Sunday, January 30, 2011


Tonight I was caught red-handed at the grocery store....buying Cocoa Pebbles! After my swim workout this afternoon with the Sunday crew I headed to Walmart to pick up some groceries.  We are expecting snow this week and I wanted to have a little something on hand for snacking/don't feel like cooking food.  My choice for this time...Cocoa Pebbles.  I'm not a huge cereal eater and probably only buy cereal once a month or every other month.  The only cereal that I really like is kid type cereal.

Well, tonight as I was shopping I ran into my friend and one of my swim partners Maja.  Maja took a look at my cart and started chuckling.  It was full of random, not so good for you things.  I'm hosting a baby shower on Saturday so I had some ingredients for various appetizers and frosted sugar cookies.  I'm also cooking some white chili for a chili cookoff at work later this week.  I couldn't remember if my recipe needed half/half or heavy cream so I was buying both.  On top of those items, there was my box of Cocoa Pebbles.  Maja made the comment that you wouldn't guess I work out by the looks of my shopping cart.

Well, I guess I have some work to do on cleaning up my eating.  What's your guilty snack food?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Tuesday Tunes

Today I had a bike trainer workout on deck to complete after work.  I got home and decided to do a music workout tonight so I quickly changed into my bike gear and put the iPod on the speaker dock.  I put the music on shuffle and put the remote next to my bike on the trainer. 

I started off with an easy warmup to Time After Time by Quietdrive (3 min) and 21 Guns by Green Day (5 min).  Next up were some easy sprint intervals during the chorus of Irreplaceable by Beyonce (4 min).  For some reason, when she sang "To the left, to the left" I just told myself to bump up the resistance! This next song was a lot of fun and I was able to use the chorus for some standing hill climbs. I Run to You by Lady Antebellum (4 min) It was fitting to have a standing run during that chorus! I would have probably gone back and done another repeat of this song if I could have!

Next up, Mony Mony by Billy Idol (5 min) for a mixture of easy sprints during the chorus.  I was a little worn out from that so I took the entire song So Right by Dave Matthews Band (5 min) to ride in a fairly easy gear.  I alternated gears during Somebody to Love by Glee Cast (5 min).  I went back to sprints during the chorus of I Like It by Enrique Iglesias (4 min).  The song was great because I had the song telling me "I Like It" while trying to sprint during my intervals. Nothing like a little positive reinforcement to remind me that I like to work hard!

My cooldown was done to F*ckin Perfect by Pink (3 min) and Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland (4 min).  After my trainer workout, I headed down to my local bike shop for the weekly Yoga for Cyclists class.  It was a great class tonight with some challenging poses.  I felt like my legs were much more relaxed after the class and I was very glad to have warm muscles for some of the strenuous poses that we did. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

One Hour Postal Swim Race Recap

Today was the Arkansas Masters One Hour Postal Swim Meet.  The Postal Swim Meet is a unique setup since it is a national swim meet.  Each club hosts their own swim event, results are then mailed into the host club, compiled and overall results determined sometime in mid-March.  In this meet you get to compete both locally and nationally which makes it fun.  A fun surprise this year was that T3 Training Systems offered to pay the registration fees for all the swimmers.  They are a new triathlon coaching group in our area and seem to be really nice. 

What's not so fun though is actually swimming for an hour straight, that's right no stopping! The other not so fun part is just how early this meet is held in the day.  Swimmers have to report in at 6AM for the 6:30 heat and since I wasn't sure which heat I would be swimming in I headed into the gym then.  I got lucky and swam in the first heat and then stayed on deck to count laps for a friend in the second heat. 

The race is pretty uneventful...there is a start, then lots of swimming, and then a whistle blowing to stop. I was sharing a lane with my good friend Lori who is a swimming machine.  Lori got me into the Masters group last year and she is part of my Sunday swimming crew.  I swam freestyle for all but 25 yds of the event.  I was a huge wuss and skipped doing flip turns.  This race is all about endurance and trying to keep focused and on pace.  Lori swam around 4300 yds and I kept trying to figure out the gap between our paces. I think she was doing around 4 lengths to my 3 lengths of the pool.

Last year I entered the One Hour Swim after a 3 month hiatus from swimming so I was looking forward to having a better endurance base this year.  My goal was to beat last year's distance but I didn't have a specific distance in mind.  I let my friend Carie (who was timing and counting my laps) know my distance from last year.  She promised to give me a sign if I needed to pick things up so I thought I was doing okay since she never said anything.  I was really surprised to finish and hear my distance though. 

Last year I swam 2935 I swam 3295 yds.  So close and if we round up it would be 3300! I'm pretty happy with that improvement.  If only you could have seen how red my face was after the race...proof I was working hard.  If you look close in the pic above you can see how red my face was.  I'm on the deck behind the 3 on the white banner.  Another great event put on by the Arkansas Masters club. 

There's still time to enter, even if your club doesn't participate.  You can individually register and complete the event.  You will need a timer to keep track of your lap splits and record your distance.  Check out the USMS site for more details.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Is it really a win if the other competitors don't know they are racing?

Tonight was another fun night of speed work at the track.  The workout was a fairly laid back workout...a let's all get back in the groove type of workout.  The weather was actually warmish in the mid-40's with a light rain that started about half way through the workout.  My running partner and I got in a good warmup before the start.  I packed an old pair of shoes because I just hate getting my shoes all wet in the rain.  Unfortunately, these shoes did not agree with my legs during the warmup.  I was not feeling it and was actually worried I wouldn't last through the workout.  I took some time to stretch and that seemed to help.

We got started with the workout as a full group. Normally, those of us that are a little slower get a one lap head start! The workout was a triple ladder: 800, 600, 400, then 400, 600, 800, then 800, 600, 400.  The 800's were at half marathon pace, 600's at 10K pace, and the 400's at 5K pace.  We got 30 seconds rest between intervals and 1 min 30 sec rest between each set. 

It was really hard to keep to the half marathon pace.  As people would pass us, we caught ourselves speeding up a couple times.  We readjusted each time and kept ourselves settled until the last set. We had a good pace for our 600's and 400's even though they felt painful.  Our final 400 we went for it and didn't leave anything on the track.  The two fastest runners of the group were our unofficial timers. When we finished our last 600m they were 100m away doing their cooldown jog.  As they reached us, our rest time was over and we started our final 400m.  It was completely unspoken between the two of us but we both were going for it and trying to beat them. 

We finished up about 35m before them so we won the unofficial race.  I had no shame in telling them that they were in our race and pushed us to a fast finish.  We didn't have a time on our split but the other two runners estimated that they were running a 7:45 pace so that is a pretty rocking finish for us.  We normally aim for 2:00 min splits on our fastest 400m repeats when we are in peak conditioning.  It's awesome when your fitness jumps out and surprises you! The workout turned out so much better than I expected from how I felt during the warmup.  What a great start to the week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pay It Forward Giveaway Winner

There were 10 entries for the Pay It Forward book giveaway. helped me determine the winner...entry #3.  Congratulations to Stephanie Anne at Run to Health.  Stephanie Anne also participated in Adam's Freeze Your Thorns Off 5K and is Running for the Bling of It in 2011.  Congrats!!!

Send me an email at runningwhit at hotmail dot com with your address and I'll get the books in the mail to you.  I think you'll like them and the hard decision will be which book to read first.  Congrats again and thanks to all who entered. 

Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5K Race Report

Adam at The Boring Runner hosted The Freeze Your Thorns Off Virtual 5K race this morning. The race director for my local area (ie. ME!) instituted a weather delay because Saturday it just wasn't cold enough.  Race morning dawned to temps in the low 20's with a Feels Like temp in the teens. Perfect running weather, right!

I brought along an unsuspecting participant in the race, my running partner Anne.  I did the first 1.6 miles by myself while I waited for Anne and then together we did the rest.  This race was part of my long run for the week so I only counted the first 5K (my ability to do math or complex watch laps during a long run is rather limited!) In fact, my memory failed me and I didn't take my split at the .1 so I'm going to have to estimate my time. 
Weather at the only warmed up to 27 for the finish.

For the first half of the course, I did a loop through the downtown Bentonville area that would be around a mile since I wasn't sure how much time I had before Anne got there.  When I returned to the square she wasn't there yet so I tacked on a short loop to the North of the square.  This beginning portion had given me the insight that Bentonville was experiencing multi-directional wind today.  This is a rather unique weather phenomenon that seems to occur only when you are attempting to ride bikes or run.  It is characterized by the wind changing direction anytime you do so that it seems to always be in your face.

Given that we thought the wind was coming from the Northeast we headed out to the East so that we could have the wind at our backs later in the run.  This presented a rather challenging middle and end to our course...uphill.   We kept trucking and made it to the top near the 3 mile marker.  We then headed South and this is where I forgot to take my split.

After finishing my 10 miles, bundled up and ice on my hat!
At the 3 mile mark my time was around 33:48 so I'm going to go with a 35 minute time for today's 5K.  This is a far cry from my actual 5K but I'm not upset with it at all.  I couldn't have completed a 10 mile run if I would begun with a 5K at race pace, especially in this cold.  I actually had faster miles later on in my run once I was more properly warmed up.  My goal for participating in the virtual race was simply to provide myself with the motivation and accountability to do my long run.  January and February are historically the months where I am most likely to skip long runs and I don't want to fall into that trap this year.  In the past I have lost too much fitness and then spent the spring months trying to get back into shape versus trying to get better. 

Thanks to Adam for organizing this event and providing me with the motivation to get out there.  Sadly the weather held true and I did get to Freeze! Luckily my race director (again ME!!!) decided to spring for a Happy Meal and Hot Chocolate for today's participants.  Woohoo! What a well deserved treat!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Week So Far and the Unexpected Fun

Monday night was my first speed workout of the new year.  I had taken two weeks off from speed with the holidays and my post-PR half marathon performance.  Our coach had a relatively easy workout on deck for us...2x800, 2x1000, 2x1200.  The first of each interval was run on a slow pace from marathon to half marathon to 10K on the 1200.  The second of each interval was to be run on 5K pace with no rest between the two intervals in the set.  After each set we got 1 min 30 sec. rest before starting the next set.  I must tell you that we only hear marathon pace for our workout maybe once or twice a year.  My running partner and I loved the relaxed pace and we definitely felt the pickup for the faster interval. 

The crazy unexpected surprise was that on Tuesday morning I woke up with sore abdominal muscles.  I can only guess that the final 1200m interval where we were picking our pace up every 200m was an extra hard ab workout for me! Whoopsie, no more 2 week breaks from speed work.

Tuesday I reached out to a swim coach who is hosting a clinic in a few weeks in Tulsa.  The clinic conflicts with our Annual One Hour Postal Swim Meet and I wanted to see if she could do any other dates that weekend. I heard back from her immediately and found out that she is a Univ. of Arkansas alumni and would be more than happy to come to NWA that weekend and host a clinic here.  I've reached out to our local pool to see if they are willing to host the clinic because having the pool will be the first step in actually making this clinic happen.  I'm really excited and hope we can pull it together.  The coach is Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen and she has held numerous records including Master Swimmer of the Year. 

Today my unexpected fun came from starting early before our group run.  The group run begins at 6PM but I was able to get there and start at 5:30 which meant I got to run for almost 30 minutes in the fading sunlight versus complete darkness.  It was awesome and I didn't have to wear my headlamp and the temps weren't super cold yet either. 

Is your week off to a good start?  If you haven't taken a chance to enter my Pay It Forward giveaway, please follow this link to do so.  The two books that I am giving away were both great reads and full of inspiration and motivation to help you start 2011 off right!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Pay It Forward Giveaway

A few weeks ago I was really lucky to win a giveaway hosted by Jason over at Life of An Aspiring Triathlete.  The giveaway included two books 17 Hours to Glory and The Long Run (see below for my book review). These two books are full of motivation and inspiration and are definitely worth sharing via this Pay It Forward giveaway!  Just like Jason, I will be hosting a giveaway of the two books to one of my readers.  I'm going to use the same general entry procedure that Jason used when he started the giveaway. 

So here are the rules.....very simple:
1- Be a follower
2- Promise to pay it forward that once you are done reading these books you will have a giveaway as well to send these on to the next person
3- Promise to notify Jason at jbaha [at] gmail [dot] com when you put the giveaway up so he can follow where the books are travelling.
4- Promise that if you get the book and there is no more room to put something motivating that after you read it you will mail it back to Jason (he will pay for the shipping) so that he can see where these books have travelled and all the motivating words in them.
5- Promise to write something motivating in the books, doesn't matter where.
6- Promote it on your Facebook, Twitter, blog, write it in the dust on your car or kitchen table, talk about it at the PTA get the point.

Do it all in one comment.  There will only be 1 entry per person. The giveaway will end Sunday January 9th at 12pm CST.......Good luck to all.....PAY IT FORWARD!!!!!

The Long Run Book Review

Product Details
The Long Run is the story of Matt Long, a New York City firefighter who was severely injured while riding his bike when a commuter bus ran over him.  I first heard of Matt Long's story when Runner's World did an article on his recovery in 2008.  It was a hard article to read because the extent of his injuries was so severe.  The book is just as open and honest with the injuries that Matt suffered as well as the emotions that Matt experienced during his recovery. 

Prior to his injury, Matt had completed the New York City Marathon in an impressive 3:13:56 and had completed numerous triathlons including the Lake Placid Ironman.  He was definitely an athlete in both his personal life as an athlete and professional life as a firefighter.  His recovery process included setbacks and triumphs and it is truly inspiring to follow the journey that he took.  The book is pretty easy to read and written in a very conversational style.  It was emotional to read at times as Matt struggled with surviving the injuries and learning to find his former life in his new body.  You will definitely find inspiration in Matt's story.