Thursday, June 27, 2013

Tri-Friend #8: Sara Randolph - Help her get to Kona!

Really excited about our next tri-friend, Sara Randolph, for a few reasons.  
1. She breaks the inadvertent "Ryan" streak
2. I had an opportunity to meet her last weekend at Women's Half in Chicago b/c of this site.  She was so nice and super speedy!  (she finished 1:38)
3. She is "TRI"ing to go to Kona!  (like what i did there?)

Sara has been chosen as a finalist for a Kona Inspired 2013 Contest!  Her video can be found HERE and please vote for her to help her get to Kona by clicking the "Vote for this" tab on the bottom left corner. 

A little about Sara
I'm a stay-at-home mom with 4 children (ages 3-9).  I'm passionate about my family and equally passionate about training and racing.  My training is my temporary escape -  I believe it helps me to be a better mom and wife.  I work hard to promote a healthy and active lifestyle for my family.
What made you transition from running to triathlons?
Feeling a little burned out from exclusively running, this winter I decided I wanted to focus more on triathlons.  After fulfilling a lifetime goal of mine to qualify and run the Boston Marathon, I decided to put completing an Ironman on my list of personal goals.  My husband, a triathelete as well, and I decided it would be unique to compete in a Half Ironman on our 12th wedding anniversary.  I will also be competing in Ironman Louisville at the end of the summer. 

Biggest Challenge transitioning to triathlons?
I am a mother of 4 children and honestly my biggest challenge is finding enough time to get in long rides on my bike and work around open swim times at the pool!  I'm so used to taking my kids along with me on my runs  - 3 can ride their bikes and 1 still rides in the jogger. 

Funniest Race Moment
In my first triathlon,  (Mrs T's Olympic Distance Tri in Chicago.... way back when it was sponsored by Mrs T's!) I rode my mountain bike.  Right out of transition, I was having problems with my seat being too low, rather than stopping to adjust the seat - I tried to adjust it while biking.  I ended up falling down and had to finish the triathlon with a skinned up elbow --- not to mention losing time and being very embarrassed!

Why you believe you deserve to go to Kona?
At Kona, I feel like I would represent the spirit of every mom.  I try so hard to juggle my personal athletic goals as well as the goals for my family.  This often means waking up at 4:30am to get in my training, hopping in the car all sweaty after a 10 mile run to pick up my daughter from preschool, volunteering in my children's classrooms in my workout gear, or "practicing" my swim transition because I'm running late to pick someone up.  It also means staying up late to finish up laundry, dishes, and preparing healthy meals for the next day. 

I had intentions of entering the Kona Inspired contest prior to running the Boston Marathon and even wrote down some notes for my video -- but after being a part of the events that followed the Boston Marathon things completely changed for me.  As I reflected on the day of the marathon, I realized that I had been given a second chance.  Making the video for the contest allowed me to express some of the thoughts and feelings that I had been holding inside of me.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Blogs!

Amy & Brandon Marsh- Professional Triathlete Couple (TX)

Kim - Training for her first triathlon and documenting her weekly training (Ohio)

Cristina Ramirez- A Latina mom/wife and back of the pack triathlete headed to IronMan FL 2013 (FL)

J-Nel-Lost over 180 lbs and training for her first triathlon  (MO)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

TriFriend #7 - Ryan Olson

Welcome TriFriend #7 - Ryan Olson... FITYAK from California

I asked Ryan to be a tri-friend b/c i like that he really focuses on Cross Training.  I am guilty of not doing that enough so i appreciated someone that has found a good balance.  Wishing him luck at Nationals!
I also just realized this is the 3rd Ryan in a Row as a tri-friend.. wow... look at that diversity! 

1. Tell us a little about yourself
Ryan Olson – Born in Bakersfield. Lived in Bakersfield and Los Angeles through High School and College years. Graduated from The University of Southern California. Worked in Construction Management from 1997 to 2011. Currently I am an Independent Beachbody Coach. Certified P90X and Insanity Professional. Studying for NASM CPT. Work with Olson Design Studio performing Construction Review.

2. What is your A Race for this year
All racing and training this year has been in preparation for the 2013 USAT Age Group National Championship in Milwaukee, WI on August 10, 2013. This will be the last year I can race in the 35 – 39 Age Group. Next A race after that is the Bakersfield Triathlon in Bakersfield, CA on September 29, 2013.

3. Do you have a favorite HIIT workout to compliment Triathlon Training?
I have a couple High Intensity Interval Training workouts that have proved beneficial in triathlon training. Insanity: The Asylum, TriCore, and the newest program Focus T25. I have found that these programs increase Endurance, Strength, Speed, and Agility faster than traditional Swimming, Cycling, and Running would produce in the same amount of time. Cross training with Interval Training Conditioning Programs prevent the body from reaching a plateau and produce immediate benefits to the athlete.

4. Why do you love triathlons?
I love triathlons because they are challenging and allow me the opportunity to push my body in ways that very few other sports can possibly affect me. It’s just me, the water, the road, and the trail! Nothing else quite produces the feeling of accomplishment like pushing your body’s muscles in ways that are designed to confuse and tax the world’s best athletes.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

GO>ID Giveaway!

Bringing you another giveaway, courtesy of GO>ID.

I was contacted by them to review their new ID tagging system.  As I recently misplaced my other wrist ID, i welcomed the opportunity and it couldn't have come at a better time.

From there website: 
When you’re in need, first responders will need all the information they can get. GO>ID is the personal emergency ID which gives essential information to first responders, even if you aren’t able. You can easily change your personal information as your situation changes. Just print your personal medical ID label on your own printer and you can … Go>Anywhere!    
The ID system comes in 3 different sizes and has free USPS shipping!  Also, if you like their FB page, you can get 10% off any product!!!!

What makes GO>ID different is that YOU make your Own ID info.  This allows you to just reprint a new sticker if any of your info changes.  All you need is a computer, internet and printer!

The GO>ID kit comes with easy to make instructions.  It took me less than 10 minutes to make my tag (with the majority of the time spent figuring out what i wanted on it).  Once you are done making you tag, you can either attach as a jacket pull, shoe tag or velcro to the back of a watch. I will admit, i was a bit nervous that the little tab would poke me if i flexed my wrist back especially on the bike in aero but it didn't it all.  the tab laid perfectly on my arm and didn't notice it at all during my tri this past weekend.  

I also wasn't sure if this ID system was obvious enough for first responders to see however, I did some research and learned that first responders are trained to look at wrists, shoes and necks so i believe it would be easy for them to identify the information.

I have complained in the past about having things on both wrists and my nylon ID being wet and this eliminates those problems!   Overall, I didn't even notice the GO>ID was there, which is probably the best review you could give. I also ran my ID tag through the washer to make sure super waterproof and no water got into the label!  This really is a great ID system and would like to give one lucky reader one!

Ways to Enter
1 entry-Comment on this post

1 entry-Tag us on a post on Twitter @ChiTriBloggers

1 entry-Look for my Instragram Post on the giveaway and comment.

1 entry-Comment on our FB post 

Giveaway ends June 30, 2013**
**Must be a US Resident so I don't have to give up my eating out budget for a week to cover shipping costs

(*Disclosure: I was given 2 free ID systems; one to review and one to raffle.  Not money was exchanged in this transaction).

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

New Blogs!

Team Res-Puli- Triathlete Couple who recently completed IM Texas! (TX)

Mike Hebert- Musings of an active duty soldier and his love for endurance events (Chicagoland)
*Mike co-manages our twitter and fb account and finally succumbed to start a blog

The Newmans-  Musings of a AG triathlete and his Iron Widow (NY)

Kevin Chin-Member of the inaugural Ironman Foundation-Newton Ambassador Tri Team (Chicago)

Kelly the Culinarian- Training for her first 70.3

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tri-Life with Kelly the Culinarian

I asked my friend, Kelly the Culinarian, to share with us one of her favorite healthy sweet treats.  Even endurance athletes have a sweet tooth and I thought you might be interested in a new recipe. 

Cooking with Kelly: Chocolate Microwave Protein Muffin

When I first started losing weight, I found it very difficult to get enough protein. I don't eat a ton of meat and I wasn't sure where else I could find 100 grams of protein each day. I was really excited when I found this protein muffin recipe at Smoothie Girl Eats Too. By popular demand, here's the recipe I enjoy the most:

Homemade Microwave Protein Muffin
2 egg whites
3 Tablespoons unsweetened applesauce (or pumpkin puree)
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour (Can sub 1 Tablespoon of coconut flour)
1/2 Tablespoon flaxmeal
1 Tablespoon unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon Splenda (optional)
1 Tablespoon semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)

Whisk the egg with a splash of water until frothy, then whisk the applesauce in before adding the dry ingredients. Place half of the batter in a microwave proof bowl, sprinkle the chocolate chips on the batter, then top with the remaining batter. Microwave for between two and five minutes, depending on your microwave. I typically nuke these for 2:45.
It's great because you get a chocolate fix for less than 200 calories along with 11 grams of protein. Every bit helps!

My favorite fix is with the coconut flour, no chocolate chips, topped with 2 Tablespoons of natural peanut butter. Yum!

A little about Kelly: 
Tell us a little about yourself:
I am a foodie turned athlete with my eye on a 2014 Ironman. My blog,, is all about living a life of balance, so it's a space where decadent desserts live in harmony with race recaps.
As a runner, what made you want to cross over to triathlons?
I started as a runner and saw a video on YouTube of an Ironman and decided it would be my new goal. At that point, I only owned a $60 Huffy from KMart and lacked a proper swimsuit. I wanted to be more than just fit - I wanted to do something epic.

What has been your favorite part of tri life vs. running life so far? 
Triathlons and running have a lot in common, but I think what I like about triathlons the most is the different pace of training. I don't feel like I'm beating myself up every day because I'm using different muscles and challenging myself in different ways.
Follow Kelly on her Blog and Twitter

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Meet Tri-Friend - Ryan Giuliano

Meet Chicagoland Local: Ryan Giuliano of and @speedygiuliano

He (and his wife) put on an awesome half marathon in the spring (Egg Shell Shuffle) in N. Burbs of Chicago and had a chance to meet them earlier this year. Not only are they both amazing runners but also triathletes (who will both just qualified for Kona!)... yes, BOTH of them.. read more below.  and Welcome Ryan as our 6th Tri-Friend

1. What is your "A" Race you are focusing on this year?
My A race is actually coming up really quickly! I will be racing Eagleman 70.3 on June 9th which is out in Cambridge, MD. I never did much of a focus on longer distance races until this year so I am excited to see what I can do with increased endurance and fitness. The past few years I have jumped in many half ironman races, but never did the necessary training in order to be successful in them. If all goes well, I will be racing a full Ironman at the end of this year!

1st (out of 123) in the M 25-29 AG   
Time: 4:18:04
**It should also be pointed out that his wife also won her AG and therefore, both of them qualified for KONA!!!!  Her blog post HERE**

2. Is it hard to balance competing in Running races, Dualthons and Triathlons? How does that impact your training?
Balancing all of the races can be hard sometimes, but you just need to keep focus on the key events of the year. Early this season, I jumped into a bunch of road running races. The main reason for this was to test out where my run fitness was at as well as that they were fun ways to get longer harder runs in. Many of the road races were done with tired legs from hard training weeks, but the key focus was still to train through them and make sure I was still on track to perform well in June. Now that triathlon season is just kicking up, I will be racing more triathlons for the next few months than running races. The hardest part for me is to balance my work and race schedule. I work as a Nutrition Tech Rep for PowerBar and most weekends are spent working events. So figuring out when I have a free day to race can get tricky at times. I'm looking forward to racing Eagleman in two weeks as I will not be working it. So I can focus entirely on the race itself.

3. Funniest race moment?
When I first got into the sport, I actually didn't know much about nutrition while training and racing. Funny how it works out that now I help others with their training and race day nutrition!
Anways, I went out to compete in a large duathlon on the East coast in order to quality for my Elite license. I was told many times that I needed to take in more carbohydrates and sugars while racing, so I decided to try out Hawaiian Punch as my drink choice on the bike since it had loads of sugar in it. I sat in transition on race morning filling my bottles with cans of Hawaiian Punch. One of my main competitors saw me doing this and said, "Are you really using Hawaiian Punch? Have fun with that coming back up on you!" Well, I ended up having a great race, was 1st overall, and qualified to receive my elite license. The competitor came up to me after the race and said, "Well I guess I will be using Hawaiian Punch in my next race!"

4. You completed Ironman Wisconsin in 2010 (10:43), what was the most rewarding and the most difficult moment in that race?
Yes, I raced Ironman Wisconsin back in 2010. This probably wasn't the best move on my part, but a few factors went into it. I was racing as a pro triathlete at the time, and we were allowed to register for any Ironman sanctioned event that we wanted, even when they were sold out to amateurs. I was going to be in Madison working the expo for PowerBar, so figured that I might as well try out the race since I was going to be there anyways. I signed up a week before with my longest swim at 1600meters, longest bike at 50 miles, and longest run at 13 miles. I worked the Ironman expo from morning til night for 3 straight days, and then got up race morning and jumped in the race. Surprisingly, the swim was great, but once on the bike I fell apart after 60 miles. This was the most difficult part as I knew if I didn't stop, I probably wouldn't finish the race. So I pulled over, got off my bike, and sat in the grass for 20 minutes to regain composure. It was really hard watching all the athletes go by on the bike asking if I was ok. I told myself that I didn't jump in this race to not finish. So I got back on, started riding and used the crowd support to keep pushing through. Once on the run, my legs really didn't want to go. My now wife, Jacqui, was there running/walking beside me giving me encouragement the whole way. The most rewarding part was getting to the finish line knowing that I finished one of the hardest endurance events out there. I look forward to doing another, but I will definitely be more prepared to tackle the distance!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New Blogs

Alex Modestou- (Mid Atlantic) 1x XTERRA Age-Group National Champion, 2x XTERRA Regional Champion, Ad Astra
Jake Dallmann (WI)-  A father, husband, athlete and combat veteran. I Love my family, running, triathlon and the outdoors. Team UR Athlete 
Brian Gilbert (DE)- Running and triathlon noob, but improving. Ambassador. Down 45 pounds so far, some more coming...
Sara Randolph (MI)- Mother vying for a Kona Inspiration Entry!  (more to come)  

Steve-Returning to training and (hopefully) competition (triathlon and running--in that order) after a serious knee surgery: Blog 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Switch Aero System: One bike, Two Rides

Was contacted by the guys at Redshift Sports and they hoped for me to spread the love by sharing their new product:  Switch Aero System.   The concept is very cool --> convert the positioning of your road bike to a position of aero like a tri bike...   get it?  ... "one bike, two rides" ... clever. 

 They also have some quick release aero-bars that are super adjustable.

I like this idea for people transitioning in triathlon and not quite ready to get a tri bike.  The guys at Redshift tell me demos will be available and hoping for a ChiTriBlogger to be able to do a review on it when it comes out! Wishing Redshift the best of luck in their fundraising and launch!

 ***FYI, I was NOT paid for this post.. however, if i was, i might have been even more enthusiastic :) ***

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Proud Sponsor of RunForBoston5K and Trainer Road Winner

Excited to announce that we are a sponsor for RunForBoston5K in Chicago!  Definitely consider participating remotely or in person for their event in two weeks.  The crew putting it together are amazing and were able to secure enough donations to have all the registration fees go towards charity.  Our very own ChiTriBlogger Jeremy was featured on their blog!

Winner for 3 free months of trainer road software:  Lauren Wong!  We will be emailing you later this week with details!