The Rundown – Shiz Is Getting Real

The countdown to my triathlon is on like Donkey Kong. I’m four weeks out from race day and I seriously cannot believe it. Anyone who has ever trained for a race will understand the feeling of thinking you have so much time, until you have none, and race day is upon you. I’ve been doing this for so many years and I’m still surprised at how quickly a training cycle can pass! Can someone please figure out how to slow this whole thing down? Well, except on snow days, we can fast forward over those.



WEEK OF APRIL 12, 2016


Running has been going so well, although I always feel like I never get enough. It’s such an easy place of calm for me (most of the time) as opposed to swimming and biking when I’m constantly thinking of the race and how I will perform. On the run, all I think is “once I get to this point in the race, I’m golden!”

My first run in my updated Adidas Boost!

My first run in my updated Adidas Boost!

Tuesday: Hill drills 5 x 2 minutes @6:50 pace and 4% incline – overall 45 minute run after swim

Thursday: Rolling hills and gradual pick up over 6 miles/7:30 pace, after swim

Saturday: 30 minutes easy after cycle

Total: 18 miles


Finally the weather is cooperating! I was able to get outside for a glorious windy and hilly 37 mile ride on Friday where I took the wrong way home and paid for it dearly in hill after hill after hill. I had a few other rides on the trainer but I’m feeling very strong and confident that I will have a decent ride in the race. I say “decent” because I still have a long way to go toward being a powerful, fast rider. I’m creeping toward my full potential but I’m not there yet…

I'm smiling because the wind finally died down and I was about .75 miles from home.

I’m smiling because the wind finally died down and I was about .75 miles from home.

Monday: Hill climbs on the trainer – 1 hour 15 min/18 miles

Wednesday: High cadence on the trainer – 46 minutes/13.4 miles

Friday: Outdoor ride – 2 hours 20 minutes/37 miles

Saturday: one hour easy recovering prior to 30 min run

Total mileage = 84.4


I had to meet my coach for a swim form check-in last Tuesday. Dun dun dun! Moment of truth, nowhere to hide. CRS is a swimmer by nature. She has a swimmer’s body and mind and I think some of my form suckage leaves her feeling frustrated, although she desperately tries not to show it.

There was A LOT of clean up work to be done but she assured me she was “nit picking” and my overall form was very good. This of course was a total lie but I think she saw the panic on my face when she basically “picked” apart my stroke, form and kick. #PickedClean

Reflecting on all the hard work from the pool, after I did my run. Sweat is everywhere.

Reflecting on all the hard work from the pool, after I did my run. Smiling because I freakin’ did it and I’m going to get coffee.

But, the end result was me cutting 30 seconds off my 500 time and being able to do 2 x (10 x 50) on 1:00. Even if you have no clue what that means, trust me, it was HARD and pretty much the running equivalent of doing 8 x 400s at the track at 5k pace.

Tuesday: Meet with CRS and get humbled beyond belief, also manage to swim for 1 hour and then run

Thursday: Reaping the rewards of Tuesday with 3,000 yards of hard but rewarding swim, followed by run

Total = 5,600 yards or so…


I have one word – muffin. Have I told you all how much I love muffins? Well, I love the idea of them and yes they are absolutely delicious when I’m eating them but then I’m starving 10 minutes later. Can you say zero nutritional value?

While Vaughn and I were grocery shopping last week he sprinted over to the bakery section and begged me for the most chocolately chocolate muffin you can imagine. I let him have it (and eat it while we shopped) and I chose one for myself knowing I had a 2+ hour bike ride the next day and needed the food motivation.

Post ride, I split it, toasted it, buttered it up and ate it in all of 30 seconds. With coffee of course.


By the way – those are not raisins or quinoa balls, chia seeds or any other kind of healthy add-in, they are chocolate chips and they were delicious.


I feel like I have a never ending battle with hydration. I need constant motivation to drink more H2O and usually a nice, shiny new water bottle does the trick. Also, I have about 30,000 plastic ones for training and I need a more classy water carrier when I’m traipsing around my cow town, so I can impress the farmers.

Enter S’well!


I first saw them on Danielle aka T-Rex Runner’s blog. If you don’t know Danielle, I feel sorry for you. She is one of the hippest chicks I know, is fearless in the most honest way possible, is a runner (of course!) and travels all over the world both solo and with an entourage. Look what happened when she went to some God forsaken place called Muscat, Oman:

That's her on the left, just hanging out with Dave Matthews at a mosque. What? Also, no touching at the mosque which Dave actually apologized for saying "sorry I can't put my arms around you." How many people can say they had that conversation with Dave? #coolestchickeva

That’s her on the left, just hanging out with Dave Matthews at a mosque. What? Also, no touching at the mosque which Dave actually apologized for saying “sorry I can’t put my arms around you.” How many people can say they had that conversation with Dave? #coolestchickeva

So let the shock wear off and then we’ll get back to the bottles…

My S’well is amazing because it keeps water cold and (they claim) hot stuff hot but I have yet to test it. It looks cool. It has a screw top so you can throw it into a bag or purse without fear of spillage. Win!

Also, I ordered mine (and a brush to clean it with) online and then the very same day, I saw them in Target.

Because Target has everything...and if not, Amazon does.

Because Target has everything…and if not, Amazon does.


New York City on a perfect spring weekend!

Carmin'es for lunch prior to seeing The Lion King! Portions bigger than my body - holy food!

Carmin’es for lunch prior to seeing The Lion King! Portions bigger than my body – holy food!

Backstage at The Lion King! Amazing, amazing and more amazing. I would see it 100 more times.

Backstage at The Lion King! Amazing, amazing and more amazing. I would see it 100 more times.

Face painting at the Central Park Zoo. The boys love being in their natural environment.

Face painting at the Central Park Zoo. The boys love being in their natural environment.

And, of course, a trip to Nike because I just cannot resist.

And, of course, a trip to Nike because I just cannot resist.


This thing:

It doesn't look like much but it could kill you.

It doesn’t look like much but it could kill you.

I honestly think my coach wants to take me to the brink of drowning so I know what it feels like and won’t panic if it happens during the race. I say that because wrapping this thing (it’s actually an old bike tire inner tube) around your ankles and then trying to swim is basically like wearing cement shoes. I shit you not. In fact, I should take a video of me attempting to “swim” with this thing on because it would go viral on the sheer stupidity factor.

It’s supposed to make my core and upper body stronger in the water. This is how it “works” – –  wrap it around your ankles then, completely and totally lock down every core fiber of your being, while simultaneously and furiously pumping your arms and not coming up for air unless you absolutely have to. It is the only way you are making it to the other side of the pool where you can then cling to the edge and gasp for air. I was supposed to do 8 x 25.

I am not a Navy seal.

Send help.


So, I was really getting into What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan when it suddenly took a turn into ridiculousness. The writing and plot are so great…to a point. I’m sticking with it in hopes that it takes a violent turn back into greatness.

I supposed to be reading A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman but, this is an excerpt:

“Ove glares out of the window. The poser is jogging. Not that Ove is provoked by jogging. Not at all. Ove couldn’t give a damn about people jogging. What he can’t understand is why they have to make such a big thing of it. With those smug smiles on their faces, as if they were out there curing pulmonary emphysema. Either they walk fast or they run slowly, that’s what joggers do. It’s a forty-year-old man’s way of telling the world that he can’t do anything right. Is it really necessary to dress up as a fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast in order to be able to do it? Or the Olympic tobogganing team? Just because one shuffles aimlessly around the block for three quarters of an hour?”

If you use the word “poser” at all, and “jogging” or “jogger” over and over, I just can’t continue. It’s not that this passage’s content bothered me, in fact, I wish it had because at least that would have been creating an emotion. So far, this whole book is fantastically boring.

It’s basically a book about the mundane and petty little nothingness moments that make up everyday life, and not in a Seinfeld way. Not at all like that. Let’s just say I’m skipping over huge chunks with the knowledge that I am missing out on nothing. What I don’t want to miss out on is book club on Cinco de Mayo, for obvious reasons.


Just after the closing curtain of The Lion King, during which I cried, laughed and just watched both of my boys faces change 1,000 times over as they took in their first Broadway show:

Me: So…what did you think?

Vaughn: I give it 1,000 smile emojis.

How was your week?

What would you give 1,000 smile emojis too?

How much would someone have to pay you to wear the death strap into the pool?


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  1. Oh my gosh I LOVE my S’Well bottle. I swear I’m like a walking commercial for that thing, I rave about it to everyone. It’s especially amazing in the summer because it really does stay cold!!! Perfect for running errands or laying by the pool. Enjoy it!!!

    1. Awesome!! I bet it’s perfect for poolside! I seriously cannot wait to find out 🙂 Thanks Jess!

    SWELL? SCHMELL (ok I adore mine :0)) Your family is the cutest.
    CARLA recently posted…Is this the last time?My Profile

    1. It’s my favorite too!!! Thank you Carla!

  3. I feel like I just swallowed all the water in an Olympic size pool reading your swimming recaps. Because I’d be at the bottom of the pool attempting any of that. Especially the tube thing. What?!? The s’well bottle is swell especially now that target has it!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…BostonMy Profile

    1. I mean seriously!!! I had a break from it today and I almost cried tears of joy when I saw it was not part of my workout.


    1000 smile emojis. I use emojis more than anyone else I know so this could be me as well.

    I’m debating getting into the pool this week so that will be interesting. I haven’t been in the pool in over a year, let alone used a tube. Gosh it’s bringing back memories.

    Have a great Monday!
    Hollie recently posted…Training Log: Time for Rest and RecoveryMy Profile

    1. I’m sure you will swim like a fish!! It will all come back to you and, I’m sure will help while you’re “resting and recovering” from some running!

  5. I am dying over your description trying to run with that old bike tube wrapped around your legs- and 8 x 25? Is that even possible? As for form, I would hate to see what she would say of mine!!

    Wow, 4 weeks— so exciting!!
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted…Rutgers Half Marathon RecapMy Profile

    1. No. The answer is “no, it’s not possible!” I never give up on my workouts but I did 3 laps and was DONE. It’s the worst.

  6. The death strap? Sounds like something my coach would do. See the picture of me pulling the sled backwards. Oh, what a great idea…I’m still sore…

    1000 smile emojis for our weather this past weekend. Sunny, no wind, and 75 degrees. Thank you.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Big Sur Marathon Training Week 11My Profile

    1. I did see that! At least you look like a total badass. I look like a jackass. Not good.
      I agree with this weather – AMAZING!!! best bike ride of the season today!

  7. There is nothing I love more than a giant muffin… I used to have them regularly…now maybe a few times per year… I don’t know about swimming with that death trap… it looks very Fifty Shades… I love the 1000 smile emoji statement…. recently posted…FreezeMy Profile

    1. It makes me so happy that you share my love of muffins!
      And it makes me LOL about the “fifty shades” reference – OMG totally!!! The other swimmers are probably like WTF is that thing??

  8. I love the picture of the boys at Nike!! And the fact that they rate things in terms of smile emojis. Love it! And Allie! That’s so great that your swimming is improving. Cutting 30 seconds off and 10 x 50s on the 1 – so awesome. But the whole ankle tying thing, that gives me heart palpitations just thinking about it. You’re going to kill it at the triathlon and I’m so excited for you.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…5 Must-Listen Podcasts for Creatives and EntrepreneursMy Profile

    1. I love that you know what all my swim terms mean! THANK YOU!!

  9. I hate running in wind but cycling in wind must be really awful! I never thought of that. That death strap sounds absolutely terrifying. I think I need a chocolate chip muffin to help me forget about it.
    Suzy recently posted…Mileage Monday: Boston StyleMy Profile

    1. I hope you had it because whatever you’re imagining – it’s worse!! 🙂

    • Ana on April 18, 2016 at 1:07 PM
    • Reply

    Aww!! 1,000 emojis, that sounds amazing! kids say the most amazing things!!

    Wait a second… you mean to tell me that chocolate chips don’t make magical super powers? What?! I think if we tell ourselves multiple times in a row, they will develop magical powers!!

    I’m taking a break from reading… I can’t get myself to focus on any books. So I ordered Jenny Lawson’s Le’ts Pretend This Never Happened to see if I can restart this reading train.
    Ana recently posted…Gettysburg Marathon Training Week #14My Profile

    1. Maybe they do?? I did sort of feel magical for the rest of the day 🙂
      I’m inching toward a reading break. I haven’t read a really good book in a little bit…

  10. That strap replaces the pull donut we used to use a long time ago in swim team. A much better, cheaper, and more hydrodynamic option as well. I’m surprised I didn’t think about it b4, I’ve got lots of dead MTB tubes, I’ll try it tomorrow in the pool.

    Beside what your Coach said it would do for you, it’s a tool to help you sync your pull, driving it from your hips, which in turn is powered by your core. The message here is to transmit power up the muscular chain through which all the massive leverage comes from; the arms are merely the paddles at the end of the whip that deliver the force to the h2o. I love pulling with buoy or strap:):):).

    I used to swim with my arms (very exhausting, not good for a Triathlete, especially at Ironman). Once my coach got me to figure out how to recruit core, hips, chest, lats (very powerful musculature), vs. the relative weakness of triceps and shoulders; I started gliding through the h2o, much like Total Immersion that says ‘swim slippery’.

    I suck at kicking, my legs are a liability. I swim a 500 45sec slower than I can pull it (with a pull buoy). Fortunately for us Triathletes, it’s not a bad idea to save our legs (and provide a bit less power) for the bike and run.

    Do you do flip turns? I’m so glad there are none in open h2o, I suck at those too:(
    Claude recently posted…Cycling weeks 9-12My Profile

    1. I cannot wait to hear how you do with the inner tube version, although it sounds like you will power though it!!
      You are 100% correct on the core, hips, lats, and how they should be used. I also tend to revert back to swimming with my smaller shoulder and tricep muscles which was another thing my coach is trying to work with me on. I have a strong kick but, it would be better to save a bit for the bike and run, like you said!! Another thing I was doing is kicking with my feet too far apart – not good but very easily fixed.
      I do flip turns but also suck at them. When I’m doing speed work, I skip them!!

  11. That death strap sounds terrifying! I can barely swim as it is so that would probably land me at the bottom of even the kiddie size pool. And those hill repeats! I’m getting rungry just reading about your impressive training and I think I need one of those muffins 🙂
    Laura @ This Runner’s Recipes recently posted…Mile Markers: Jack and Jill Marathon Training Week 1My Profile

    1. OMG the hill repeats! I have to do them again today and I’m already hungry 🙂
      Thanks Laura!

  12. I am SOOO excited that you guys loved the play so much!! It is such a perfect show to give 1000 smile emojis too 🙂 The death strap? Literally the things nightmares are made of. 4 weeks!! You are gonna do so well!!

    Also, muffins, yum. Its been a reallllll long time since I had one. I love them a bit too much.
    Nellie recently posted…Alison Sweeney Talks Fitness, Health & Beauty For Busy Moms in Exclusive Interview!My Profile

    1. It was even beyond how amazing I thought it would be. We just had the most perfect weekend in the city. I mean, that weather!!! Could not have been better!
      Clearly we need to meet for a muffin date 🙂

  13. Your fitness always inspires. I consider buying a swell every time I see them in Target. I need to. Now.
    jill conyers recently posted…Tone and Burn with Strength and CardioMy Profile

    1. Thank you so much Jill!
      And YES! Do yourself a favor and get the S’well!!

  14. Those bottles look so fashionable but practical – might have to look on Amazon today over lunch and purchase them since I hate to have exploding water in my purse.

    I am in training to and feel you when you think you have all the time in the world and then you look at the calendar and you are like – Crap it’s just around the corner

    1. I don’t think they are available on Amazon, if you can imagine! I’m pretty sure I went there first before realizing there was actually an item I could not find on Amazon!! But, I could be wrong…
      Thanks Anne and happy shopping!

  15. Ok I’m breaking out in panic-induced sweat just looking at that tube. Yowza that must suck! I’ve been eyeing those bottles at Target as well. Very stylish. I don’t like the need-for-brush idea though. I can totally relate to the feeling of so much time in a training cycle, until about 100 days out it all closes in so very rapido. All the best with your race and these final 4 weeks!

    1. Oh it does!!!
      I’m sure, with all the races you have done, that you can relate.
      Thanks so much Marcia!

  16. A Man Called Ove – I understand how you feel, but at the end I was glad I read it. Or actually listened to it, which may have been better.

    On Sunday I walked around the lake with my family – the very lake you are going to be swimming in next month. There are lots of fishies in that water! It was a beautiful day – I hope you get the same weather.
    Dana recently posted…The Me I used to beMy Profile

    1. Ove is getting better. Kind of. I will stick with it if only for the margaritas.
      Why would you tell me about ALL the fishes???? AHHHHHH!!!!
      Looking forward to meeting you!!!! I’ll be texting you with details soon….:-)

  17. YAS S’well for the win!! So glad you are loving them (and thanks for the shoutout)! By the way – I got to use my new adapter in England this past weekend and it was so excellent and easy to use!
    Danielle @ The T-Rex Runner recently posted…Finding Consistency in RunningMy Profile

    1. Of course!! That is great about the adaptor. I ordered two and they now sit in my “Italy” pile 🙂

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