January 29, 2012

26th Birthday Smashfest!

Well I'm one year older...26 to be exact. Which means my birthday tradition of submitting myself to some sort of endurance torture lives on. Last year I earned a shiny new 15K PR at the Newnan's Lake 15K in Gainesville. This year, I asked Coach Hillary to help me cap off yet another 20+ hour training week with a "26-themed birthday smashfest." Of course she was delighted to do so, being someone who takes pleasure in completing epic training days (errr...weeks...months!) herself. So here is what my 26th birthday endurance extravaganza consisted of....

RUN: Twenty-six 400 meter repeats on the track (11 miles total)

Of course, I had to wear my new Lululemon speed shorts that were given to me as a birthday gift. I was also sporting my new Garmin 910XT that Jason gave to me as an early present. LOVE.

A two mile warm up to the track down multicultural 1st street and I was ready to roll. I did these on the track at the Austin School for the Deaf which is pretty cool since you have the Austin skyline set as the background for the workout. These were done as 6 sets of 4 repeats with 2 bonus ones to finish off. I had finished up 18 of the 26 repeats when all of a sudden a security guard drives up on his golf-cart yelling "Get out of here! This track ain't open on Sundays lady! Get out or I'll call the police!" 

Umm, can you say adrenaline! I was out of there like a bat out of hell! Knowing there was a middle school track about two miles away, I ran straight to it to finish up the workout. Those last eight repeats were the fastest of the bunch! Before I knew it, 11 miles of running was in the books. Fun stuff!

SWIM: Twenty-six 200 meter intervals in the pool (5200 meters total)

Of course, it is still January which, per my previous post, means it's still SWIM CAMP. So I was delighted to keep the ball rolling with this fun workout done at the outdoor pool. Fun in the sun! It passed rather quickly, as do most of my swim workouts these days. For the sake of your interest, I won't spell out the workout here. But just know that I'm already trying to think of how I'm going to hit my interval times on my swim workout tomorrow!

BIKE: Twenty-six miles with 2600 feet of total ascent

Ok, it was really 2350 feet of climbing but close enough, right? My legs were trashed by this point and the sun was starting to set. But somehow I made it up the hill to our house just in time for a sushi date with Jason! Five hours and fifteen minutes of what I would call quality training accomplished...and one (err, twenty six) step(s) closer to my ultimate goal.

DINNER: Twenty-six pieces of sushi!

Well, maybe it wasn't exactly twenty-six but I'm trying to keep a theme going here, so work with me people. Here I am displaying plate number one at Sushi Zushi. Funny enough, we had made reservations at a Mizu but I received a call before I left for the pool that the kitchen had caught on fire so our reservation was cancelled...um, no, ya think?!

DESSERT: Twenty-six spoonfuls of frozen yogurt delightfulness!

THANK YOU Coach for a wonderful day! And THANK YOU Jason for allowing me to spend the day training and not grocery shopping, cleaning or doing laundry.

Now, if I could only have 26 hours of straight uninterrupted sleep!

January 22, 2012

Swim Camp!

24,100. That's how many meters coach Hillary had me swim this week to cap off a 20 hour training week. Yes, it's January, which for me means SWIMCAMP! Coach knows that my weakest discipline of the swim/bike/run is the swim and is definitely the discipline that, with improvement, will put me in the running for that coveted Ironman World Championship slot. I know what times the top females in my age group are swimming and I know what I need to do to get there....swim. Alot.

So aside from tempo runs, hill repeats, tempo rides and trainer sessions, I'm swimming EVERY day of the week. And...I love it! After 3 weeks of swim camp I feel much stronger in the water, my times are dropping, and I'd like to think that I have lats as toned as Dara Torres....rrrright.

Swimcamp has been just what I needed and, honestly, I feel like this fitness is carrying over to the bike and run. Coach really knows what she's doing here. She was an Olympic trials competitor after all and has led the female field in most all of her 50+ Ironman swims!

So how does coach manage to keep me entertained over the course of 24 kilometers of swimming in a week. Well, there are the standard 100 meter interval swims done here at my place of work, Life Time Fitness....

There's the 4K swim done at lovely Barton Springs...

There's the "lung-busting-arms-burning-hurts-so-good" sprint workout. I recruited the help of my coworker, Taylor, who swam in college to help me through one of these workouts....(don't bash the TYR Orion goggles until you've tried 'em!)

And then there are all sorts of torture devices that are used to make me stronger in the water including this....thanks for the lovely gift coach! I strap this contraption (want to guess what it is?) around my legs and go at it until my core muscles cry for mercy.

This is the secret protein drink that gives me the super powers to be able keep up with training, a full-time job, and wedding planning (more on that in a later post!).

And of course, I just HAVE to wear cute swim suits when I swim to make the experience all that more enjoyable. This is one of my faves since bright colors make me a faster swimmer...(thank you swim suit model for letting me post your half-naked picture on my blog).

And now to google "how to rid oneself of perma-chlorine smell...."

Stay tuned for an update on what's going on at work...fun stuff happening at Life Time Fitness!

January 7, 2012

Looking back at 2011: A Year for Change!

Jason and I have had quite the year and thought that it would be fun to chronicle our adventures month by month. Some of the most memorable events included bringing home a new puppy, who you know as the crazy and happy-go-lucky Weimeraner George, moving to Austin and buying our first home, getting engaged, starting our new jobs, swim/bike/running through a great triathlon season ending with Ironman Cozumel, and spending some memorable time with family and friends. And so I now present to you our year in pictures...

January- Gainesville, FL

Jason and I traveled to Orlando for the Disney Marathon and Half Marathon. Jason earned a new marathon PR! It was probably Aladdin at mile 12 that kept him motivated to finish strong.

New puppy! George settled in with his new mom and dad. Jason was the one who potty trained him so I have to give him credit for that. His 'pee/poo tracker' Excel spreadsheet was the key to his success.

Newnan's Lake 15K PR for me on my birthday! George was in attendance and got his first look into the crazy world that is endurance sports. Welcome to the family George!

February- Gainesville, FL

Jason and I get the wild idea to move to Austin. So we did! We bought our first home near the hub of downtown Austin. Lady Bird Lake, Barton Springs, and the Texas Hill country provide the perfect places to run, swim and bike.

I ran the Five Points of Life Half Marathon in Gainesville on an unusually warm February morning and almost lots my breakky on those darn hills!

We drove 18 hours from Gainesville to Austin while George was drugged up on Benedryl and peanut butter and arrived in ATX just as the heat wave arrived.

March-Austin, TX

We settle in to our new home and Jason starts his new job at Bicycle Sport Shop. Jason also discovers Taco Cabana.

George continues to be the cutest dog ever!

April-Austin, TX

WE GET ENGAGED! On a bike ride! Jason made me finish the windy, hilly ride before I could enjoy wearing my lovely ring. He's ruthless!

May-Austin, TX

I started my new job as the nutrition coach at Life Time Fitness. I'm enthused that my work attire includes LuluLemon pants and a tech shirt. Hello comfort!

I raced the Cap Tex olympic triathlon and almost blow away while doing it. Note to self: Texas is windy.

June-Austin, TX and Queretaro, Mexico

I had some fun at the Danksin Triathlon despite a bout of food poisoning the night before. Never trust pre-made sushi!

We traveled to Queretaro, Mexico for Juan Carlos (my cousin) and Maria's wedding. We also attempt a long run in one of the busiest cities in Mexico. Now THAT was interesting!

June- Austin, TX

Training for Ironman Cozumel commences with a fun local triathlon, Couples Triathlon. Jason and I raced as Team Peanutbutterology! Texas earns a record of 90+ days with temperatures above 100F. Holy sweat!

Phil and Rose come to visit....and they come bearing gifts....a new Vitamix!

July-Austin, TX

It's still hot in Texas. Like, really hot.

My mom and sister come to visit and the wedding planning begins! And by wedding planning, I mean make a list and tell myself I'll really start planning after our triathlon season ends.

August- Austin, TX

It's still freakin' hot in Texas and Jason and I swim/bike/run the days away. We eat everything in sight, use alot of deodorant and do alot of laundry.

September- Austin, TX and Milwaukee, WI

Jason and I race the Austin olympic triathlon and receive some awesome support from my dad, stepmom, Rosario, and stepbrother, Alex.

Jason and I get our first Austin City Limits Music Festival experience!

October-Austin, TX

We race Longhorn 70.3 and Jason qualifies for the 70.3 World Championships! Vegas baby! I, on the other hand, suffer yet another bout of food illness (from a well-established eatery in town) and make it through the race without throwing up or pooping my pants.

I crash my bike! Go me!

November-Austin, TX and Cozumel, Mexico

Jason and I complete the last big weeks of training before Ironman Cozumel.

Ironman Cozumel!

December- Austin, TX and McAllen, TX

Off-season brings causual rides, easy swims and winter runs.

Christmas means time for family, food, and well....food.

So there you have it. Our year in one blog post. This year promises to be a blast and we've jam-packed 2012 with some pretty amazing races, trips, adventures and lots of training! So, if you don't hear from us as often, have no fear! We are simply living this life to the fullest....together. In love.

Happy New Year!