Wednesday, June 30, 2010

My Running Bible

Fighting the fight of the non-gifted athlete, coupled with the fact that as a triathlete I am jack of all trades but master of none, I have found the perfect remedy for me and others who might be in my same predicament.  It's a book called Run Less Run Faster by the editors of Runner's World Magazine (a fave).

This book outlines a "three plus two" plan that eliminates non-essential running miles and provides three quality runs each week including a tempo, track and long run.  You are also required to do two cross training days, so I swam and biked while I was in marathon mode.

I have been following this plan for two years after my miserable marathon in Minnesota, and most recently in Utah a couple of weeks ago.  

My two cents:  this plan works.  I took 17 minutes off my best marathon time, which I had done 4 years previous.  And the best part, if you have questions or concerns about any part of this plan, you can email the authors directly and they will give you one-on-one advice and help.  Bill Pierce and Scott Muir, especially, gave me advice on where to start in the book and what to do post marathon to ramp up for my next Ironman.  Props to these guys for helping me run less yet achieve more, stay injury free, and be excited about running!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Music Is Subjective

This was the music that got me through the Utah Valley Marathon.  Except for "Endless Love," it was so peppy, inspirational and fun.  I highly recommend it for your running playlist.

Monday, June 28, 2010

One Step Beyond

"Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it is impossible."
--Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Why Doing Triathlons is Cool

1.  You get to go out to the lake and get in the water and swim around, even if you don't have a boat.
2.  You get to ride on a bike out in the deserts of Arizona before the sun gets too hot to bake you.
3.  You get to run with friends and catch up on their lives and how their summer is going.
4.  You get to stop off at convenience stores for things like Paydays and not feel guilty about it.
5.  You get to eat big breakfasts and call it Recovery.
6.  You get to wear stretchy pants.

Allez!  Allez!  Allez!  Lance, we have a date next weekend.  See ya then!

Friday, June 25, 2010

How Do You Get Better at Something?

An interesting read:  Talent Is Overrated by Geoff Colvin

In 1992 a small group of researchers in England went looking for talent.  They couldn't find it.  They were looking for musical talent because they know it exists.  So they looked at 257 young musicians whom had been introduced to the study of music but who otherwise varied widely.  

What did they find?  Well, it seems that no matter what precocious musical ability the musicians had in their youth, there was one simple fact that predicted how accomplished the students were.  And that was how much they practiced. 
 I've seen talented runners, cyclists and swimmers pass me by regularly in races.  Some are just beginners, who seem to possess a limitless supply of natural ability.  But when you look closer at these athletes and their background, it's hard not to overlook the hours and hours of time they have dedicated to improving themselves in their "naturally athletic" sport.

My friends who can run do just that.  They run.  The swimmers swim and the cyclists dedicate their workouts to cycling.  They race, they enter events, and they improve on their own abilities.

What are you going to do with yourself?  It's time to choose.  And then, it's time to practice.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gorillas/Friends in the Bluff

The Moseley tandem team was atop the podium last weekend in Showlow, Arizona for the Bike In The Bluff Race.  And to cap things off, Julie Huish (no, not my sister, another Julie Huish) far right, took 4th place in the 51 mile event.  Kimberly Thomas next to her in Brumby gear finished 6th place and Misty in the middle took 9th.  Nice work all of you!

Flexible Feet

Loose ankles are a huge part of swimming.  If you've got relaxed ankles your legs will kick easily through the water like a fish, generating  forward momentum.  But if you've got tight, stiff ankles, like a LOT of runners do, your feet can actually "cup" the water and move you backwards, even when you are trying so so hard to move the opposite direction!

To promote efficiency in your kick, take the time to loosen your ankles before a workout.  

1.  While you are watching television or lounging around the house, try sitting on your ankles.  Kneel down and lay the tops of your feet on the ground, then sit back and let your feet extend, point and stretch out.  Then sit up and move your ankles with your hands in all directions getting them loose and mobile.  Do this nightly and you will be on track for better ankle movement.

2.  Before a workout, sit at the side of the pool with your legs in the water and spell out the alphabet with your toes.  Try upper case, lower case, cursive.  Just use your feet like you would your hands with a pencil.  Spell out your name, your plans for the day, whatever you like.  All you need is that circular up-and-down movement to loosen those muscles and you'll be on your way to your next swim PR! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Easy Calculations For Recovery Nutrition

Here's a simple calculation you can do for RECOVERY after a hard workout.

Recovery nutrition should be done in two phases, the first one immediately after exercise, the second phase within two hours of a training session.  This is easy stuff.

Phase 1:  Within 30 minutes after training session:
Body weight____x(range of .68 to .455)=_______ grams of carbohydrates.
Plus about 10 grams of protein.

Example:  150 lb x .68 to .455 = 68-102 grams of carbohydrates
Supplement example:  2 scoops of Hammer Recoverite plus 16-32 oz electrolyte drink

This should be a in liquid form since the body digests it easier.

Phase 2:  Within 2 hours of training session
Body weight _____x .455= _____ grams of carbohydrates
Body weight _____ x .182=_____ grams of protein

Body weight 150 lb x .455 = 68 grams of carbohydates
Body weight 150 lb x .182 = 27 grams of protein

Food Example:  Turkey sandwich (3 oz. turkey) with 8 fl. oz. chocolate milk

This phase can be more food based.

Source:  Karla Wright, RD, CSSD, CSCS

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Trust in thine own untried capacity
As thou wouldst trust in God himself.
Thy soul is but an emanation from the whole.

Thou dost not dream what forces lie in thee
Vast and unfathomed as the grandest sea.

No man can place a limit on they strength;
Such triumphs as no mortal ever dreamed
May yet be thine if thou wilt but
Believe in thy Creator and Thyself.

At length, some feet shall stand
On heights yet unattained
Why not thine own?
Press on, Achieve, Achieve!

--Author Unknown

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Understanding Antioxidants, the not-so-scientific explanation

I hate reading about stuff that makes me totally baffled... "Acai berries have the higest antioxidant level of any food as measured by the oxygen radical absorbance capacity, the scale used to measure blah blah blah."  What does all that mean?

Here's a visual:  if you've ever lived in an extremely wet or snowy locale, you've seen what oxidization can do to a car.   It corrodes and rusts through metal.  It eats away at the edges and breaks down solid compounds til you are left with an ugly, damaged, weak substitute of an originally terrific Lexus or Mercedes.

Oxidation in the body is caused by creepy little free radicals, toxic oxygen molecules produced in the body,  but also by external sources like stress and pollution.

What our bodies need to combat these unhealthy free radicals are antioxidants.

And where do we get these?  Well, one great source that is now in season is berries!  Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cherries.  It's time to make yourself a smoothie.  Take advantage of these summer fruits to keep you healthy, feeling great and almost bionic.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Race Report: Utah Valley Marathon 2010

Ooh.  Ooh.  Ooh.  Ooh.

That's the sound I make as I grasp the bannister and try and maneuver my way down the stairs from my bedroom to the living room.  I am walking gingerly, big curbs are a problem, and when I tried to nap yesterday, I kept waking because my joints would ache and my muscles would spasm in pain.

The price you pay for a downhill marathon?  I guess. Was it worth it?  Yes.  And the biggie.  Did I qualify for Boston?

Provo Canyon was the backdrop for this year's Utah Valley Marathon.  Though the course begins in Wallsburg, six miles to the East of the main canyon, most of those first miles were run in the dark amidst dreamy bucolic farmlands.  Horses seemed to call for our attention as they playfully kicked up their heels and craned their necks for a better view.  Cows mooed in the pastures like spectators cheering us on.  Could the animals feel our excitement?  Did they know what we were getting ourselves into?

When we turned the tight corner at Deer Creek reservoir and runners began to fill the expanse of the canyon road, the darkness faded from black to heavenly blue.  The morning sun was still behind the clouds, but the muted sky seemed to electrify the green canyon walls of Aspens, fir trees and scrub oak.  We got a little rain during the first half of the run but we were feeling great and the slope of the highway seemed to pull us toward the finish line.

And the beat played on.

For me, the first 20 miles the marathon were a success.  My pace was good and I had even banked some time toward my BQ.  The ultimate test was the last 10k when I turned my body toward University Avenue and I looked toward the dead straight blacktop ahead of me.  Ten K.  Doable.  Now it counts. But at this point my pace began to drop and in the back of my mind I questioned the "feel" of my speed.  Would it get me there?

Amy, my running partner and pacer, now began to push me.  She would run a few steps in front of me and wave her arm back to lasso me in.  "Come On.  Let's go!" Automatically she would hand me water or rip the tops off the Hammer Gels.  An angel.  I tried to match her stride for stride, but her foot strike seemed weightless and her body language was light and flighty.  I was anything but that as I ticked off the last five miles.

I've heard it before and now I resoundingly can agree, that last "point two" is what gets ya.  We turned into the Provo Mall parking lot and like out of a special effects camera the trail to the finish line suddenly stretched like a rubber band into oblivion.  I had picked up my stride, put my mind into a sprinting mode and tried to push my engine into it's next gear.  But I rounded the corner and saw the digital clock glaring one minute past my goal time.

I crossed the line a little like Bambi on his new legs and grabbed the arms of my friends who helped me to the medical cots for a quick stretch and a rubdown.  No, this is not my first rodeo, those medical tents are the best thing going after an endurance event.  As I lay down and looked up into the faces of my smiling friends and family, I realized they were genuinely happy for me.  Boston, off by one minute.  But in the big picture,  I had smashed my previous marathon by 17 minutes.  A victory however bittersweet.

Two days later I question how I could've found that sixty seconds.  Change my training plan?  Walk the aid stations to utilize different muscles?  Held back more at at the start?  Heck, I don't know.  Today I am happy for my race results and thankful for a body that will allow me to run a marathon and participate in an Ironman.  I appreciate my friends, my husband, my kids and my family.  I cherish the memories of finish lines with fellow racers and athletes and their own personal victories.

And I resolve, more than ever, to run Boston in 2011.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Preview of a Miracle

Why is it that I experience complete memory loss when I try and count my laps in the pool?  Was that 7 or 9?  Was that an 800 or 850, well,  what?  And I don't think I am alone.  There's something about that endless stream of flip turns and mindlessly numbing stare at the black line at the bottom of the pool that seems to shut my mind off.

But don't get me wrong, I love to swim.  Maybe I enjoy that ability to close down my super excellent brain for awhile.  Or is it that I am thinking about what I have to do AFTER I swim?  Who knows.  Whatever it is I am really excited for this:
This is the Pool-Mate.  It was invented by a triathletes in the UK and is hitting the shelves of the US in July.  

Here's what's cool about this bad boy:  the Pool-Mate is the first automatic swim computer/lap counter on the market.  Until now, if you've wanted to count your laps, you needed to touch something at the end of the pool.  With this spiffy gadget, you just push start before your workout and the watch will calculate your distance, average stroke per lap, speed, calories and efficiency.  

Um, Wow.  I think they might be on to something.  You can read more about it here:  I am excited about trying it out.  Iron Gear Sports has placed a big order of them, so I will be sporting one as soon as you can they arrive off the boat.

Full details to come.  But until then, I might start using a British accent when I go to Masters.

Monday, June 7, 2010


I'm running a marathon next Saturday. So, I've had a few things on my mind, as you can tell by last night's dream.  Here goes:

I got to the start line of the marathon in a surprisingly calm fashion.  Wow! I am so calm, I thought.  This is going to be great.  But then I looked around and saw that I had forgotten to pick up my friend from the airport who was running with me.  She was running as my pacer!  Now, what was I supposed to do?  I'm calm and cool, no big deal, I can do this, so I bellied on up to the starting line. 

Upon the boom of the starting gun, I realized I had forgotten a few others things as well, namely my sports bra, running shoes and my race bib.  Oh well, I guess I can run without shoes, um, and a bra.  But in the confusion of looking for my shoes the runners had taken off without me and I was five minutes behind the lead pack.  Well, the only pack.  It was a very small marathon.

No problem.  I'll just catch them.  But seriously, my legs were moving like a man on the moon!  Why was my turn over so slow?  I couldn't seem to get. them. to. turn. over.  Ugh.  And the runners have run too far ahead for me to follow them.  I was lost but maybe I could catch up.

So I persisted.  But the straight one-road course I had thought I had signed up for was now a crazy maze through college campuses!  What the?  Every once in awhile I could see the pack of runners way over to the right of me, like they had made a u-turn somewhere and I still had to find it.  And they all had little pads of paper on their chests with their race number on them that they would peel off after every mile.  Me, I had nothin.

At mile two there was a lady that was handing out race numbers to people like me who had forgotten theirs.  But she was writing them on a tiny little price tag that I had to tie onto my body with string.  I stopped, got my number, and was off.  And then.....

Beep! Beep! Beep!  My alarm went off.  Wow.  It was over.  Or was it?

Maybe I'm over-thinking this marathon thing.  I need a good night's sleep.  And a good race on Saturday.  Time to get rid of those demons and get to Boston.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Do What You Love

Park City.. not just for skiing!
There are certain towns in America that make you really want to live.  Park City, Utah is one of those towns.  Upon my arrival here yesterday, I saw hundreds of cyclists spinning around town.  I saw runners, dog walkers, golfers, hikers, and in-line skaters.  People were out and about, soaking up the summer sun and enjoying the glorious day.

As I made my way up to Guardmans' Pass, the uppermost road of the town, I passed several men and women on bikes grinding their gears up toward the mountain peak.  It is not easy, believe me.  The road tips up to 12 percent at times.  But that didn't stop these die hards from giving it a go. 

The golf courses were buzzing with golf carts and golfers.  The parks were hosting festivals and picnics.  And there wasn't an empty tennis court around.  I almost felt guilty for not wearing workout clothes or having a Thule bike rack on the roof of my rental car.

What I observed was people getting out there on a beautiful summer Saturday and taking advantage of the moment.  They were living!  Sometimes it takes effort not to lounge around all day in a luxurious paradise like this.  But if you take the time to do what you love and burn a few calories along the way, you'll thank yourself. 

Get out there today and have fun. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Jump Rope

Please, do yourself a favor and go buy a jump rope.

Be Rocky Balboa, or Muhammed Ali.  Recruit your fast twitch muscles.  Practice jumping on your heels, your midfoot, skipping.  Work your way across a basketball court.  Backwards.  Forwards.  One foot, two foot.  There's a lot of ways to use a jump rope.  Good, clean fun.  Easy.  Convenient.  And fun.

Do yourself a solid, get yourself a jumprope and start jumping today.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

You Need A Little Motivation?

"Invictus"  (Latin for Unconquerable)

At the age of 12, Henley fell victim to tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later, the disease progressed to his foot, and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate directly below the knee. It was amputated when he was 25. In 1867, he successfully passed the Oxford local examination as a senior student. In 1875, he wrote the "Invictus" poem from a hospital bed. Despite his disability, he survived with one foot intact and led an active life until his death at the age of 53.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Ernest Henley
Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True