Sylvan Beach Duathlon

I’m resurrecting my blog mainly to have somewhere to store race reports when I bother writing them.  I make no commitment to posting with any regularity. 🙂


Sylvan Beach Duathlon

I came into this race already feeling somewhat let down.  I really wanted to be doing the tri but I knew that my swimming was nowhere near where it needed to be to survive the OWS in the bay.  Kat and I had already scoped out the swim course a few weeks earlier and I knew the water would be too rough for me to stay calm and make it through the course.  So I had “settled” for doing the du.  Previous years’ results show the field to be fairly small for the du so there was an equally good chance that I would come in either dead last or place in my AG.

My goals for this race:

First run (2 miles) – Keep my pace under control and my HR on the lower end to avoid starting the bike worn out.

Bike (15 miles) – Average 17 mph and just enjoy it.  Keep an eye on my cadence.

Second run (3 miles) – Sub 10:00 pace.

Race morning found me bolting out of bed convinced I had overslept.  Hello, 4 a.m.  There was no chance I was going back to sleep so I had some coffee, played some Candy Crush and ate a bagel with almond butter.  I got dressed and as I was loading the car the rest of the house was up and about since they were coming out to watch (along with Duke, our 6 month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever).  After a small moment of panic over not being able to find my sun glasses I was headed to the race.  I love that it was a 15 minute drive.

Parking, body marking and setting up transition were uneventful.  Troy and the kids arrived and we walked down to the beach.  I took one look at the water and knew that the du was the best decision.  Here’s where I should have done a warm up but I didn’t.  I took a gu and lined up with the (very small) crowd of other duathletes at the start line.  I tried to get an idea of how many ladies seemed to be in my age group but I just couldn’t tell.  I chatted with a lady beside me about her Garmin 910XT for a few seconds and then it was time for the National Anthem.  The gun sounded and we were off!

I started at a 9:00 pace and decided that felt a little too fast.  I reined it in a bit and settled at 9:15ish.  Then I started wishing I had warmed up.  Warm up runs suck and since this first two miles WAS my warm up, well it sucked.  But it was over quickly enough and into transition.  Not much to say about that.  Change the shoes, reset the Garmin, and throw on the helmet and sunglasses.

I ran part of the bike course last year at the La Porte by the Bay Half Marathon so I knew there were a couple of dips and then a couple of overpasses to contend with.  This wasn’t TriGirl, where I was passing people left and right.  These are “real” cyclists, many on tri bikes.  I passed a few people and got passed by more than a few.  But I wasn’t passed by anyone who wasn’t on a tri bike or, more importantly, by anyone in my age group.  I tried to keep my cadence around 80 and just ride without thinking too much about it.  The last 4 miles there was a headwind and the steeper of the two overpasses but I still felt pretty strong.  Maybe too strong and I should have pushed a little harder.  Then we were back in the park and off the bike.  T2 wasn’t quite as uneventful.  I almost forgot to remove my helmet and ended up throwing back toward where my bike was racked.  Luckily it landed just where it needed too and I didn’t even have to slow down.

The second run was HOT, but not any hotter than I expected.  My legs felt okay and my pace was 9:50 for the first mile.  Doing good and under my goal pace.  During the second mile it was so hard not to walk.  I was slowing down a little and at each aid station I dumped cold water on myself.  Thank heavens there was a little shade on the course as well.  The shade ended at the end of the second mile though and after a while I started run/walk intervals.  I was pushing the pace on the run portion and allowing myself 10 second walk breaks.  With a quarter mile left I put everything I had into it.  I finished feeling great, which means I could have given a little more.

After the race I grabbed my icy, wet towel (best idea ever) some water and a banana.  I met up with the family and we waited around for transition to open.  At this point I wanted to see my results and the kids (and puppy) were hot and wanted to go home.  I couldn’t blame them for that!  They headed out and I hung around waiting for results.  When they finally appeared I was SECOND in my AG….  Out of two.  Whomp, whomp.  A little while later more ladies in my AG finished and I ended up being 2nd out of four.  I collect my plaque and headed home.

Final results compared to my goals.

Run 1 – Avg pace 9:16. Must warm up next time!  But I didn’t go out too fast, which was my goal so I’m calling it a win.

T1 – 1:27.  Doh!  Not sure what took me so freaking long.  Luck of the draw had my bike facing away from the transition exit, so it had to be turned around, and switching sport modes on my Garmin takes a few seconds.  Maybe I need one of those nifty 910XT’s.

Bike – Avg speed 17.6, avg cadence 79.  Both in line with my goals.  Bike speed is something I am working on but I don’t feel bad about these results as someone who has only been cycling a couple of months.

T2 – 1:03.  The helmet mishap didn’t slow me down much.

Run 2 – Avg pace 10:05. Not far off my goal.  I’m still happy with this considering my hatred for running in the heat.

Overall, I feel that I did well.  Although I’m frustrated that I missed out on 1st in my AG by 17.7 seconds.  She was faster in the first run and on the bike, but not by much.  I was two minutes faster on the second run and would have passed her if my T1 time hadn’t been so awful.  So that gives me something to work on!

Also, I was shocked and saddened to hear a few officers who were directing traffic on the bike course cursing up a storm and complaining LOUDLY about the road closures and being out there.  I try to always thank and acknowledge the volunteers and support staff and this was disheartening to witness.


My boss actually called me out the other day on my cheese eating habits.  I guess it’s hard to miss the fact that I had 2 types of cheese with my lunch and another as a snack.  This did not include the cheese on my breakfast sandwich and anything that might have been in dinner that night.




Who eats 4+ servings of cheese a DAY?  Me, that’s who.  It seems to be getting out of hand but I’m not sure I really want to rectify the situation.  I can easily justify that the calories and fat are well within my daily allowances.  And who doesn’t need the calcium and protein?  Since I’m not a big milk drinker most of my dairy intake is in the form of cheese and yogurt.


So what do you think?  Cut back the cheese eating?  I’m a huge fan of all things in moderation but I think that I’ve definitely passed that point. *sigh* I suppose I’ve answered my own question.


On the exercise front I’ve been really sticking to my workouts and enjoying them.  I’m managing six days a week and don’t feel tired or burned out.  I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  This running only 3 days a week, plus cross training and weights is really working out for me.  My mileage is almost back to where it was when I was running 4-5 days a week.


This mornings run:


Nothing exciting.  At least I managed sub-12:00 minute miles.  It was 81* with a dew point of 74*.  Ugh.


And when I say that I get up EARLY to run in the mornings this is what I mean.  Hit the streets at 4:08 this morning. 


6 miles is just about the longest I can manage time-wise on a morning run during the week.  My marathon training plan calls for mid-week runs that top out at 10 miles.  I’m still working on the logistics of that.


Hair appointment tonight!  Time for these roots to GO.  I wish I was brave enough to try something different but I know I’ll just end up telling her “The Usual”.


So, what’s the one food that you can eat multiple times a day?

Today I am Thankful For……

– Treadmills to run on when it’s 95* outside.

– A husband who can cook a mean pot of collard greens and make smashed red potatoes.

Click mocha espresso protein drink, over ice.

– A prefectly ripe pear in the fruit basket at work.

– Going to bed at 8:30, while it’s still daylight outside, and sleeping dead to the world for 8 full hours.

This is random, but I’m feeling a little bummed hormonal today.  To counteract the funk I decided to focus on what I’m thankful for.  My health, my family and all the big stuff is a given.  I could never take that for granted.  But sometimes being appreciative of all the little things can really change my outlook.

On a running related note, on Saturday I ran my longest run since my half marathon last October.  Eleven miles!  And it was faster than my 10 miler the week before.  This 3-day a week running plan is really paying off.

I ran from my house to a local park (2.5 miles).  Then I ran a few laps on the wooded trails there (5.5 miles).  I finished up by taking a different route home (2 miles).  I was a mile short so I made a loop around the nighborhood.

My plan was to listen to my audiobook but I had some technical difficulties resulting in that ridiculous 16+ minute mile.  I dropped my phone on the trail and freaked out because it wouldn’t work for a few minutes.  I gave up and finished the run without it.  I really don’t mind running outside without music or an audiobook.  In hindsight I should have just stopped my Garmin.

So, what little things are you thankful for today?

(Healthy) Dinner in Under 20 Minutes – Yes, Please!

Quick, good-for-the-family dinners are something I’m always on the lookout for.  I truly enjoy cooking and time consuming, complicated recipes don’t deter me but they very seldom find their way onto our weeknight meal plan.  When Cooking Light has a 20 Minute Meal feature you can bet that I’m paying close attention.

This recipe for Linguine with Two-Cheese Sauce is incredible! Or so the family says.  I whipped it up for them last night after a ridiculously hot 3 mile run before I jumped in the shower and headed off to a girl’s night out dinner and a movie.

Linguine with Two-Cheese Sauce

Adapted from Cooking Light (link above)


  • 8 ounces uncooked Dreamfields linguine
  • 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated hard italian cheese, divided (I used parmesan)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese


  • 1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; keep warm.
  • 2. While pasta cooks, combine milk, 2 teaspoons basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl; stir milk mixture with a whisk.
  • 3. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add flour to pan, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk mixture; cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and add 1 1/2 ounces grated cheese and mascarpone cheese to milk mixture. Add cheese mixture to pasta; toss to combine. Sprinkle with remaining 4 teaspoons basil and remaining 1/2 ounce grated cheese.

At a hair over 300 calories per serving this dish has a truly indulgent taste.   You can almost be fooled into thinking you’re eating a much more calorie laden alfredo pasta dish.  I whipped up a batch of sauteed garlicky shrimp and steamed green beans to make it a more complete meal.

The last minute invitation to girls night out meant that my only option for my run yesterday was to hit the pavement in the neighborhood as soon as I got home.  It was 96* with a heat index of 100*.  I was thisclose to running in just my shorts and a sports bra but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.  I threw on a tank with a built in shelf-bra so that I was only wearing one layer, filled up two bottles of the four bottle fuel belt, strapped on my Garmin and headed out the door.

When I say the heat makes me slow, I mean SERIOUSLY slow.  I can run a sub-30:00 5K when it’s not sweltering outside.  I would say about 1/4 of the last mile was walking.  I had originally planned 4 miles but after 2  miles I knew that wasn’t going to happen.  So I settled for 3 and called it good.

I also ate not-so-healthy Italian food for dinner and stayed out until midnight knowing good and well I had to be up at 5:30 this morning.  No early workout here.  Hopefully I’ll get a lifting session in tonight and I have a 10 miler planned early tomorrow morning when the heat index isn’t in the triple digits.

Have a great weekend everyone!

YumYucky Bikini Body Challenge Before and After

Several months ago I decided to take part in the YumYucky Bikini Body Challenge.  Honestly, I slacked off quite a bit in the first 6 weeks due to a groin muscle strain.  Once that healed I got my mojo back.  I’ve been running 3 days a week, crosstraining 2 days and heavy lifting 2 days.  I also purchased a BodyBugg (on my arm in the after picture) to help me be more precise with my calorie burn and intake.  It was eye opening and I’ll write a more in depth post about it soon.

I’m a few days late posting these pics but somehow my email account ate the first after pic and I had to locate and resend  it.  Josie revealed her Bikini Body just other day.  You can read all about what worked for her.

Please don’t pay any attention to the “glisten” on my face or my disheveled hair.  This picture was taken post-workout whereas the before picture was pre-workout.  As a matter of fact, the picture is a pretty crappy one overall but it’s what I’ve got.

Before on the top, after on the bottom.

The areas I’ve seen the most change are definitely my core/abs, my arms and shoulders, and my thighs.  I lost a few pounds, but the inches lost have been amazing.  More than half my wardrobe is now too big.  I’m so glad that I did this and I can’t wait to keep up my new routine throughout the rest of the summer and beyond.

Six Month Goals Review

I cannot believe that half the year is over!  I think now is a good time to look back on my goals that I set at the beginning of the year.  A little reassessment may be in order as well.

Here are my goals from earlier this year.

Health (Fitness):

Run 900 miles in 2011.  I’ll be tracking those miles here weekly. This is going to be one that I change.  I have found that running more than 3 days a week (4 MAX) just leads to injury.  I’m making sure to run more quality miles versus just quantity.  And more crosstraining.  This is working well for me.

Run 2 long distance races in the fall.  These will probably be half marathons.  I’ll have to find some fun ones! I’m planning a half in December and one in Febreuary.  Not to mention a full next March.  Not exactly fall, and not exactly 2011, but it works for me.

Find and stick to a weight lifting routine.  I’ve been too lazy in this department for too long. Going great here!  I’ve equipped my garage with pretty much a full set of weights and cables so I can do this from home.  Lifting 2 or 3 times a week currently.

Participate in at least one planned fitness event each month.  This could be a race, a hike, a day of kayaking.  Who knows what I’ll find to get into.  Hopefully I’ll drag some friends and family along for most of them. This has benn harder than I planned.  Life is so crazy that trying to organize or commit to something every week just isn’t easy.


Our big goal for 2011 is Disney World in December! Booked!

Monthly family game nights. This happens sporadically.  We also do Movie Nights.

Monthly date nights without the kiddos. It may be a stay at home date with dinner and a movie, but we’re doing great here!

One long weekend away with just the husband. Done!  We spent a wonderful long weekend in the Texas Hill Country for our anniversary in April.

Learning to say “NO” so that my schedule doesn’t get so overcrowded and I actually get to enjoy the things I participate in. Mission Accomplished.  I’ve been staying strong and only committing to things I really believe in.

Home Cooking:

Weekly meal plans including one of each of the following- one meatless dinner, one crockpot/make ahead dinner, one recipe makeover. Meal planning has become second nature (working on next weeks as soon as I finish this post).  The other components are hit and miss.

Introduce at least one new food/ingredient to the family every month. Doing well with this.  June was whole wheat Isreali couscous and everyone loved it.

Branch out into cooking more “exotic” cuisine at home that we currently only eat out. I’ve definitely enjoyed this one the most.  We’ve done Indian and Vietnamese a few times.


So there you have it.  I think I might have been a little overly ambitious in January, but I think things are coming along pretty well!

In other news, Bikini Body Challenge pics were pushed back until tonight.

Happy long holiday weekend!

*Tap, tap* Is this thing on.

I’ve been a terrible, horrible, no good blogger.

Things got crazy, crazy for a while and blogging was one of the things that had to be sacrificed so that I could keep up with the important stuff… like caring for my kids and hubby, doing my actual job, and still fitting in my workouts.  Things seem to  have calmed down quite a bit so I’m going to try to get back into regular blogging.

Tomorrow is going to be a big day!  Since half the year has passed I’m going to do a review and probably a reassessment of my goals for the year.  I know that a few of them have definitely changed.

Also, today is the last day of the YumYucky Bikini Body Challenge!  Even though I haven’t been blogging I’ve been working hard and will be taking after pics tomorrow morning.  I have no illusions that I’ll win the cash prize but I know for sure that I’ll see positive changes!

I hope everyone is surviving the summer months.  It’s been ridiculously hot and humid here.  We’ve set record temps and we are smack dab in the middle of the worst drought our area has endured in recorded history.  Talk about rough running weather.  I’ve been battling it pretty well and I don’t feel that my long term running will suffer.  Here’s how I’m managing.

Hot Weather Running Tips

  • Run early in the morning or late in the evening.  If I’m running outside you can bet it’s never in the middle of the day!  Most of my outside runs are predawn.


  • Sloooooooow down!  I’ve accepted the fact that running fast just doesn’t happen when it’s this hot.  My pace is about 1.5 minutes slower than when it’s cool out.


  • Hit the ‘mill.  The treadmill is my frenemy.  I see it as a necessary evil if I want to do any speedwork at all.  80*-95*, 85% humidity =/= good for intervals.  I have taken to listening to audiobooks to pass the time on the treadmill.


  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.  I take water for ANY outside runs during the summer, 2 miles or 10 miles.  Anything over 5 miles and I’ll carry along some electrolyte replacement (Gatorade or such).  And I try to stay well hydrated even on days I don’t run.

How are you handling the summer weather?  Or is it cool as a cucumber where you happen to be?