Thursday, August 18, 2016

August update

Well, once a month updates aren't bad, right?! I have no clue what week I am on for training just that vacay number one is up next week and then the week after that is peak week. The week I've affectionately thought of as "throw everything you possibly could at your body and see how it goes," which should be fun [insert wide eyed emoji].

Life on the whole has been really good these days. I had a solid two weeks in the office/at home which does wonders for my mental health (even if I go a little nuts being in the office), I spent a weekend in Phoenix with my best friend and her new baby and it was so much fun to hang out, catch up, cuddle that little babe and get to run somewhere new. I spent another weekend in Oceanside with ALL of my sisters and it was a blast. So much good food, a little time spent at the beach and lots of laughs. I can't wait until Shelly moves back to Vegas so we can hang out more often. And training, training is going well. I'm dealing with a small setback of peroneal tendinitis (again) but I've got a plan of attack and the pain isn't so bad that I can't train.

Now for photos!

This was a 40 (technically 42) mile ride. It was HOT and so so smokey but I remember it going really well despite those conditions. Chris had a bit of a tough time but I'm just so grateful that he's been willing to do so many of my long bikes with me. They are a challenge and they are always made better with him. 

8 solo miles and it was kind of lovely. My goal on long runs is always to negative split, however, this doesn't always happen (heck, it almost never happens). I did make it happen on this run though and it was so exciting! I was able to keep my average under 10min/mi and really pushed to hit a 9:30-8:30 pace on that last mile. I may have overheated a tiny bit hence the sitting selfie but it was a good one.

Swimming with Kristen! I am so so grateful for this wonderful girl. She is always up to join me for an early morning swim and I love the company. She got to use fins on the 300s we did because...300 hard is really freaking hard. 

Another group of incredible ladies! I try my very best to make as many group rides and group runs as possible because so much of my training is alone (something I'm still trying to find enjoyment in). This week was hard efforts for a 1/2mi, easy-ish 1/4mi then hard again for another 1/2mi and 1mi cool down 5 times through. The first time I rode with this group I had a hard time keeping up with everyone. I was perfectly fine with being at the back of the pack but took it as a bit of a challenge to be better the next time I showed up to ride. Well, what do ya know, I was able to keep up and even pass a couple ladies this time around and it was a pretty good feeling ;). Just a few words about the increase in strength and speed...HILL REPEATS ARE EVERYTHING. Seriously, if you want to kick things into high gear you need to be doing hill repeats. I am getting so much better because of them.

A beautiful sunrise on my 6 mile run in Phoenix. It was humid from the storm we had the night before but it was just so beautiful. I came upon an intersection around mile two and there was a woodpecker singing on every corner. It was such a fun experience. I cannot wait till I can visit again and Niki is back to running so that we can enjoy these views together!

Obligatory photo of me with the new mama and baby :) Reagan is just perfection and I was so happy to help Niki with anything she needed for the weekend. She is killing this mama thing!

Shopping in Encinitas! Super gorgeous city and perfect weather all weekend!

 Hanging out at the San Diego botanical garden. So gorgeous. It overlooks the ocean in parts of it and there were too many plants I loved.

My goal of this trip was to take lots and lots of group shots because I just don't have enough of me and my sisters. I think we accomplished it! This was in the bamboo garden part of the botanical garden. I had no idea there were so many species!

This took like five tries to get and we got A LOT of laughs and looks from other beach goers...all totally worth it. I cannot wait to print and frame some of these in the new house! 

Friday, July 22, 2016

70.3 Training

So I'm on week 6 (I think) of half-ironman training. The last time I wrote, training had just began and I was PUMPED. Guess what...still super excited over here ;) with a heavy dash of tiredness lol. My coach is super run focused (which I love) so my training doesn't look much different than when I was training for a half marathon except for the long bikes on the weekend and the addition of bricks. There have been really good days and there have been days when I'm just done.

 A few weeks ago we did 7 miles and ran down to the dam and back. While it was super hot and I was still having a lot of trouble adjusting to the heat (and possibly dealing with a super wacky hormone fluctuation) the views were absolutely gorgeous and I was so grateful that we pushed through it.

 And this one was from one of the hardest workouts I've completed to date. Gah, it was so bad. We rode the loop (35 miles) and dealt with 20-30mph gusts THE ENTIRE TIME. I was thisclose to shedding tears multiple times on that route. At one point we were headed up the biggest hill on the route and going a whole FOUR miles per hour and man was it defeating. The plus side to this is that from here on out any bike ride I do is going to feel significantly easier lol. Perspective, its a useful tool!

This run was serious proof that running in the heat is so much harder than running in cooler temps. We had a monsoon roll through the night before my long run (8 miles I think) so my starting temp was 73!! Oh, what a difference it made! I still wasn't super fast but I was much faster than I had been simply because my body wasn't working SO hard to just stay cool. So worth being completely drenched in sweat from the humidity.

I am incredibly grateful that my coach and I are on the same page when it comes to lifting. I'm currently still incorporating it in twice a week and while those double workout days are rough they are well worth the gains you make in speed and strength. Having strong legs makes swimming, running and biking so much easier! This is when I hit the goal I made this year to be able to squat my body weight. Ha, granted I now weigh 5lb more than when I made that goal because #gainz (HA) so I need to adjust it but it was still so exciting to know that my body can handle that much weight!

Last one! This was from my first brick this weekend (20 mile bike + 5 mile run) and it was SUCH a rewarding workout. So much of training just feels like putting in the time and effort and feeling tired and hoping that it's all working. It was a lot of fun to push myself a bit harder on the bike and to really try and push it on the run even though I knew I was going to be fatigued. It ended up going SO well! I was a mph faster on my bike than I normally am and although my run time could have been faster I put in a really good effort and felt I could have gone longer (which is good!).

Overall, I'm still excited, still mostly happy that I chose to do this and trying to maintain as much perspective on it. I still have a long way to go. My schedule is done through my race and it is so overwhelming to look ahead and see that I will have a 60 mile ride or a 13 mile run (on my birthday no less ;) but it is also so exciting to see my body change and adapt to what I'm putting it through. Its easy to see why people get hooked on this stuff ;)

Up for this weekend: 10 mile run on Saturday and 40 mile ride on Sunday. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Garter Snake Work Trip

There was close to 25lb of traps on my back at this point. So much fun!

Several weeks ago I got to go on one of the best work trips of my career. We recently found a species of snake at one of our restoration sites that hadn't been found in the area since the 1900s. Because of this rediscovery they will most likely be added to our list of covered species that we build and maintain habitat for. In order to survey for these snakes, we need a permit and in order to get a permit you need trap hours and experience. Thankfully, Arizona Game and Fish were planning on a survey this summer and they invited us out in order to gain the survey hours needed! To be honest, I was apprehensive about the trip. I was to stay in a field house, bring all my own food, possibly share a room, do field work I was not used to annndddd socialize more than I am used to. I spent the better part of a weekend preparing for the week and had mostly calmed myself down about the trip. I was rewarded with one of the most fun trips I've taken in a long time!
The above photo is the view I had every morning while I ate my breakfast [insert heart eye emoji]! It was so incredibly pleasant to work hard enough that I slept well each night, get a full 8 hours of sleep, have 1 1/2-2 hours to prepare for the day, eat exactly what I wanted and to be disconnected from most of social media for the week. 

These petroglyphs were right behind the house we were staying in and the sunset was incredible every evening! On most of my trips, I'm relatively quiet while we're doing field work and the time we have outside of work is spent in my room reading or checking out Pinterest. For once, I did not have that option and in preparation of it, I downloaded several books on my kindle so that if we did have downtime I could just read (aka avoid people lol). What surprised me most is that instead of reading, I played dice games with the other part of the crew, chatted about work and life stuff while eating dinner, explored the entire ranch and in general just chilled. It was so very relaxing.

 As most of my work is spent in converted agriculture fields, spending so much time in the water was a blast! The work was challenging, let's be clear, we hiked over 8 miles each day and it wasn't a leisurely stroll. I was happily surprised that the lead biologist was as speedy of a hiker as I was and that it was a fun challenge to keep up with him ;)

And last but not least, we actually didn't end up seeing any snakes of the species we were hoping for (they hadn't been seen in the area for over 30 years so hopes weren't super high) but we did see this awesome guy as well as a couple Colorado river toads, skunks, raptors, a California king snake and one other diamondback!

I can't stress enough how important it can be to step out of your comfort zone every now and then. I LOVE routine, not having a plan seriously stresses me out. BUT if I had turned down this trip or done my usual recluse thing every night I would have missed out on such fantastic conversations, a whole lot of laughs and a small group of new biologist friends that I hope to work with again. So totally worth it.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Back at it? Maybe.

I've been debating for some time whether to revive this blog of mine or not. To be honest, I'm busy. BUT, everyone is busy. And really, I think we're all a little less busy than we think we are. You see, I like having a blog because I gave up writing in a journal years ago. It just got to be too much. I am already an obsessive list-maker, I didn't want to add in MORE writing. In addition, all my old journals were just filled with thoughts about the boys I liked and church and what not. Which isn't really relevant these days. Having a blog means that I can talk about things going on in my life, have an outlet for the hundreds of photos I take and maybe inspire one or two people about the things that interest me. So I still haven't decided whether to start up a new blog or keep this one but we'll see!

Current things of interest:
-We bought a house in March (!), it is currently being built and should be done around the 4th of July. We are STOKED

-Speaking of we: uh, we got married. Last November and it was awesome.

-70.3 training started this week and I KNOW that it's too soon to speak about how excited I am but...I'm really excited. I love goals, I love fitness and I really love having a plan. The current goal is to just stay relatively chill about things. I have a tendency to get a bit obsessive when it comes to fitness and I really would like to make sure my friends still like me at the end of the day.

-I read through all my old posts and there is so much I want to talk about and also some things that don't need further discussion. Something to talk about: whole30. It has been a year since I did my first round and man do I have some thoughts on it.

-Work is still work. Apparently 2014 was rough? After reading through my old posts I'm realizing that they worked me WAY harder that first full field season. Through some changes I helped to implement, I think we are all much happier with the amount of time we are in the field. At least I am.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


WHOLE30 Week 1:
I don’t feel like I write a whole lot on here because I often feel like I don’t really have much new stuff to offer and that I often prefer to read a book or work on wedding stuff than blather on about the workouts I’m doing or the changes I’m making. BUT sometimes, I deem something important enough and I feel like if I DON’T write about it, I’m going to drive all of my friends crazy because I can’t shut up about it…Enter Whole30. As you may know, it’s a lifestyle change not simply a change in diet and as the website and book claim…it will change your life. I could explain exactly what it entails but there are SO many blogs that already do just that. The gist is, eat whole foods for 30 days. See what changes. No sugar, wheat, legumes, dairy but unlimited vegetables, protein, healthy fat and a fair amount of fruit. Chris and I started last Monday on June 8. We are currently on day 10. A recap for the next few days will hopefully come by the end of this week as I should be dealing with a few fun challenges this week!

Day 1:
Breakfast was a frittata, lunch was protein salad and dinner was spaghetti squash with ground beef and tomato sauce. First impressions: oh my goodness, this frittata is wonderful. However, I’m beginning to get a headache and feel a little sluggish already. YAY
Day 2:
Southwest scramble for breakfast, leftovers for lunch and dinner was chicken, roasted veggies and a cabbage slaw. Results: the tiredness, oh the tiredness. That and the dull headache that never went away. But overall, loving all the food. Also, it is not noted in the book but I had some serious bloating Monday and Tuesday. TMI perhaps? My belly just felt like I had eaten wayyy too much salt. Which was not the case. Thankfully, Wednesday things got slightly better.
Day 3:
Southwest scramble for breakfast, protein salad for lunch and a compliant torturous dinner out at California Pizza Kitchen. Results: I got up for an early morning swim with a friend that was a wonderful start to my day! Breakfast was pretty good, nothing too exciting. I was ravenous after swimming and was happily surprised that the eggs held me over for most of the way till lunch. However, I started getting a bit queasy and fatigued towards the end of the day. My lunch was waayyy too creamy and I couldn’t finish it for fear that I was going to end up hurling. Ugh.  Also, the headache got quite a bit worse towards the end of work. I was still able to fit in BBG arms and abs and get ready for dinner in time! I had scoped out the menu at CPK and even called ahead to make sure that what Chris and I were going to order was going to be compliant. The waiter was more than happy to accommodate my request of a salad instead of the succotash that came with my salmon and it was so so nice to see my friends. I really love these girls and their significant others and although my headache worsened into sinus pressure and bizarrely joint pain, it was worth it! Also of note, I say torturous just because it was a pizza place. Chris and I love pizza and here we were, relegated to getting something VERY healthy and perhaps not our first pick. But we made it. Onto day 4!
Day 4:
Southwest scramble again for breakfast, giant green salad for lunch and steak with veggies and sweet potatoes for dinner. Results: breakfast really did not go well. I woke up very dizzy and nauseous and had to force down my eggs. I was STILL feeling pretty awful close to lunch time. I decided to try some lemon ginger tea and I genuinely think that was the only thing to fix my appetite. Lunch was really really good. I switched to a giant green salad with a homemade vinaigrette instead of a mayo based protein and it helped so much. I really should have known that since I had trouble stomaching cream based proteins prior to whole30 that something similar made with fantastic ingredients really wasn’t going change my mind. I had a little trouble finishing ALL of it but got through most of it. Day 4 is also when my headaches finally began to go away (HOORAY)! I was finally feeling mostly better. Some slight stomach issues on this day as well but overall, okay.  

Day 5:
Southwest scramble for breakfast, green salad planned for lunch and taco salad planned for dinner.
Results: WOO! Currently feeling SO much better. The one downside is that Chris seems to have entered where I was on Wednesday and part of Thursday =/. But, we all are on our own timeline and I know that it will get easier for him in the next couple days. While I am kind of over the southwest scramble I’m looking forward to coming up with a few new recipes this weekend for my 4 day work trip next week AND coming up with ways we can treat/reward ourselves for making it through another week that doesn’t involve food. So much of our routine on the weekend involves food. We look forward to brunch at our favorite place every week, we eat out for dinner usually once or twice (possibly every night if I’ve been on travel all week and cannot muster the energy or excitement to cook), and I truly do love to bake. With Whole30, we are changing those habits. We’re going to go see a movie instead, we’re going to look for compliant foods, and we’re going to meal prep successfully so that both Chris and I can have a great week 2.
A few days ago I would have told you that I didn’t think I could do this. I was cranky, annoyed and frustrated with the amount of changes I was trying to make in a short amount of time. Today I can tell you that we are going to do this. It’s not always going to be easy but its only 30 days. You can do anything for 30 days. That and what a gift to be able to complain about eating healthy, mostly organic whole foods for an entire month. How many people get to have that opportunity? Not many, I count myself as very lucky that I get to.
Week 2 Update coming up next!

Also, it should be noted: I really doubt that anyone is going to read through this whole thing. Its a lot of chat about food but I knew that if I didn't write this stuff down that I would forget why I'm doing this and that Chris and I will fall right back into our old habits when we finish this. We do not plan to do this. Hence, the lengthiness. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

OC Half Marathon

Another fitness goal complete! On May 3rd I competed in my second half marathon with my seriously awesome fiance, friends I've known since high school and their also incredibly awesome partners. To be completely honest, I had no clue how this race was going to go. Throughout my training I dealt with shin splints, IT band pain, a freak spider bite, foot pain, a complete change in my gait AND the ever present running cramps. I say this not to ask for your pity but to say that HOLY HECK, I went through all that stuff and still came out with a four minute PR which means that I should really start to try and believe in myself. Now to recap!

Chris and I drove down Friday night after picking up my race tank from Niki (aka the #bestrunningpartnerever) and crashed pretty quickly. On Saturday we slept in, went for our quick 2mi shake out run on the beach (first pic) and overall felt pretty darn good. We had brunch and then met up with everyone at the expo to pick up our bibs, shirts and other miscellaneous stuff you get at races. We had dinner at a delicious italian restaurant and then all went our separate ways to try and get to bed early for our 4AM wake-up call.

The morning of the race I was freaking out a bit. Actually freaking out a lot. I was so immensely worried that I would slow Chris down, or deal with running cramps in the first mile or deal with random ITB pain. I am SO thankful for this man. This was his first race longer than a 5k and here I was freaking out and he was the epitome of calm. Our training had been all over the place due to my random ailments, him getting a cold and him also dealing with some shin splints. I was NOT feeling prepared. But the gun went off and off we went!

I took this pic right around mile 3. This was a HUGE race compared to all the ones I've done in the past. There were over 22,000 runners [insert wide eyed emoji]. At first it was a little difficult trying to dodge everyone who had a different pace but I think around mile 8 or 9 I just kept thinking, 'this is awesome, look at all these totally different people crushing their goals.'

We didn't quite pace ourselves the way I had planned to or expected to but I was genuinely just so excited that I was running without pain that I told myself to just keep running and deal with the change in pace when I started to slow down. I know we definitely started to slow down a bit at mile 10 which I had planned on. I made sure we both focused on our form and took in as much fuel as we needed/could. We finished in 2:20...4 minutes faster than my first one despite all our setbacks =).

After the race we took our obligatory group picture and hobbled around a bit ;). I was surprised by how different the pain was post-race. Yes it hurt, you do not run 13.1 miles and not hurt afterwards but after my first one I very much felt that if I did not keep moving I would fall over. After this one there was pain but getting in and out of the car was okay and we were fine at brunch and somewhat okay at the beach later.
Such a kickass group of people. I am so incredibly proud of all of them for doing a fantastic job on their first HALF.

These two girls are one in a million. They endlessly listen to me ramble on about fitness stuff and are willing to take a risk on training advice that I offer. They both are so strong and I LOVE that they #runlikeagirl. Congrats you two, I can't wait for the next one ;)!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Third Triathlon

Last weekend I competed in my third triathlon and it went fantastic! This race was the one to replace the crappy memory of last year's olympic distance race. I chose to do the sprint knowing that I wouldn't have a ton of time to train and that it would most likely be pretty darn hot. And I'm glad that I did! 

I was scheduled to start swimming at 7:35AM and we had a whole 2-3 minutes to spare after getting my transition set up, a bathroom break and a heavy application of sunscreen. This was the first race that I got to wear a full wetsuit and man am I glad that I took the plunge and purchased it. It kept me so much warmer than the sleeveless one and the buoyancy difference was significant.  Last year, I had a huge struggle with the swim. It felt like it never ended, I was freezing the entire time and because of being so cold I had cramping as soon as I got on the bike. This year...much different. I was cold but warmed up quickly, it was a relatively quick swim and I was much warmer when I had gotten out of the water.

Heading into the water! I'm in there somewhere ;)

After my swim, I took about 4 minutes in transition and moved onto the bike pretty quickly. I did my best to keep my legs moving as fast as possible and to just get my breathing in order. We had a hill immediately out of the gate but then it was mostly rolling hills up to the turn around. Like I said, I did not have a ton of time to train for this race. I tried to get a bike and swim in each week as well as my running for the half marathon we have next week. I was very grateful that the few biking sessions I had done were very hill heavy! You can always tell when people didn't train on hills. They would pass me on the downhill and I would pass them on the uphill. Always a good feeling! 

 Annnddd now onto the last leg, the run! I was the most apprehensive about this portion because I have had injury after injury for the past several months. I was dealing with IT band pain just the day before and was not thrilled about having to push myself to think of my form and landing throughout the 3 miles. That and of course I dealt with cramps immediately after T2 -_-. It certainly didn't help that the first 1.5mi were on a really crappy dirt trail. I believe I came close to tripping and twisting my ankle at least 4-5 times. Once we hit the pavement I was able to find my stride and the only issue I was having was with my side cramps. But coming into the finish line I was blinded (in the best possible way) by Niki's signs and was able to sprint that last little bit which felt fantastic!

I seriously have the BEST cheering team. Niki and her husband were there, my handsome fiance was there (though he's kind of required to be), and Chris' parents are always there to cheer me to the finish. I can't tell you how much cheering helps. You realize that if you don't push hard, they came out for nothing and that they love you and want to succeed so why not shoot for it? It's by far one of my favorite parts about racing.

And now the next thing on the calendar is the OC Half Marathon next weekend. I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am thoroughly looking forward to getting it over with. I miss riding my bike, I'm pretty annoyed with running and I want to start BBG back up again. One more week!