Sunday, December 27, 2009

Winter Marathon Training Tips

Listen, I knew this would be tough when I signed up for the Rock n Roll Marathon a few months ago.  But I wanted to do another marathon and it seemed at the time like a great idea.  I mean really, how bad could it be?  Winter training in Colorado is definitely a roll of the dice type of thing.  The weather could be beautiful (dry and 50s) or it could be the complete opposite (cold and snowy).  But I was willing to take the gamble and go for it.....

And honestly, it hasn't been that bad.  And to be completely honest, my heart has only been 75% into the process.  I needed a couple of weeks off after Clearwater to recover both physically and mentally but I also wanted to go about building my mileage somewhat smartly.  My schedule back in November (just a mere week after Clearwater) had me running 19 miles.  Yick.  I ignored that one and decided that I knew what was best for me.  So I started on a somewhat shortened build that had me running my longest yesterday.

Which got me thinking....what is the best way to train for a marathon in the winter???  Or, what is the best way to get through the training?

Here's my list:
1.  Have great training partners.

2.  Be willing to change your schedule depending on the weather and availability of great training partners.
3.  Be flexible (see number 2).
4.  Have very warm clothes.  And don't be afraid to look like the Michilin man while running in 3 layers of pants and four tops, two hats and gloves.
5.  Yak Trax.
6.  Have great training partners.
7.  Not shaving your legs counts as an extra layer for warmth.
8.  Take frequent sips off your water bottle for 2 reasons: stay hydrated and not let your bottle freeze.
9.  Be comfortable letting anyone/everyone see you strip off your wet sweaty clothes in your car so that you can get into your warm dry clothes ASAP after a run.
10.  Make sure ipod is charged at all times with your favorite songs.
11.  Bring a thermos full of tea/hot chocolate/coffee for after your run to help warm up.  If thermos is not available know where nearest coffee house is located.
12.  Be willing to consume frozen sport beans, shot blocks, gel blasts, gel etc.  Have dentist number in phone just in case you crack a tooth chewing frozen sport beans.
13.  Snow can work well as toilet paper.  I'm just saying.....
14.  Yak Trax.
16.  Be one with the treadmill/dreadmill.
15.  Have great training partners.

16.  Do laundry more than once a week to avoid having to go through pile of stinky clothes looking for least offensive layers to wear on long run (sorry for that one great training partners).
17.  Enjoy the good runs.  Enjoy the not-so-good runs.
18.  Dream of running in the relative warmth of Arizona.
19.  Observation:  Port-a-pottys are so much "nicer" at 15 degrees versus 95 degrees.  I'm just saying....
20.  Have great training partners that wear Yak Trax!

That's my list, what did I miss??  Please comment because I still have 3 weeks left in Colorado before heading to Arizona!!

(Great training partners in pictures in this post include Sandi, Beth, Shania the dog, John not pictured, Keith not pictured but took the pictures, Dave, and Sonja!!!)

Friday, December 25, 2009

December in Pictures

I can't believe how fast this month has gone by.....wasn't it just Thanksgiving a couple of days ago??  Here's a quick recap of what we have been up to the last few weeks (when I had my camera) has been a whirlwind!

The Sugarplum Ball and the Ford Family all dressed up with someplace to go!

Iz and Char with the Sugarplum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince

Isabelle on stage at opening night of the Nutcracker, she cannot WAIT to be in the actual Nutcracker ballet next year!

Charlotte's preschool class with Santa!  Just so you know, that's her future husband Parker on the other side of Santa's lap.  (she told me they were going to get married one day. And then she said she didn't want to have babies because she didn't want to get fat.....hmmmmmm)

At the Carpinello party, Santa showed up.  The kiddos, including Isabelle, were sooooo excited!!  

And what did the girls ask for?  Well, just look at the smile on Santa's face!!  

Iz and Char on Christmas Eve.....Charlotte kept asking "is Santa coming tonight?  Is Santa coming tonight?"  

What can I say?  Charlotte had absolutely no interest in dolls or dresses.  Just guns and Star Wars toys please!

Isabelle is on the verge on not believing....but as of Christmas morning, she was still firmly in Santa's court!  (yes, that's Charlotte in the background hugging her Spiderman pillow)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mele Kalikimaka

Here is the cutest video EVAH!  Charlotte's preschool holiday concert.....a bunch of 4 year olds singing songs and having a blast.  She had been practicing for weeks and she was so excited!  For the last 6 weeks or so, she would run around the house singing Feliz Navidad at the top of her lungs.

So sit back, and check out these crazy kids singing Mele Kalikimaka!  Charlotte is in the middle of the group with a huge smile, green santa hat, red lei, blue sunglasses and a white dress (yes, I forced her into a dress for the concert)! Oh, and my apologies for the shaky video and my giggling.....

From me and my family to you and yours.....Happy Holidays and Mele Kalikimaka!

Monday, December 21, 2009

One of those runs

Last week, I had one of those runs.  It was one of those runs that just comes together.  So much so that I want to share it with everyone!  Thursday last week was packed.  Hubby was out of town so I needed to get the girls dropped off at school.  And from there on, each minute of the day was scheduled.  This is how it looked:

8:00am - Drop girls off
8:45 - 10:00 - Run Time
10:50 - Leave House
11:15 - Post Office
11:30 - 12:30 - Lunch date
1:00 New glasses
Must leave downtown by 2:10 in order to pick up Iz by 2:45
3:00 - 4:00 Groceries, gifts, errands, etc.
4:00 Pick up other girl.
Then homework, dinner, control the chaos, wrap presents etc.

I'm tired just looking at that schedule.  But the best part of the day occurred at 8:45.  The run.  Since I had run 13+ miles a couple days earlier, my plan was to run 8 pretty easy.  I talked it over with my run expert Son and she thought I should put in some mild pick-ups, a fartlek, after 4 miles.  Now, as a swimmer, a "fartlek" is an interesting concept for me (plus I just giggle when I say it...hehehe a fartlek).  People throw around that term all the time and I think there are several different meanings.  Run expert: what is a fartlek?  And this is the explanation I got.  Since I'm marathon training, my pick-ups would be a mildly faster pace than what I was doing.  As if I'm running along and next to me is big hairy sweaty man.  You know, dripping sweat on me.  Ewwwww.  I just need to be able to pick up the pace enough to drop him but not exert myself too much.

My first 4 miles were a breeze.  Heart rate was low, pace was fine, and I was wearing my beautiful new Brooks Launch shoes.  These things are a dream!  All sorts of people were out and about and I waved and said hello to all of them.  I was waving to the drivers in the cars and just smiling.  My iPod was behaving and playing great songs and I was singing along.  The weather was perfect too!  It just doesn't get much better than this!  The mountains looked beautiful and I could see the entire front range.  No yucky brown cloud on that day.  I looked up at Mt. Evans and knew I would be up there in a couple of days.

Then it was time to start the pick-ups.  And I imagined the guy next to me.  He kinda looked like this only sweatier.

Instantly I was under my goal marathon pace.  Without much effort at all.  30 seconds went by and I barely slowed down.  I did this for a couple of miles no problema, feeling great.    
But then I thought about this guy.
And my next mile was 7:44.  So here's to hoping I'm running next to big hairy sweaty guy during the marathon and controlling my pace.  And then this guy shows up the last couple of miles.  I'm sure to finish like a champ!!
All told, I'd run 8 miles in a beautiful negative split kinda way.  Heart rate was low throughout and I felt like I could keep running.  But, the schedule wouldn't allow it!  I headed home and got ready for the rest of the day.  That run still puts a smile on my face!

P.S.  I am a member of the Brooks ID program (quasi-sponsored) and thus need to mention this so the FTC doesn't get all caught up in their undies.  But really, those Launch shoes ROCK!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Favorite Things

It's Christmas-time, one of my favorite times of the year.  Time for inspirational stories, time for tears, time for hope.  And yes, time to look at your fears.  Oh, I'm actually not talking about Christmas or the holiday season.  That's right folks, the holiday season signals for me the annual Ironman viewing.  I look forward to it every December.  Why?  I do love the stories, the sacrifices the athletes make.  The question of who bonks this year?  Who races smart and fuels well?  Who perserveres and who doesn't?  Who goes to the med tent and who eats a burger? And, who becomes an Ironman at 16:59:59???  Just check this out....

Ironman Promo Video

And as I look at my own attempt at an Ironman in November 2010, I wonder, how will I do?  Will I overcome the physical and the mental challenges?  I have wanted to do an Ironman probably from about the first time I started training for triathlon.  But due to work and family circumstances it was not a reality for me to train for.  Since that has changed for me, I will start my Ironman journey next year!

As I sit on my couch on Sunday (or actually on my trainer) and watch the show (don't worry it'll also be on the DVR so that I can watch it again and again and again), I'll be thinking about Arizona.  I will also be dreaming of Kona.  I'm gonna put this out there......I want to go to Kona.  And compete.  I want to experience a swim in the waters off of Dig Me Beach.  I want to ride in the hellacious/infamous Kona crosswinds on the Queen K.  And, I want to run to the Energy Lab and back.  It won't be this year (unless I am providing expert sherpa support), it may or may not be next year.  But I will get there.

Aloha and Happy Viewing!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

K2 Pink Chase Report

Yesterday, Sonja, Amy and I headed up to Keystone to participate in the 2nd annual Pink Chase sponsored by K2. The goal of  the Pink Chase was for teams of 3 women (our team?  Bunnies For Boobies) to raise money (and awareness) for breast cancer research.  Then we had the opportunity to compete for most vertical skied, best costumes, and of course, most money raised.

I have to tell you, we kicked it into high gear this week before the race.  Our initial donations had been stagnant for about a month, so we blogged, tweeted, and begged for more money.  And it worked!  We even had donations coming in on Friday night from our Twitter was great to experience the power of social media networking in action.  Bunnies for Boobies ended up raising almost $1500 in the fight against breast cancer, a proud moment for the team.  And, the 18 teams that participated in the Pink Chase raised a total of $30,000.  $30k??!!!  WOW!  The names of the teams were awesome:  Team Underwire, The A Team (a-cup), Breast Friends etc.

And then on Wednesday, Sonja decided to make costumes.  She had a few spare hours and got motivated. And look what she did!  These costumes were amazing!  As someone who looks at a sewing machine and shivers in horror and fear, to watch her in action was unbelievable.  I provided moral support and Starbucks.  She did the rest.  What else can I say?  She rocked the costumes!

So, day of the Chase we arrived early at Keystone.  Checked in and received the most adorable pink hats from K2 EVAH!  Of course, we wanted to win the overall contest (vertical, money raised, and costumes) but I knew with a team that had raised $5k it was going to be tough.  Especially when I saw them ski.  These ladies were from Vail, so yes, they could ski.  And they had really cute matching pink ski jackets.  They really did have a lock on the overall.  But us Bunnies weren't giving up.  Amy had packed food and we were carrying water (although dehydration was the best bet so we didn't have to make any unnecessary stops).  We were trying for vertical!  We had a minor technical glitch at the start of the day and then 2 bunnies had a directional glitch (ahem, lost) that cost a bit of time.  And this bunny had to pee.  But only once.  We skied our tails off!

Honestly, the best part of the day (for me) was the attention we brought to the cause.  Trust me, we got lots of attention.  How often do you see three women sporting full-on bunny costumes and shredding down the mountain.  Every lift, every run we had people cheering for us.  The teenage boys had so much fun saying "Boobies"!  And everyone who asked, we told them what we were doing.  Raising money for breast cancer.  Because, at the end of the day, that was what this was all about!  My cheeks hurt from all the smiling I did.

A big shout-out to Amy and Powder7 skis.  They supplied us with some pretty bad-ass skis - the K2 Burnin' Luvs, they were quite simply the fastest ski to get down the mountain.  And, to Smith Optics, another great sponsor of the Pink Chase.  They hooked us up with a great deal on helmets and goggles (pink naturally).  Of course, without all of our donations we couldn't even have competed for the overall prize, so THANKS to all of you who donated!

So, how'd we do?  We won best costume!!!  And missed most vertical by just 200 vert. feet (darn hot chocolate bonus stop).  I have no idea how many runs we skied because I simply cannot count that high. And, as we suspected, the top fundraising team sporting the matching ski outfits brought home the Overachievers award.

If you want to check out a great video of the day, check it out here.  PIC put it together last night and it's a fabulous summary of the day.  Boo yah Tyler was the video man on the last run of the day!!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Welcome to my "new" blog!  OK, it's not all that new just redesigned!  Many thanks to PIC for helping me out with this project.....and it's not quite done yet.  You'll notice I have - wait for it - SPONSORS (!!!) for 2010 that I am completely excited about and I'll tell you more about soon.  I'm also waiting to hear from a few more potential sponsors......

Drop me a bit of comment love if you like what you see (and if you don't) and so I know that you are out there:)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bunnies For Boobies!

This is a repeat post from a couple of months ago!! Bunnies for Boobies needs your donations! Please consider donating to this worthy cause (breast cancer) and supporting our team! The Pink Chase Fundraiser is next weekend (December 12). Help us kick some breast cancer ass!

So who do you know? I'm sure there is someone. Someone you know that has breast cancer. Or someone who has survived. And maybe even someone who has died. 1 in 8. That is the statistic. In your lifetime, you or someone in your circle of friends and colleagues will be diagnosed with breast cancer. That is a frightening statistic. I know many mom, a grandma, a friend's mom, did I mention my mom, and a friend diagnosed at age 39. I also know Amy who was recently diagnosed at age 31 while 35 weeks pregnant. I know women that have died. And I'm only many more women that I know will have this diagnosis in the next 10 years? 20 years? How many do you know?

Clearly, more research and money need to be thrown at this cause. So I have teamed up with fellow triathletes and general badass chicas Amy Dannwolf and PIC Sonja Wieck to form Team Bunnies For Boobies and participate in K2's Pink Chase Fundraiser. The Pink Chase raises money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a foundation committed to finding a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime by providing critical funding for innovative clinical and translational research at leading medical centers worldwide and increasing public awareness about good breast health.

What is the Pink Chase all about? This is the fun part......teams of three women compete for the most vertical skied, most creative costumes, and most money raised. Amy, Sonja, and I are all over this challenge!! Not only are we triathletes and general outdoor enthusiasts, but we also love to ski and rip it up on the slopes! And since we are all not really competitive (hahahaha), we are completely excited to go and rip up Keystone Mountain on December 12 and compete for the grand prize.

How do you fit in the picture? Well, we need your support!! Powder7 and Smith Optics have already committed to supporting our team (remember, that's Bunnies For Boobies) and now we need your help!! Please consider making a donation here, and remember that lots of companies will MATCH your donation!! Amy, Sonja, and I want to make a difference and are committed to this cause. Please help us out!!

By the way, I just mentioned Powder7 and if you are looking for skis this is the place to go! Check them out!

Smith Optics is a sponsor of the Pink Chase and is helping out Bunnies For Boobies out as well, check out these googles we will be wearing (in hot pink of course)!

So please, consider making a donation! And remember, grope your wife/girlfriend and save the boobies!