Friday, December 31, 2010

Ironman St George Camp

Hey guys, just wanted to throw this out quick.  A friend of mine is putting on this awesome Ironman training camp over President's Day weekend in February in St George.  It would be an excellent camp for any athlete training for a half or full ironman, especially Ironman St George, and even better for someone looking to improve their swim.  There's some serious qualified swim coaching down there!  I tell you, nothing helped me prepare more than being down on that course, nothing.  If you sign up tonight or tomorrow with the code camp2011 you can get 20% off too.  The two head coaches of the camp are  certified and know what they're doing, and I'll even be down there too hopefully  :)  Anyway, check it out, could be great for your season!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Quick update

Still have no idea what 2011 or 2012 hold but just wanted to update that I am getting to feeling better, but not 100%.  Strong athlete or not, the last week was really rough both physically and emotionally and I've had to take it easy and listen to my body (not as an athlete, as a regular human).  I haven't worked out since, uh, Thursday Dec 9th, not that I really care, and may or may not this week.  I think a couple more days and I'll be able to do something at a modest pace.  I've just tried to give my body a chance to heal as it's thrown a couple fits this week when I tried to do too much day to day stuff.  It's like my body is one of those parole ankle bracelets not letting me get away with leaving the house... till today that is, must be off parole now.  I'd like to get back into the pool so I can swim the Master's New Year's workout.  I've never had a chance the last couple years, always timing conflicts.  The workout is 211x50's, yeah that sounds like a lot.  At least they're 50's, but it's nice to have some feel for the water before jumping into that, but I can't exactly get in yet if you get my drift.  If that doesn't work out maybe I'll consider the half marathon fun run my friend Jonathan is organizing.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words and thoughts and emails and texts etc many of you have offered, I really really appreciate it.  While the life I lost was a very little one, it's impact was and is a lot.  I hope to get back to training in the next couple weeks just to work things out in my mind. I think most of us do such soul searching and pondering and head clearing while working out.  I need some of that...and some endorphins, those are nice too  :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

2011? No idea

So I was finally going to reveal my 2011 schedule and plans, and I had big plans!  I was going to announce that I would not be "Triathlon Mom" for the year....... but "PREGNANT Triathlon Mom"!  That's right, I was going to have a baby in July so would enjoy a few sprint races and a few running events, and then enjoy the summer and get back to competition in the fall and 2012.  Instead, we found out at 10 weeks that we won't be having a baby after all, at our exciting 10 week visit Monday we found out I'm not having a baby, I'm having a miscarriage.  :(

So now,  I have no idea what is in store for 2011.  I don't know if we'll try again or not, if I'll race in 2011 or not, and it's killing me.  I love to have the next season planned, know what I have to look forward to and work toward.  I had a 2 year plan 3 days ago.  It's very motivating, now I have zero motivation.  I actually am not motivated to compete right now at all, can you believe that?  I'm sure it will come back eventually, but my whole world is turned upside down right now.  It's amazing how many plans and hopes and dreams can be made in 10 weeks.  It's so hard to have them all gone now.  I didn't bring it up on my family blog -which you're welcome to read, just don't stalk my kids  ;) - because I didn't want it misunderstood, but I would guess most of you could understand this side of it too.

This baby was timed out so well!  We don't normally have great control over when we get pregnant, but we were fortunate to have it happened when I wanted.  We'd have a baby in July, I'd be able to do a competitive Olympic tri in October, and then have a 5-6 month old when it was time to really start training hard.  Now I have no idea.  I'll stop beating around the bush and just say it.  I wanted to race Ironman St George in 2012.  Yes I understand my baby would have been under a year old, but I've been through this a few times now and I knew what I was getting myself in to.  But now everything's a mess.  I age up in 2013, so it's race it again in 2011 or 2012.  Sure I could do another race, but this one is most convenient for my family and I and our budget, and probably my best shot at qualifying.  But now I have no idea where to go from here.  If I didn't care about qualifying, I'd just do any race, whenever the time was most convenient, probably Vineman in California in August even though it isn't Ironman brand.  IF, huge IF we decided to try again and IF we got pregnant quickly, I'd be due anywhere from October to December 2011.  There is absolutely no way I can leave a 1-2 month old home with my husband for even 3 or 4 hours while I go off and train.  It's not fair to him and it's not fair to the baby and frankly I don't know that I'll be up to a 50 mile ride, 10 mile run 8-10 weeks postpartum.  I've done 5 mile races and sprint tri's at 5-7 weeks out, but that's about it.

 Ironman, triathlon, training, these are not my life.  I love them a lot and they make me and my life better, but my family does come first.  I'm just so sad this happened.  So mad and disappointed it happened.  I'm going from such a high to such a low.  So confused about where to go from here.  I had no intentions of racing IMSG in 2011.  I have no real base right now to build off of, we don't really have the money for the entry, and it was just wasn't in our plans.  I really wanted to watch this year and see how it plays out and be totally ramped up and excited and ready to go at it in 2012.  And I don't know that I can say we're done having kids, and if we're not done, I'd rather get on with it so they're not any farther apart.  Now I just don't know.  I hope my husband and I are able to figure things out quickly for my mental sake, and I hope I'm able to get some motivation to want to go out and do anything, swim, bike, or run.  Right now really sucks.  I'm all of the sudden not pregnant, can't be excited for the great spring and summer I was looking forward to getting my big pregnant belly out there and being active.  Please don't misunderstand all this talk about my own selfish timing for racing and such.  I am VERY much saddened and grieving over this loss, this baby.  This is just an outlet for me to talk about the less important but still important part of this loss for me.  Thanks for reading if you got this far.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I want this shirt!

SO cute!  Husband are you listening?  This would be an excellent Christmas present for this Triathlon Mom!!  Thanks for pointing out the link Paul!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CEP compression sock review

The stockings all hung by the chimney with care......sorry, couldn't resist  :)
So after attending a Powertri clinic about compression apparel I walked away with a pair of CEP compression socks.  I'm telling you people, if you're local, come to the clinics!  They're free, they're always informative, and you often times leave with product of some kind.  I answered a question right, so I got a pair of socks.  Come to the clinics!  And if you can't, you can watch them live online, or recorded online here.  Here is a link to the compression clinic I refer to in this review.

So anyway, I was thrilled to have a pair, and like some women, questioned and questioned what color to get, and eventually ended up with pink which I like.  The pink is pretty trendy with the ladies so if you want to be different, pink might not be your choice.  Believe me, I considered the lime green  :)   I was excited to get them when I did since my husband and I were going to run the Halloween Half Marathon in a couple weeks and it is a very downhill course, perfect testing grounds.

Compression is about lowering muscle vibration/bounce during impact, but more importantly, all about blood flow and keeping it from pooling in your feet and calves. Compression wearproper compression wear keeps the blood flowing well which improves oxygenation of the blood, improving lactic acid metabolism. We're all going to produce lactic acid, it's just an energy cycle, but with the proper oxygen in your blood it can get flushed out more efficiently. CEP's socks and sleeves (the term for calf sleeves, socks without the foot part basically) do not have to only be used during activity, but can be used before and after as well. As explained at, "Pre-exercise - muscle activation and reduction of injury risk, During Exercise - optimized performance and stabilization, reduced muscle strain, Post-Exercise - quicker and shorter recovery phase"
Now I've had compression wear, but only true recovery tights, these ones from Zoot, not active wear.  I think I notice a difference with the recovery tights, but it can be hard to tell how much with recovery only stuff, I do think it's beneficial though.  Maybe I'll wear one leg on one leg off sometime.....ok, probably not....maybe.  I was hoping for a more noticeable difference with the CEP socks since you use them during.  CEP even "consistently see increases in athlete's performance by up to 5% as well as a drastic reduction in recovery time and increase in lactic acid metabolization.".  5%?  Do the math, that's a savings of 12 minutes in a 4 hour marathon, or 4.5 minutes in a 1:30 half marathon.  That's pretty significant for a pair of socks my friends.  I didn't get to test them out for speed, but I did for distance, elevation drop and lactic acid metabolism.  And let me tell you, watching people at the finish line of this race really proved it.  Everyone was protecting their calves and complaining how bad they hurt, which is understandable on such a steep downhill course.  Been there, done that, many a time.  The pain for me?  Nada, nothing, zipp!  Seriously, my calves felt the same way they did when we started the race.  My poor husband, several friends, and dozens of people on the race's Facebook page were dying right after and for several days, but I honestly felt no pain or discomfort at all.  And I don't attribute that to running slower than my usual race pace since I was with my husband.  I ran a 10 mile downhill long run with my husband and friend at a pace slower than my race pace the week before and I came away considerably sore, but not this race day.  These results were unlike anything I've ever felt.  This is definitely something I will be using in my next half marathon or marathon, for sure!

So now that you're intrigued, let me tell you a little bit more about CEP.  They are a company from Germany (thanks to Sarah for the correction) and have just penetrated the athletic scene in the U.S. over the last couple years and are now the most popular brand of compression socks at Kona, the 140.6 Ironman World Championships.  They come from a medical background making true medical grade compression necessary for some people's day to day health.  They make excellent quality stuff, not just slightly snug socks that look cool (or not depending on who you're talking to).  Check out the science here. as well as the CEP link above.  I've tried on 3-4 different popular brands and these guys have it right.  They have a left and right sock as our feet are not the same, they have more Achilles and ankle support than any other brand I've tried, and they're long enough.  That's a big issue with a lot of brands, especially calf sleeves (socks without the foot part, used mainly for shorter triathlons), some can come very short.  The sole in these socks is also really nice and padded.   I don't feel like I"m going to put a hole in these in a few months.  They are built anatomically, of course allowing room for your calf, true graduated compression, these socks are not just straight up tube socks, you in fact have to measure your calf to choose your size, not just choose small, medium, large.  And just a tip, the women's socks are the same, just shorter, so if you're a man with shorter legs consider getting the women's so that you don't end up with a lot of fabric under your knee.  And tall women, works both ways, find your calf measurement on the mens chart and buy a man's if you have really long legs.  CEP is great with a 30 day money back guarantee too, so you can give them a try.  Did I mention they're the lowest price tag brand out there?  Yeah, they are!  I LOVE selling people on CEP because it's such good quality stuff, honestly the best that I've tried, but for significantly less than the other big brands like Zoot, Skins, and 2XU.

A few more details I want to give you, a lot of people, myself included, see these and say "no way, I'm running in the middle of summer, I'm going to be way too HOT in those!".  Not so though, the socks have many ventilation channels, and actually help keep you cool when the water you splash on yourself at aid stations runs down your legs.
Socks vs Sleeves.  The socks are better for recovery than sleeves, can be worn for longer periods of exercise, and in my opinion are the best choice if you compete in half-full marathons or half-full Ironman races.  The sleeves lack the foot part obviously which interferes with circulation a bit, but are a good choice for shorter distance triathletes who don't want to take the time to put them on after the swim.  With a sleeve you still get benefit but you can wear it under your wetsuit.  You can also wear sleeves after with flip flops if you don't want closed toed shoes post race.  CEP also recommends you don't wear the sleeve for more than 2 hours of running, a sock is better suited for the 13.1 distances and up for most people.
And finally, how to put these on.  I didn't use them in Ironman St George this year obviously, but plan to the next time I race a half or full Ironman, especially such an arduous course like St George.  But I can't afford 5 minutes struggling to get them on.  If you're like me, you scrunch your socks up, push your feet in and are off.  Try that with a compression sock, go ahead  :)  It's going to be VERY hard to scrunch them (think trying to stretch a dozen+ elastics all together) and stretch them enough to get your foot in.  And add moisture to your foot and it gets even funner.  But Matt Frazier the CEP rep who came to the clinic showed us a great technique.  You fold down the top half of the sock inside out over the foot part, slide just the foot part (with leg section over top) on over the heel, then you can simply pull the leg part up.  Make sense?  Try it, even with a normal sock, so much easier.  I could easily say I could have these on in under a minute with this technique.

So there you go, a long review, I apologize, but I hope it helped some of you.  Compression isn't just a fad, and with great quality brands like CEP out there, you can find out what it's all about for yourself.  Powertri carries their full line of running/triathlon socks and sleeves (CEP does actually make other socks for many different uses like walking, hiking, winter sports, soccer, etc), so you can come in, get measured and try them on for yourself, or you can always order online.  My athlete discount code does sweeten the deal some too.  :)  Oh and it can get even sweeter.  Check out this link to win a free pair of socks or sleeves of your choice simply by submitting a photo of you wearing CEP in your next race.  Race and train on friends!!