Thursday, August 2, 2012


Hello, friends! I have big news to tell you about...I'm pregnant! Just kidding.  That's awkward.

No, I am doing the REDMAN HALF IRONMAN AGAIN!  Not only am I participating in the event...I am SINGING for the event!  The race director asked me to sing the National Anthem!  What an honor!  I will sing the National Anthem on Saturday, September 22 in my wetsuit so I can jump in the water and get ready for my swim wave.  Crazy!

So...once again, I don't have much of a life.  Training is my life...but I love it!  This season I am actually following a training plan by my TNT coach from last year, Ryan Ellis of Conquer Training.  Last year TNT provided a training plan but I was too overwhelmed by the process.  Plus, there is a "TRI language." It looked pretty foreign to me at first.  Here is an example of a "splash and dash" workout - meaning a swim/run combo.  The translation is in pink.

swim (1 hour):
wu 200 - warm up (swim slow)  for 200 meters (in a 25 meter pool that's 8 laps)
drill 200 - 200 meters of different swimming drills
ms 3x400 (30") @+5" - main set: Do a 400 meter swim in 5 minutes (fast pace), rest 30 seconds and repeat twice
8x100 (25")@-3-5" - Do a 100 meter swim in 3-5 minutes (slow pace), rest 25 seconds and repeat 7 more times
wd 200 - cool down (swim slowly) for 200 meters

run (30 minutes):
wu 10' - warm up for 10 minutes (run slow)
ms 8-30" @z4 (30") - main set: go for 30 seconds at zone 4*, slow down to zone 1 for 30 seconds and then repeat 7 times
remainder @z1 - the rest of the run time at zone 1

*Zones: most people base their zone on their heart rate.  Since I do not wear a heart monitor (nor do I want to), I do my zone based on perceived effort.  Here's how Coach Ryan defines the zones:
1 super easy
z2 conversation pace but still easy
z3 85% effort something you can hold a long time but breath hard
z4 90-95% hard could hold 30-45 min
z5 all you got 

I don't think I've done a z5 yet.  Yikes.  Makes me think of the song "Danger Zone."

I'm a week and a half into this training plan and it's been tough.  So far I've noticed myself being a bit more exhausted in general and wanting to eat and sleep more.  I work out about 2-3 hours a day! Yikes!  Hopefully it will all pay off when I cross the finish line.

Here are my future races/events:

Saturday, August 11, 2012
The 16th Annual "Spin Your Wheels" benefiting the Children's Center

Course distances include 12, 24, 46, 71 and 100-mile options
I signed up for 71 miles! I'm a bit nervous...the most I've ever ridden is 60!  The furthest I've ridden this year is 50!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I signed up for this bad boy last January as a motivation.  I am going back to my hometown, Chicago! I am so excited to show my family and friends from back home what triathlons are all about!  My parents support me no matter what...but I think they don't quite understand why I do all of this.  I feel like once they experience the energy of the sport they will understand why I spend a crapton of hours and $$$ on this obsessive hobby. 

This will also be my first Olympic distance Triathlon.  It is the level under a half Ironman distance.  1.5 km (.93 mi) open water swim in Lake Michigan, 40km (25 mi) bike and 10km (6.21 mi) run.

Apparently this is one of the world's largest triathlons with 11,000 participants.  I wonder how many waves they will have? This swim may look more like the scene after the Titanic sank.  Oh well, I'm excited!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Redman Half Ironman Triathlon. 

 1.2-mile (1.9 km) swim, a 56-mile (90 km) bike ride, and a 13.1-mile (21.1 km) run
Here we go again!

New Swag

So since I'm trying to be hardcore this year, I had to get some new sweet gear!

Love my Newtons but I decided to go to OK Runner and get a shoe with more stability since my left knee still hurts on long runs. Running ended up being the worst part of the half Ironman last year because of my knee pain.  It really frustrates me.  Any advice is appreciated to get rid of it!

Spy Optic Alpha sunglasses.  Bought them half off through "Schwaggle." It's the groupon of active gear!

And I saved the best for last...
Astronaut John and the whole PRO BIKE Crew gets super duper awesome bonus points for loaning me a BRAND SPANKING NEW TRI BIKE for the season!  Tri bikes are usually $3-4,000 so I am excited that I can borrow it for free.  I don't have several grand to spare right now!

And here it is!  A Fuji Tri Bike!  

It's lighter than Michael Jackson (my Cannondale roadbike)!  I feel blessed!

I could write a whole entry on my first tri bike experience...but here it is in a nutshell:

*You ride in aero (those middle bars) so your shoulders are hunched over.
*Your gears are on the aerobars instead of to the side and go up and down instead of side to side to switch.  
*It felt different at first, but I adjusted quickly and I think I go much faster now!
Here's a picture of "aero position"
This pic shows the difference in frames between a Tri bike and a Road bike.

Tri bikes are designed to be more aerodynamic with the aerobars and aero position.  All I know is it makes my shoulders hurt a bit more and makes me faster!

I love swimming.
   Thanks for reading, friends! Have you ever been to a chiropractor? I went for the first time recently...and I'll have more on that experience coming up!  Have a great weekend and GO USA!


  1. I just joined Herbalife, contract me if you need anything, I am planning on losing some weight and toning

  2. My emotional progress reading this Blogpost:
    Happy (Pregnant News)
    Sad (Psych!)
    Depressed (Titanic visual)
    Cheerful (Remembering Leonardo DiCaprio died in movie)
    Brain Pain (Bike Diagram and Trig Flashback)
    Nauseous (Shirtless Swimmer Lochte)

  3. That was awkward... :P

    Chiropractor's can be great, but can also do more harm than good if you choose the wrong one! Choose the right chiropractor, and they can literally change your life for the better, been there done that. If you're looking for recommendations, I can't recommend Dr. Young highly enough. You can find his info here

  4. Hello from a fellow who follows you mostly for the WX stuff. I am the son of a USAF meteorologist who did WX for atomic bombs in the 1940's and was a hurricane hunter in the 1950's.

    Congrats on your training - looks intense but you will feel so much better once you see all of those accomplishments pile up!

    As far as the Chiropractor, I would recommend a call to Dr. Angie (Shepherdson) from the Bob Mills commercials. If she still does any practicing, she's the one. As a former high level athlete, she knows lots of the things you would be going through. I was doing silly things (like running with a weighted vest) and she really helped me out with the associated back pain. I hadn't seen her is 5 or more years and went into the Bob Mills store, there she was - I went up to her and she even asked me if I had quit using the weighted vest. I cannot recommend her more.

  5. Pregnant! I was about to deny being the baby daddy! LOL. Congrats on the training. I too started training but for eight man rowing. Maybe I need to try training for triathlons too? Have fun and be safe.

  6. Hi Emily! I have had knee pain in the past and a surgeon recommended the Neoprene knee sleeve. It will help to stabilize your knee and might help. If you have already tried that then you might look into Airrosti Rehab Centers. They have chiropractors there and I know numerous runners who swear by them. I love reading your blog about cycling. I bought a road bike a few months ago and it is collecting dust. I am going to dust it off and put it to use!