Solana Beach Duathlon Race Recap

Hi friends! How was everyone’s weekends?? I hope you spent a lot of it swimming, biking, and running! Remember how I told you last week I was really nervous for the Solana Beach Duathlon? Well turns out it wasn’t so bad and I’m so happy cause it’s been forever since I’ve done a race, let alone a race recap!IMG_0949Let’s rewind to Saturday night and the foods that attributed to Sunday’s race day success. Anthony and I went out for Italian food with a couple of our friends. Decided to play it safe and stick with pizza with sausage and bell peppers. Not pictured: the three loaves of complementary bread they brought to our table. I definitely accomplished all of my carbo-loading goals. IMG_0950Normally I wouldn’t eat dessert the night before a race but a trip to Hammond’s for ice cream flights was too good to pass up. Plus, everyone knows ice cream and donuts are my biggest weaknesses so it’s really everyone else’s fault for suggesting it. Not my lack of self control or anything… Four flight flavors were: birthday cake, blueberry cheesecake, cinnamon swirl, and butter pecan. Two of my friends got PB Oreo and I’m still kicking myself for not adding that flavor to my ice cream flight. IMG_0970Boom. Race day. I was kind of freaking out about the bike portion of the race since I’m still not very good at shifting on my TT bike and don’t even get me started on how much I struggle with making right hand turns. A bunch of my friends and teammates have done this race before so as I was racking up my bike, they gave me a course overview and told me what to expect for the turns and where to pick up speed on the run. I headed to the start for the duathlon and for the first time in my 4 years of racing, the race did not start on time! We were set to start at 6:50am but because the street patrols were late, we started almost at 7am. There is a first time for everything. IMG_0969One of my girlfriends who lives in Solana Beach texted me the night before telling me she was going to come watch me race! She is the reason I am on Breakaway Training (her bf is one of the coaches and a pro triathlete), my advisor at UCSD, and since I’ve graduated, one of my sweetest and most supportive friends. I didn’t expect to see her until the finish line but there she was, waiting at the start of the duathlon before I even got to the start. Now that is friendship! IMG_0968After catching up with Kristen for sometime at the start, we were off! Since we started the race late, I felt like I lost some of my warm-up and the first quarter of a mile of the duathlon mile run did not feel so great. My hat was falling off, my quads were tight, and oh yeah, did you know San Diego gets humid nowadays?! Then somehow, half way through, my body decided to wake up, remembered it was in a race, and I finished the first mile with a 6:24 min/mile. IMG_0967Note to self: take out your sunglasses before the transition, not during. Spent a little more time in struggle city than I would like getting my bike, helmet, shoes, and sunglasses on before heading out to the mounting area to start the bike leg! The goal of the bike part was just to build confidence. My coach and I talked about pushing the run beyond my comfort zone but staying safe when it came to the bike. That meant getting passed A LOT but also building my confidence in racing on a bike again! After two scenic loops from Solana to Encinitas along the 101 highway, I finished the 9 mile bike leg in 33 minutes and it was time to bring it home with the final 5K!IMG_0972The second transition to the run was a lot smoother than the first. By the time I started the 5K, the humidity had really started to set in but the overcast made a world of difference. For all of you that know me (or follow my blog), heat and I are mortal enemies (this is going to make my triathlon in 2 weeks super fun). I would take humidity and overcast over humidity and heat any day. I know, I’m the worst Floridian ever. One thing I started to do more during hard runs and races is looking at my pace on my Garmin. I don’t know why I didn’t do it before but it has helped me make huge improvements in my training when I know there are certain numbers I want to hit. I told myself I was not allowed to go over 7:30 minute miles during the 5K and finished the last duathlon leg in 22:18. IMG_0956My cheering squad at races just got even better with a puppy to greet me at the end! Elle’s first race and I think she’s going to like this sport considering every triathlete brought their dog to the race. Finished in 1:05:08, which is a 5 minute PR from my last (and first) duathlon in October. Once I start making improvements in my cycling, I think duathlons and I can become great friends! IMG_0971Just some of the coolest coworkers ever at the race. Both Carlos and Jason did the triathlon and braved the open water ocean swim that I had zero interest in. IMG_0954Finished 8th female overall and 1st in my age group. I promise there was another girl in my age group but I guess she didn’t want to stick around for the awards? IMG_0962IMG_0966I have some of the best friends and support systems in this sport! Ever since I joined Breakaway Training, I constantly have friends who challenge me and make me a better athlete everyday. Not to mention friends like Jason and Kristen who give the best pre and post-race pep talks. Can’t imagine what I would do without this community.

Thank you Breakaway Training, Coach Felipe, and all of my orange family teammates! It was awesome to hear people cheering and yelling your name, high-fiving people on the 2 loop run course, and wishing each other luck once you saw them on the course. Special thanks to Jon for his thumbs up when I felt like my legs were going to fall off in the last loop of the run. IMG_0959I think it’s safe to say the dogs had a great time at this race too. IMG_0965And of course, the perfect recovery involves a huge chocolate donut.

Healthy Friday Finds and Weekend Plans!

Hello everyone!! Happy Friday! Anyone else super excited for the weekend? I am starting this Friday off with a Healthy Friday finds and then stick around for me to tell you all about my weekend plans (it involves a race… FINALLY). IMG_08981. One thing I need to really work on is fueling DURING a workout. It is so important to keep up with the calories you are burning and to make sure you don’t bonk midway through a workout or god forbid, a race. When I was training for marathons, I started to HATE all forms of fuel from GUs to Chomps to some flavors of workout energy bars. Then last weekend, one of my girlfriends and teammates SAVED me during a long workout by introducing me to the above Clif Bars: Berry Pomegranate Chia and the new Nut Filled Clif bars! Boy, are they both game changers!

The Berry Pomegranate Chia Clif bar is less sweet than their other flavors like Toffee, Chocolate Chip, etc. and is easy to take down during a run or a ride. Then the Nut Butter ones well… are just delicious. I’ve only tried the Coconut Almond Butter one so far, but reassured for those of you who do not like coconut: there are some that are filled with peanut butter and one that apparently has a filling that tastes like Nutella!!! I have to get my hands on one of those ASAP. FullSizeRender (1)2. A positive attitude going into a hard workout. How is this a Healthy Friday Find? Because health isn’t just about your physical well being but your mental and emotional. I’ve realized that the more negatively I approach a workout or the more I dread something hard that’s on my training schedule, the worse the workout feels. The above photo was taken during one of our hardest team workouts, Black’s Beach Hill Repeats. 1500 feet of elevation gain while running is definitely no fun. But last weekend, I decided to change my outlook. I was excited to run with the two friends above, I was excited to get back into my training routine, and I was excited to challenge myself again. Was I nervous and scared? Yes, because God knows when the last time I ran 10 miles was before. That day, I ended up cranking out 11 miles, first double digit run since breaking my collarbone. It was so unbelievably hard but at the same time, easy. Weird, I know but I think I was just happy to be doing what I love and it made a world of difference. IMG_09323. Continuing the mental Healthy Friday Finds. Having workout buddies that are good for your soul. Besides my teammates, there are two coworkers and friends of mine that I absolutely love running and working out with. One of them is pictured above. We have the best conversations when we run during breaks at work and it makes the time fly by. It’s also perfect for recovery workouts because it reminds me to not overdo it and enjoy spending time with good for your soul people :) Yesterday, we were both changing at the same time to go to different workouts (Thursdays are BT track days) and when we walked out of the bathroom stall, we were accidentally matching. IMG_09094. Finding new places to run. There is a canyon near work that I wouldn’t normally run on my own just because I really don’t know what I would do if I came across a sketchy stranger or a sketchy snake… but my coworker and I went on a run there on Monday afternoon. I absolutely love the view from our turnaround point and love finding new places to run!  IMG_09175. I’ve had some really great salads this week. Also, because it is summer, I’m on a huge salad kick, so expect a lot of leafy greens to end up on the blog. Anyway, back to the above salad. It is from a restaurant in San Diego called the Opera Cafe. Our team at work went there for lunch on Tuesday to say goodbye to one of our coworkers. She is retiring and we wanted to thank her for all she’s done for us and the organization. Salmon and shrimp were a great choice. IMG_09316. Told you there were a lot of salads in my life this week, not to mention the ones I’ve been making for lunch. Above salad really hit the spot after track practice last night. Also, if you haven’t tried mango and melons on your salad, you are missing out. Make them your next salad topping as soon as possible!

So my weekend plans. I’m actually extremely nervous. There are fun things planned like babysitting tonight, a bike ride tomorrow and dinner with my roommates, visit to the dog beach, and obviously plenty of quality time with Anthony and Elle. But… I have my first race since April on Sunday. I would feel fine if it was just running, but we are adding biking back into the mix. Thankfully, my coach and I have discussed this is a survival race. Hammer on the run portions of the duathlon and be comfortable on the bike. It will be interesting to see how the last couple months of forced off-season, poor nutrition choices (DONUTS AND ICE CREAM ARE GOOD FOR THE INJURED), and family visiting will play into Sunday. Regardless, I am going to stick to this positive attitude for hard workouts and let you know how it goes ;)

What are you doing this weekend?!

What do you do when you’re nervous for a race? 

Favorite foods now that it’s summer?: Salads and a ridiculous amount of fruit.

A Strong Weekend of Training and Elle’s 1/2 Birthday!

Hello friends! Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and ready to tackle another new week! I had a great weekend of training and celebrating Elle’s 6 month birthday. Yes, I am that crazy dog mom ;) IMG_0862Saturday morning started off with a duathlon test run for my race this upcoming Sunday. My coach had a brick workout laid out for me that consisted of a run, bike, run. I headed over to Fiesta Island for some quality training time. Saw a couple of teammates who pulled me through the last couple of minutes on the bike and despite the rising heat, the workout went by pretty smoothly. IMG_0850Can you believe how fast this little nugget has grown up?!?! She went from 12 lbs at 11 weeks to almost 35 lbs at 6 months! This girl will be 50 lbs in no time, which makes us excited and a little nervous all at once :)

P.S. Puppy parents: any tips for picky eaters? Elle is a picky eater and while the vet says her growth and weight is normal, I would like to add a little more meat on her bones. She’s a little too lean! IMG_0867The first thing I did when I got home from my workout: cuddled with these two. Elle didn’t seem to mind how sweaty I was and gave me a bunch of kisses. We started off her six month birthday celebration with a lot of love, cuddles, and treats. IMG_0876After running the usual Saturday afternoon errands, Anthony, his best friend, and I headed up to the Encinitas Dog Park for Elle to get some quality time with some new puppy friends! We go to the dog park at least 4-5 times a week near our house, but going up to Encinitas is a real treat for us. The dog park is HUGE, completed paved with side walks and grass patches, and constantly has a bunch of dogs of all sizes playing. Since it generally takes us 20-25 minutes to get up there (even though I use to bike up to Encinitas every weekend), it was definitely a treat to take Elle to this specific dog park for a little birthday celebration. IMG_0882After about an hour and a half there (we could tell Elle was getting wiped out), we stopped by Solana Beach’s Culture Brewing brewery. Another one off the list in our craft beer tour. Also, this coffee IPA is out of this world. I love coffee. I love IPAs. This was the perfect combination, called the El Dorado. Get it on Nitro. You won’t regret it. IMG_0895I spent the rest of my Saturday night cuddling my little sidekick, foam rolling, and watching a bit of 30Rock. It was the perfect end to the day, especially because I had 10+ miles of hill repeats with the team the next morning! IMG_0888Elle got a couple of new toys for her 1/2 birthday and some things she is less excited about (like a new collar and harness)! She got a whale, a new tug of war robe with a chewy rubber center, and the moose from above she is snuggling with. I think she’s already decided which one is her favorite. FullSizeRenderThe next morning started with some lovely hill repeats. Our team does this workout on a crazy mile hill (half a mile down, half a mile up) that has about 1500 feet of elevation gain from top to bottom. Probably one of the workouts you want to do the least, but you know it makes you the strongest. There is also a one mile loop we run a couple of times before doing the hill and depending on what’s on the coach’s schedule, we repeat it a couple of times. These two nuts above that I’m running with? Yeah they are racing IRONMAN BOULDER in two weeks!! I was with them for about 11 miles but they had a 20 miler for the day. After, you know, they already biked 6 hours the day before. So crazy inspirational. And also just crazy!! IMG_0903We had dinner at a friend’s house and they made us their version of thick crust pizza baked in a skillet! The one on the left was a sausage pizza and the one on the right was veggie. Both of them were so ridiculously good. IMG_0905Imagine 3 more plates like the one above and that was my dinner. IMG_0906For dessert, my friend made peach cobbler. Topped with vanilla bean ice cream and it was the best day to end the day. I couldn’t think of better company and food to refuel after a great training weekend!