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Hi, I'm Whitney! I am a middle of the pack runner who discovered the fun of triathlons in 2009. Join me in my adventures in life and training. I run with the Rush Running team and enjoy the fun that comes with such a supportive group of friends who understand what running means to me. I'm newly discovering road biking and the fun that it entails.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Winter Skin and the Swimmer

Disclosure:  I am a SBR Sports Ambassador and receive product samples of TriSwim products.  All opinions are based on my personal experience with TriSwim products and I was not required to make this post or statements.

Earlier this week a Facebook friend commented on her wall that she was swimming more and noticed that her skin was getting dry and itchy.  I find that this is a common winter problem for the swimmer.
Chlorine is used to treat our pools and the effect that it has on the skin is that it removes the skin's natural oils causing dryness to occur.  It's really important to remove the chlorine from your skin following swims and I turn to TriSwim products for that purpose.  Lots of the feedback that she got on her post were on what types of lotions she should use but if you aren't neutralizing the chlorine the lotion can't do it's job!

TriSwim is a line up of products that includes shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and body lotion.  They all contain ingredients to neutralize the chlorine and also return moisture back to your skin or hair.  I have been using TriSwim for several years and some days it is my favorite part of my swims! The products have a light, citrus scent and feel wonderful.   The greatest thing about TriSwim is that it doesn't mask the chemical scent that you normally have after a swim in a chlorinated pool.  Instead, the formulas remove that scent entirely.

Winter is tough on your skin no matter what type of athlete you are but swimmers have to
think about chlorine in the mix too.  My routine use of TriSwim after all of my swims keeps my skin from getting dry and keeps me from smelling like the pool when I return to the office after lunch swims.  I'm not a big fan of lotions until after swimming...slippery pool buoys! After my swim I make sure to use lotion to return moisture to my skin and the TriSwim lotion is very light and non-greasy.

Don't let the winter air and the chlorine stop you from swimming.  Invest in a quality body wash and shampoo and keep your swim training in tip-top shape!

Here's the workout that we did on Monday to give you some swim inspiration to go with you new TriSwim products!

Warm Up - swim 400 - 850 (choice of stroke, kick, drills, etc.)
Set 1 - 500 yd ladder
25 - free on the :30
50 - free/back on the 1:00
75 - free, free, breast on the 1:20 - 1:30
100 - free on the 1:50
100 - free on the 1:50
75 - free, free, breast on the 1:20 - 1:30
50 - free/back on the 1:00
25 free on the :30

Set 2 - 8 x 75 on the 1:20

Set 3 - 6 x 50 on the 1:00

Cool down - 50
Total - about 1900 - 2300 depending on your warm up choice

You can find TriSwim at several online retailers and at SBR Sports web site.  Even better follow TriSwim on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on any specials that they are running.  

Monday, January 12, 2015

Friends make it warmer!

I'm lucky to again be volunteering with the Bentonville Half Marathon training program.  We meet every Saturday morning for our group long run while training for the race on March 28th.  It's a chance to run with 285 of my closest running friends!

This past Saturday was much like the week...cold...seriously cold!  There was plenty of Facebook taunting throughout the week as well as a little bit of education on how to properly layer for cold weather.  The group is a mixture of brand new runners and some that are more experienced plus all of the Rush Running volunteers.

The temps were brisk and yet it was a perfect morning.  Around mile one, I shucked off my gloves.  The sun was coming up by then and I always seem to have hot hands.  The way that our volunteer crew works is that we run with the group and as we hit turns or street intersections at least one volunteer stops until they are replaced by another.  Our goal is to try and encourage each and every one of the group members.  I got to cheer lots of people on for one turn and then 1/2 mile later got to also work the turn around point for our route.

It was so much fun to be the turn around...lots of people were pumped to see me and make the turn back to the start.  I finished up the route and then headed back out to help run in some of the others still out on the course.  Several other volunteers did the same thing and I have a feeling that our encouragement was appreciated.

I ended up with just over 6 miles with the training group.  I headed home and picked up my dog to get some extra miles.  My house is right off the route that the group had run so I was running on one of the same streets as just 30 minutes earlier.  However this time, without the group, the temps felt so much colder.  I don't know what it was but it really was a struggle.  I had to put my gloves back on and wipe away some cold tears.  Thankfully I got warmed back up and was able to get to about 9 miles total for the day.

It felt good to get my long run built back up and it was so much fun to hear members of the group be so proud of themselves for hitting their longest runs yet.  It is so much fun to give back to this group and in turn receive so much from each of them.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Work in Progress

Something that impacted my blogging this Fall was the process of buying and selling my home.  I had wanted to live in another town closer to my office for quite some time and the time was finally right to make that move.  It took about two months to list and actually sell my house and once a contract was in place the time flew by.

I moved around Labor Day and dealt with moving the same weekend as racing three triathlons.  Yikes!!! Thankfully I have an amazing family and awesome sisters who helped me clean the house and unpack.  The next months were spent slowly making the house my home and finishing my training for my Grand Canyon Rim to Rim adventure.

When I returned from finishing Rim to Rim I quickly got absorbed in my job with a hectic schedule that left me little time for much else.  The problem with this was that since October I had been trying to find the time to meet with my contractor to discuss flooring options for my home workout room.  This was one of the rooms that I was most excited about with my new house...a room just for my gym stuff.  Even better bonus was that my sister's treadmill was moving into my house too.

The house came with horrible carpeting that I replaced on move in day.  I was undecided on the gym room so that was the only room still with the original carpeting.  Fast forward to a few weeks before Christmas and discussing my wish list with my sister.  I told her that my big wish was for someone to coordinate my contractor for me since it is so hard to get away from the office to meet him.  And she did just that...she arranged for him to meet me on a vacation day after New Year's and I was able to finally get quotes and start arranging to have the flooring replaced.

It won't be done for a few weeks but tonight I got my bike set up and did my first trainer workout in my gym room.  I'm still working on hanging the motivation wall.  I need a few more race photos to go with the motivation quotes and I especially need to get a Grand Canyon photo printed to go with a cool Rim to Rim sign my parents got me for Christmas.

Here's the before and hopefully by February I'll have an after photo!  This is a panoramic photo taken while riding the bike trainer.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Girls on the Run 2014 Race Recap

One of my favorite races to run in is the annual Girls on the Run race held in November.  One of my friends, Pauline coordinates the volunteers for packet pick up so I always make room in my schedule to work the night before during the pick up.
My niece joined me to volunteer too this year.

Volunteering for races is a great way to give back to the sport.  It takes a lot of man hours to put together a great race and this is one of our biggest races in the area.  The Fall program of Girls on the Run culminates with the participants running in this 5K race.  There are several chapters of GOTR at various schools throughout Northwest Arkansas and they all come together for this 5K.

This year was the 10th anniversary of the race and the organizers had special finishers medals made to commemorate the anniversary.  One of my volunteer tasks was to unwrap each of these medals.  Let's just say...it took about 18 minutes to unwrap 100 medals and I spent several hours working with 1-3 others at times doing this.  The next day when I completed my race I had extra special appreciation for the medal!

Spotted during packet pickup was one of my favorite blog lurkers! My friend Mark showed up to visit his wife, our packet pick up volunteer coordinator, while I was working.  Mark and I have a running joke on what will it take for him to make it on the blog.  So here he is in all his goofiness!  I always enjoy training with Pauline and Mark and we have done lots of races together.

Race morning was cool, slightly damp, but otherwise perfect running weather.  My sister, brother-in-law, and niece were working one of the water stops and it was awesome to have a personal cheering section along the course.  I can't wait until my niece is old enough to participate in Girls on the Run.  The course was new this year for the 10K and overall wasn't too bad.  It took me about two miles to settle into my pace and get warmed up.  I was disappointed to see that a volunteer crew had neglected to show up to work a water stop around mile 4.5.  I really wanted water then but the cool weather allowed to keep on trucking.

I came into the finish and was excited to receive my medal.  I put my long sleeve top back on and then joined a friend for a cool down run.  We ran out part of the 5K course and saw the overall leaders flying back to the finish.  After our cool down, we watched and cheered on the rest of the 5K'ers.  We were watching for a Rush Running teammate's daughter and wife to finish.  It was his daughter's first 5k race.  It is such a thrill to see a child's face light up when they realize that you are cheering for them and Grace's face lit up when we cheered her on to the finish.
Cheering on 5K'ers to the finish

After the 5K was over, my friend and I walked over to check results and surprisingly I had placed 3rd in my age group for the 10K.  She had also placed in her age group so we found the awards tent and claimed our medals.  Overall a great race and a good time spent volunteering and encouraging others.

Monday, December 22, 2014

12 Days of 25's Christmas Swim

It's December 22nd and I can't help but look for some ways to incorporate the holidays into my workouts.  Today was a lunch time swim.  I arrived at the pool before any of my friends and dug into my gear bag for a copy of an old 12 days of Christmas swim.

The swim totaled 1950 yards which was the perfect distance for a lunch swim.  I went ahead and got started and then my friends joined in later when they arrived. The workout works down a ladder in increments of 25 yards based on whatever day you are on...12 to 1.

12 x 25 = 300 yard warm up swim
11 x 25 = 275 done as 3 x 75 with stroke in the middle, plus 1 x 50 free/stroke
10 x 25 = 250 done as 5 x 50 fast with 10-15 sec recovery
9 x 25 = 225 done as 3 x 75 with stroke in the middle
8 x 25 = 200 done as 200 pull
7 x 25 = 175 done as drill/kick/swim/drill/kick/swim/drill
6 x 25 = 150 done as 3 x 50 on min
5 x 25 = 125 done as a build within getting faster each 25
4 x 25 = 100 done as 100IM
3 x 25 = 75 done with stroke in the middle
2 x 25 = 50 done fast
1 x 25 = 25

There's a lot of variety in this workout and you can easily modify it if you don't like to incorporate strokes into your swim sets.

My favorite swim gear company SBR Sports is offering a fun giveaway this holiday season.  It's a countdown to 2015 and every day they are giving away an awesome prize including great product like TriSwim and TriSlide.  You can follow along via the SBR Sports Instagram feed and enter at the link given each day.



Monday, November 17, 2014

Winter is coming...do you have your Yaktrax?

Yesterday our forecast included the first prediction of snowfall for the season.  The snow began around midday with beautiful flurries.  They didn't last long and sadly there wasn't much accumulation.

I was out running errands when the snow started and I stopped by a friend's house.  Her husband was just returning from my favorite running store, Rush Running (one of the top 5 running stores in the country!)  Jon had been in to the store to pick up a pair of Yaktrax for Lori.  Another friend had gone in earlier and texted them that the store was down to just one pair of Yaktrax left.  They are on a marathon training plan and their friend was telling them that snow wouldn't be an allowed excuse for missing any runs on the training plan!

Some runners had gotten smart this year...at the first sign of snow in the forecast they had gone to the store and picked up a pair.  Usually what happens is we get snow and then sales of Yaktrax increase as people realize that we live in the South and it takes awhile for the snow to get taken care of if the temps don't warm up after it snows.

I first heard about Yaktrax a few years ago.  And like most runners I thought, "Nah, I don't need those."  I think that was one of our snowy and icy winter years and I was stuck at home for several days in a row.  Getting out onto the icy roads was tough since I didn't have anything to keep my running shoes from slipping on the ice.  Lesson learned...I ordered snow boots and some Yaktrax soon after that.  Wouldn't you know...it didn't snow again that year!
Here's a photo example of the icy conditions that you can cover with your Yaktrax!
And one of my favorite pics of running with my dog!
Since that winter, I have used my Yaktrax several times a year whenever we have snowy and icy road conditions.  We have hard-working road crews but it is just hard to work snow removal in the South when it just doesn't snow all that often.  Yaktrax keep me from going stir-crazy when I'm stuck at home due to the snow.  I might not be able to drive on the icy roads but with Yaktrax I can safely run! They are super simple...you just pull them on over your shoe.  They fit snugly and I've never had issues with them coming loose from my shoes.  If I run into clear roads I simply remove them and carry them until the road gets icy again.  Our road conditions truly vary depending on where it is and whether or not that section of the road receives sun and or multiple visits by the road department.

The concept for Yaktrax came from the sherpas in the Himalayas.  Yaktrax are made of a patented coil traction device that attaches onto your existing shoes.  There are so many different options based on the type of activity that you are going to participate in from walking to running.  I have the original design which is now referred to as the Walk style.  The run style contains carbide steel spikes in addition to the traditional coil system.  It also has a strap system to ensure it stays put on your shoe.

The makers of Yaktrax contacted me and offered to provide a pair of Yaktrax to one of my readers.  Please enter the Rafflecopter below to be entered.  The giveaway will run through November 26th and I'll announce a winner shortly after it closes.  Good luck and hope you get your runs in regardless of snowy weather this winter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was not provided any compensation in exchange for my review of Yaktrax.  I purchased mine and agreed to share a review and giveaway with my readers based on my own experience with the product.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Returning to Spin Class

Years ago I was a frequent attendee to spin class during my lunch break.  Several of my coworkers went to the same gym and it was like we had a spin class club.  The gym that we went to underwent some ownership changes and we all eventually selected new clubs.  After that I struggled to find a spin class that fit my schedule as well and I started to get in spinning through trainer workouts.

At the same time, one of my running buddies has had a lot of knee issues.  She took up spin class as an alternative to running.  Over the summer we did a deep water running class together and I remembered how much I miss getting to hang out with my buddy doing runs together.  After finishing my Grand Canyon training I decided to check out the class schedule for our gym.

I reached out to my friend and signed up for the spin class that she takes.  The class is at o'dark hundred or 5:10 on the real clock! Holy moly that is super early for me!  So far I have mixed feelings on the class.  The teacher isn't the easiest to follow...her cues aren't always clear and her class seems one dimensional.  There is little variation from class day to class day which is disappointing.  The music changes for each class but the general class content seems to be about the same.  The class also seems to have regulars and that is who the instructor teaches to versus the entire room.

This class session runs until mid-December so I'll keep at it for the rest of the session.  I think I might have gotten too used to riding on my bike trainer where I can control the music or entertainment and the workout.  Hopefully with time I'll rediscover my love of spin class!