WIAW – Wedding Day

May 21, 2014

I debated which day to feature as a WIAW today – Saturday’s Bike Ride Day or Sunday’s Half Marathon Day. I went with the Wedding day cuz weddings are special. As always, head over to Peas and Crayons for a complete description of WIAW.

So…I didn’t actually eat a “breakfast” if by “eating breakfast” you mean…well…eating. I should have had something, but I wasn’t hungry when I woke up, and I knew I would be starting with a climb right away, so I figured I’d wait until I got on the Cannon Valley Trail to eat.  Don’t ever do this…eat first.

I had a clif bar when I got on the trail. Outside of Cannon Falls I had a PowerGel. And shortly after my humpty dumpty moment I had another Clif Bar:

Energy Bars

“Gee Teresa, that doesn’t look like much for riding for 3.5 hours on an empty stomach…”

You’re right, and I’m an idiot. I actually got hungry before eating the second clif bar. Getting hungry is a BAD sign. Corby and I were talking the other day about how it’s amazing how many calories you burn while cycling but you don’t notice it the same way you do with running. I know that’s true for me anyway. I really do need to get better about eating more on the bike. Seriously.

So when I got back, I was hungry again, and I had a triple-decker peanut butter and honey sandwich in my hotel room. We stopped at a grocery store the day before to get things for Celeste and Sarah to make breakfast, so I picked up the bread, peanut butter and honey then. I could have packed all those things, but that would have involved me using my brain, and it was busy trying not to forget more important things. At least I knew I could bring it home.

Peanut Butter Honey 1Peanut Butter Honey 2

This would have been much better to eat BEFORE the ride. Heh.

And why not just make 1 and a half? Because triple-decker is so much more fun, that’s why!! And I would have made 2 or 3 but I knew we would be getting lunch in a couple hours or so, so this was just an appetizer.

Celeste and Sarah had gotten frozen strawberries to put on their waffles, and they had a half a bag leftover….until I showed up, that is. :)


We were in a bit of a hurry later, and there weren’t that many options, so we went to Taco John’s. I had 3 bean burritos, with hot sauce, salsa, and jalapenos added, a side of rice and beans, and a diet Pepsi.

Taco Johns Lunch

Celeste and Sarah had Meatheads cater their wedding, and served chicken. BUT, they’re awesome, and packed a little George Forman grill and some Boca burgers for me. I cooked them in the little kitchen area while the guests got their food. I had those on two dinner rolls, two more dinner rolls, fruit, green beans, salad and a beer.


Ok I had two beers…but the second one was later with dessert.

For dessert, I had wedding cake, a carrot cake cupcake (I’m powerless against carrot cake) and some Norwegian Almond Wreath Cake (Kransekake).


Ok, I had two carrot cake cupcakes. The second one I tried to eat later all stealthy-like, but Darrick, the other friend in the wedding party, caught me. He watched me eat lunch, and dinner, and  so he totally said “Oh my god are you still eating!?!” Unlike my friends, Darrick is unaccustomed to my post-long-workout binges. :)

Ok, I snacked on the Kransekake all night too. I just need to tell you – that stuff was the bomb diggity, yo! And it actually came from Norway. Like, on a plane the day before, with Sarah’s Norwegian relatives that came for the wedding. No joke. (btw, it was the 200th celebration ofNorwegian Constitution Day, their independence day, that day, so they really were missing out on a major national holiday to come to this wedding. Very touching.) With all that effort to bring that cake…it would have been rude not to eat it…..a lot of it……all night long. ;)

And look at the awesome topper they put on it!!:

Ring Cake with topper

I thought that was really awesome of them.

Training Peaks

Shut up, Training Peaks – I don’t even want to hear it! It was my best friends’ wedding, and I was running a half tomorrow. :::shoves more Kransekake in her mouth::::


Apple Blossom Half Marathon

May 19, 2014

First – a shout out to all my friends who ran the Green Bay Cellcom Half Marathon today!! You are too numerous to list, but I hope everyone had a great race. It certainly looks like it was fun from facebook pics!!

My Half

So, I ran a half marathon today too. I didn’t advertise it because I wasn’t sure I would. Since I was traveling, I knew getting my workouts in would be hard and I for sure would not want to do the long run on Sunday – my training plan called for a 90-105 run (1:30- to 1:45 hours, if I did my math right – I’m looking at you, Shannon). With my current pace, that put me within range of a half marathon. So, I hit up the Running in the USA calendar and looked for any halfs around Red Wing, MN. And I found the Apple Blossom Half Marathon in Hastings, MN, 30 minutes from Red Wing. SHAZAM!

I figured running an actual event would help motivate me, because I had registered and paid for it, and because the other runners would help get me excited too. I wouldn’t have to use my brain to plan a route and try to follow it in a strange area, and it would be fully supported. Lastly, if something happened to me or a crapped out, I would be the problem of the race volunteers and officials, who presumably would be prepared to handle such a problem runner, rather than my friends from the wedding who most certainly would not appreciate being put in that position. It was clearly a small local race, and relatively cheap too – $40 well spent, if you ask me.

The Start

Cheap also meant it wasn’t at all fancy, which was totally fine with me.  We had ankle time chips, like they use in triathlons, and I’m guessing they just all started us at once, cuz there was no timing mat at the start:

Start Line

This was fine because there weren’t that many of us doing the half – maybe 40-50, so gun time and chip time were probably pretty close.

Since I biked about 60 miles yesterday, was still nursing some bruises from falling on the bike, and got about 4 hours of sleep following the wedding, I also wasn’t “racing” this race. I viewed it as exactly what I mentioned – a supported training run. And I wasn’t feeling that social, if you can believe it. But, as I was standing there wondering what the hell I was thinking trying to run a half this morning, a really talkative girl marched up to my side and started chatting with me like were were long lost friends.

She said she was a teacher from a nearby small town, and was really looking forward to being done with school in three weeks. My background is in school psych, so we chatted about schools and teaching for a while. I asked her what time she was hoping for, and she said she was hoping to do 1:45, but she wasn’t arrogant when she said, it she really wasn’t. She also mentioned she hadn’t run in the past week. Since she said it confidently and she certainly looked like she could do it, I was all “Get it girl!” She asked me what time I hoped for and I told her I was just there for the scenery, haha. I really was just treating it like running with the Pacesetters, not a race. When we started, she took off at a clearly 1:45 or faster pace and I wished her good luck.

The First Mile

Remembering yesterday and freezing bike and wanting to never ever ever feel that cold again, I wore tri shorts, knee high compression socks, a running shirt, arm warmers, and a throw away long sleeve shirt. This was too much. I was glad I hadn’t worn the running tights, which I seriously considered. I threw away the long sleeve shirt at the first chance I got. The arm warmers were quickly too much too, but I actually like those arm warmers, so I didn’t want to throw them away. I would have worn my tri top again, but I forgot my number belt and I don’t like to pin through it. Had I done that, I would have had a rear pocket to stick them in.

Seeing no other option, I ended up shoving them right in the front of my shorts. Whatever, I’m never going to see these people again. Thankfully, the gender-bending bulge I feared my crotch would become wasn’t as bad I thought it would be. :) I actually forgot about them in a few minutes, until after the race when I used the porta potty and they fell out. On the floor, thankfully.

The Third Mile

This was a very hilly course. The third mile was remarkable because it involved a very long and fairly steep downhill. I took it easy, but I was passed on my left by a seriously crazy woman galloping twice as fast as I was down the hill. Her arms were literally flailing around, helping her keep her balance. I thought “Hey crazy lady, when you lose it and start going @ss over tea kettle down this hill, can you do me a favor and try to roll to the left, so I don’t have to try to run over you? Kthanxbi.” But SHE DIDN’T FALL. It was impressive, in a crazy way, it really was.

Miles 4-10

These miles were relatively uneventful. I took some photos:

Running Pic 1Running pic 3

Yes, I really did take photos while running. No, I don’t think this is weird anymore. I really was serious when I told you I was just running it and not racing it.

The race was pretty basic, as you can see. No cones or anything. When a turn would come up, they had just spray painted “Turn Right (or left)” on the road. And every water station consisted of a card table or the tailgate of a truck. Again, totally fine with me.

Mile 10.5 – The Tables Turn

As I approached mile 10.5, I saw a girl up ahead of me walking. And not power-walking, either.Sad walking. I thought it could be the teacher, but we had only talked when she was directly to my left, so I wasn’t sure I was recognizing her from behind. And this runner’s hair was falling all around and her shirt was all rolled up and tucked under her sports bra, looking every bit of the definition of a hot mess, which made it harder.

When I got up directly side-by-side to her, we made eye contact and there was no doubt it was her. I started to say “What happened?” but all I got out was “What” when her eyes when wide, she cut me off, and said loudly “I’M DYING!!”

I was so stunned I didn’t know what to say. I know – me, speechless! It’s true. Then she immediately blurts out “I lied – I haven’t run in the past two weeks!!” Not helping me come up with words, Teacher. I literally had no idea what to say. I had taken my 2nd and last energy gel 2 miles ago, and had very little Hammer Heed left in my water bottle. Besides, I could see a water station up ahead at what must have been mile 11. I couldn’t help her. I also couldn’t stay with her very long, since I was still running, and she was walking. Walking with her might have been nice, but it was clear it wouldn’t have changed anything for her and would only have ruined my run, which probably would have only made her feel worse.

When I was about 10-15 feet ahead of her, I finally yelled “Only 2.5 miles to go!” Wow. That was profound, Teresa. I’m sure that fired her right up. She’s probably sitting somewhere right now telling one of her friends all about the jerkface runner with a weird bulge in her shorts she met today – haha!

To be fair, I’m not sure there was anything I could have said to make any difference, good or bad. (Read an interesting debate about this issue from Runner’s World here). Still, I was too afraid/embarrassed to look behind me for the next mile! When I finally did look back, I couldn’t see her. I didn’t hang around the finish after the race, so I never did find out what happened to her. I wouldn’t have blamed her a bit if she DNF’d at mile 11. I hope whatever she did, she felt better. Poor girl.

The Finish

But I really felt pretty good! Still, I didn’t give it any sort of real kick until I was at about 12.80 miles. This was mostly due to the continued, unrelenting hills. Anyway, here’s a pic of the finish (taken before the race):

Finish Line

Love the apple crates lining the way! Everyone working the finish and the post race food area was either a little old lady volunteering for the Carpenter Nature Center that the proceeds benefited, or a boy scout in full uniform – scarf, badges, everything. I thanked each one that helped me, and the little old ladies thanked me for supporting the nature center. They were all adorable. Every last one of them.


The course was long, which I had figured out from a few mile markers I did manage to see on the course compared to my Garmin. So I stopped my watch at 13.1 and compared it to my chip time, just for fun:

Garmin TimeResults list circled

Overall, I was pumped about the time. I seriously had no idea I was doing so well. It was really hard to judge from all the hills. Speaking of, here’s the elevation profile taken from my Lie Detector:

Apple Blossom Half Elevation

Up, down, up, down, up, down….No flats for you!

And the map:

Apple Blossom Half Map

And the splits:

Apple Blossom Half Splits

Post Race

After the race, I joined Celeste and Sarah who were just finishing up their gift opening ceremony. They didn’t plan on that until yesterday, so I think they were ok with the fact that I couldn’t make it. I know for sure they appreciated me coming in wearing all my spandex and smelling delightful ;) I’m so glad my friends love me despite myself.

A little later I did finally shower, put on my favorite post-running race t-shirt, and we had lunch. Then I drove home, which takes me right through my hometown, so I of course had to stop to hang out and have dinner with this awesome lady:

Mom and I

Yeah I know it’s blurry. I didn’t take it :)

And now I’m one level above exhausted. Good night – hope you had a good Sunday!

Red Wing Ride and a Wedding!

May 18, 2014

I’m in Red Wing, MN this weekend for the wedding of my two best friends, Celeste and Sarah (McKay) Calkins! I was so honored when Celeste asked me to stand up for her. Yesterday really was a rest day for me, as I left early in the morning to get to Red Wing and then spent the rest of the day helping Celeste and Sarah set up for the wedding. The wedding wasn’t until later today (Saturday) though, so that means I had no excuse not to get out and do my bike workout. So, I got up at crack of dawn and started the 3.5 – 4.5 hour ride my training plan called for. I pre-planned the ride using Map My Ride to find current routes other cyclists had used. (And as usual, e-mailed this map to Celeste and Sarah, and my mother, beforehand, and texted them when I was starting. Plan the ride, ride the plan). Here’s what I rode according to my Lie Detector:

Red Wing Ride Map

Red Wing Ride Summary

There were several big hills – great training for Ironman Wisconsin!

Red Wing Ride Elevation

And did you see that I started out with a big hill? Yep, the hotel is at the bottom of a hill. Super fun. ;)

Actually, it kinda was. BECAUSE…it was super cold, and climbing will make you warmer than anything. I thought I was probably in trouble when I stepped outside the St. James hotel (our finish line for today) and took this “before” photo and I could see my breath:

Start of Ride

And I was right, when I checked my Garmin data later:

Red Wing Ride Weather

I was so, sooooo unprepared for that kind of cold. I wore my tri top under my cycling jersey, which was one of the better decisions I’ve made in life, armwarmers, running tights, and my running gloves, because I’m too cool think about packing my windproof winter cycling gloves. I should know better this time of year…but no. And I suffered for it! I nearly abandoned the ride during the first portion – I mean I seriously, seriously thought about it. But I didn’t. Yay me!

Cannon Valley Trail

The first part was a paved rail-to-trail leading from Red Wing to Cannon Falls, the Cannon Valley Trail:

Cannon Valley TrailTrail by river

There was this awesome sign post on the trail! Can you see the rainbow flag?!? Yay gay pride!!! And the bottom of the post had a free pump for use, which I thought was totally awesome:

Red Wing Distance Sign 2 Red Wing Bike Pump

A little ways down the road I came across a turkey!! He was all puffed up and pissed off at me as I approached, and by the time I stopped and got my phone out he had calmed himself a little:

Red Wing TurkeyRed Wing Turkey Close Up 2

I tried to tell him I’m a vegetarian and I don’t eat turkeys, but he was not trusting. He crossed the road (Insert some cheesy pun on “why did the chicken cross the road”) and went about his business. I continued on to…

Cannon Falls

Did I mention I was really, really cold during the first part of this ride? Yeah…the trail was great, but I couldn’t wait to get to Cannon Falls and some less shaded area to ride on so the sun could warm me. I hadn’t planned to just turn back because the trail wasn’t long enough for a straight out and back. Anyway…open, sunny, warmer roads was all I could think about while riding on that trail…hands so frozen my fingers hurt and wouldn’t bend… Cannon Falls became my Oasis. And I finally got there! Here is the sprawling metropolis of Cannon Falls:

Downtown Cannon Falls

It was totally cute.

I then started my loop back on Hwy 25. It was a highway. It looked like a highway:

Hwy 25

335 st.

I planned to take a short little jaunt down 335th st from 25 to connect to Highway 1, which would take me back to Red Wing.

Surprise! 335 st WAS GRAVEL.

335 th street gravel

I’m sure if I had spent more time researching the route on Google Maps in Satellite I would know this…but I didn’t. Ultimately, there were pretty clear lines where cars had driven….and I knew it was going to be only a couple miles, so I decided to go for it. Remember…plan the ride, ride the plan.

It actually was fine, until I got to a small hill. There were no good open lines where cars had cleared the gravel on that hill. I should have just surrendered and walked my bike up the hill, but I’m a freaking idiot, so I didn’t. Halfway up, my rear wheel hit a really soft patch and I stopped gripping/moving completely, just spinning. What happens when you’re clipped into a bike and you stop moving? Yep…BAM. I tried to give my ankle a quick jerk to unclip and stop it, but it was futile. Knowing that most cyclists break their collarbones from sticking their arms out to try to lesson the blow, as soon as I realized I was going down, I clung to the handlebars as hard as I could, twisted a bit, and took the impact in the back of my ribs and hip.

Thank goodness no one but a bunch of clearly uninterested cows saw me. I laid there for a moment remembering how Celeste had told me very seriously that if I get hurt and can’t make it to the wedding she’d kill me, before snapping out of my momentary haze. I have never – NEVER – fallen while clipped in, so trying to unclip from underneath Delores while rolling around on the gravel was a fun new skill to learn. I then shook it off – literally, I had gravel dust all over me – and walked a bit up the hill and took a photo of the spot to commemorate it:

I hate you gravel hill

And that’s how I felt about it. I really felt ok afterwards, except when I took a deep breath, when it felt like a big, sharp knife was stabbing directly into my ribs. That got better as the day went on, though the hip is much more sore. Just so you know, my friend’s partner is a nurse practitioner, and she looked me over later, confirming nothing was seriously hurt, just a bad case of bruises to my body and my pride.

Highway 1

Highway 1 was much, much better. Look at this great shoulder! And there wasn’t much traffic:

Highway 1

Finally, I returned to Red Wing from the East:

Red Wing Sign

I didn’t get my run in… by the time I got back it was almost 11am, and I quick checked in with Celeste and Sarah who requested my attention to my wedding duties. So I quick showered and got over there!

Here they are, all married up!:

Celeste and Sarah

And the wedding party selfie:

Wedding Party Selfie

What a great day! Seriously one of the best ever, I think. I couldn’t be more happy for them. But now I’m totally exhausted (and still sore) so it’s time to tuck myself into bed! Hope you had a great Saturday too :)

Finding Ultra by Rich Roll

May 15, 2014

Today’s Friday Rest Day book review is of:

Finding Ultra – Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself (2013), by Rich Roll. 288 pages.


Finding Ultra is the story of Rich Roll’s life, with an emphasis on how he overcame being an “average” middle age guy to take on Ultraman.

The first part of the book talks about his background and overcoming being average to become one of the fittest men alive. He grew up in a pretty well-to-do family, and he was a world-class swimmer from a family of great swimmers. He went to ivy-league schools – undergrad and law school – and had a very impressive job as a lawyer in LA. He also developed a serious alcohol use problem during this time, and he spends time talking about overcoming that and finding Ironman Triathlons as a means to overcome his addiction.

Well, I don’t know that I would consider Rich an “average” guy at all given that background. And that was hard for me, since the book is really pitched as the story of how he overcome being “average.” It was also clear he swapped one addiction – alcohol – for another – Ironman/Ultraman. Lastly, I’m just not sure I like the guy, and I don’t know that I have a real strong reason for saying that other than I just don’t. If you read reviews of him online, you’ll see lots of people talk about he is a narcissist and they couldn’t stand him. It always irritates me when people read a book specifically about a person and their life, and then turn around and call them self-absorbed – I mean, it’s a book about them! But, I kinda understood what these people were saying. He just doesn’t come across as all that humble – worse thanMacca – and if he had it would have been a better book.

The middle part of the book was more interesting, for sure. This is where he talks about the races he has completed. The most impressive was the EPIC5 race, which consists of 5 days of Ironman triathlons, each one on a different Hawaiian Island. This was definitely impressive! I also really appreciated how he talked about the mental difficulty of doing such an event. That part was well done and made me appreciate his suffering. The only disappointing part here was that he was pretty secretive about what he did to train, other than long, slow sessions with his heart rate monitor. Unlike other books, he doesn’t even include a sample workout week, and that would have been really interesting to see.

The last part of the book was, sadly, the most disappointing as he spend this part talking about nutrition and selling his products. I wanted this to be the best part because he is a vegan, but once again I found someone eats all kinds of stuff I haven’t had any interest in eating. Smoothies with all kinds of seeds and stuff in them…why are vegan athletes always so obsessed with smoothies?!? And I can’t, and won’t, pay ridiculous amounts of money for whatever fancy powders he and Brendan Brazier and others are selling. I think the issue is that I was spoiled by Scott Jurek’s great writing about food in Eat and Run. Ok, all that negative said stuff, it was of course inspiring to hear from a vegan athlete. And it was interesting to hear him talk about what he ate during those crazy events that I talked about above, especially the approximately 3 billion avocado sandwiches and sweet potatoes he ate.

I really wanted to like this book, but it was just ok. I’m ambivalent about recommending it.

Morning Swim, Evening Run

May 15, 2014

This morning I started with a swim workout. I dutifully wrote out my workout from my training plan and headed off to the YMCA. I was in the locker room pulling my suit on when I remembered that doing so is only helpful if you do not leave said workout on the kitchen table. Heh.

Well, I remembered it was like 3000 yards-ish or something, a little shorter than normal because the main set was a bunch of 100s and 200s at a fairly fast pace. So I went ahead and just did something sorta like that, and it was fine. Here’s the proof:

May 14 swim

Later, after work, I joined the Pacesetters for our May fun run. It was hosted at the Heckrodt Nature Center, so that is today’s finish line.

I got there without much time to spare…or so I thought. The starting talk lasted a little longer than I thought it would so I had plenty of time. Since I’m clearly too cool to listen politely, I found myself wondering what should I do with that time. And then…Oh look, an iPhone….

Amy, LuAnn and I tried to take a selfie but the crappy camerawoman’s thumb was in the way:

Amy LuAnn Selfie Thumb

Thankfully they’re good sports, so the let me try again! :)

Amy LuAnn Selfie

Then I was all “Hey Deb, I’m bored, let’s take a selfie!” and she was all “Oh Teresa, you and your selfies…” But she did it :)

Deb and I Selfie

And here’s the whole group of us:

Group Photo 2

And let me tell you – ALL THE COOL KIDS WERE THERE! Deb, LuAnn, Amy, Norman, Victoria, Brian, Alicia, Kristen, Paul, Tom, Shannon….I’m probably forgetting like a million more people…! It was so great to see everyone, but I was sad that because there were so many people there, all spread out, that I didn’t get time to talk to anyone more than just a few minutes each. :(

Greg and I did the 10k route, and we were in a surprising minority. I think this is because people are tapering for the Cellcom marathon this weekend, or because there were subs and an ice cream sundae bar waiting to be eaten after the run, but I’m not sure. Actually, Greg and I did a little more than 10k due to getting lost for a bit…maps are for wimps! ;)

Heckrodt Nature Center Splits

And here’s what we ran:

Heckrodt Nature Run

Everyone gathered in the Center after the run:

People Eatin

Norman loved this photo – “You better put that in your blog!” And so it is:

Norman Rocks

Pretty much all the subs were gone by the time Greg and I stumbled in, which honestly was fine, seeing as there were no veggie subs. Sad day! And I resisted making a giant bowl of ice cream my dinner. :) Greg had a bit of a meaty sub and then we went to a Mexican restaurant instead.

Overall though, it was such a great run!! Time for bed now.

WIAW – Ironman Hill Repeat Day

May 14, 2014

Today’s WIAW is from Saturday’s Ironman Hill Repeat Day. As always, head over to Peas and Crayons for a full description of WIAW.

The day started out with Oatmeal and tea, which you’ve seen before. As usual, I added some brown sugar, walnuts, and dried fruit:


After the Sole Burner 5k, Greg brought me a cookie from the food tent. It would have been rude not to eat it, so I did so ;) :


I had some green tea at Starbucks, but nothing to eat. I probably should have.

Anyway, when I got back to Oshkosh, I had just enough time to create a quick lunch before meeting Jenny and Amy for the trip to Madison. I quick made some wraps with veganaise, sriracha, some veggies, and tofu. The veggies are actually a stir fry mix I had in the fridge that I gave a good chop. It was better than it sounds…and quick! :)

Wraps 1Wraps 2

I had two of the wraps.

For the ride, I packed two chocolate almond raw bars, an oatmeal chocolate chip raw bar, and a Bonk Breaker bar. However, I wasn’t as hungry as I thought I would be, and I was dealing with some stomach cramping during the first part of the ride, so I couldn’t quite get a much solid food down as I had wanted. I ate the Oatmeal bar on the way into Cross Plains, and the Bonk Breaker just before repeating Timber Ln. I never got to the chocolate raw bars :/.

Energy Bars actual

Not pictured: 3 scoops of Hammer Heed, 1/2 bottle Gatorade, and 1 Gu Lemon Lime Gel (taken before repeating Timber Ln as well).

After the ride, we went to an Italian restaurant that was also a steak house, Avanti Italian Steak House. As a vegetarian, I often don’t do well at anything with “steak” or “Texas” in the title of the restaurant, but I often can to very well at Italian restaurants. This one was great – I had a salad with raspberry vinaigrette dressing, and bread.

Salad and Bread

Then for my main course I had portobello ravioli in a marinara sauce:

Portobello Ravioli

We didn’t have a dessert, and by the time I got home I was exhausted, so I didn’t eat anything else.

Training Peaks

I never did try to enter this into Training Peaks. There would have been a lot of guessing with dinner for sure. Speaking of, I will say I ate the majority of the bread basket at the table, which will come as no surprise for most of you :)

Although I don’t have the data to support it, I feel like I didn’t eat enough or maybe just barely enough. This could have been due to the stomach issues at the start of the ride that kept me from eating, but these didn’t last very long.

According to rates of calorie burn taken from Monique Ryan’s book, I burned about 1800 calories during the bike and another 200 during the run for a total of 2000. My Resting metabolic rate is 1360, and I allow myself 300 for living the dream. So that’s”

2000 + 1360 + 300 = 3,360 calories burned.

Again, not sure exactly what I ate, but I think I must have been close, since I wasn’t starving at any point in the day, and I also was never “misra-full” or even just too full. Still, I will probably need to take in more calories during the actual event.

Well – have a good night, dear reader :) Happy Hump Day!!

Run like a Mother and running on the Ice Age Trail

May 13, 2014

Sunday was also a crazy busy day for me!

Run like a Mother

As you know, it was Mother’s Day*, and my awesome friend Rachel from We Run This was race directing a 5k called “Run Like a Mother.” I drove down to Milwaukee to help her out with it and it was a blast! Here’s Rachel and I at the start of the day:


It was so cool! First there was a 1 mile kids run. What was great was that even though there were some kids who were there who were serious:

Kids Run 1

There were also plenty of other mother/kid pairs that were there clearly just enjoying the run together:

Kids run 2You gotta love that! At least I do!

Then the moms got their turn:

Moms runAgain, a few competitive women but overall just a great bunch of women spending a nice morning running. Can’t beat it! It was an honor and a privilege to help out and I hope I can do it again if (likely when!) Rachel directs a race again :)

My Run

After all I did Saturday and the lack of sleep, my legs and brain weren’t all that excited about running, but I was supposed to do an 80-100 minute run. I thought about running down in Milwaukee but I didn’t finish with volunteering until about noon, and it was already in the 70’s and bright, hot sun was shining down. I thought possibly the lakefront might be cooler, but I wasn’t sure. Also, I hadn’t been good about eating that morning and I knew I was down calories. Combine those things with my lack of desire to run and a lack of planning a route, and it was a recipe for disaster. So, I opted to go eat some lunch, and let that get into me while I drove to the Parnell Tower area of the Kettle Moraine Forest (Northern Unit) and the Ice Age Trail.

I’ve gone hiking there before, and I knew the Parnell loop (purple) connected to the Ice Age trail (Yellow).

Ice Age Trail Sign

This was important because I knew the Parnell Loop wouldn’t be long enough, but I figured I could run the Parnell loop to the point it connected with the Ice Age and follow the Ice Age trail for a while. I could do an out and back, which would accomplish several things: 1), the run I needed to do 2) in the shade 3) on soft(er) ground 4) without much thinking required. Perfect! Here’s what it looked like on a map:

Ice Age runI ran 4 miles out, and 4 miles back:

Ice Age Run Summary

It was not fast. Some of that was my being tired, but much of it was the trail. Some of it was smooth:

Smooth Trail 1

But much of it was not so smooth…and went downhill or uphill.

Rocky Trail 1Rocky Trail 2

Hard to get a picture that does it justice. Much agility was required, trust me!

And the last part…the last part was really, really hard. I was tired, of course, and probably should have had more than 1 gel and a bottle of Hammer Heed, but it I also had this thought when I looked at the elevation profile when I got home:

Ice Age Run Elevation textIt was a lot of uphill! I knew it was, obviously, but seeing it like that…I instantly forgave myself for not running super fast and feeling so tired.

After finishing the run, I hauled my butt up to the top of Parnell Tower:

Parnell TowerTop of Tower

It’s 60 feet tall, and supposedly on a clear day you can see 25 miles:


You know what else? A good wind blows up there. And if you’re all hot and sweaty, there a few things as awesome as that cool wind, let me tell you! It was fabulous, it really was!!

Then I hiked back to the car and quickly downed a liter of bottled water I was glad I took from the leftovers from the race in the morning. It’s probably officially time to dig out the Cambelbak for the long runs…

And then I went home and pretty much collapsed on the couch. Hope you had a good Sunday/Mother’s Day too!!

*Yes I called** my mother to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. We talked for a while, too.

**And texted. As I always do when I do these types of workouts, I texted her (or someone else that I know is free) that I was starting a solo run in the woods, my intended route, the latest time I should be back to my car and have texted again, and a picture of me so she could show the search party what they should be looking for. ;)

Day late and a dollar short

May 12, 2014

Well, it’s a been a crazy weekend! I didn’t get home until about 11pm Saturday night, AND I had to turn around and get to Milwaukee by 7am the next morning, so I chose sleep over you. Sorry…but only a little. :)

You: So, does that mean you were out partying like a rock star then?

HAHAHA. Right. I started the morning by cheering on Greg and several other friends who were running the Sole Burner 5k in Appleton.

Sole Burner:

Here’s Greg doing great at about mile 1, looking strong!:

Greg Sole Burner croppedSome of the other Tri Foxes made sure were were representin’ too:

Tri Fox FlagTri Fox Group

Ironman Course

After the race and some chat time at Starbucks with Greg, it was time to meet Amy and Jenny and head to Madison. We left Oshkosh at 11:30am, and by the time we got there, rode for about 3.5 hours plus some stops, had dinner, and drove back, it was very late, dear reader. But totally worth it! Amy, my tri fox mentor, had a super special workout planned for me. See, my training plan called for a 3-4 hour ride, and as it turns out, that’s enough time to ride one loop of the course WITH HILL REPEATS. YAY!!!

You remember the elevation profile from the first time I rode it, yes? Of course you do, you’re as obsessed with Ironman Wisconsin as I am. Ok, just in case you’re not, here it is:

Ironman Wisconsin Elevation Profile Text

So here’s what I rode according to my lie detector:

Ironman Hill Repeat Elevation Map Marked

Yeah…super, super special. Especially climbing Old Sauk 3 times. It looks like we did Timber Ln 3 times as well, but we didn’t, we just rode back really, really far before climbing it again and it involved more elevation than I thought it would. Actually Jenny was leading at that point, and Amy and I just sorta stopped…Picture it:

Me: “Is she going all the way back?”

Amy: “I dunno, but I’m stopping. Hey have you tried that new Bonk Breaker Bar yet?”

Me: “Oooh good Idea. Let’s stand around and have a snack instead of chasing her. She’ll figure it out eventually.”

And she did, even managing to hitch a ride on the back of another random triathlete’s wheel for a free pull back to us. She shouted a thank you to him for it and he shouted that he didn’t mind because she asked him so nicely (she didn’t ask him…she just started riding behind him). Really, he was totally smiling and I think he found it amusing. Gotta love our community. :) And the Bonk Break bar was good, btw, haha!


Since I’m Amy’s kit (that’s what a baby fox is called), the Kit gets to climb, and the Fox gets the phone. So I have a video of me topping Old Sauk for the 3rd time! You should totally watch it below or by clicking here. It doesn’t look like much, but that’s cuz it’s at the top!


Speaking of climbing, let me actually introduce Jenny (should have done that before!), who also rode with us, she’s in the Tri Fox Kit:

Teresa Amy Jenny 3Jenny is a great cyclist, and a great climber. We quickly established a routine while climbing….Picture it:

Me: “Hi Jenny”

Jenny: “Hi Teresa”    2 seconds later…

Me: “Bye Jenny”

Jenny: “Bye Teresa.”

But that’s ok! Like I said, Jenny is really a great rider. Hopefully some day I can be as good as her. And it was totally great that we could all ride in one car together, and that much of the way back to Oshkosh Jenny gave me lots of tips about where to ride in the area. Love it – thanks Jenny!

Some Data

I did really well this ride. I was much, much better with shifting, and with descending too. This helped increase my miles per hour for the course, though this number can’t be directly compared to last time I did the loop since it’s got the hill repeats in there. I do think it suggests progress though, and that my goal time may be attainable afterall. But look at my Max Speed – Look, Look!!:

Ironman Hill Repeat SpeedYay!! I’ve never gotten that high before. I’m pretty sure that happened going down Garfoot, but it could have been another spot too. I felt so much more confident letting go of the brake. And Amy even told me she could tell how much I had improved with gearing, descending, and my position. Such a great compliment!

Random pics:

Here are some random photos.

I just love this picture of Witte Road that Amy took while I was riding back to do it again. It’s the very, very tail end of Witte Road. Witte Road

For the record, Witte Road sucks a lot more going backwards than the regular way. In fact, most of the course turned out to be that way. As we informed Amy of this, she said something to the effect of always wondering why she saw so many people riding the course backwards. Well, we have the answer: Ironman athletes are even more cray cray than we thought. In related news, I’m totally riding it backwards someday :)

This is the gravel Rail-to-Trail we did our 2 mile brick run on – the parking lot is to the right:

Rail to Trail

The run was ok for a Brick run. Not much more to say about it.

Since our last time out, someone has marked the course pretty well with these arrows:

Course Arrow

I recently decided I haven’t given Ironman enough of my money, so I gave them a little more in exchange for a pair of tri shorts (most of my shorts don’t fit me anymore) and some calf sleeves that are totally a preview of my m-dot tattoo:

Teresa Ironman Calf Sleeve 2Let’s end with a great photo! These are two of the best girls out there! Thanks again for putting up with me for the entire ride! :)

Jenny Amy smilingHave a great week everyone!

I’m Here to Win – Chris McCormack

May 9, 2014

Today’s Rest Day Book Review is of: I’m Here to Win (2011) by Chris McCormack with Tim Vandehey, 288 pages.


Chris McCormack (who goes by the nickname Macca) is an Australian professional triathlete – he won the Kona World Championships in 2007 and 2010, and Ironman Australia many times. He also has a long list of other wins at other distances as well, prior to before switching to Ironman distance races.

The biggest criticism I hear about Macca is that he has an ego (to use polite language). And I will admit that he definitely does. He explains that the title of the book comes from a famous interview he did where he stated he was “here to win” before racing his first Ironman World Championship…you know…the one where he ended up DNFing on after cramping on the run.:) But in his defense, he basically admits he has an ego, and defends it as stating he is a professional, and his job is on the line. Basically, he’s not in this to have fun and accomplish a goal of finishing like many age groupers (hey – that’s me!), and winning is serious business. Although it’s not the most warm and fuzzy philosophy, I do get it.

Now, to be fair, he also talks about his failures pretty honestly and with few rationalizations or excuses, which is somewhat redemptive. The only other criticism I have of the book is that there’s no solid narrative and it kinda jumps around. But, he’s a professional athlete, not an author, and so that criticism should be aimed at Tim Vandehey, I guess. But still, it is his book.

One interesting part of the book was that he talked a lot about boxing and being a big fan of Muhammad Ali. Seriously. He talks about how he learned lessons from boxing and Ali that he applies to triathlon. I’m not sure I totally follow or agree, and it got a little repetitive, but it was…interesting.

Personally one of my favorite aspects of the book is how much time he spends talking about race strategy and mental games. That is, he doesn’t just advocate going faster and working harder, but being smart about your racing. This is similar to the Endurance Nation which I like. The mind games he plays are more for professional athletes – he would say stuff in interviews that he knew other athletes would hear just to mess with them. But it was kind of fascinating. I also really enjoyed the chapter he included on nutrition. He does a good job of giving some of the basics of nutrition. He talks about how he was tested by a lab and found their recommendations for what he should eat during the race to be inadequate for the race. Based partly on this, he’s somewhat flexible about what he eats. I found it reassuring that he doesn’t claim you have to be rigid about what you eat or how many calories you take in. As you know, I follow a similar philosophy.

For those interested, he does give a 16-week “skeleton” training plan, but this isn’t a book that’s designed to give you a formal plan.

Overall, totally a good read. Just be ready for his ego :)

Ps. – Macca write a column for Triathlete Magazine called Macca’s Musing, which you can read here.

Badger Miles

May 7, 2014

Badger Miles

I was reading an Interview with Shalane Flanagan on Runner’s World the other day about her awesome Boston Marathon run. When asked about how many miles she ran each week in preparation, she referenced “Badger System” as her training method during her response (second page of the article):

“It’s hard to say because I measure my mileage a little differently than most people. I go by the Badger system, so most of my mileage is counted at eight-minute pace per mile. So if I do an 80-minute run, I only count that as 10 miles.”

I had never heard of this system, so I went digging. Surprisingly, I didn’t find much. Apparently it’s used by the University of Wisconsin, hence “Badger” system. I found one blog, High School Runner, where the guy seemed to know what he was talking about.

From High School Runner:

At the end of the week, runner A might log 80 miles, but in actuality, ran 95. Get it? Solinsky mentions in the video that when you look at 80 miles instead of 95 you feel as if you didn’t run as much, so you feel better. I guess this is a way to mentally trick the mind into believing that you are not training as hard as your body might be telling you. Makes sense, I think.

as a coach I feel is the main reason is…
…ready, here is goes!


As a coach I have seen too many runners run hard every day and burn out by the end of the season. The body can’t handle running at a fast pace every day, especially on recovery days after a race, speed session, or threshold run. So if you are told that only the miles you run at seven minute pace or slower count, a coach would hope that his runners would slow down and run that pace instead of 5:50 or 6:10 pace.

It’s an interesting concept. It’s sort of a middle of the road between running just on time and not keeping track of miles, and running based on distance without regard for time, which seem to be the two opposite ends of the training spectrum. I guess it seems more related to running based on time but gives you at least some way to estimate how much ground you covered. My thoughts:

1. Riddle me this…why is she using an 8-minute mile as her base? That’s, like, almost 2 times slower than she ran the Boston Marathon. Doesn’t this mean she is grossly underestimating her miles? Wouldn’t an elite runner care about that? Is she punting/avoiding answering the question?

2. I think it would be hard for many runners to do – I assume you would have to do an out and back, or loops or something, and turn around at a certain time, just like running based on time? Even that would be hard as runners often start to recognize landmarks in their typical running routes and how many miles those are. At least I do, in my own neighborhood.

3. What he is saying makes sense, but I think it would be hard to actually slow down. Many runners are super competitive people and have a hard time slowing down even when they know they should. To be fair, he says a coach would “hope” their runners would.

4. Currently, I run based primarily on time, because that’s what my training plan has me doing. But I like to know how many miles I actually covered. I may, in fact, be addicted to my GPS watch, which I hear is a common phenomenon. I’m totally one of those people that will run laps in the parking lot if I’m at X.89 miles to get to the round number of miles. I’m able to relax if I need to, and not push the pace, but I really, really like to know how many miles I’ve covered…exactly. This would be hard for me.

What are your thoughts, dear reader? Smart system? Stupid system?