Escape the CapeĀ 

After three months of training you would think I would feel a little more confident than I did the night before the race. Although part of the extra anxiety came from the fact that I had a championship flag football game that was rescheduled to the night before the race at 8PM! 
The game was awesome, however we ended up being defeated in the end. The contest was so competitive that it came down to the final play. It was a great experience, however; as soon as it ended instead of engaging in the post game festivities I sprinted off the field and headed for Cape May NJ. By the time I went to bed and had a late carb meal my anxiety was almost overwhelming. I tossed and turned the short four hours until the alarm went off at 4:15AM. 
The morning was a blur, not having time to fully prepare my transition bag I raced around the house to get the last minute items (towel, old flip flops etc.). I met my friend at one of the side streets and she jumped in my moms car. My mom and my girlfriend pumped us up as they drove us up to the ferry terminal. 
We ran around setting up our transition areas which were very close together. In a last minute decision my friend decided she really should wear a wet suit the water was under 61 degrees. The problem was she had a surf wet suit that didn’t allow her much range of motion on her strokes. We walked down to the waters edge to see if possibly she could brace it out in just a bathing suit. HELL NO! That shit was colddd. On our way back to join the long line of athletes waiting to board the ferry, a small shop was being set up in the field where they would host the award ceremony. The gentleman said he was with Tri Everything and that he had wet suits for rent. Luckily he had her size in a men’s suit and it fit like a glove. 
Shortly after, in single file, athletes started to board the cape may Lewis ferry. Once aboard the national anthem was sung and last minute announcements made. Once on our easy from the terminal to where the ocean meets the bay, you could feel anxieties rising. The nerves seemed to sway with the waves as Meghan and I trekked up the stairs to the wheel house. We met Captain Dave my stepdad at the enterance and he let us into the restricted area. With a great view I started to relax, I was able to get a fresh cup of coffee and make last minute adjustments to my borrowed wet suit. 
The time in between the Olympic and sprint starts felt like a flash in time. I was extremely thirsty and kept chugging water. We met amazing people that gave us last minute tips. I finished a banana and peanut butter, drank two more cups of water and met Meghan back on the bow of the boat. We waited our turn. Suddenly we were standing at the edge, staring into gray waves. I had no time to even think, all I heard was three, I turned in the air to face where I thought the photographers’ boat was floating. 

Super happy with my “taking the leap” photo.


Once in the water panic set in. I wasn’t ready for my heart to race like that and I flailed around towards where I thought we were suppose to be swimming. I’d be lying if I said my heart rate slowed and I was able to get into a rhythm. The entire swim I was burping up peanut butter and water (never will I do that again before a race). Mentally I didn’t care if I threw up I just wanted to get out of the ocean. I knew the current was strongly pulling us out to the right of the jetty. I powered through setting my strokes to my left and sitting perfectly toward the green buoys. All of a sudden a surfer who was helping navigate the swimmers pulled up alongside of me and told me I don’t have to pass between the buoys, she told me to get to shore the current was too strong. šŸ˜«
I was pissed but just set my eyes on the shore and started to really swim hard. Finally my feet hit the sand and I started stripping my wet suit down. I ran the beach and onto the carpet they had placed over the asphalt. Seeing my girlfriend and my family on the shore gave me an added boost! I sprinted the long .10 to transition and started getting ready for the bike. My running shirt was giving me issues and my number ripped. I struggled at length during a long 7 minute first transition. 

Running down to the mount area I remember feeling in the moment. I just smiled mounted my bike and let the salt air hit my face. The 12 miles on the bike were grueling. I realized within the first three miles that this was my weakest event. I would have to really practice race cycling if I wanted to ever place in a tri. I pedaled along as competitor after competitor passed. Finally in the home stretch I felt pretty good about my chances in the run. 

Happy to finally dismount into transition I quickly grabbed water and headed to the run out sign. I immediately started making up time and passing people because my legs weren’t worn down from the bike. I was flying until we hit the beach part of the run. Not only was the sand rough but people were in single file line and going so slow. I made the decision to use the extra energy and go down to the harder sand and less trafficked area by the waters edge. Almost to the turn around I keep thinking to myself. On the opposite side I saw my friend we threw up a high five, I think we both needed that motivation. I realized I could make up some time on this run and she would only beat me by a little bit. So I stepped it up a notch. Then my back became stiff and my right lower back muscle cramped up. I was just praying to keep running and not have to walk. 

Struggling I looked at all the people that packed the side of bay Ave. They were on every corner, up on the decks of shore houses, and one guy even sprayed athletes with a hose if they wanted to escape the heat. I felt a sense of pride and even if my back was on fire I was going to finish this thing. I had trained so hard and long for this. I had recovered enough from my injury to even be running which was a miracle in itself. Down the home stretch I savored the feelings of pride and happiness. I knew right then that I was hooked. I saw my supportive loved ones right after I finished cheering and screaming. I was so overwhelmed I fell into their embraces tears of joy and happiness fell from my eyes. I had found my inner rekkr. 

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When September comes…

     No not the Green Day song. I officially signed up for my first trail run marathon since my injury. I did this on a whim yesterday after watching the Netflix documentary on the Barkley marathons. I reflected on my love for trail running and the overall freedom it had given me. Signed up for ultrasignups.com and started searching events. I wanted a local run and definitely for it to be on the east coast. 

  

So there I am a participant in the free to run trail races in Massachusetts. I have looked through the previous times clocked by the runners and I am confident I will finish top 25% percentile. That is my goal. 

As most of you know I have been off and on as far as a training plan. I really get a good couple weeks in and then something happens personally and I stop training. With a date glaring at me on the calendar I now have the ultimate motivator. 

I chose to start training yesterday and jump right into a running regiment to increase my pace times. My times are way slower than they have ever been mainly because I haven’t been lifting/running/training consistently. The biggest accomplishment for yesterday was I ran 6 miles and mentally fought through the urge to stop. I stretched a ridiculously amount yesterday and used a tennis ball to massage my calves/hips. 

My phone died so it didn’t track the last mile properly but I think the pace would have been around 11:30 per mile. I wanted to mix in some elevation too so I ran a hilly road. Overall my muscles are sore but nothing flared up as far as my injury.  

Today I will be doing light jog to loosen up my muscles, yoga, and possibly a hike if I get moving fast enough. 

Find your rekkr

Night RiderĀ 

I felt exhausted as I closed up shop after a long, stressful day at work. My flats squished beneath my feet with every step to my car. It was the first cold night that we had to endure and of course it had to rain a steady icy rain. 

As I drove the 20 minutes straight shot back to my apartment my mind wandered to what food might be cooked by my one and only when I got home, and then what Netflix movie did I want to see. Recently I had been slacking on consistently working out..and those pesky thoughts of cozy things always seem to get me. As I pulled into my complex I pushed all thoughts aside and grudgedly commited to doing the workout I had scheduled. 

I set up the trainer in my garage and got to work. I instantly felt my quads fighting back, it was an effort just to moderately pedal. The run from the day before had left me tight and sore. I continued on determined to get in the full 50 minutes. I finally found a good song on pandora after using all of my skips and started alternating. Honestly I loved this type of workout. I was able to really get a lot out of it and finish the full time. I would alternate every 3.5 minutes between high intensity and moderate pedaling. There was only one time that I switched to a higher gear and that didn’t last too long. I know I was dying, hopefully I will be able to progress to a harder gear for the indoor training gradually. I swear pandora was not cooperating with me at all, I managed to get through the work out and I really did feel good about it. 

I was able to actually do yoga after the workout and it really helped me so much. I have been foam rolling my hips and IT band a lot more too like and hour each night. I am doing the YOGA 30 challenge with Adrienne on YouTube it’s a perfect pace and i can really focus on stretching my lower body without of exerting myself. My eating habits need to be a lot more stable. I have such a crazy work day and absolutely no real break… it makes it extremely hard to be consistent with time of eating meals. I started my advocare shakes the new plant based ones are ridiculously amazing. https://www.advocare.com/151020808/default.aspx?version=desktopAdvocare ā¤ļø 

^you guys can check all that out! 

I plan to start the 24 day challenge too and that will really help regulate my eating habits. 

Overall big plans, short term however is simple: be consistent. 
Until next time… find your inner rekkr. 

50 long long minutesĀ 

As most of you know I haven’t been posting consistently, and which unfortunately means I haven’t been training consistently. I’ve made empty commitments and unfulfilled promises to myself to start and stick to with a slow steady program. This post is more for accountability then to beat down on myself. 

I find that the community on word press and instagram is so supportive and want to thank my followers for their kind words of encouragement and wise advise along this journey. I am proud to say that the first of many long runs was effectively completed this afternoon:


A solid run to get me back in the game! Now I have to admit I struggled through this one. My left hip has been so tight lately and it was flaring up on every step. My right ankle halfway through was sore and nagging me the whole way back. Overall though I felt like I could have gone further/faster and my lungs were totally fine. 

Also I wanted to report that the nifty piece of equipment in the photo above is my new iwatch and I am so pumped to try this sucker out in the pool! āŒšļø


I hope to find more scenic routes to run along in the coming weeks. I found a really fun looking cornfield but had second thoughts about running up and through it, ya know, with all this clown drama going on. 

Rekkrrunner out. 

Back in action

    I am fully committed to maintaining a workout routine and hopefully competing in a few events. I am on the email list for north face endurance and after 3 years I am dying to get back on the trail. 

   So far I have completed a week worth of training and I’m feeling amazing. More updates to comešŸ˜

Coaching?

I am pretty much the epitome of a rookie when it come to triathlons. I haven’t really even raced competitively in a cycling or swimming event. I am extremely passion about getting to my first tri and really being great. 

Everyone has there reasoning for competing in a triathlon or making it a part of their lives and competively racing. I want to be part of the latter. However, are these just visions of grandeur, is my mind running ahead of my actual capabilities as an athlete? That is a scary question. I know that in every situation mentally and physically straining I have overcome and persevered where others faltered. I can say that with confidence, I know that my own will can get me through. I just want some direction some solid training. I want to add onto my will and partner that will the some skill. 

So here is my question. Am I ready for a coach? I have a quoted prove of $350 a month and this would include training and nutritional plan as well as heart zone specifics for each workout. Does this sound like a good plan?? Curious and excited to hear your responses!

Can I stick with itĀ 

Already I’ve had some solid weeks of training and some periods where I’ve done absolutely nothing. I feel that this time I am really sinking into a flow. 

I’m better at following through with things when I do the complete change. Eating, working out, sleeping, and even thinking; I have to change all of those patterns. If I change one or two I may follow my training for a little while but boom before I know it I’ve sat on the couch all week eating velvetta and five cheese pizza all week. So a little over a week ago I made the decision that it was time to throw myself into change. 

I have a wonderful trip planned to cabo with my other half and I want to look good and feel good when we get to enjoy our much needed alone time. Plus I have been reading a lot and following a lot of triathletes and with all the Olympic qualifying races I am some what obsessed with attempting one. So it’s a perfect time to start. 

This week I have changed drastically:

No drinking 

Drinking lots of water

Advocare CORE eating plan

One discipline workout every other day

Incorporating yoga daily

Sleeping consistently 

Crosstraining/weightlifting 

So far these change have made a difference. I’m not much about the scale although I think I have lost weight and gained some muscle, I feel much much better in all aspects.

7 days into yoga I feel mentally and physically strong. Cross training breaks up the workouts and I want to do everything in my power to prevent injury. 

I hope to find my next big event very soon .

ļ»æThe first cycling event


I am one of those people that need a legit set in stone event to get me motivated enough to prepare/train. I bought a beautiful black cannondale road bike and signed up for a 66.5 mile bike ride. I practiced inside and did two 20 mile bike rides in preparation, but I still really wasn’t comfortable on the bike. Before I knew it the morning of the ride arrived and I was feeling anxious. I strapped on my gloves, camelbak, and helmet headed down market street in Philly. 

I coasted into the crowd of 3,000 participants and immediately felt empowered by the first few bars of the Rocky soundtrack. I looked at my team which included my mom and dad (divorced, there together to support me, and not cyclists). Finally the crowd began moving forward and we pedaled over the first part of the Ben Franklin Bridge. At 6:30 the sun was already beaming down on us, I realized that the next 66 miles were going to be rough. 

My mom riding on a beach cruiser was flying past seasoned bikers. I struggled to stay in eyeshot, pounding my pedals downward. A helpful tenured cyclist road up along side of us as we all pedaled furiously on an incline. His bike seemed to be floating effortlessly up the hill, “shift down on the inclines, all you want to be doing is pedaling, don’t work your legs to hard on this,” he offered his wisdom. We all began shifting gears trying to figure out what he was talking about. The first 20 miles were extremely difficult, my dad was surrounded by med staff when he couldn’t get up a hill and my girlfriend fell injuring her elbow and knee. Dispite the exhaustion I was feeling in control of my bike for the first time. There was only one down hill where I lost control of the pedals and almost fell.

As we made a quick left into the halfway point rest area, I suddenly became aware of off hot I was. I became so nauseous I couldn’t even talk. Unsure of what to do I headed toward the food station, started picking at a half of a bagel and taking shelter from the sun under a tent. My legs were weak and I was beginning to doubt my ability to finish. Somewhere inside my mind I decided that I would beat this course and finish. The bagel helped, I jumped on my bike and started out again. 

40 miles to 58 we were all just going through the motions, trying to keep a decent pace because we knew we were really close to the cut off time. The second to last rest stop was where everything changed for me. My bike on its kick stand I walked over to refuel on watermelon and bananas, then as I looked back my bike was on the ground. This part of jersey had become so windy that the wind literally blew my bike over messing up the brakes and my tire. Racing over to the bike repair tent I begged the kid to fix my bike. He said he could fix the brakes and straighten the wheel enough for me to finish, he went to work quickly. “Wow your tires are low, I’m gonna pump them up, yo your gonna blow by everyone now,” the kid said as he was grabbing the pump. My mom laughed, she was having not trouble and acting as if she was cruising on the boardwalk. “Good I need her to be fast,” she said elbowing me jokingly. I thought the kid was nuts and that he must not have realized I had already biked 58 miles. I got on my bike and my entire world changed. I rode easily up an incline, smiling and in disbelief I rode ahead feeling weightless. So total ROOKIE mistake I had been riding the entire race without air in my tires! 

The rest of the ride was fairly easy for me, we made all the cutoff a and were able to finish the race at the AC Boardwalk together as Team Bingo! Completing my first event was amazing. I feel like I am on the road to recovery and that I may actually be able to do a triathlon. My leg and back were sore but not terrible pain the next morning (which was a miracle to me). 
Betty’s Bikers also known as Team Bingo participated in the American Cancer Society sponsored bike ride Bridge to Beach from Philadelphia PA to Atlantic City NJ 66.5 miles.

This race was dedicted in loving memory to Mom Mom Steel.

ļ»æSerious about being serious about training!Ā 

I think failing to complete a training schedule happens to the best of us once in a while. I believe it starts with not having a full fledged commitment, in that case it allows for that slip. I recently have experienced a slip in my training and I believe it is mostly due to my lack of commitment mentally to my cause. 

I last posted about a significant and glorious 30 min run. I felt like I was on top of the world until morning came and the next day I spent limping around. Sometimes it becomes so easy for injuries to mask themselves with endorphins and it seems for a short time you are invincible. I received a quick reality check. Discouraged, I withdrew from my training. I have refocused, I am recommitted. 

I swam today just focusing on form and getting meters in. My back feels tight so I’m gonna stretch it out tonight. Run/bike tomorrow not sure which I will do tomorrow depends on weather! 

I did it!

It’s safe to say I’ve accomplished something that I will remember for the rest of my life! Sunday April 10th 2016 I completed my first trail run in almost four yearsssss! 

It happened quite accidentally or maybe I was just not really conscious of what I was about to do and that’s kind of why it felt unexpected to me. I have my nice little schedule  

 
And there it is 30 minute run on soft surface, so it’s not like I didn’t know that I was going to run. My body and brain literally didn’t process what I was about to do until I threw myself into a jog one foot clammering after the other. 

Sunday was the first really beautiful day the east coast has had in weeks and I wasn’t going to squander it. I though I’d maybe sit on my porch, drink a glass of wine and relax after a really long emotional weekend. I started cleaning, must have caught the spring cleaning bug and then the next thing I know my mind has decided I’m going to get back to sticking on track with my training plan. Before I knew it my camel back was strapped on, shoes laced up, and bandana tightened. It was the prefect temperature mid 60s sun shining brightly as I drove straight for the national park. It’s a gorgeous park with many access points, all kinds of terrain, a winding river right in the middle, and of course packs of people enjoying all those things. It’s almost impossible to be anything but calm and happy as you admire the farmland stretch out for miles to the south and the rising mountains to the north-west.

Parking is always a little hectic but after I found a spot nerves threw me into an anxious state. I didn’t register what the distance or the demands of what I was about to do as I walked over the little damn that connects one side of the park to the other mountainous side. Once over and at the bottom of the mountain and beginning of the trail I took off. It wasn’t long before pain radiated up from my weak ankles, fatigue settling down on my frail knees. I thought it was the end. Then I remembered what the training plan had said “soft surface,” I pondered this while I stared down at my feet that were making contact with a paved asphalt trail. Maybe I shouldn’t be running on asphalt yet, should I have started with the treadmill all these thoughts came racing to my mind. I saw a tree to my right with a painted deep red marker, there was an openning to a trail that ran right along the river. My heart skipped a beat when I made a sharp turn off the main road and slipped onto the equestrian narrow trail. It had been rainy for weeks so the trail was muddy but I continued on, my legs falling into stride and my feet finding there way easily along the uneven ground. I kept my head up looking for any horses that may be flying down the trail. Sure enough I had to dodge a rider fairly quickly, but only had to do that one other time. The sun was reflecting off the surface of the river and I couldn’t believe I was even still running. 

I continued up a step incline, power walking the steepest part before settling back into a nice steady jog. I was now looking at my Fitbit every ten seconds looking for that merciful number 30. Just as I reached the flat surface of the summit thirty minutes passed. Luckily there was a little wooden bench I immediately began stretching, my muscles were all already tight. I enjoyed the moment there I sat over looking the park, exhausted and exhilarated. I had run.