Doc’s Skincare, we’re committed to making the highest quality and longest lasting natural skincare products for serious athletes who demand the most from their bodies.

They just developed their latest product, a SPF 30 sunscreen, and are well known for their natural Chamois Cream,  that can also be used to prevent chaffage on other parts of your body.

Naturally, I had to try both.  Here’s what I thought.

Doc’s Natural Sunscreen

The Claim:  Broad spectrum UVA & UVB protection with safe minerals

Decrease your risk of sun damage, skin cancer and premature aging with the all natural minerals.  Doc’s Natural Sunscreen safely and effectively blocks damaging UVA & UVB using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Decrease your exposure to bizarre and harmful chemicals found in store brands.

Docs Sunscreen

What I Thought:

This stuff is absolutely incredible.  It’s a spreadable formula (rather than a lot of the sprayable ones on the market), that’s very liquid-y and absorbs easily.  The sunscreen is fragrance free, and the consistency makes it easy to apply, see where you’ve applied.  It blends quickly and doesn’t leave any sticky, oily, or crunchy residue.

I’ve used this nearly a dozen times now, on everything from short 30 minute runs to 3 hour rides.  Most recently I wore it this past weekend during a half marathon where I was outside for a total of 5 hours without applying (not recommended).

Not only have I not sunburned even once, but my skin has remained pimple free and not irritated in the least.

The best part?  This isn’t one of those sunscreens that makes sweat pour off of you into your eyes and then burns like hell.

I’m a sweaty girl no matter what, but this stuff stays put and definitely does the job.

Doc’s Natural Chamois Cream

The Claim:  Naturally formulated chamois cream with tea tree oil

Longer lasting, natural protection against chafing. No toxic chemicals that penetrate your skin. No petroleum-products to clog your pores and eat up your padded cycling shorts. Just safe, natural & proven ingredients to protect your butt and enhance your performance. Doc’s Natural Chamois Cream with tea tree oil is the chamois cream alternative with over 95% all-natural ingredients.  And this stuff is guaranteed!

Docs chamois cream

What I Thought:

I’ll admit, once I opened this bad boy up, I was skeptical.  One of the ingredients is natural tea tree oil, which smells a little medicinal and ever so slightly like a really mild Vick’s Vapo Rub, and I couldn’t really imagine rubbing that all over my lady bits.

But hey, I’ll try anything once, so on a particularly hot ride last weekend I slathered up and set out for 45 miles in the 90 degree heat.

The formula of this cream is just that, creamy.  It reminds me of a whipped shea butter type product, only not oily at all.  It was just slightly tingly, but not unpleasant, and the sensation went away almost immediately.

45 sweaty miles later I peeled off my favorite spandex tri shorts and inspected the goods.

First thing I noticed right off the bat, my bottom wasn’t nearly as red as it usually gets.  While I could still see where my saddle had been positioned, I wasn’t dealing with baboon butt right off the bat.

Where I REALLY noticed the difference though, was over the next few days.  Typically following a long ride I can expect some serious irritation on the nether bits that will sometimes even blossom into a bit of a rash complete with clogged pores.  After use Doc’s Chamois Cream, nothing.  My skin looked normal!

Not quite ready to shout their praises just yet, I’ve it three more times since, on rides both long and short with similar results.  The addition of this cream made for really comfortable riding conditions, and have kept my nether region in tip top shape from a chafing perspective.

My ONLY caution- if you are someone who saves your… ahem… bits, defiantly don’t apply it right after shaving.

That pleasant tingle?  Kind of a raging furnace if you happened to cut yourself and give yourself razor burn.

Otherwise, two thumbs up on this product!  I’ve also started using it on hot spots on the bottom of my feet, and under the strap for my heart rate monitor (typical areas that chafe a bit for me), and have had great results.

So moral of the story, if you’ve never tried Chamois Cream, TRY THIS ONE.  Chances are, you’ll love it!


So readers, now it’s your turn.  Do you suffer from hyena ass?  What sorts of products do you use to help with chafing?  Favorite brand of sunscreen?  Respond in the comments!

 

I’m a Vanderkitten VIP for 2015!

Over a month ago I applied to be part of the Vanderkitten VIP team for 2015.

I’ll be honest with you kittens, I’m not sure what I was thinking.  Sure I’ve been having some awesome conversations with myself lately about getting back into racing, and my running and cycling is faster and more consistent than it’s ever been, but applying to be a sponsored athlete for 2015 might have been a *bit* of a stretch.

Until Sunday morning when I checked my email and saw this:

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.37.24 AM

Holy CRAP!  I’m in!!!

So check out just exactly how amazing this brand is:

Vanderkitten, “Clothing for women who kick ass”TM, was created to answer the demand for a compelling and empowering brand for women that goes against the “just add flowers” and the “shrink it and pink it” recipies that are so dominant in contemporary women’s active lifestyle apparel. In order to answer this call, we knew we had to be more than just people sitting in a cube penning your future. We had to become fully immersed in the culture of action sports and active lifestyle to develop the look and excitement that reflect what we see around us every day. This enables us to create a fantastic brand by directly creating a new path for women to live extraordinary lives; not settling for the ordinary.

Seriously?  Does it get any more “I am woman hear me roar” than that?  And I GET TO BE A PART OF IT FOR 2015!

I applied as a triathlete, but as I’m learning more about the program and how it works, it appears that there are many of us worldwide, and it’s really a support network for all different sports.

What this means for me from a training perspective is that I will need to work to shift my cardio in more a more specific swim/bike/run format.  I’ve already made the tweak this week to get my butt back in the pool, and will be doing 2x each discipline per week for the short term.  I’m going to continue with my weight training for the moment, but stay tuned as I’m sure there will be some fun changes and endless adventures as I plan my 2015 race season!

Also keep an eye out for some awesome race photos of me swimming, biking, and running with the kitteahs in 2015!

Screen Shot 2014-12-09 at 10.37.08 AM

What happened to the workouts?!

*Waves*

Hey loyal readers!

And because there are a butt load of you, HEY NEW READERS!  Welcome aboard!

As you’ve probably seen, I’m a Crossfit addict who also does tri-sports (swim, bike and run), as well as blogs about the hilarious and disgusting pretty regularly.

I know we’re still at the start of the year, so we’re all still focused on our resolutions, which probably mean fitness and weight loss goals.  Right?  Right.  Focused.  Yep.  That’s me.

I swear I’m still working out daily, and doing some pretty awesomesauce things in all areas of my training, but you may have noticed I’m no longer posting daily workout recaps or updates.

There’s a few reasons for this, but the main one is that people are douchebags.  Right after the first of the year, I was getting comments from new readers about how slow my times were, how light my weights were, or how boring my posts were.  Obviously, this isn’t really motivating.  But it also let me take a step back and look at the content of my blog.

I want to make you laugh, and provide great stories about things health, fitness, and alcohol related.  (Because they SO go together, right?)  I don’t ever want to be boring, so to that end, I’m keeping track of my fitness elsewhere for the moment.

That’s not to say you won’t get recaps of really great workouts.  Once the Crossfit Open starts I probably won’t be able to contain myself.

I’m going to do my best to bring fun fresh content to you regularly, and if there’s ever anything you want to hear or know or read more about, just ask!  Your feedback, likes, and comments are what keep me posting and loving this blog.

Just don’t be a douchebag.  This is a douche free zone.

I need a plan

I woke up this morning and wished the hubs a happy hump day.  Doh.  Clearly, I have no idea what day it is, and while I love being closer to the weekend, I can’t believe this much of the week is gone already.

Last Thursday was the last time I did a planned workout.

I’ve skipped everything on my training calendar since then.

Do I have a hundred excuses?  Yup.  Are a few of them actually pretty good?  Of course.

But the fact remains that as of today it has been 1 week since I’ve done anything to help me reach my goals.

And since you all know me, you realize this also means I’ve been eating and drinking too much and have just generally been a hot mess.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about Crossfit and felt like such a fake.  Last time I went I PRed my clean and jerk, and haven’t set foot in the box since.

Thanksgiving is in one week.  Christmas just over a month.  Vegas right after that.

Not to mention I’m doing a freaking TRIATHLON in around 5 months.

I don’t have the time to skip training, and good excuses or not, I need to find a way.

This morning I woke up and my first thought was, “I don’t need more excuses, I need a plan.”

Part of me just wants to pick up the training that I was supposed to do this week starting with today, but because of the upcoming race I really do need to prioritize some workouts over others.

I need to get on the bike at least twice before Sunday, and one of those needs to be a long ride of at least 25 miles.  I need to run at least twice as well.  Swimming twice would be a good thing too.  I don’t want to ignore Crossfit, but with all of that to fit into 4 days, I’ve got my work cut out for me.

So for the sake of accountability, I give you my readers, my training schedule for the remainder of the week.  Feel free to check in with me, to keep me accountable, or to just cheer me on and I cross the workouts off the list.

Thursday 11/21
Lunch Ride- 10 miles @15-18 mph pace (group)
**Done- 10.3 miles @16.5 mph average by myself on tri bike
After Work- 2 mile run @ easy pace
**Done- on treadmill @13:30 pace

Friday 11/22
6 am- 1500+m swim
**Done- 2000 m in approx. 45 mins
7 am- 9 mile bike ride @ 14-15 mph pace (group)
**Done 9 miles @ 14 average pace

Saturday 11/23
AM- Long ride 25 miles @15-17 mph pace
**Done on the NEW BIKE at 15 mph pace exactly (1:40)
PM- 1500 swim
**Moved to Sunday- Done 1500 in about 35 mins, bricked with run

Sunday 11/24
AM-  3 mile run
**Done, right after run.  On the treadmill.  First mile really had trouble convincing my body that it actually wanted to run, but smooth sailing after that.  41:30

That looks like a lot, but really it’s not at all.  I need to just gently remind myself that it’s well within both my comfort zone and my abilities.  When I successfully complete this, while some damage will have been done from my week of laziness, I still will have logged some miles towards my tri training and won’t be in as bad of shape as I could if I let this lazy streak keep going.

I already have next week planned out, and will really need to stick to the plan as there is a holiday and travel in there.  Skipping a workout early in the week won’t help me one bit, and I will do my very best to hold myself accountable.

What about you?  Have you ever just not wanted to workout?  How long did it last?  How did you get yourself back into the swing of things?

11.12.2013 Workouts

Crossfit:

The alarm went off this morning and I turned it off, got right out of bed, and went straight to Crossfit.

At least, that’s what I dreamt that I did.  In fact, I turned it off and dozed back off for 15 minutes before I sat bolt upright in bed and realized I had fallen back to sleep.

I ended up 5 minutes late, and I hate being late SO much (pet peeve of mine) that I almost considered not going.  But once I was in the parking lot I didn’t have much of a choice.

Coach was actually pretty cool about it, no burpee punishment or anything like that.  The only thing I missed was the warm up lap.

Warm up:  The usual.  I did a minute on the airdyne and then jumped in with everyone else.

SWOD:  Jerk Technique
2×3 @ 33
3×3@ 53

The point of today was to really work on our split jerk technique.  Getting under the bar and being stable while we’re there.

This actually went really well for me.  I used to have a lot of issues getting low enough, but not so much anymore.  I do need to concentrate to get my feet wide enough when I split though, otherwise I get wobbly.

Coach let it slip that tomorrow are 1 RM clean and jerks.  We rarely do 1 RM anything, so I’m going to try to change around my schedule so that I can go in the morning.  I know I can clean 85, and I know I can get it overhead… I wonder if I can do more?

WOD:
20-15-10-5
Push Ups
Toes to bar
Back Squat

Score: 11:24 @ k2e and 53 lbs

I really REALLY didn’t want to use weight on this workout.  My legs are already a bit sore this week, but after debating with myself up until about a minute before we started the WOD, I went ahead and added 10s to each side.

In hindsight I’m glad I did.   It was challenging, but not so much so that I struggled in a way I didn’t expect.  I know not every day will be a PR, and that it’s important to push myself, but I’m still working on understanding my body to know just how far I can push before things start getting cranky.

Swim:

Again immediately following Crossfit I went to the gym for some quality time in the chlorine.

Apparently, they are having some issues with the sauna and it smelled like something literally DIED in there.  Honestly, every time I went to breathe it smelled and tasted like I was sucking on a moldy pee covered penny.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the “issue” they were having with the sauna was that someone peed in it.

Ew.  So gross.  People are so gross.

Anyway, the swim today was supposed to be an endurance workout.  And it technically was, though I couldn’t bring myself to actually stop swimming and breathe with my head above water for any significant amount of time so it ended up:

1x1500m in about 30 minutes

Yeah, no sets or anything.  Lame.

Here’s hoping they have that fixed tomorrow!

Run: PLANNED

Not sure how my day is going to go today and I may not have time to update this but I wanted to log the run I have planned over lunch as I pinky promise I will do it.

It should come out to be around 1.7 miles in about 20-25 minutes.  The plan is to just run a quick lap around the business park where I work.  Since I’ve only recently started running again, I want to keep them sort and easy to get my body used to it.  Obviously, coming from zero mileage base at the moment, this means 2-3 miles at a time tops.