Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Trying new things...

Its been a while since I've been here. To be honest I've gotten so busy with changes to work, life, etc that I realize I've been just in the mode of 'doing'. That is moving from one thing to the next in an endless cycle of responsibilities which I'm sure many of you can relate to. What I do realize is that even though I take some me time and exercise / train daily, I feel I don't have much of an opportunity to do things for myself that are meaningful. I do a lot of doing for a lot of other people. Don't get me wrong - I love it! But, I also have started to realize in order to continue to do those things to help be there for other people I also need to nourish myself.  So - this year I am making an attempt to do just that - nourish my body, my mind, my soul. What will that look like?  Honestly I don't know yet. But I'm thinking I will just start right here and now with a few musings, thoughts, and new things to keep me motivated.

So - what have I been up too. Well - 2016 was positive in many aspects but a rough year in many others. I am actually truly thrilled to jump into a whole new year. I do feel a shift coming, a change, and I am reaching out to 2017 in a whole new way. This year I've started by taking a big step towards opportunities I never thought possible - GO ME! I will share more on this later.

For now  I've decided to take a leap forward and put training and racing 'on the bench' for this winter and focus on earning my 200 Hour Yoga Teaching Certificate through the Baptiste Institute. I just completed my first weekend and all I can say is - WOW - totally not what I expected. Physically I can handle it - though it was more of a challenge to move in a daily vinyasa focused practice than I expected. It was very taxing emotionally but I think that this is positive and will help me find my 'Drishti' (focus) this year.

Until than - Namaste!


Friday, December 4, 2015

Off Season Recovery - Part 1

So folks,

For most of us its the off-season (YAY!). We still have a few of our TTE Teammates with a race or two left, but for most of us the season is long behind us and we're happily settled into our winter off-season. Its funny, I had an interesting conversation with my hubby Dave and Chiropractor Doc Isabeau the other day about how I didn't realize how tired I was from the whole season. As the days continue to get shorter and darker I've begun taking full advantage of the opportunities to sleep in, dial back workouts, try some new fun things, and of course - take a look back to reflect on the season.

As we begin closing out 2015 take a moment to reflect back on your year and consider what you might want to 'tinker with' or change for next year.

1. Take a look back
Now is a good time to sit down and meet with your coach, mentor, or training diary and really evaluate your season - ie. the pluses, minuses, motivations (or lack-there of) and goals you had along the way. Try writing this down and ask yourself the following questions:

-What would you change?
-What would you keep the same?
-What went well?
-What didn't?

Its easy to make a few notes in your training log or what I like to call  "It's a wrap sheet" and point yourself in the direction of finding solutions to these problems during the off-season.

2.  How do you fix or change these things?
Based on #1 you should be able to figure this out on your own initially. Somethings to consider...

-Do you have a nagging "niggle or injury"?
-Did you have equipment, mechanical failures, or bike fit issues?
-How were your feet?? Is it time too consider changing shoes or introducing a new pair?
-Did you panic in the swim or have cramping, steering, or technique issues??
-etc, etc...

I ask you to reflect on these topics because coming from both an athlete and coaching perspective these things can be tremendously difficult and stressful for an athlete to change or address mid-season or before a big race. I actually witnessed this quite a bit during this last season with athletes switching bikes, power meters, running shoes, nutrition plans, and bike fits and than finding even bigger problems later. Sadly this also created a tremendous amount of mental / emotional stress for not only the athlete but their families (and coach too!).

3.  Experiment - and don't be a "Jack of All Trades but Master of None":
NOW is the time to experiment with some new changes. Do you have a new bike or gearing you'd like to try?? Is it time for a new wetsuit, helmet, or pair of shoes?  Did something go wrong with your nutrition or health this season?? Now is the time to seek the help of a professional and specialist in what you are needing help with - maybe that's a nutritionist, physical therapist, doctor, or coach.

4.  Go Easy on yourself my friend:
Repeat after me - "I am NOT an addict" aka "Exercise Addict". I am doing this for health, enjoyment, fulfillment, comraderie, and fun! Yes - that three little word. I think many triathletes get so wrapped up in their end goals they forget to appreciate the journey. Remember that life is a series of moments and experiences we share with others and ourselves.  Savor those moments and enjoy the process. I promise you won't regret it.

5.  Take time to say "Yes":
Let's face it,  we can be very driven at times and relentless in our pursuits. While this can be a good quality in many areas it can also rear its ugly head when taken to an extreme. Our "hobbies" and sport can demand a lot of time during the spring and summer months spent away from our homes, families, and careers. We spend so much time saying "No" during the season that its now time to say "Yes" and than "FILL IN THE BLANK HERE".

Need a few ideas to remember how to chill out?? Here ya go....just say yes to.....:
-A date with your spouse or significant other
-A movie night out with friends
-Have a glass of wine!
-Goodness - eat a piece of chocolate! Its ok.
-To a career opportunity
-Try a new class or fitness program
-Go to Yoga!!! Yes - get on the mat my friends
-Take your kids (and their friends) out bowling
-Going for a walk / hike with the family/friends (instead of going for a run)
-Paint the hallway or re-organize those closets instead of riding your bike all day - yes - donate all those un-used coats, jerseys, etc. Youth development programs, the recent Napa Fire victims, and homeless are all in need.
-To sleeping in.....

In closing...
The awesome thing about endurance athletes is we are smart, problem solving, multi-disciplinary creatures by nature. The flip side of that is we try to do everything ourselves. Remember - its OK and good to:

a. Ask others for help
b. Say YES to something fun and new (besides swimming/biking/running)
c. Hitting the snooze and skipping your swim

Happy Off-season Ya'll! Enjoy....:) JL

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Its the end...of a very good...but very long season...

I can't believe how time has flown this year and fall has arrived. It's been a busy summer of working, racing, and coaching. I have much to report from Full Vineman to Ironman Coeur d'Alene and things I learned along the way to a personal best performance at Ironman Lake Tahoe.

All I can say for now is it's nice to have a morning where the alarm doesn't go off at 5:15 to roll out to the pool or hit the trainer. For those of you who find it difficult to take a solid rest break at the start of the off season I would encourage you to re-evaluate that. After this season I firmly believe that if you put in a solid block(s) of consistent training and raced hard to your ability than you should be sufficiently tired / fatigued enough both mentally and physically to 'shut it off' for a while and focus on other things.

For now - I will enjoy my 'sleep in mornings', hitting the mat for yoga, and getting back in the gym.  I love the opportunity to eat real food and no sports products plus work on some fun stuff like house projects, spending time with the family, and getting creative in the kitchen.

Last, I wanted to say 'thank you' to all my team mates for everything this summer.  We worked hard together to get where we are and it's your friendship, support, and comradery that make it all worth-while.  Also, many congrats to everyone for a team division win at both Vineman 70.3 and Ironman Lake Tahoe this year. That one takes all of us and isn't for those flying solo!  

Many good luck wishes to my friends racing Kona this week! May the waters be smooth sailing, the wind be at your back, and you find lightness in your feet. Here's a cheers to the beginning of a relaxing, fun, fall off-season. 

Ciao for now~

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

We're having a heat wave....

So, how is your summer going? It seems for me it's been one of those 'more memorable' years in many ways. It's been a whirlwind as usual between work, coaching athletes, and finding time for my own adventures, but with the added layer of the drought and some family issues it seems to have upped the anty.

I have found this year to be a bit more draining on my usual endless reserves.  I have to admit that this year's "Survivor IMCDA" or #infernoman CDA sorta of took me to the well. With record breaking temps it certainly wasn't the performance I had been aiming for, but was certainly memorable.  So the forcast was for 107 on race day and they didn't lie - no joke - it was crazy hot.
Water was the warmest I've ever swam in there. Most times in the 50's - race day was 73. I did get my goggles kicked off but managed to grab them before they flew thru the air. It was a catch worthy of an NFL player to be sure! The rest was per usual, all feet in the face and elbows flying.

When I finally got out and on to the bike it was in the mid-80's! YOWZERS! You could really feel the heat already as you climbed out on to the high way. I chose to go sans aero helmet and just go standard vented road helmet to allow for more heat dissipation and water in. Proved to be a wise move as I saw many over heat, cramp, and drop out at the end of the bike. Second lap on the bike was fairly brutal and was reported by a volunteer at 110 at the turn around on the bike (2nd lap). Alas the also ran out of water at the 100 mile aide station. WOW - $800 bucks for an Ironman and no water on record temp days, eh....not cool!!

Lucky for me I kept my cool, had arm cooler wings on (thank god), and was wise enough to hang on to the pop top water bottles the aide station volunteers handed out from earlier. I always took on water, wet my wings and head, and shoved that bottle in the back of my shorts for between aide station cooling - apparently this strategy also worked as many dropped out and suffered on this lap. It was total carnage out there folks. Dudes lined up all over the road at the end before heading onto the bridge waiting to be picked up by sag and being taken care of by the EMS folks. Word to the wise - slow down! It is not wise (in my book) to try and ride 'faster' when its coooler and slow down once it gets hot. (yes - i heard this strategy chatter alot - shocking!). There is the whole 'core body temperature' concept. Essentially the harder you work earlier in the race, the higher your core body temp is for a longer period of time during the day. Not a wise thing to do when temperatures are over the 105 degree mark. I strongly encourage you to slow down, stay cool, and save it for the run when its the hottest part of the day.

I have to say that was one toasty event. Certainly the hottest marathon I've ever 'run' (if that's what you call it). I have had the misfortune to ride in heat like that more than my fair share of times, so I think I handled it better than most. But again - no joke that was by far the hardest, hottest marathon I've ever done. Nothing like running 26.2 when all you want to do is curl up in an ice bucket or hurl. Which I did do! Yes - many asked what my run 'strategy' was - how did I step it up and finish so strong? Well - my answer folks is that I actually just ran and didn't walk. When I was running I actually ran a fairly consistent pace. The rest of the time I walked aide stations so I could take on ice, water, and keep my core body temp down as much as possible.

I will admit however that the end was an absolute beast and it took a lot out of me to stay in the game. By mile 22 I finally hurled at the top of the hill and felt better, so I started running and cutting walk breaks shorter as I realized I was getting close to the 13 hour mark. No way in HELL was I going to be out there for 13 hours! So - I buckled down, gritted my teeth and ran the whole last 6 miles much to the dismay of my stomach. Yes - I did have to stop now and than as I had massive stomach cramps - but I just figured out a way to keep shuffling along. I actually did ask my husband and Coach Dave Latourette to "Please - DON'T leave me alone out here".  I really drew from every reserve I had and his simple presence and knowing he was on the side of the road to cheer me on made me keep my head on straight. Thanks babe! Love you!

Finally reached the finished line and promptly headed to medical for 2 hours. Can honestly say a first for me after an Ironman. It was by far not my best, the prettiest, and certainly not my fastest, but I'll take it. I will also say I am DONE with IMCDA. That chapter in my book is officially closed. I have given my teammates permission to punch my if I try to sign up for it again.

THANK YOU to teammate Julie and her family for being our host family, for cheering for me out in that incredible heat, and being moral support. I can quite possibly never get enough of her mom's watermelon/cucumber and potato salad! I think I have a new race week tradition there. :) Again - many thanks to all for giving so much. This truly was the toughest race of my life.
                                                                                                                        So - there ya go Survivor CDA in a nutshell. I will report more athlete victories at Vineman this year next,


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy Holidays!! On the run...

Yes, the holidays are now here and it seems we are all on the run and in more ways than one. In NorCal this is running season! We run love to hit the trails out here and run some cross-country, get muddy, and find a cool trail race to do.

This past weekend we had a huge rain storm that finally eased off before me and some of the ladies hit the trails at the North Face 1/2 Marathon. Muddy, hilly, and hearts pounding we slid around, got dirty, ran, hiked and laughed our butts off.  Its a great event and one that's fun to do with friends. There is something to be said for running together with your friends and not worrying about times.

So get out there and hit the trails, its good to get dirty now and than. Plus you'll have the added benefit of burning off more than 1 or 2 cookies!


Friday, October 24, 2014

The season is over folks!

Yes, fall has finally arrived and with it a teeny bit of the rain we so desperately need here in Norcal. Its been a very busy, full season - quite a blur actually - but a good one! It did seem to be one of the busiest I've had in recent memory though - so many pics and thoughts to post. This actually is one of my favorite times of year. For all of us endurance athletes fall signals the start of 'off-season' and signals a time to rest our bodies, brains, and spend more time 'goofing off' with family and friends. With that said I do still have goals, let's be real folks. But these are my 'happy list goals' and one's I look forward to checking off my list. If you haven't put your's together yet I hope this inspires you to grab a pen and paper!

So my goal by the end of the year is to do the following......

*Spend more time at home with my sanctuary - hubby, home, and K-9 companion
We spend all race season working so dang hard not only training all our athletes and running the TTE Nation Team but working events and training ourselves too. It leaves little time for romance and cleaning out the closets when the whole house suffers from 'training neglect'. I hear a date night calling......

*Quality time visiting the family!
I've already been on a couple trips - Seattle to see the grandparents and North Carolina to see all my aunts, uncles, and cousins back east (aka home).  Up next is another trip to Seattle to spend more time with my grandparents and Aunt who are going through the challenges of transferring to assited living and Virginia for Christmas to see my bro. I think this time is important. While my hubby Dave and I don't have children we are very family oriented and its important to balance my life with real time spend with the family. Its always fun to be "Aunt Jenny" who gets to spoil all the kids. It also helps keep grounded and gives perspective on what an amazing life we have out here.

*Sleep in! 
No early a.m. crack-ass of dawn workouts every day of the week - period! I am absolutely RELISHING my sleep in time and have simply split some of training sessions in two and do 1 a.m. and 1 p.m. OR I just do one (a novel idea!).  I recently added a new sleep app to my phone called "Sleep Cycle". Its free and even takes your waking heart rate. The nifty charts and graphs even help you track your worst and best nights sleep, average sleep, time in bed, and heart rate. A very useful tool that I plan to use all year.

*Spend more time in the kitchen
Baking, experimenting with friends, and breaking out the crock pot are at the top of my list.
I've already started this and the husband is loving the smells walking in the door :)

*Run, yoga, and strength train more
My goal is 4-5 days a week of healthy running and specifically more hill and trail running. And of course 2-3 days a week of 'non-sissy' hard-core gym work. I was at a trail race recently in Marin - the Coyote Ridge Trail Run put on by the folks at 'Coastal Trail Runs' and after a brief discussion with my BFF we opted for the 10-miler. Of course we always bump into peeps we know doing the 20 miler and all we could think was - 'thank god we decided to go shorter'! Yes - its true - I am a total distance diva....but I am SO done with that for the year. I go long all year and right now I want to go fast, go short, and go home! So - I've got a bunch of half marathon stuff to keep me leaned up this fall including the Stinson Beach half, Napa Harvest Half, and we'll culminate with the North face challenge half. So hills, hills, and more hills - hill intervals here I come! Enough said :)  WRT strength- I have a minor obsession with body pump!!@ So 2x a week sessions now is SO much fun though I am sore as hell- I LOVE it! I plan to add some other fun stuff including TRX and yoga to work out all the kinks as well.

*Write a weekly post in my blog!
I KNOW, I keep saying this but its time to commit for reals. I should no better than to over commit during race season when I have ZERO time...but alas writing and bloggin is a passion - so its time to 'buck up' as I heard recently on the Big Bang Theory.  And yes - I do have a book or two in mind as well...but for now I am starting here with my newly re-designed blog and WEEKLY POSTS!!! Thank you for the support!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dog days of summer....

The summer race season is about over here in Norcal now that the Vineman events are officially over in Sonoma County. Many athletes here are done with their seasons with the conclusion of Vineman while others are gearing up for late summer and early fall races.  If you are still one of the motivated peeps who didn't start training in December and are looking to use some more of your hard earned summer fitness there are 3 new races on the Norcal race scene! Exciting times folks as we haven't truly had anything new in quite some time.

Here's the scoop:

August:  Oakland Triathlons
There will be a sprint and olympic distance for those looking to go fast, go hard, and go home! Especially for those of you who usually do the Ukiah Triathlon this is a good alternative as that race has been cancelled due to the drought. I can't say enough how valuable the shorter distance races are - even to all of you long course junkies. They give you an edge you just can't get going 'steady betty' all the time.

September:  Ironman 70.3 Lake Tahoe
For those of you who race Vineman 70.3 OR didn't get in, got injured, whatever....there is a cool new 70.3 right here in Norcal! Tahoe is an AMAZING venue - need I say more?@! You don't have to step up to the big beastly IM Tahoe...try this wicked fast looking new 70.3 course instead. Other than a little altitude (lol) and 1 big climb - this course looks to be fast, fast, fast AND jaw-droppingly beautiful. Looks EPIC to me - and since Ironmans contract with the City of Lake Tahoe is only for three years this race might not be back on the calendar next why the hell not give it a whirl?@!

October:  Challenge Rancho Cordova!!
YES - another very coool race series. This actually used to be the old Folsom Half Ironman series. This new 70.3 distance is now in October instead of August and is also another really fast course. Though not quite as pretty as Tahoe the Challenge family puts on an amazing series of races and is worth the time and money. Give it a shot and see what you got!

That's it for now folks. I will post some updates and photos from the summer and Vineman soon.  For now the TTE Nation is headed to Tahoe for our Annual Summer Training Camp. Not only do we get some crazy good training in we also get to enjoy a summer vacation together and a chance to chill by the lake....updates and plenty of pics to come...

Ciao for now~