Friday, September 25, 2015



I am still alive contrary to the activity on my blog.  So much has happened in the last few months and I will tell you all about it as we go along.  In short, I completed my first Olympic triathlon (hardest thing ever), I ran a half marathon 5 days later (recovery time is more important than I realized), I turned thirty (officially an adult now), I started training for my first marathon (long runs in the rain and 90 degree weather while on vacation), I got injured (first time every), I had to drop out of my first marathon (tears and tears and MRIs), and now I am just a walking fool while I try to regroup and figure out what is next.

Other than that I am back to work after a lovely summer off with my husband and doing pretty good.  I am missing blogging so I will be back to writing very soon.

Miss you!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Running Recap

Hello, I have been a bit quiet lately due to super busy work and lots of training but I am still around and running lots.  I am working on my race report for the Gold Nugget Triathlon but until then I have lots of new fun stuff to tell you.

Training is going well, I have been keeping to my 6 day a week schedule and while I am feeling a bit rundown and tired/grumpy today if you had talked to me this weekend I would have told you I am finally feeling the increase in strength and ability from all this hard work.  Last week was a little different due the the holiday but basically looked like this:

Monday - Long run: 10 miles
Tuesday - Swim & 13 mile very hilly bike ride (no cross fit because my back was sore and I was scared to injure it)
Wednesday - Rest (Softball - I had a great hit!)
Thursday - Ran 5 miles, walked 1 due to a feeling of imminent puking, reason - hot day& bad hydration.
Friday - Swam 1000m in 12:13 500m splits
Saturday - Biked 2 hours on trainer, ran 5 miles on hot hilly route
Sunday - ran 10 miles in AM to beat heat

Elevation on Tuesday night bike ride
Saturday morning brick training
The highlights of the week were the total miles, the brick on Saturday and the awesome swim splits on Friday.  The low lights included my really slow paces on Saturday and Sunday and the fact my quad does not feel awesome right now.  Missing cross fit was a bummer but completely the right choice. The grumpiness I mentioned earlier mostly has to do with my lack of sleep lately and embarrassingly slow paces.  I am currently planning for some faster runs this week and some speed work in my future training schedule, it kinda got edged out of this one.

Lots of napping needed to combat training exhaustion which can lead to bad cases of the grumps, example - today
30 Goals
My 30 goals are going really well actually.  I turn 30 in less than 3 weeks and while I haven't made progress on all my goals, I have made awesome progress on a couple and that makes me really happy. 

To start with I joined a softball team which was part of my engaging with new groups/making new friends and while I still get insanely nervous when I have to bat its been pretty good for the most part.  I also started going to some group triathlon training which again makes me super nervous but also connects me to some awesome people. Another big success has been the fact that I am rocking my nutrition and have lost about 10lbs this month, so yeah that's awesome!  And obviously my exercise is going well as shown above.
Softball treats

The part I haven't made much progress on are the mental health which is actually because the natural state of my mental health has been really good lately so I haven't been inspired to really work on it.  I know I should be working on it all year so January/February doesn't hit so hard but lately with the summer sun and lots of exercise endorphins I have felt very positive and happy!

Got my wetsuit ready for the lake swims!

Upcoming Races
I have made some big commitments to some upcoming races, 30 is going to be a really fun year!  In October I am going to be running my first marathon in Portland, in April I will be competing in the Olympic Triathlon Lavaman in Hawaii and in June we will be going for the big 70.3 Ironman - location undetermined at this point.  That sentence scares the crap out of me because I know it will be a TON of hard work but also totally worth it!

Happy Racing!

Keep on Running

Monday, May 11, 2015

Long Runs in the Sun and Other Outdoor Fun!

This is a year to remember, I live in Alaska where the snow covers the ground usually about half the year, but this year has been unique.  You may have heard me complaining last winter about the lack of snow for winter recreation but that same lack of snow is making for a nice summer.  Yes I am calling it summer already - when it hits mid 50s to 60s in Alaska it's officially summer.  Snow has been gone for a while and the weather has been beautiful!  Perfect for long runs.

This past week was a good one for workouts I got most if not all of them in and it looked like the following:
The Grand Plan
  • Monday - 3 mile tempo/timed run (not really sure what to call this - I am just doing three fairly steady miles to see if I can get more used to running 3 miles hard and improve my time.
  • Tuesday - Crossfit & 5k pub run @ SUPER easy pace
  • Wednesday - Rest Day & Softball
  • Thursday - 2 miles of speed play
  • Friday - Very reluctant swim (my practice was canceled due to pool issues so my husband had to drag me to a local high school pool where I reluctantly swam some random laps resting in between almost all of them :) )
  • Saturday - Brick - 5 mile bike and 1 mile run in the rain
  • Sunday - 8 miles, 4 were great, 2 were good, and the last two uphill were rough!
This week looks pretty similar except my swim schedule changes to Tuesday morning and Friday night, I will miss the pub run for a musical date night with my husband, and I am going to aim for another bike ride somewhere in there.  Really not sure where since I may up the Thursday run then go to a running seminar.  I need more days in the week!

Anyone else interested in this?
As I mentioned my weekend workouts went pretty well, my brick on Saturday got abbreviated as we were heading out of town to a party my friends put on called the Chickaloon Olympics. Its a fun day of fun outdoor cabin games that are rewarded with "Olympic medals" made out of tree rounds.  I did not do well at the axe throw and was just shy of the podium in the target practice, but was on the Silver medal team for Jandal or however you spell that.  See photo below. 
Ready to compete
Required road trip food
My bake-off contribution - Oreo peanut butter sandwich in brownies
Olympic Medals

During the brick on Saturday it rained cats and dogs which led to me being covered in mud and sloshing in my shoes, but I felt pretty strong so I was happy.

My new running shoes!
Sunday I started out running the first few miles of my long run at a 12:30 pace and felt really good.  At mile four I saw my husband who had driven out to a park 8 miles away and left the car.  He ran home and I ran to the car, and we swapped keys in the middle.  We both hate out and backs, so this is how we long run :)  Mile 5-6 were okay but Garmin was saying I slowed a bit to a 13 min mile.  It sure didn't feel like it though!  I pushed myself to run to 6 before taking a break in order to redeem myself from my terrible 6 mile long run two weeks ago.  When I heard Map my Run give me the mile marker for 6 I was really glad to stop, my tummy was not happy.  I felt like I may throw up.  I drank a bunch of water but it was warm and had nuun in it so it didn't taste super good.  The heat and my lack of hydration probably were the reason for this.  I started mile 7 by walking up a huge hill then when I forced myself to run I felt the stiffness that comes from a long time away from long runs!  Mile 8 was also rough with some huge hills but finally I finished right by the car with an awesome view.  Map My Run route planning said I needed to go a bit further, Map my run app said I was good, and Garmin was behind both before I stopped it to talk to my husband and forgot to start it again.  Grr.  Does anyone else have this issue, MMR and Garmin do not see eye to eye when it comes to distance!

This hill was much worse in person
6 miles in
Not a bad view

Apart from exercise I have been doing well eating healthy meals and tracking my food which has been represented in a downward trajectory in my weight.  I also have been working on meeting new people as you may remember was one of my 30 goals.  I played softball last week and was super nervous to show my lack of skills but it ended up going okay - I have my second game this week - go me!
Favorite veggie lover lunch
I want this cake for my birthday!

Here's to another fun week!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bike 4 Women Race Report

It was a busy weekend of races, after coming home from our Tri in Seward I got a good nights sleep and got up the next morning to head out to the Bike 4 Women in Chugiak.  It was another beautiful day so I was looking forward to getting back on my bike, which was surprising after the race the day before.

I arrived at the race course, chatted with some friends, shed some layers and got in line to start the race.  This race is a stagger start so at about 10:45 I was off.  I hit a couple hills right away and just told myself I was banking them for later in the race - the beauty of out and back courses!  The course is pretty hilly with quite a few sharp corners, but the volunteers were amazing about warning you where the big corners and cracks in the road were.

Another great year
At about the half way point I was feeling pretty good until my pedal just stopped, it wouldn't budge!  My chain had gotten stuck so I un-clipped my shoes, jumped off and spent about a minute getting things righted.  I was so thankful it was just a stuck chain that I could easily fix, I didn't want my race to be over!  Continuing on I hit the biggest of the hills and that is where I really felt the work I had put in the day before, my legs were tired.  I was hitting my lowest gear much sooner than I should had.  I just told myself "Okay Kayse its all you now!" 

Pushing hard to the end I was able to pass a lot of people and finish with a 1 second PR ;)  Hey it counts right?  I will definitely count it since I had the chain issue.  After the race I got a free coffee (Thanks Kaladi) and some licorice and loaded my bike up to head home to sit in the sun and ice my shins. 
Beautiful set up of rest and ice
This race is to raise money and awareness about gynecological cancer or cancer "down there" and is one of our amazing women only events in Anchorage.  It inspires me so much to see happy women being active and cheering each other on in events like these, we have an amazing community up here!

Pink Cheeks Triathlon Race Report

Friday night I left work and ran home to get all of my stuff together so that my husband and I could head out of town that evening and stay the night in Moose Pass, Alaska so that Saturday morning it was just a short ride to the start of our triathlon in Seward, Alaska.  We had a beautiful drive down and since the race didn't start until 11am we were able to wake to the beautiful scene below and then just laze around in the sun for a while.  Awesome start to the weekend.

Good Morning!
Saturday we arrived in Seward, said hi to some friends and got our transitions set up for the race.  This race is a backwards triathlon due to the weather at this time of year.  Normally it is still pretty chilly with possibilities of snow in April/May (it snowed the day before my first triathlon on May 18th several years ago).  But this year it could have been a normal race as the weather was amazing and hot - well for AK standards.  Regardless we set up for the backwards race then went to warm up with a jog around the parking lot.

The race started with a 5k run run.  I committed the crime of running in brand new shoes but thankfully I didn't have to do the time, my feet felt great.  My legs however were a bit heavy feeling, the run was pretty hilly or at least had a grade each direction.  I felt a bit bummed about the run part but the next day when I got my time - 35minutes, I felt a bit better when I realized that was 11 something minute miles.  While my PR time is 32 so it felt far off, for where my legs have been lately it actually was better than I thought.  I do however need to do something about my running - I'll get to that later.

After powering up the last hill with steamed up sunglasses and sweat flying off me I ran into transition and got my bike shoes on for my favorite part of the race.  I had been warned ahead of time that the bike section had lots of turns and gravel.  Gravel is the enemy of a road bike but off I went.  True to the advice the course had LOTS of turns and 3 rough sections of big chunky gravel that you had to go through several times.  Regardless the bike is my strength so I enjoyed picking off people who passed me on the run.  As I powered up the last hill the race folks yelled that I had to dismount and then run over the timing mat which was a bit of a pain, but I made it through the 10k course in 28 minutes. 

Alaska Love
After finishing the bike the time stopped and I went to get changed for the swim.  The swim was interesting to say the least.  I waited in the pool area for probably a half hour or more and then finally got my turn to run over the timing mat and jump into the pool.  The swim was a double snake swim, if that makes any sense at all.  That means we swam two laps in the first lane and then swam under the lane marker and continued this pattern through each of the 6 lanes in the pool.  There were many things that made this swim funky, the timing - last event in the race - the snake swim, the fact that it was a 25 yard length pool, and the fact it was my first real swim race since I learned to swim! 

Anyways I jumped in the water when my turn came and I was off.  The first thing I noticed is that there was something funky with the pool and my new goggles that made everything wavy - like a house of mirrors.  I had almost no depth perception and kept rubbing against the wall on my first laps.  Also the pool being yards had me come in hard on a couple turns.  But the thing I noticed most was the fact that my legs were stinking tired.  My arms ended up doing most if not all of the work, it was a bit rough and honestly my thoughts at the start were  F*** this sucks.  I  paid for this.  I signed up for more of these.  I signed up for an Olympic distance of this! F***  But I got into a slight groove as time went on and I could hear my husband cheering for me on the side so it got slightly better as I progressed.  I did however have some issues with a fellow swimmer.  There was a guy who was faster than me in the water but liked to take breaks on the ends of the pool.  So according to the rules I would let him pass me if he touched my toes during the swim but then after he passed me about a length later he decided to stand at the end of the pool to rest.  I was coming in for my turn under the lane and saw him standing there and decided to go for it.  Turns are a strength of mine and I was tired of stopping for him, so I did an underwater turn under the lane and passed him.  If your going to stand and rest, I'm not going to wait for you!  My husband said the guy threw up his arms in anger when I did this, but I stand by it.  This guy also tried to pass someone mid -lane and ran into me and again was upset when I accidentally smacked him in the face.  Again your issue dude, dont pass unless you have the power to do it without swimming into oncoming traffic.  So if you got the theme, it was a bit of a shit show, but it worked.  I powered through the end and got out and crossed the timing mat and fell right into the arms of my husband.  It felt good to be done, my arms hurt so bad!  Darn you legs - where were you???

Overall I would have loved some speedier times, the swim was 600yards and my swim time was 14:30.  I was really surprised, I felt like it should have been so much shorter, my current 500m is 11. But due to the circumstances I suppose all in all it was pretty great.  My overall time was an hour and 20 minutes which put me at 78th out of 116, but 8th in my age group.  My husband had a great race and I think finished top 20.  He could have been top 10 if he didn't take a wrong turn on the bike course! 

The race was a really nice community event and you couldn't beat the amazing weather so I think it is one we will do again.  I will remember its the first race of the season and just a fun one to get the race season started and enjoy. 

My next triathlon is in 2 weeks!!!

Friday, May 1, 2015

First Annual Auntie/Nephew Heart Run 3k Race Report

For Easter this year instead of filling a basket with candy for my 4 1/2 year old nephew Ezra I decided to make a little voucher for a very special Auntie and Nephew race.  At first Ezra didn't seem super excited by the little piece of paper but understandably he was being spoiled with not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 other Easter Baskets other than mine.  This kid needs some siblings or cousins, there is too much attention on just him!

After the sugar rush resided Ezra and I talked more about what race we would do and if he would be able to complete a 3k race.  He was confident that if he wore a cape and his special running shoes he would have the power to make it through.  Done.  I signed us up for the Heart Run 3k and we were set.

On race day Ezra showed up at my house with his cape and his running shoes and we were off.  I decided since the race is really close to my house and parking was a nightmare we would get dropped off and walk home - this will become important later...

Cape - check, special running shoes - check!
Lets run!
We got to the race and Ezra told me it was really important to stretch so that we could run really fast.  I obliged and then we were off!  The race started like a herd of peanut butter.  It is a huge race and Ezra kept asking me when the race would start, I had to tell him it already started but I don't think he believed me since we were hardly shuffling forward.
Half way there!
Stretching is very important

Once the crowds thinned out we started the typical kid style sprint...walk...sprint...walk...sprint...walk  It was pretty fun to see him so excited to run.  I love the energy of a race, call me sappy but its all love and active people coming together to move their bodies and cheer each other on, what is better than that?  About half way through the race Ezra slowed down a bit and asked we could just walk together.  So hand in hand we continued on having great conversations about how races are hard but they are worth finishing!  I had to watch myself because I realized I was anxious to get to the finish rather than just enjoy the time with Ezra.  I guess most races I am just anxious to get to the finish - I think there is a lesson in here :)

Ready to go
Auntie my feet are getting tired - me too dude, me too.
The race ended up being a bit longer than expected so I was very proud of Ezra when after 2.5 miles he ran over the finish line.  He had the biggest smile after he got his medal!

Not sure whats up with the hands!
On the run!
Kids medals
We recuperated a bit with some Great Harvest Bread and then I broke the bad news to him that now we needed to walk home.  Even though my house was only a mile or so away, my grand plan was seeming a bit ambitious at this point. 

Recover food
Ezra didn't complain but he did tell me his feet were really tired so I loaded  him up on my back and off we went, superhero and his ride.  We took a quick break to play at a lake on our way home and made it home over two hours after we started.  My fitbit said I walked 13k steps so I can only imagine how many steps Ezra's little legs took.  During our walk he told me he liked the race and wanted to do it every year but next year maybe we should try the 5k!  He is an ambitious bugger!

Playing at the lake
We got home and he ate a ton of food then promptly slept for 2 hours. Sounds like the perfect day to me!  I really believe kids should do whatever they want for fun activity but I still love that Ezra experienced running with us since he was an infant and now wants to be involved himself.  Maybe he will keep running maybe he won't but our time spent together is priceless and I will always treasure those moments.
Ezra's first Heart Run when he was about 5 months old

Monday, April 27, 2015

Recovering from a Rough Run

Good Morning,

This blog has a bit of a different tone from the last one, after a great week of success I went out on my 6 mile long run on Sunday and it was one of those runs that was rough from the start. 

My legs felt like lead, my shins sparked with the old familiar feeling of shin splints and even a mile felt like an eternity.  Oh and I had to pee the entire time.  Sounds super right?

About mile two my legs started to lighten up a bit but by that time I was worried about my shins so I was walking part of every single mile and getting sadder by the moment.

I notice that when something like this happens in my head I start to play a dialogue of how I am going to tell this story of my awful run to my husband.  This time I stopped myself from writing a sad story before the run was even over!  I started repeating a strong/light mantra in my head and focused on not stamping this run as terrible before it even ended.

That helped a bit, at least my head felt better even if my bladder and shins did not.  I told myself I was awesome for trucking on then I focused on keeping an eye out for moose.  I had two moose encounters on the run which got my heart beating fast!

At mile six I stopped running and stopped my watch which read an embarrassing 14 min/mile average pace and I took a big breath and gave myself a way to go.  It may have not been an awesome run but I did it, I finished 6 miles - well 7 by the time I got to the car, slight miscount there! 

I am really proud of myself for not only finishing but for also keeping a positive head about the run.  While it is still hard not to look at my training schedule this morning and doubting the process, I know that tough runs happen.  Its not the end of the world, it doesn't mean that I am not going to be able to run my race, it just means it was a tough day.

I have a few days of cross training/weight lifting coming up and I am hoping my new shoes will arrive during this time and I can fend off the dreaded splints.  I will look forward to my next run knowing it will be much better than last weekend :)

How do you deal with tough runs?  Anyone else struggle with letting them get you down?
A really old moose picture I took at the Conservation Center - but isn't it neat!