Friday Five with #AwareWithPink!

This weeks Friday Five Favorites is a special post in honor of Brest Cancer Awareness month. You get to know a little bit more about me and what keeps me inspired on this long sweaty journey called life. 

1. Tunes that inspire! When I’m getting my sweat on the 3 songs and podcasts I listen to are: Hall of fame by The Script, Shake it out by Taylor Swift (I’m a not so in the closet fan of T.Swift!) and currently The Paleo women podcast. Since I run so much wireless headphones don’t last very long for me, they fizzle out from all the sweat and the batteries never last long enough for my long runs. I want win a pair of Aftershokz so I can keep getting my sweat on and still be inspired by my favorite tunes! 

2. Give back!? Volunteering is something that has always been important to me. I did a lot of it in college, but when I graduated adult life kind of took over. This year I decided I need to change that and if you follow me on Instagram, I started volunteering with Title IX girls running group. I help coach girls ages 9-15 in running and life lessons. We have 3 weeks until the end of season 5k and I love watching these girls become stronger with every step.

3. Self Care. Being healthy doesn’t just mean physically healthy, but mentally and spiritually as well. You all know fitness is an important part of my life (haha I know stating this obvious!!) but I keep myself healthy mentally and spiritually too in ways I don’t often talk about. I have my own sort of meditation that I do every night before I go to bed to help me unwind, I do yoga (probably not as much as I should!) and most importantly I have self love mantras that I tell myself when I start to feel down. I always tell my clients that they can’t just get results by working out, you have to love yourself and take care of yourself first, and results will happen. 


4. Inspiring threads! I live in work out clothes, so when it comes to shopping I get more excited about clothes I’m going to get sweaty in over a dress and heels. My favorites you ask? Well for all my triathlon, cycling and running gear it’s Coeur sports! Created by and for women, they inspire me every day to get out there every day and get moving! I also love Reebok, I love that they’re stuff is so cute and versatile that I can go from the gym to dinner in their gear and still look cute!  


5. Friends who inspire! This was a tough one for me. Over the past couple years the people I have decided to surround myself with are ones that hold the same vision as I do. They’re out there to inspire and empower women through fitness and make a difference. So I can’t pick just one. But for your viewing pleasure, here are my @bosfitgrls that are just some of the ladies I love being around and watching them inspire everyone around them!


Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by AfterShokz in an effort to spread awareness about their new Pink Trekz headphones, in partnership with Bright Pink to support and spread awareness around breast cancer awareness. All opinions and words are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands the support the Sweat Pink community. 

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Triathlon Gear: the beginners guide

This week has been leading up to my last triathlon of the season, and as I was creating my packing list for race day I have learned to appreciate how little you need to run. Tri’s require A LOT of gear. Yes, some people take the minimalist approach, but let’s be real I’m a gear addict so I just dove right in. This is pretty much where all my money has gone this year. I thought I’d share my list and what I think you absolutely need not only for training but also for race day if you’re thinking about trying out a triathlon of any distance.
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Swim:
Wet suit: this one you don’t absolutely need one, but if you’re new to open water swims I highly recommend it for several reasons.
1. It helps with confidence in the open water, basically you’re wearing a full body flotation device
2. If you’re in the northeast or anywhere with cold water like I am, it helps keep you warm
3. It makes you faster being covered in one slick piece of material
Gog   FullSizeRendergles: kind of obvious, get good ones though, the cheap ones start to leak after a couple months.
Bathing suit: I got one on sale at City Sports….these can be expensive!!!
Swim cap: I got one for long hair to keep this mane in place, those of you with short hair are lucky! They are required at a race though, they have you one of a specific color for your swim wave.
Tri suit: I don’t have a full body suit but I do have a tri top and shorts. It’s not like regular work out gear, you wear it under your wet suit and it doesn’t absorb as much water and dries faster. Next year I want a full one because my top always rides up!
Bike:
Bike: well duh, Christine. I already had a bike, a Trek hybrid. But if you look back in my posts, I ended up getting a new road bike. The hybrid was so heavy and made riding not as much fun! On the road bike I’m faster, it’s easier to transport because it’s lighter and I’m sitting in a more comfortable position (in my opinion). Definitely get a bike that you’re fitted for your bike, believe me it’s so important to have the right size in order to prevent injury!FullSizeRender (1)
Clip in shoes/pedals: I just recently got my pedals and I LOVE being clipped in, I can engage my hamstrings more (saves those quads for the run!) and every time I hit a bump my foot doesn’t fly off the pedal. Yes it makes riding a bit trickier if you have to stop and go, but practice in a parking lot so that you get used to it first!
Helmet: mine is a cheap one from Target
Pump: you always want to keep your tires at the right inflation!
Trainer: I live in Boston so it’s hard to find a good place to ride without fear of being hit by a car so I got a bike trainer. It basically makes your bike into a stationary bike. I like this better than using a spin or regular stationary bike because I can get used to changing gears and the feel of my own bike.
Run:
Phew the leg of a tri with the least amount of gear!!
FullSizeRender (3)Shoes: obviously. Once again, get fitted. It’s so important to wear the right kind of shoe for your foot/body. It will save you from injury in the long run.
Lock laces: doesn’t necessarily have to be this brand, but basically it’s elastic laces so you can just slip your shoes on and not worry about having to lace up during the transition!
Race belt: save some time by not having to pin on your number! Just throw on this belt right before your run and you’re number ready (don’t forget it like I did at my first race!).
There’s still so much other gear that I want just because. But I’ve made it through this year with just this. Some things on my wish list (if you want to contribute! 😉 ) are:
Garmin 920, it does it all. Track swim, bike and run.
Bike gloves add some padding to my palms for long rides
Bike pouch always want to have the right tools!
Flip belt to carry my stuff on long runs
Goggles…I’ll admit it. I got cheap ones and now they leak 😦
Happy swimming, biking and running!

Fuel up!

This weekend I learned a valuable less the hard way: you need to fuel your work outs properly or it could end in a disaster. I’m no professional athlete. I don’t run as fast as most and I’m not as strict with my diet as some. I like to treat myself to a yummy meal or a sweet treat. I work out hard, so why not, right?

Well Sunday morning, I learn exactly why not. Saturday night we decided to stay in, pop in a movie and order some take out. Indian was decided on, and I figured sure, it’s a good carby meal to fuel my long run for the next day. I woke up the next morning ready to take on the world, only to find out that my boyfriend had NOTHING to eat in his house except for a Kind bar and some gummy vitamins. I munched on those, strapped on my Garmin and hit the road with my running buddy Kate. Not three miles into our 9.5 mile run, I started to feel ill and was dry heaving. The carby Indian meal was not settling well and it was ruining my morning. I managed to make it through the 9.5 miles (slowly, with a few stops along the way to ahem, clear the stomach) but it wasn’t fun and I realized I need to stick with oldies but goodies.

I really should have known better about the Indian food, I usually stick with some pasta and a salad the night before a race…why should the night before a long run be any different? It doesn’t matter though if you’re getting ready for a race or just plan on getting up early for a yoga class or a early morning gym session, what you put into your body the night before is going to determine how you perform the next day. If you don’t eat enough, if you eat too much or like me, you eat the wrong thing.

As for the morning, from now on I’ll pack what I plan on eating, don’t depend on anyone else! Not everyone wakes up early to work out, and not everyone fuels with the same things. Our bodies are all different and we function on different sources. My boyfriend doesn’t really have a lot of breakfast food because he usually works out later in the day and has already had a few meals in him. I NEED the morning fuel.

Don’t know what works for you? Try out some different things. Here’s what I have found works best for me.

When it comes to running I keep it simple with some gluten free waffles and a little bit of teddies peanut butter spread on top.

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If I’m lifting in the morning I like to have something a little bit more substantial, and imgreseither have some oatmeal with banana and peanut butter or some yogurt with fruit, chia seeds and some GoLean crunch cereal (an amazing combination by the way).

images1Hydration is something that I’ve been struggling with this summer and I’ve found that I need something MORE than water is needed for how much I sweat on my runs. I’m really loving Skratch labs hydration. All the flavors I’ve tried are really good, my favorite though so far has been pineapple.

My suggestion to you is to try different things out, it’s taken me awhile  (and some nasty work outs) to figure out what works best. Find the combo that works and stick with it so that you feel good about your fitness and not want to die like I did on Sunday!!!

Weekly Recap: August 24th-30th

I decided to start with some weekly recaps on my training since the weeks are dwindling down on my race season. I’m 3 weeks away from my second sprint triathlon and 5 weeks away from my 3rd half marathon. I’d say I’ve had a successful race season this year and I can’t wait to see what next year will bring! IMG_0525

My goals for the spring tri   are mainly to just not freak out on the swim and not to forget my bib number for the run! For the half marathon, I’d REALLY like to break 2 hours, but at the pace I have been running, I’m not so sure it will happen. But we’ll see.

Monday: Is always a rest day, I have my groceries delivered the night before (part laziness, part I don’t have a car in the city) so Monday mornings I wake up early and do my meal prepping. It keeps me feeling productive even if I’m not kicking butt.

IMG_0988Tuesday: Run field test day! This field test was to see how far I can run in 20 minutes. The first time I did the test I did 2.24 miles. This time I ran 2.42! Getting a little faster every day!

Wednesday: AM Swim field test, this test was how fast I could do 500m with a 10s break in between each one. I KILLED this test and cut a whole minute off my time!

PM Spin class at the gym. I’m super picky about the spin classes I take. I want the class to mimic what it’s like to actually be riding a bike and most aren’t, kinda like this one. But on the plus side, she had really good motivating energy!

Thursday:  Running drills to help with my form and a quick full body lift.

Friday: I did an hour of my own private spin class and then ran 1 mile as fast as I could right off the bike. I wanted to break 8 minutes, but I got 8 minutes even. Next time though!

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Saturday: Drove down to the beach where the next triathlon is and practiced the bike
route and did a little swim in the ocean. The waves kind of got the best of me, but it was fun! Yes, I was that person in a wet suit on the beach while everyone else was in bikinis.

Sunday : Way too hot for my long run and Boston was littered with people moving and I didn’t want to deal with that. So I decided it would be my rest day instead of Monday.

Goals for next week: I want to get better about getting my lifts in. I’m only scheduled for two a week, but that second one tends to slip through the cracks and I know it’s so important to strength the muscles that I use repetitively. I also want to get back on track with nutrition, I’ve kind off been off track, just trying to enjoy summer and picnics and weddings. But starting this week I’m giving up booze and sweets for (most) of September. I’m allowing one cheat date when I go to King Richard’s Faire (yes I’m a nerd).

Swimming, biking and running, oh my!: Marshfield Duxbury Triathlon

Let’s face it, I’m addicted to races. I love the community that it brings together, the rush of adrenaline and the feeling of accomplishment (as well as the finisher medals). I have some 5ks, a few 10ks and a couple half marathons under my belt from the past 5 years or so. I love challenging myself and while a full marathon is still daunting to me, I’ve been itching for something new. So last year after watching Rob participate in the Boston Triathlon, I decided that this was something I could do given enough time.
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So the past year I have worked my butt off to get into shape for a tri. I JUST learned how to swim (well, swim properly and not doggie paddle) in 2014, so I have focused on becoming a better swimmer and a faster a runner. The bike kind of came along on it’s own (and it helps that I got a pretty new Cannondale that’s much lighter than my old bike!) While my swimming is SO much better, the idea of open water swimming still is daunting. I know I know, I have a wet suit on and it’s like wearing a flotation device, but it’s very different than swimming in a nice chlorinated pool that eventually comes to an end. A couple weeks before the race I went out with my coach and practiced, in the beginning I had some anxiety and was slow and didn’t do the course we had planned. But I eventually did a full mile which was the goal for distance that day. I felt good afterwards and felt like I could conquer the open water in the race.
I was wrong. Terribly wrong. I started out the day already nervous, I didn’t know what to expect how conditions would be, the swim pattern, the bike mount zone and not to mention a beach run. But then as we’re running out to the first bouy where we would start the swim anxiety hit me. I could barely do three strokes without having to stop to breathe. I started doing a weird head above water breast stroke, side stroke combo. Once I got to the turn around though I felt much better and was finally able to swim normally and zoomed past everyone to the shore!
23415140_race_0.25631262029953683.displayThe bike portion was easy peasy. I was flying on my new bike, the back roads we were on were pretty, quiet and very little traffic. Not too many hills and fairly flat and fast. I loved it. Then the run. The run is my favorite part and it started off badly.
First, I read the athlete’s guide before the race cover to cover. One of the rules was, if you forget your bib number for the run, you will be disqualified. What do I realize as soon as I left the transition area? I forgot my bib number. SO for 3 miles I’m running along a soft sandy beach, glutes on FIRE, worried that my time won’t count and all this work was for nothing. Then I’m upset because I’m going so slow and I’m not doing as well as I know I’m capable of doing and I’m just mentally beating myself up.
All in all, I did not cross that finish line in smiles like I hoped. It took all I could to not cry as I packed up all my gear. But hind sight is 20/20 and I actually was a lot faster then I thought I was. I’m looking at this tri as a practice one for the Nantasket Tri next month in September. I have exactly 6 weeks from Sunday to kill it and be proud of what I’ve accomplished.
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