Monday, April 30, 2007


Umm..helloooo? How can we have a joint BFF training blog without a picture of the two (ahem) "triathletes"?? Ok, the power of positive thinking....I like this. For all of our worries and frustrations through training and getting ready for this dang race, here is the power of positive thinking in action:

1. bathing suit season is upon us and what better excuse to get in shape then to beat it into us for a race?
2. I get to see my Taryn! right here in my little village of San Antonio....oh the things we shall see! the places we'll go! the treats we will eat! ;)
3. we should have one stellar tan from racing outside-- or at least from sitting out by the pool at our fabulous hotel later that day!

Reason #2 is really the one that is getting me through this- I don't know what I would do without you! I didn't get a bike at spin today and since my running shoes are still a muddy mess from my mountain biking adventure on Friday, the only option left was the dreaded pool. (gasp.) I told myself that I had to go for a long time since I wasn't getting in my usual pre-pool run or spin but after the first 50 meters I was dying! It was so much harder coming off a stressful study weekend and then I guess having no warmup before getting in. I eventually got into a rhythm, however, and pulled out a decent 1500 meter swim. Since I don't have a clue what I am doing in there or what my pace is like, I was trying to watch the girl in the lane next to me who was looking very official in her swimcap and speedo. 1-2-3-4-breathe, 1-2-3-4-breathe. 1-2-breathe. breathe. choke. Well, so much for that.

Tomorrow I will try again for spin and a lifting session. If not, then an outdoor run is in store. These crowds at the gym are really killing me! Best of luck to you this week! I don't know about you but I have felt so sluggish and tired lately. The hardest part is getting there. The hardest part is getting there. Positive thinking. Remember- the difference between those who win and those who just finish the race is that the winners focus on the pain and push through it. Good thing we are just looking to finish.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mental Training

Well, I couldn't find the article about training on Triathlete Magazine, but I did find a pretty good article about Mental Training--that's mostly what I did today. I did an hour of strength training this morning, but something came up and I didn't quite get the cardio in that I would've liked. (I have gotten two really good days of spin in this week so far, though, so I don't feel too bad.) I started talking to a friend in my class on Monday night who is also participating in a sprint tri in June...she gave me some tips on the swim that she'd heard from her "trainer". But, then she told me that she's heard that in an open water race, once you get in the water, you forget all your training anyway...haha! Perf! Does that mean I can stop torturing myself over that part of my training? I mean, I don't want to waste my valuable training time on something that I am going to throw away as soon as I get in the water, right?

Here are a couple of snip-its that I found very appropriate:

"Thinking negatively causes failure. Thinking positively causes success. The power of positive words and thoughts can improve our experience in a race situation by increasing our self-confidence as an athlete."

"Experiment with positive self-talk during training and then apply it to racing. For example, if you don’t enjoy hills, wind or swimming, try repeating over and over that you “love” hills, wind and swimming. You will notice a difference in your strength and energy. The result is a more natural and powerful performance." (I love swimming, I love swimming, I love swimming...I'll let you know when this starts working.)

"We all experience nervousness before big events. It’s a perfectly natural feeling. This is the time to be strong, avoid self-doubt, have confidence in yourself, and know you are prepared. It’s important when you get to the start line to remember – your body did the work! Racing is the reward for all the hard training."

"Whichever strategies you chose, practice them consistently. If we put a fraction of the time into our mental training skills as we did our physical training, one could only imagine how far we could go. One of the best feelings you'll have is when your mind is empty and you are totally immersed in the moment."

That's it--I'm going to devote a lot more energy to my mental training! You heard it could only imagine how far we could go!

Monday, April 23, 2007

April Showers Bring May Flowers!

Where oh where did April go?? This coming Saturday marks one month exactly to our triathlon! Whether a lack of motivation or just being busy-- our poor blog has greatly suffered. Hopefully our training has not suffered as much! I am still on track (somewhat...) and had a spin/run session planned for today only to be upset by Intermural softball playoffs! Blast these intermurals!

First off, congrats on your first race! Sounds like you did great and I loved reading your post! Sounds like the Stimpson girls had a most fabulous trip. Have you purchased your ticket here yet? Either Austin or San Antonio works-- whatever is cheapest.

Ok, let's talk bikes. Here is the count: Road Bike=1 Mountain Bike=2. Sooo, either way we have a bike but we just might be working a bit harder on the mountain bike. Then again, we are doing this for "fun" and finishing right?! I went searching for road bikes in the area and found that no one actually sells used road bikes. I guess looking for one in the middle of tri/racing season doesn't help much either. So this is the beauty that I came across: the Diamondback Zelos '07. Priced at a pretty "reasonable" $599.99. ouch.

Read more here:

I am going to try to take my mountain bike out later this week to get a feel for the outdoor ride. Hope the weather clears up for you! It has been rainy and muggy here all weekend. Seriously try to find the March issue of Triathlete magazine. I think I am going to try to follow their schedule from here on out. They have some good swim workouts also. If not, then I will try to scan it and send it to you.

It is Monday which means a fresh start to our training week! Best of luck to you!!


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My first race!

While I was in San Francisco with Lauren and my mom, we participated in the annual 5K run/walk sponsored by the National School Board Association. I thought this would be a good warm up for the triathlon next month, and Lauren and my mom signed up for moral support.

I started out pretty strong...well, I was at about the middle of the pack at the starting line, so I passed quite a few people as I set my initial pace--that felt pretty good (although many of those that I passed may have been the walkers). The race began and ended at South Beach Park on San Francisco's newly renovated Waterfront (Pier 40). We runners (I love calling myself a runner--ha!) followed the Embarcadero north, under the Bay Bridge, to the turn-around at Pier 23, and enjoyed beautiful Bay and cityscape views the whole way.

Lauren and my mom pulled a Rosie Ruiz. Remember her? She won the
Boston Marathon many years ago, but then it was found out that she didn’t
run the whole thing. Lauren and my mom started out strong, but by the end of the first ½ mile, they shifted into power walking. When I saw them on the return loop, they both crossed over and Lauren ran the rest with me, which I must say, was a lot more fun than running alone. Here’s the cool part: when I finished, the staff at the finish line asked me how old I was and when I told her, she said I may have been "up there," which I took to mean I had done pretty well. I’ll have to check the NSBA website and see how it turned out. (We didn't stick around to hear the results.) We had to hightail it back to the hotel after we finished the race because my flight left at 11am...we cut it pretty close, but that was probably the extra motivation I needed to keep a quick it was either that or miss my flight!

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Killer Leg Workout

I read this article last week about the best leg exercises that no one really does and decided to give it a try. Uh, it pretty much killed me! Luckily, I was on my feet all weekend showing my momma and brother around DC, which kept me pretty loose, but my legs were killing me! (I think this also may have been an article from a Men's Fitness or Men's Health magazine...I should really find some workouts better suited to the feminine physique.)

Give it a shot if you dare!

It would probably be easier for you to go to this link so you can see the related pictures:

Step 1: Single-Leg Squat

Stand on a bench or box that's about knee height. Hold your arms in front of you and flex your right ankle so your toes are higher than your heel. Keeping your torso as upright as possible, bend your left knee and slowly lower your body until your right heel lightly touches the floor. Pause for 1 second, then push yourself up. That's one repetition.


THE PROBLEM: Individually, your legs aren't strong enough to support your body weight through the entire range of motion.

THE FIX: A two-pronged attack using "negatives" and "partials," both of which help you challenge your weak spots and lower your breaking point. Do this workout once every 4 days until you can perform at least two single-leg squats with perfect form.

Step 2: Negative Squat

Stand on your left leg, facing away from a bench. Holding your arms and your right leg in the air in front of you, slowly lower your body until your butt is slightly higher than your breaking point. (Ideally, this should take 5 to 7 seconds.) Sit, then stand up using both legs. That's one repetition. Do six reps with your left leg, then six more with your right. Complete a set. Rest for 2 to 3 minutes and move on to step 2.

Step 3: Partial Squat

Stand on a bench holding a pair of 5-pound dumbbells. As you perform a single-leg squat, simultaneously lift the dumbbells in front of you to shoulder height. (This helps counterbalance your body, making the movement easier.) Again, lower your body until you're just above your breaking point, then pause for 2 seconds before pushing yourself back up. Do 10 repetitions with each leg, pausing for 10 seconds instead of 2 on the last rep with each.


THE PROBLEM: Because you can't adjust the weight you're using, as you can with free weights, your muscles give out quickly — and that limits the total number of repetitions you can perform, a key factor in increasing strength.

THE FIX: A technique called escalating density training, or EDT. Popularized by Charles Staley, author of Muscle Logic, this method helps you slow the onset of fatigue, so you can complete more total repetitions than usual. Instead of doing as many reps as you can in each set, you'll do more sets of fewer repetitions. In addition, you'll further increase the challenge to your legs by adding two other single-leg exercises: the Bulgarian split squat and the high stepup.

Determine your starting point

Take the number of single-leg squats you can complete with perfect form and divide it by two. That's how many repetitions you'll do each set. (If your best effort is three, round down to one.) Perform the four-week EDT routine below once every four days, doing the number of sets indicated and resting after each for the prescribed amount of time.

Step 1: Bulgarian Split Squat

Stand with a bench about 2 feet behind you and place the instep of your right foot on the bench. Keeping your torso upright, lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor. Your left lower leg should remain perpendicular to the floor. Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position as quickly as you can. Do 12 to 15 repetitions, then repeat, this time with your left foot resting on the bench and your right foot in front. After you've worked both legs, immediately (without resting) complete step 3.

Step 2: High Stepup

Stand facing a bench or step that's about knee height. Lift your left foot and place it firmly on the bench, push down with your left heel, and push your body upward until your left leg is straight and your right foot hangs off the bench. Lower yourself back down. That's one rep. Do 12 to 15, then do the same number of reps with your right leg.


THE PROBLEM: You have poor endurance.

THE FIX: Training your muscles to resist fatigue. Perform the following routine once every 4 days for 5 weeks.

Step 1

Do as many single-leg squats as you can, then rest for 60 seconds

Step 2

Repeat until you've completed twice the number of reps you achieved in your first set.

So, if you do seven reps in your first set, you'll do as many sets as needed to complete 14 reps. For each subsequent workout, this will be your repetition goal.

Step 3

Each workout, try to reach your repetition goal in fewer sets. For instance, if you need five sets in your first workout, aim for your goal in four sets in your next session. After five weeks, repeat the entire process. But in order to keep improving, do the exercise while holding dumbbells at your sides.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

9 weeks. minus 2 days.

I looove your tips! So helpful! haha, yeah- why do they assume it is only men reading the article? Unless you got it out of Men's Health magazine...oh.

I read an article once that if you could think of how you felt at or after going to the gym at the time your alarm goes off in the morning, you will be more likely to go. That definitely applies to me! I am just in automatic now where working out is the focus of my day- not merely an option if I run out of things to do and shows to watch. After Saturday's awful run, I definitely feel back on track this week. Here is what I have done so far...

MONDAY: It was POURING rain outside!! So much that I could have swam down the street to the gym! Monday AND sleepy/stay in bed weather?? Just driving to the gym was an accomplishment.

I swam for ~30 minutes and actually counted my laps! I did 40 laps or 1,000 meters, only stopping for a minute at the 20 lap mark. (I prob would have stopped for longer but the guy in the next lane was creepin' me out!!). I must admit the swimming felt good. MUCH better than trying to get in the pool in the dead of winter in Utah. Sorry you are still dealing with the cold. I broke it down into sets of 5, doing 4 laps freestyle and the 5th lap breaststroke. I will admit I was pretty slow so for the last 20 laps I tried to speed up my 1st and 4th laps.

Next was spin. I seem to be on automatic in those classes. Do you ever get through a whole song of jumps or a hill and realize that you have basically blacked out for the past 5 minutes? I should probably concentrate more. All I could think about in spin today were t-shirt designs for Team Tar! (no kidding.)

TUESDAY: After trying on bathing suits and eating at Nordstrom Cafe (yum!!) I knew the gym was a must. I didn't plan very well though and was definitely still feeling my Nicoise Salmon Salad! I did 2 miles on the treadmill before heading to spin with my favorite teacher. She was definitely on a roll and I swear we sprinted the whole thing! I kept thinking we were slowing down and then she would tell us to pick it back up! I was so confused.

After spin I was wiped. The spin teacher does a Body Pump class right after but I couldn't stand the thought of A. lifting anything and B. staying at the gym for another hour! So I opted for the lesser of two evils and hit up ther treadmill for another 2 miles.

I need some aleve.

So tip number one was to drink caffeine just as I was coming to tell you that I am cutting out DC and all carbonated beverages until our race! eek! I know. I figure with all of the working out we are doing, I probably don't drink enough water as it is. Plus I am out of DC so I guess it is as good a time as any. Race night is going to be a yummy pasta dinner and diet coke!! Until then, fruit punch crystal light is going to be my obsession.

Tomorrow I am going to hit up the pool again and try for a long swim (45-60 min?) then lift some since my weights schedule has been less than ideal. My poor joints need a break.

Last item to note: Losing 3 pounds after a workout just means I am dehydrated??!! dangit...


Interesting Tips

I was reading an interesting article this morning about 101 Ways to Stay in the avoiding sports injuries, increasing efficiency, etc. I thought I would share a few that I found appealing/motivating/revolting:

13. Chug a Coke (or antioxidant-packed iced tea).
In a University of Georgia study, cyclists who downed 10 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight before a 30-minute ride had significantly less thigh pain than those who took a placebo. (Another reason to drink diet coke--alright!)

18. Hit the pool early. Inhaling organic material, such as hair, skin, and urine, can cause breathing problems. Schedule your lap sessions early: Fewer people in the pool means less splashing, and less of their debris left behind in the water. (I am literally dry-heaving. Does this mean I can avoid the pool then? I mean, I am only thinking of our health. Eeww.)

32. Socialize after exercise. Lack of social support upped risk of injury in a University of Washington study.

34. Go ahead, sprinkle salt. Especially the night before your August century ride. Extra sodium helps you retain water and stay hydrated while exercising in high temperatures. But stay away from salt pills—they may do more harm to your blood pressure than good for your race. (Yes! I will bring plenty of salty, yummy chips to include in our carb loading the day before the race...I mean, we don't want to get dehydrated, now, do we?)

35. Try this before a triathlon. To avoid training strains, two-time world champion Ironman Tim DeBoom builds endurance by concentrating on the bike—a low-impact way to push yourself. When the race starts in a mad, watery scramble, he gives the competition some distance: "Just pull out to the side and be a little less aggressive." That way, you won't have to learn by broken bones in the face—as DeBoom did.

40. Don't run in wet shoes. Soggy midsoles have 40 to 50 percent less shock-absorbing capability than dry sneaks, Dr. Asplund says. But don't toss your shoes in the dryer; heat can degrade cushioning and support components.

46. Balance your muscles. Your dominant side tends to be stronger, leading to muscular imbalances, which can result in injuries, Dr. Laskowski says. Lift with dumbbells, which isolate each side and balance weaknesses.

59. Stop the music. Unplug your iPod before starting down the slopes. "[Music] slows you down mentally," says skier Bode Miller, the 2005 World Cup champion. "You need to process what's ahead of you so you have time to avoid danger." Mountain bikers and trail runners should unplug, as well. (Slow me down mentally? ok, but it makes my body go faster, so I say the music stays on!)

60. Work out in water. Swimming is the perfect low-impact alternative to running. But what if you can't stand swimming? Dr. Laskowski recommends weighted-vest running in the pool. It's low impact for your legs, but provides an amazing heart workout. "Even walking around chest-deep is great exercise," he says. (If walking in chest-deep water is 'great exercise', then using a kickboard in deep water has to be even better! I say we do it!)

79. Check your water losses. Weigh yourself before and after a long workout in hot weather. If you've lost more than 3 pounds by the time you're finished, you're dehydrated and could be at risk of heatstroke. Invest in a water pack so you can easily sip throughout your workout.

80. Eliminate fungus. Nail fungus is a serious—and sport-stopping—consequence of running. "Trauma to the toe caused by running can make the nail bed more susceptible to infection," says John Mozena, D.P.M., a marathon runner and a member of the Road Runners Club of America. "Sweaty socks are breeding grounds for fungi." Mitigate the mold-growing conditions with JoxSox ($7, They're designed to wick away moisture and circulate air next to the skin, which frustrates fungi. (Gross...I think this means we should probably add a few extra pedicures to our training expenses. Definitely.)

99. Drink even more. "A simple loss of body water can decrease performance by more than 20 percent," says Verstegen. Water's not enough for exercise lasting over an hour—your body also loses salt, so you need a sports drink containing carbohydrates and electrolytes. Drink even more during games—if you're wearing a uniform, shin guards, and face mask, your body can't dissipate heat as well as when you train in the gym in a T-shirt and shorts.

100. Keep drinking. Another time to drink more is when you travel to a warmer climate for a race. Texas researchers found that it takes 7 to 10 days for your core temperature to acclimate from cold to hot-and-humid conditions. Compensate with a water bottle in hand. (Who does 'core temp' make you think of? hilarious! Great, this one pretty much means I'm screwed, since I'll have about 7 to 10 hours for my core temp to acclimate.)

101. Ask your wife or girlfriend to read this article. And have her give you a pop quiz afterward. "Eighty percent of medical decisions are made by women," says Tom Meade, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at Orthopaedic Associates, in Allentown, Pennsylvania. So if she's armed with the tools to help keep you safe, she'll make sure you use them. (Excuse me? Who says men are the only ones who a.) would read this article, or b.)these 101 things would apply to? Are they serious?)