About Me

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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.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Little Indoor Rain

This afternoon I experienced a very strange sensation, indoor rain.  Well, it actually wasn't rain it was sweat dripping off me during a Hot Yoga class.  I've been experiencing some tightness in my right hamstring and glute so I decided to head to a yoga class to try to get loosened up. 

Our local yoga studio is a hot yoga studio that offers a variety of classes.  I headed to class and packed a towel to lay over my mat and a Bondi Band to help sop up the sweat that I knew would be coming.  My mat spot was near one of the portable heaters and there were times when it was a little tough.  I also packed a polar bottle of ice water and I had to stop a couple of times for a breather and sip of water.

The class today was a Flow class.

Based on the Baron Baptiste Power Vinyasa method.
“Power Vinyasa Yoga is an ultimate experience for people who are ready to tap both their physical and spiritual power.
The practice is a combination of different traditions of yoga that combine for a dynamic mix of sweat and spirit. It will tone your body and electrify your mind. It is a flow that has many different levels which allow for beginners, intermediate and advanced students to be challenged in the same class.
The classes are taught in a heated room to help cleanse the body and warm the muscles. This flow will torch calories, tone your body, and relax your mind.” Baron Baptiste
I really enjoyed the flow between sun salutations and warrior poses.  I got a bit of a chuckle when the instructor had us move into a tripod type pose.  Her comment was that if we waited until the end of the class we would all be too tired and too sweaty for it to work.  At this point I was already dripping sweat and my knees were slipping off my arms. 

The other chuckle I had happened throughout the class.  You see I had a case of a runny nose.  All I could think of was the movie How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days.  There is a scene when Kate Hudson's character is interrupting Matthew McConaughey's guys night and gives him a kleenex because "No one likes a Mr. Sniffles!"  I was dying of the sniffles during the class and trying so hard not to be disruptive.

One of the hard things for me at hot yoga is how much sweat I generate.  I feel very self conscious of it but I know that others are also sweating.  When class finished today I was able to squeeze sweat out of my bondi band (I waited until I was outside to do it!)  The instructor brought cold towels around during Shavasana and it felt great.  Overall, hot yoga is something I should be doing more often. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Today I Became a Dam Idiot!

The Arkansas Masters Swimming club put on a very unique event today.  Our fearless club president,
Jeff Spencer, came up with the idea to swim a 40 mile relay from the southern edge of our local lake to the dam at the northern edge of the lake.  The event was called The Long Dam Swim and all of the participants got to leave with the moniker of Dam Idiot!

I was assigned mile 38 in the relay.  The event kicked off Friday evening at 5:30 PM and finished around 2:30 PM on Saturday.  Around 62 swimmers participated which meant most of the miles were covered by a group of 2-4 swimmers.  The swimmers were protected by a flotilla of kayaks, jet skis, and ski boats.  This event was a logistical challenge with swimmers being given pick up locations and times for various boat ramps along the 40 mile route.  My pick up spot was just across from the dam where we finished up the swim. 

Our group was picked up by a boat and we met up with the rest of the flotilla and then got under way.  Mile 37 was covered by two of my friends Carie and Kyla.  Mile 38 was myself, AJ, and Jason who was challenged to participate in the event by a friend.  It was Jason's first open water swim ever and he did great.  Our mile was fairly easy except we had some confusion on where we were finishing up so we all ended up doing more zig zagging than we would have liked.  We ended up doing around 1.2 miles which was great for me.  The water was clean and cool and there wasn't a lot of wake. 

The final group headed out to swim across the dam headway and we all drove across the dam to the park site where our post swim party was going to be.  A couple of us went ahead and swam out to meet the final swimmers and enjoy more of the relaxing lake water.  The post race party was a nice potluck with hot dogs and snacks under a pavilion.  Below are some pics from the event that other participants shared on Facebook. 

This is the logo for the event and if you look at the tail of the Beaver you can see a sketch of the lake and the route.  Pretty clever logo!  Below is the full version of the map which shows just how crazy shaped our lake is!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Hot Springs 10 Miler

Recently I travelled to Hot Springs, Arkansas for a work trip.  I was in town for a fishing tournament and managed to sneak away one morning for a long run.  My hotel was in town and close to Bathhouse row.  Hot Springs is actually a National Park site that is really well tended by the National Park Service.  There are a couple restored bath houses still in operation and you can spot the thermal springs around the town. 

I headed out without a plan or route in mind.  I wanted to try and get the 10 miles on my plan done but wasn't sure if I would.  I went ahead an packed my water belt with Gu and a cold bottle of water.  I went from my hotel to Bathhouse Row.  There was a nice shade along the front of the bath houses and all the park service staff were out cleaning and doing yard work. 

map of bathhouse row that also shows hot spring water fountains

I ran for a little while and encountered a Y intersection.  There was a sign nearby that contained a map for one of the tourist bus stops.  I stopped and tried to figure out where I was on the map so that I could figure out a route. Thankfully a cafe worker came by and showed me where we were.  She directed me back the way I had come from to the Arlington Hotel where I could take Fountain Street to a loop road that I could run on.  This road is a 3 mile one-way road that leads to the Hot Springs Mountain Tower.  That was definitely a new experience which included almost 1 1/2 miles of an uphill climb to the top.  I wasn't very fast on the climb but I did make it to the top and the view was worth it. 

This is a view from my hotel to the Mountain Tower. 
I headed back down the mountain and then did some back and forth on the main road of Central Ave.  I ended up back at my hotel doors at the 10 mile mark.  It was a great turnout for an unplanned route. 

After that hill, I enjoyed the flat road along Bathhouse Row
One of the other fun things I discovered during my run were the free water stops.  There are several mineral springs water dispensers throughout the town.  The first one that I stopped at delivered cool water and I was pretty happy about it.  I stopped at a different one a little while later and didn't notice the sign that stated it was a thermal water spring. 

In my defense, this sign did not face the street side so I totally missed it.

Free water stops throughout the town.
Yep, I filled my bottle with hot water.  Not a good thing in mid-80 degree weather.  I headed back to the first water stop and the locals were nice enough to let me skip the line and refill.  It was crazy how much water they were filling up on.  One person had a pickup bed full of different types of jugs that he was filling up.  But hey, free mineral water isn't a bad thing!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekend Wrap Up

Saturday morning I kicked off the weekend with a long run of 9 miles.  The skies were slightly overcast for the start which made a huge difference in the temps.  About 4 miles into the run, the sun broke through the clouds and the heat was on!

I finished up my run by visiting the local water park for some stretching and maybe I dipped my head in the jets too!

Thanks to the city of Bentonville for such a great addition to our city this year.  The water park converts into a small ice rink in the winter and water park in the summer.  It's a great place to finish up a hot run. 

Sunday I had a brick workout planned.  There were some rainstorms during the early morning hours and my bike plans fell through.  I wasn't as worried about the roads and wanted to keep my plans for doing the workout in the morning.  I texted Kyla to see if she wanted to join me for part of the ride.  Kyla joined me for a roundtrip visit to Hiwassee.  It was nice to have company for the first 17 miles of my 40 miles.  After dropping Kyla off, I headed back to Hiwassee and then tacked on a few more miles to get to my 40 total. 

One of my favorite parts of this route is that we pass a horse farm.  Normally I just say Hi as we ride by the horses but after pedaling into the headwind I decided to take a little stop.  I needed to switch my water bottles so the one that was more full was in the front cage. 

I had a nice chat with the horses and told this friendly horse that I only had 4 miles left to ride.  After that, he turned away as if to say "get your butt back in gear and stop dilly dallying!"  

After finishing up the ride, I suited up with my water belt to do a 3-4 mile run.  It was now quite warm out and there was no shade to be found.  I took some walk breaks...admittedly more than I wanted to but I kept myself going and ended up doing 3.35 miles. 

On my drive home I planned out my recovery.  First up was a stop to buy ice for an ice bath.  As I was walking into Walgreens, I stopped at the RedBox and rented the Adam Sandler movie Just Go With It.  My next stop was at Sonic for some eats since I was super hungry.  I took a quick shower to get the road grime off of me and then started the ice bath process.  After that I curled up on the couch with my compression socks and watched my movie.

Later it was time for Sunday Funday at the pool.  I met up with Team Tininenko (Brent and his daughters Lauren and Alexa), Jeff, Kyla, and AJ at the pool.  We took over the lap swimming lanes with our crew. 

We started out with a nice easy 400 m warmup.  Then we did 8 x 50 of over/unders.  Over/unders should actually be called Under/Overs because you swim underwater with one breath for 25m then you do an over water 25 m recovery (usually back stroke.)  The pool is really warm which makes these pretty difficult since the water just isn't that fast.  Jeff picked out the next set which was a ladder with mixed stroke work.  It went 25 fly, 50 fly back, 75, fly back breast, 100 IM, 150 free, stroke, free, 200 all free, and then back down.  Brent was in charge of the time during this ladder and he killed me.  I had to drop back on some of the longer distances because I was struggling to keep up and recover in the time allotted. Our final set was 10 x 50m with breathing drills on the odds and swim on the evens. 

We couldn't have Sunday Funday without a trip down the water slide.  It's a great way to end a weekend full of workouts!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Swim Time Fun

Today I had a swim workout on deck which was perfect since the temps continue to be extremely hot.  I showed up at the pool and there were a ton of kids there.  What's up with that? 11:00 AM is supposed to be lap swim time! Apparently one of the freshmen football teams was having a post workout pool party.  The lifeguards had left a few lanes open so that the kids could swim. 

The Masters swimmers sort of discouraged the kids though by swimming in that area too.  Honestly the kids were mostly spending their time in the dive well doing the diving board and water slide so it wasn't like we were that mean.  I started out doing some warmup laps and got about 400m in for my warmup.  My friend Carie has already had to go back to work for school (she's a librarian) and she is normally our workout coach.  The girls were debating what to do and polling our other friends who were already in their workouts.  I decided to go with one of my suggested workouts for my half ironman training plan. 

This workout called for a double ladder of 400, 400, 300, 300, 200, 200, 100, 100.  I decided to count my warmup 400 as my first rung of the ladder.  For the second 400, I did straight freestyle.  For the 300's I spiced things up with 100m pull, 150m swim, 50m breast stroke.  The 200's were 100m pull 100m swim and the 100's were just straight swims.  I decided to add 2 x 50m to complete the ladder and sprints just don't get any easier, do they?!?

The pool was busy today with the football kids and all of the Masters swimmers.  My workout took a little longer than everyone else so I didn't get much time to chat with people.  I spent most of the time just doing my own workout and taking the appropriate rest intervals for my sets.  I am really thankful to my friends who have taught me the discipline to do swim workouts so that in times like today when I do them by myself I stick to the plan. 

After the workout I treated myself to a sno cone and an afternoon nap! I love having Friday afternoons off of work!