Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tri-Friend #10- Amanda Remlinger

Excited to feature another Tri-Mom as a Tri-Friend. I loved reading her story about how she got into triathlons and admire her for sharing her story and hope other mothers find similar inspiration!  

1. Tell us a little about yourself in a few sentences
I grew up in the suburbs of San Diego but recently relocated to Northern Arizona. I prefer the mountains over the beach. I am a stay-at-home mom to two spunky boys and wife to an airline pilot. Becoming a mother was the single most challenging thing in my life but opened up my eyes to a whole new world. I have a slight obsession with workout clothes, cheese, wine, and reading celebrity gossip magazines.

2. Congrats on recently completing a half Ironman!  What was the most rewarding and challenging part of the race?
Thank you! The most rewarding part of the race was when I came up on mile 10 of the run and only had 5K to go. At that point I choking back tears and quietly crying to myself. I knew I could finish a 5K and that was all I had to go. I couldn’t believe I had come that far and now it was almost over. It made me both happy and sad at the same time that the day was almost over. The most challenging part of the 70.3 was trying to stay cool on the run. The race was near Napa and vineyards are not exactly know for their "shade." The run was hilly and by the time I even got to the run it was in the warmest part of the day. I stayed cool by walking a lot and really staying on top of my hydration.

3. You have written about how exercise has helped you overcome Post partum depression, what was it that appealed to you about triathlons? 
Prior to 2010 I had no idea what the numbers 140.6 even meant. In the fall of 2010 I stood along the sidelines of Ironman Arizona waiting for my little brother to cross the finish line of his first full Ironman. I was a fairly new mother but suffering on the inside of post partum depression and anxiety. I stood there feeling worthless as a mom and human being and was hoping for something or someone to guide me. As my brother came down the chute looking tired and beaten after almost 12 hours, I saw something in his eyes and that was utter joy and I longed for that. I wanted to feel the sudden rush of emotions he was feeling. At that moment I made a vow to do a triathlon. From that day forward I started training and when I felt like giving up I pictured my kids waiting for me at the end of the finish line. I did complete my first triathlon and experienced that rush of emotions that I had longed for. And having my family with me meant everything to me. Something else happened with all the training I was doing- and that was weaning off my medicine. It was a slow wean but eventually I found that I no longer need any of the drugs that had been prescribed for me to help with the depression and anxiety. As long as I trained I felt happy and actually slept at night (something that didn’t happen easily).

4. What is your favorite go to workout?
My favorite workout has to be Spin class. If I am having a bad day one hour of Spin class makes the world of difference. I can zone out to the music and crank up the resistance and sweat out all my worries. I can always count on a great nights sleep with a Spin class earlier in the day.

5. Now that you have tackled the 70.3 distance, what is next?
Next on my race schedule is the Women's Half Marathon Scottsdale, AZ. I have never run a half marathon just by itself and I really want to focus on being able to run the entire distance. I walked quite a bit in the half marathon portion of my 70.3 so my goal is to really increase my speed. I do plan to sign up for another 70.3 next year but am not quite ready to tackle a full Iron distance just yet. My kids are still young and I know how time consuming training for a full would be (as if a half wasn't long enough).

6. Where do you do most of your training?
I belong to the local Y because they have a pool and childcare. I don't know what I would have done last year without the childcare. Having the pool right there makes it so easy to get in my swimming training. I also love the Spin classes and have met some wonderful triathlete friends through the YMCA.

7. Do you have any pre-race rituals?
Yes I have to eat the same meal the night before my race. It's always a chicken breast, brown rice and salad and Nuun water. It sounds boring but it has worked well for me. I also have to have my toenails painted some really bright funky color (usually one my 3 year old picks out). When I am out of breath getting out of the water and completely disoriented, I always look down at my toes. Seeing that bright funky color (like fluorescent glitter turquoise) brings me back to reality and reminds me of my kids. It makes me laugh on the inside and helps calm me when my nerves are racing a mile a minute!

Follow Amanda at  www.momwhotris.com 
Twitter: @Momwhotris

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tri-Training: Want to improve your swimming? Start on land: By Abby Kramer.

Want to improve your swimming?  Start on land!
After years of experience being a competitive swimmer, teaching, and coaching swimming I’ve learned that improving technique and efficiency also happens outside the pool.  Yes, technique is crucial (more on that in a future post!) but strength training can be an excellent tool to help with efficiency and power.  I’ve selected 4 great strength training exercises that specifically target muscle groups that are crucial for swimming efficiency and technique.  Coming from a background in personal training, my mind first wandered to “flashy” exercises: kettle bells, crab walks, assisted hand stand push-ups, etc.  All fun and great exercises (feel free to email me if you want some of these!) but not easily accessible.  I decided to keep it simple.  All of these exercises require no equipment, very little space, and you can transition between them very easily.  Heck, you can even do them at the side of the pool pre or post workout.  That way, no excuses right?!  Let’s get to it:

Exercise 1: Power Plank with Row
The latissimus dorsi isn’t nicknamed the “swimmer’s muscle” for nothing.  It adducts (brings the arm in), internally rotates, and extends the arm, which is just what we’re aiming for in the freestyle stroke.  Therefore, you’ve got to have good lats to swim!  Start this exercise in a plank position.  All 4 of these exercises are in a plank position because it is crucial to have a strong core to support body rotation, or “roll” for your freestyle stroke.  It’s key in any plank position workout to keep your low back straight (no sagging!) and your butt even with your back (no pushing it up!)  You can start this exercises with no weight and perform it with a dumbell as needed to increase difficulty.  Bend one elbow and lift it up, aiming toward the sky.  Keep your arm as close to your body as possible.  Perform 8-12 repetitions, 3 times, on both sides. 

Exercise 2: Downward Dog Push-Up
This exercise will have your shoulders on fire in no time!  Start in a plank position, as before.  Bring your hands together to make a “triangle” shape.  Then bring legs in closer to your body to a “downward dog” position to your level of comfort.  This exercise is the exception, it’s ok to have your butt in the air!  From here perform the number of push ups you can perform, without breaking good technique.  I usually have people start pretty low, aim for 5 and increase as they become easier.  Perform 3 sets.  To increase difficulty, raise one leg in the air and switch every set.

Exercise 3: Leg Pull Back
I love this exercise for core, shoulder strength, and mobility.  Start in plank position.  SLOWLY roll forward through your ankles as far as you can, without breaking good plank form.  Then push backward as far as you can.  There won’t be a lot of movement in this exercise but you should feel your abdominals and shoulders working.  Start with 3 sets of 5-6 repetitions, and increase as needed.

Exercise 4: Lateral Raise Plank
This exercise does a great job at targeting the oblique muscles of the abdomen which are SO important, as all swimmers should constantly be working on their rotation.  So this exercise is not only strengthening the core, but making it stronger in the position it needs to be in!  Love it.  Start in plank position.  Keeping the arm straight raise it laterally while rotating the body all the way to the side.  Then slowly roll back to the starting plank position.  Either rotate sides each time, or perform 8-12 reps on one side, and then the other.  Repeat 3 times.  Feel free to add a dumbell to this exercise as well for added difficulty.

I would recommend performing these exercises at least 3 days per week for the best results.  By combining strength training to swim workouts we can help strengthen the muscles that are unique to swimming and increase speed, stability, and power.  Hopefully these exercises will be easy to incorporate to your training.  Feel free to contact me with any questions at: abby.kramer23@gmail.com.  And remember, “Just keep swimming!”

BIO: Abby Kramer is currently in the Chiropractic program at National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, IL.  She is a certified personal trainer and has a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science.  She decided to take her passion for fitness and a healthy lifestyle a step further and become a doctor.  She was a competitive swimmer in high school and college, and now a runner.  She has done 2 sprint triathlons and had a blast!  If she’s not studying or running, she’s enjoying time with her husband, 2 dogs, and her favorite city, Chicago.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Tri-Interview from Race Director Colleen Klein

The perspective from the RD is different than a participant and was excited when Colleen Klein, RD for TriShark and Evergreen Tri agreed to do an interview. {I have participated in both her races in Central Illinois and loved them!}  I was also really shocked to read her response to #4.  Continue to pass the Swim.Bike.Run love! 

1. What got you started as a Race Director? What is your favorite thing about your job?
My local triathlon club, the Tri-Sharks, started a sprint triathlon back in 1994. I was a volunteer for the race the first few years and then took over as race director in 1998 . My favorite thing about the job would have to be all the volunteers over the years who have gotten bitten by the triathlon bug and now participate in races themselves.

2. As a RD, what are the most common USAT infractions you observe during races for seasoned triathletes?
Drafting continues to be the most common USAT rules violation at our local events for the seasoned triathletes. Unfortunately, it seems like we are seeing an upswing in unsportmanship- like conduct among some of our experienced participants. Participants cussing at other participants as well as volunteers and spectators is never tolerated.

3. What is the most common USAT issues for newbies that you see, any recommendations to help?
The most common USAT issue for newbies is probably the rule regarding no headphones. I often get emails after the race asking why someone got a penalty and the first thing I ask them is if they were using headphones during the run - they often just don't realize it is a time penalty. I think more education on the rules for newbies by Race Directors leading up to events would help. We often just post the mostly commonly violated USAT rules on our websites and assume that the participants are actually going to read them. Our local tri club has a training program for newbies each spring and they spend one evening just going over USAT rules and answering questions.

4. Any general advice for us?
The number of triathlon participants in some areas of the country has declined so much this season that quite a few races are being canceled due to the low numbers. I think we will see fewer triathlon choices in 2014 as a result of the declining numbers. It appears that triathlons are losing participants due to the increase in the number of obstacle runs and color runs and similar events. While the obstacle runs look like great fun with their party atmosphere, I am not convinced they are very safe! Hopefully such events are just a fad and they won't continue to impact triathlon participation to the degree we have seen this year.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tri-Life: PB Oatmeal Bar Recipe by Kelly the Culinarian

Asked Kelly the Culinarian to share another recipe with the site and thought this one was perfect as it is easy to prep great for people on the go. Thanks Kelly for sharing another yummy recipe with us!

Also, Kelly recently completed her first Half IM (Racine 70.3) BOOM!  --> Read her race report HERE!



Cooking with Kelly: Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars Recipe

Now that I'm heading to the gym most mornings, I wanted a breakfast that was easy, didn't require reheating and traveled well. Bonus points for being low calories and kind of healthy.

And since we all know I love peanut butter and oatmeal independently, it's only a wonder that it took me so long to put them together in baked form.

These peanut butter oatmeal bars are perfect for breakfast on the go. They're about 150 calories per square, so I round my breakfast out with a couple of pieces of fruit.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars Recipe

1 1/2 cups quick oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup skim milk
2 egg whites, beaten
1 banana, mashed
1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter

Mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vanilla, milk, egg whites, banana and peanut butter. Add to the dry ingredients, then place in a greased 8 x 8 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 22 minutes or until the edges are brown.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Blogs!

Jon Bond - (London, England) Full time 70.3 Ironman,looking to step up next season. Already finished 2 of the hardest races in the world. Swims-bikes-runs everyday. Heading for Hawai Kona

N Plummer - (TX) - Texas Triathlete

VKate (Chicago) - Gastroenterologist. Transplant Hepatologist. Ironman Triathlete. Chicago Foodie.

Aimee (FL) - Age Group multisport triathlete. I offer both trisport, workouts & health style related tips. swim. bike. run. repeat.

Brook (Iowa)-Mom Who Tris
http://redheadreverie.com/give-it-a-tri/ Save

Friday, July 19, 2013

Swirlgear Shorts Review

Excited to bring you another product review.  Swirlgear is a Chicago based company that is in their second year of production and are looking toward their fall line launch soon.  I had the chance to meet the owner and really loved her, her team and what they stand for. We, at List of Triathlon Blogs, really want to support local/small businesses and I purchased a pair of shorts for one of our bloggers to review since becoming a Swirlgear Ambassador. {Res was not compensated for the review other than receiving the shorts and I personally paid for the shorts for review}.
Thanks Res for the review!
Use 935 for FREE Shipping

Hello everyone Res here, we recently connected with Triathlon Blogs and they offered me a chance to review some gear they had. Of course, being me I didn't miss a chance to try something new and to see what this whole reviewing gear was all about. We read all the time about these type of blogs but thought to ourselves... well... we are not that popular so we'll never get to do one of those cool things. So anyways they send me a pair of shorts from Swirl Gear I was actually so surprised because they offered them on Thursday night and by Saturday I had the shorts in the mail. When I opened the package I noticed the shorts where these

I didn't know about this brand before I got the shorts and neither read anything about them before I tried them (actually haven't read anything about them yet). I wanted my review to be as uninfluenced by other reviews as possible, so my review is my own experience with the shorts.

So here I go, my first impressions on the shorts as soon as I opened the package:

  1. They felt really soft to the touch
  2. The lining felt different from other built in briefs 
  3. I liked the length 
  4. The army green color... not my fave, but for the review purposes they worked 
  5. They felt relaxed when I first put them on.
We then planned to take them for a run during the week, things got really busy with work and other social events and our run didn't go as planned and then considering that the temps were in the 100's here in Texas we weren't pushing it too much, yes we don't like the "dreadmill"

I ended up finally putting a decent run on Saturday on them. We had a swim/run workout so we headed out to it early in the morning. I had a swim first so I didn't wear them there (for obvious reasons), my plan was to put them on after the swim.

I put them on after I got out of the water (of course drying myself first). At first they were OK, however I should've worn some underwear (some sort of tights or compression shorts under). I thought the lining material felt different than other shorts I’ve worn, particularly since I wasn’t wearing any undies. Yes... don't start looking at me now funny... most of you don't wear any undies either. :). FREEDOM!!!

We had an hour run, 6 miles more or less, I really like the fact that they were quick drying and didn't feel hot. So what they advertise on the website "Moisture wicking fabric to help keep you dry and comfortable" was very true.

The size I was given was a Medium, I'm a size 6 pants, and wear between S and M depending on the brand. The M felt good but if I were to buy these, i would consider getting the small as they were a bit loose on the inseam and they kept riding up which we girls know is not the greatest feeling. I ended up chafing a bit b/c of the loose inseam but don't think that would have happened with the smaller size so I definitely would recommend sizing down.

Overall, I definitely will use them for short training runs or gym workouts or even for walking and if i ever purchase the smaller size, would love to try them out for long runs. Thanks for the chance to review these shorts... hope it was helpful.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tri Life: Pre-Race Carb Loading? I Say Non-Sense - Jason Bahamundi

Got great feedback about Jason's first article about living a plant based life. I asked him to share more of his thoughts on food/racing.  I really appreciated the content of this article and tried this method for my OlyTri this past weekend and went great!  However, I might not show this article to my husband as I might still want to pull the "carb-loading" card as he doesn't realize I don't need to carb-load the night before a 5K :)

Pre-Race Carb Loading? I Say Non-Sense - Jason Bahamundi
Pre-Race carb loading has been discussed in such length by plenty of people more qualified than I am to discuss this topic and I have to say that this notion of carb-loading is wrong. I was a believer of the eat all the pasta you can handle the night before a race and while you are at it down the entire loaf of bread too. Oh, in the morning just keep on eating but I have discovered through trial and error and thanks to my coaches that this theory is upside down. Your body can only hold but so much and then it becomes wasted and can just sit around and possibly cause GI distress or bloatedness and a feeling of exhaustion.

When I started training for my second Ironman in 2012 I began to read more and more about fueling your body for the 140.6 miles. I had just completed Ironman Texas and finished in 11:59 and was feeling good about that accomplishment but I knew I had more in me and I wanted to find any edge I could to get me to go faster. Of course, hard work was going to be the key factor in my ability to cross the finish line faster but what else was there? Nutrition is a passion of mine so I began reading more and more about this and came across an article by Maria Simone on her blog Running A Life. This article changed my view of the concept of carb-loading.

Maria’s husband, John, had qualified for Kona at Ironman Cozumel and he detailed some of his nutrition plans heading into the race. One of the concepts he discussed was pre-race fueling. I took to his advice like a moth to a flame. I absorbed it all and then put it into action. The first race I did this with was Rev3 Maine. This race was in August and Ironman Arizona was a few months away so this was going to be a great test of how this carb loading or really non-carb loading plan was going to go.

The plan consists of a carb based dinner TWO nights before the race. The following morning you have a carb based breakfast and then you taper your carbs throughout the day to the point of going to bed feeling ALMOST hungry. For example, if you are racing on a Sunday then your big dinner is on Friday night. Your big breakfast is Saturday morning and then you taper the rest of the day and reverse your carbs and protein but also always making sure to get in healthy fats.

Two nights before Rev3 Maine we went out to eat and I ordered three meals. I had a salad, a vegetarian pizza and some falafel wraps as you can see in this picture. I enjoyed every last bite. The next morning after a shakeout ride and run I went to breakfast. I had pancakes, toast, eggs, oatmeal and coffee. What I also had was lots and lots of water. Throughout the rest of the day I ate less and less and went to bed feeling good. My stomach wasn’t bloated and I was ready to race. The next morning I woke up and had a couple of rice cakes with peanut butter and jelly and sliced banana along with coffee and water. I got to the race sight feeling very strong and fully expected a great day of racing. My swim was strong but on the bike I had issues. There were problems with my wheels as a spoke broke that set me back, but once on the run I put in the fastest time I have ever run 13.1 miles in a 70.3 race. This meal consumption plan seemed to be working.

As I continued to race I continued to follow this idea of the carb lessening plan as race day drew closer. That is not to say that I didn’t eat carbs because I did I just structured my consumption of them differently than in the past. At 70.3 San Juan I had a terrific race in the lead up to Ironman Texas 2013.

Ironman Texas turned out to be one of the hardest races I have ever participated in. The swim was brutal but the bike and run turned into confidence boosters for me. I rode to my fastest time at an Ironman race on the bike finishing the 112 miles in less than 6 hours and while the run was not a PR (off by :38 seconds) I did turn in the 15th fastest (out of 400+) M40-44 on that day. The weather at IMTX 2013 was like racing in a lava field on the surface of the sun but my body was well fueled for the race and thus the ability to put in a marathon time that was as fast as it was in comparison to the competition.

When I read, see or hear about athletes carb-loading the night before the race and then read their race reports to find out that they had GI issues it does not surprise me. The body can only handle so much food and the stress of an endurance event takes it toll on our bodies in more ways than one. If your GI is filled with food that was not able to be processed it is going to cause these issues.

When you are training hours and hours on end for days, weeks and months the simple act of throwing all of that away so that you can eat a piled high plate of pasta does not make much sense. You have the moment you cross the finish line to stuff your face with chocolate cake and anything else you can get your hands on so don’t throw all your hard work away for one meal prior to race day.

Jason Bahamundi is a 3x Ironman who writes about the sport of triathlon while living a plant-based lifestyle on the blog Cook Train Eat Race. You can also find his musings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Tri-Friends: Team Res-Puli

First "Couples" installment of Tri-Friends.  Team Res-Puli

From Nic: Part of me wishes my husband was remotely interested in triathlons and enjoy reading Team Res-Puli's blog for the reason that they are a couple and team.  (However, as much as I would love my husband to TRI with me... i would need need to find someone to drop me off at races so I don't have to worry about parking or lug all my stuff back to the car after?! :)

At any rate...
Welcome Team Res-Puli to TriBloggers!   You can read their bio HERE

Puli started with cycling but did both of you quickly catch the tri-bug or did it take time?
As a couple, we have always lived by the mentality that sharing many experiences together will help us to grow closer in our relationship. Puli started with cycling and Res followed shortly after. We weren’t good or anything, our “long” rides were rides by the Trinity River Trails near downtown Fort Worth and no more that 20 miles, we were feeling safe since there were no cars. We did that for about 3 years and we also did 2 MS150s rides and a few bike rallies during that time. The tri bug came a bit later. Puli’s brother had started training for tris in Colombia. We went there to visit and saw him training, we then came back with the bug and started looking into it. Took us about 5-6 months to find a team that we would feel comfortable with until we found our current team IronTex Triathlon.

What has been your favorite moment during a race that you shared together?
Puli: We have a few favorite moments while racing. It is hard to share a lot during the races because either we are in total different waves or Puli is always slightly faster particularly on race days. Our favorite moment of all times was during our first Ironman 70.3 at Austin. Res had gone in an earlier wave on the swim and I was in the last wave. I had told her that I was going to catch her on the bike and she pushed hard not to let that happen, deep inside her she didn’t want that to happen. I got off the bike and got into the run and at mile 2 saw a couple of girls from the cheering squad that told me she was just ahead and I just ran to catch her. After I caught up with her at mile 3 or 4, we did the rest of the half marathon together finishing the whole thing together. We had gone through a lot a couple of weeks prior to the race when we crashed together and we thought we weren’t going to be able to even get back on our bikes or swim on race day. But that finish was just priceless and pretty much summarizes everything that we mean by doing this together and sharing the moment together. It was more like Res dragging me to the finish line but I wouldn’t change it for anything!.

What is something that is unique to doing triathlons/training as a couple?
Both: There are a lot of things that are unique about doing tris as a couple or even training together. We’ve been able to learn a lot and definitely grow as a couple in this process. Training together has its perks, for one you know you will always have a partner, regardless of how fast or slow each of you go, you know there is always someone in front, behind or sometimes next to you. Also, on a training plan like the one for Ironman (or long distance tris) where you have to balance work, training and life in general, it does help to have a partner in crime with you. It is pretty hard when you go out on a 6:30 hour bike ride and come back exhausted not wanting to do anything. Being a tri-ing couple you get to share that together, where if you are not training together, it might be a bit hard to make sure the other half is happy as well. There are also some perks that we think are also important and unique... for example, you get to go on couple’s massages together pretty often, and that is not only to pamper yourself and spend time together, but because you need them :).

Res: There is something we always say between us, and that is we are not competing against each other. However we always push each other and help each other with our weaknesses. In the beginning, Puli really panicked at the first open water swims. Our coach talked to him and gave him all the pointers, but on the next one I made sure I was swimming next to him. Luckily, he was going slow enough due to his newly found fear, but I was able to reassure him by just being there that it was going to be ok. Now, he doesn’t really need the reassurance and he has become a stronger swimmer. My swimming has also improved, but not enough to catch Puli. :).

What is your biggest struggle as an #ironcouple
Res: One of our biggest struggles is helping each other realize that we have come a long way. Puli’s strengths are more obvious and he has become stronger in all three disciplines. I have also worked my way to become a stronger athlete. Coming from a background where none of the 3 sports were visible growing up, I’ve come long ways.
Puli: Another struggle that we actually got to find towards the end of IM training was that, believe it or not it might sound cheesy, training alone is one of the toughest things to do. I’ve been traveling and while I’ve been going to Oregon where I get a chance to do all workouts and have awesome bike rides, it is not the same for either one of us to do it alone. Res has the team support back home which is good once you get to leave the house, but being alone its hard because it is hard to find that motivation to even get ready. So pushing each other from the distance has been a lot harder. Learning that is hard, and you find motivation comes in many different ways, just need to come at the right time.

Check them out!
Team ResPuli

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tri-Pro - Lauren Goss

Another installment of Tri-Pro Interviews--> Lauren Goss

Lauren graciously agreed to answer some questions for the site.  It was fun corresponding with her about all things triathlon with a dash of reality TV insider gossip.  Best of luck to Lauren as she chases down Series points!
What are considerations when choosing your race calendar for the year? What is your A Race for this year?
2013 is another building year for me. I am still trying to make a name for myself and become an athlete that companies will want to work with. Sponsorship is a huge part of triathlon and in order to be seen one must race ! Therefore, I am racing as much as possible without the risk of injury or getting burnt out. It is easier for me though because I am only racing olympic distance. I have 17 races on the schedule this year. My main focuses are the Rev3 Series, Lifetime Fitness Series, and being top 5 at the HyVee triathlon. For this year, my A races are HyVee on Sept 1 in Des Moines, Iowa and then the Lifetime Fitness Finale in Oceanside, CA on October 20th. The Rev3 finale is next year in May in Knoxville, TN. This gives me a little more time and allows me to participate in all 3 finale events being at peak fitness.

What has been your biggest training challenge moving out to Arizona?
The biggest challenge since moving to Tucson is mastering nutrition. I am used to training in humid conditions, and in Tucson it is very dry and hot. I am constantly falling behind on my hydration and calories. Since it is so hot, I have little appetite and since I am not sweating as much I forget to drink. This sounds like such a simple task, but it has really had an impact on the quality of my training sessions. I have also had to adjust my schedule so that I am able to train in the summer here. Pretty much, I am up at 4:45am every day and in bed by 8pm.

What are some of your hobbies when you aren't swimming/biking/running?

I really enjoy cooking...and not really gourmet cooking. I like to create meals with the random ingredients I have in the house. Often times I am too tired to go to the shop so I just make something up with the things I have already.

If you were only "participating" in a race for fun (not racing), would you choose the Oly Distance Tri? If so.. or if not.. why?
Ha, I would choose the sprint triathlon! I really enjoy going all out from the gun. I do not really enjoy the pacing side of triathlon, so the shorter the distance the better it is for me :)

Follow Lauren at:

Monday, July 8, 2013

New Blogs!

I normally like to spread out my posts throughout the week as I am not quite in the position to post everyday however, I have SO Many new blogs to add, don't want to wait any longer!

Michele Lash- (NH) 70.3 & OLY. Native Pittsburgher, Digital Media & Web Development coach

Tom Garbett - (Europe) 16 year old triathlete chasing the ironman dream! Qualified for the standard distance Triathlon World Championships in 2013

Mom Extraordinaire to 2 kids--one w/hearing loss & other special medical needs. Runner, triathlete, cook, vegetarian, wife to dh with YOPD, & kind person.

Crossfitter and Triathlete (MN)

TriStories- (Europe, Belgium)- Confessions of a beginner Triathlete 

Steven Burkard- (Canada) dad|caveman|triathlete|born|raised|proud

Steve Crossman- (Australia) Aussie triathlon kook, husband, geographer, aspiring teacher, Working on a m25-29 ticket to the Big Island 

Utah Tri Dad (Utah) - http://www.utahtridad.blogspot.com/ 

Korin Hardt (Texas)-army wife, mom, teacher, crossfitter and a triathlete. Now I want to be an Ironman!
70.3 finisher. Mother of two. Wife. Web Developer. Native Pittsburgher living in New England - See more at: http://micheleintransition.com/#sthash.BYUCIpf3.dpuf
70.3 finisher. Mother of two. Wife. Web Developer. Native Pittsburgher living in New England - See more at: http://micheleintransition.com/#sthash.BYUCIpf3.dpuf
70.3 finisher. Mother of two. Wife. Web Developer. Native Pittsburgher living in New England - See more at: http://micheleintransition.com/#sthash.BYUCIpf3.dpuf

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Tri Life- Consider an Off Road Triathlon

I met Alex Modestou on Twitter and have been following his blog for a few months.  He is an off-road triathlete and recently was 1st overall amateur at the 2013 XTERRA EAST Championships. With the majority of us road triathletes, I asked him to share his thoughts and insights on Off Road Triathlons.  I hope you found the info as interesting as I did. 

Alex's Article
One of the only people in T2... told you he was a rock star
When I first started racing triathlon in 2005, I began like almost everyone else: on the road. It was awesome. I loved the challenge of putting all three sports together. I loved the opportunity provided by competition to push my body to its limit. The structure of a race schedule held me accountable to my athletic goals and kept me on track to keep improving.

In my bike and run training, I turned more and more to trails to add some variety and to get out in nature as an alternative to pounding the pavement day after day. As I built my off-road skills, I wondered if there was such a thing as trail racing. I did a quick search and found Xterra, a worldwide series of off-road triathlons with dozens of races around the US. Once I raced my first Xterra, I was hooked on off-road triathlon for good. As of this writing I’ve done 11 different off-road triathlons, and I’m set to try two more new races later this season.

The Xterra tribe is a welcoming community of adventurous individuals that bring out the best in each other. When I was new to the game, seasoned racers were eager to give me the run down and answer all my questions. They even gave me energy bars and gels to use! (I was totally clueless about race nutrition at the time.) I’ve seen empathetic racers stop to help others with mechanical issues such as flats, broken chains, etc. Once when I got stuck in deep sand, a racer who was walking his bike gave me a running push start like the exuberant Tour de France fans.

If you’re still with me, here are a few questions to ask if you’re considering joining me off-road:

Do you like nature?

The course and mother nature are your greatest competitors. Each race offers its own blend of challenges unique to the terrain and weather, and the opportunity to completely lose yourself in the moment and in the outdoors.
West Virginia

Do you ever get bored of crouching in your aero bars?
Mountain biking and trail running add an extra layer of challenge and intrigue to the sport. You don’t need a power meter, mantra, or rock music to keep you excited on a ride or a run; your mind is absorbed with negotiating the rocks, roots, and undulating terrain immediately in front of you. As with road triathlons, success comes in part from incremental improvements in speed, power, and endurance. However, there is an additional sense of accomplishment from executing a technically sound race, where you truly flowed with the trail. The ability to continually improve your mountain biking and trail running technique on top of raw fitness gains keeps competitors coming back year after year.

Have you ever felt lost in the crowd?
Xterra offers a smaller, more personalized race experience - with a national and world championship to aspire towards, and a points series that determines regional champions. There are several races in each region of the country, giving racers the opportunity to commune with their fellow tribesmen on a regular basis.

I’ve yet to meet a roadie who crossed over to Xterra and didn’t have a total blast. I hope to see more of you at the next race.

Alex Modestou is an off-road triathlete based in Washington, DC. He enjoys swimming, biking, running, and eating at Chipotle. When he’s not using analytics to fight insurance fraud, he is training, racing, or writing about triathlon on his blog at www.alexmodestou.com.  

Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexvmodestou

For those interested: 
CLICK HERE for the XTERRA schedule
CLICK HERE for another list from TriFind

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Tri-Products: Tri-Pep Powder Product Review

Thanks to all the TriBlogger Followers, the site has been approached to do some product reviews. These reviews are not paid for other than them providing the materials for review. As my goal is to make this site about the readers, I plan to share the love of the products with interactive bloggers. I also think having different people reviewing products will keep reviews interesting and honest.  (so keep the dialogue open with me here, on twitter, fb, instagram.. and I might ask you to review some products!)

I asked Mike of First Ever Tri-Friend fame (and is 23 days; 19 hrs & 25 minutes from IMLP when i published this.... but who's counting), to review some supplements provided by Best Price Nutrition; here is his review:


Who doesn't like amino acids?  Carbon.  Hydrogen. Oxygen.  Nitrogen.  Yes, please.

Tri-Pep: Branch Chain Amino Acid Powder (provided by Best Price Nutrition) for ChiTriBloggers .  I was not paid in anyway shape or form and am not affiliated with the company (nor or any of my family members or friends).

With a name like Tri-Pep...it's got to be good for triathletes, right?  So let's break it down...the powder claims to:

So two weeks ago I was approached to do a product review on
  1. Improve Exercise Performance
  2. Accelerate Post Workout Recovery
  3. Preserve Lean Muscle Mass
Despite the name, I am pretty sure the intended market is more body builder athlete.  Something no one will ever confuse me with.  However, there seemed to be some benefits to be investigated.
Background:  I'm three and a half weeks out from Ironman Lake Placid.  As any good triathlete would know, I'm in the peak weeks just prior to taper.  My volume is high.  My intensity is high.  I can't eat enough.  I can't stay awake.  My life is pretty much a cluster at this point.  So it seemed like the perfect time to throw one more new thing at my body.  
Marketed as a dietary supplement, Tri-Pep is "ideal for any consumer who demands superior quality, uncompromising results, and is looking to increase lean muscle mass, strength, and maximize physical enhancement...guaranteed."  Bla, bla, bla...the real questions:  HOW DOES IT TASTE?!?!?!?  Short answer...not bad.  

Available in 4 Flavors:
Lemonade, Grape, Watermelon & Unflavored
The back of the packet has instructions for how much powder per oz of water.  I recommend making sure you hit this number correctly.  They suggest different amounts based on your ultimate goals from the product. 
No suprise, I was focused on using the power as post workout recovery.  Coming off workouts ranging from tempo runs, long runs, hard bike intervals, long rides of 4-5 hours, and a mix of short swims and long swims.  So pretty much everything.
I used the powder a few times as stand alone (just water) and a few time in my post workout smoothie. No surprise that the powder went in the smoothie unnoticed.  As a stand alone drink, it was refreshingly smooth and had a decent taste.  Ironically, the "unflavored" had a very green tea flair to it...and was probably my favorite.  I actually put it in my green tea one day as a late afternoon drink.  Thumbs up.
So, next question:  DID IT WORK?  I've got no idea.
I've got to say I had no adverse reactions to the powder.  I will also say, that I have had excellent recovery throughout training for IMLP.  Last week was no different.  As an AP statistics teacher, a sample size of 1 is obviously meaningless.  However, I will gladly finish the samples provided to me and will consider purchasing some in the future. All in all...good product!

Monday, July 1, 2013

GO>ID Winner

that shape stands for twitter :)   JNel, contact me to arrange shipment!

Tri-Life: Against The Odds by: John Pendergrass

John Pendergrass is a Vietnam Vet and practicing ophthalmologist who decided at age 60, he wanted to take on 140.6. The sub-3 marathoner thought that completing an Ironman wasn't enough and set the goal of completing 6 Ironmans on 6 different continents! This book chronicles his journey with humor, sarcasm, and honesty. From his training in the rain, bike accidents, injuries and "sea creatures" during open water swimming... any AG'er can relate to his experiences in some way.
Image of John L. Pendergrass
The book is inspiring and I walked away with even more respect for the sport and more desire than ever to complete an Ironman.  John embodies Ironman's slogan that 'anything is possible.' I also left with a deeper admiration for those serving in the military which I wasn't expecting at all. I am grateful for John for writing his experiences down and serving our country. 

This site was created to allow everyday athletes to connect and share in each other's experiences. John's book is just another extension of that.  I definitely recommend this book for inspiration, triathlon humor or to live a bit vicariously through a 60 year old and his globe-trotting adventures. 

An excerpt from the book:
For me, the flights in S Vietnam and Laos were bad, but the missions over N Vietnam were terrifying.  The evenings before I was scheduled to fly over N Vietnam were in many ways very similar to the evenings before I competed in an IRONMAN Triathlon.  It was the same style of emotional roller coaster, a time to question your courage, your competence, your sanity. 

In both cases I would lie in bed wondering, "What the hell am I doing?"  From a distance these physically difficult and dangerous challenges had a definite appeal.  It was my opportunity to rise to the occasion, to do things that few people had ever done, to join an exclusive club, to go a step further than necessary.  It's always easy to be adventurous and fearless from afar.  I've always had great armchair courage, it's probably more of a curse than a blessing.  

John's Book on AMAZON
Against the Odds on Facebook

**John sent me a copy of his book to review but no money was exchanged and all my opinions are my own.** 

HeadSweats Coupon Code

Use CHITRI25 for 25% any full priced item!  Love their stuff!