Thursday, April 28, 2011

How am I getting faster?

I've taken a week off from anything. This upper respiratory infection and now the pollen just knocked me on my butt. Now I'm back! Today I'm happy to be back, we'll see about tonight when I'm riding hills on the trainer.

Now, getting faster. I need to. It's going to be hard work. I am looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time. It all starts with VDOT. It's a test to see what all my times should be for tempo runs and easy pace runs. I've been told by Coach Rob "No more - I felt good and ran fast - kind of runs. If it says E pace, then you run your E pace." Done. I can do that. I hope.

Sam and I went to the track last night to do the test. Run 1.86 as fast as you can. Ugh. Doesn't sound THAT bad, but fast?

We got to the track and it was PACKED! There were other runners, a soccer game, and the high school track team. Those kids are super fast! Then, the weather took over.

Ok. I didn't run in rain THAT hard, but it looks tougher that way. We got kicked off the track for lightening and went to a field that we could run laps around. We figured out that we had to run 4.5 laps (thanks Garmin) as fast as possible. So I did. I did it in 16:24 - I wanted to finish in under 17 min, so I was very happy with that. I coughed my head off after I ran, but felt ok during it. This pollen cough I have going on is awful!

Now I know I'm a 34 on the VDOT scale and all my run times are mapped out. That alone will not make me faster, but will help keep me on pace and injury free. The real way I'm going to get faster? Wednesday night track workouts. Sam and I will be there. We are going to line up a babysitter and Wednesday night will be date night.

My next race is not until June 4th - a 1/2 marathon. I'm really looking forward to it. I really really want to get 2 hours flat. That means I need to be 11 minutes faster. I can do it. I can get there.

Does anyone else have big goals for their next race?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I'm still alive!!! and a message to my blog winners

Haven't posted in over a week. Been sick. Super sick. The sickest I've ever been! I'm on the mend and will hopefully be back to posting soon!!!!!!

My two blog winners, I'm mailing out packages this week! Sorry it's taken so long.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rumpus in Bumpus Tri Race Recap

What a fun weekend! Setup Events does a great job of putting on a race. Everything seemed pretty organized and well run.

Our weekend started Saturday with cheering on our teammates that were doing the International distance. We left the house for our hour and a half drive to Lake Anna. The day was cloudy, rainy, and the first day of spring break. That spelled traffic on 95. It took us about two and a half hours to get there - good thing we weren't racing today!

Sammy trying to keep rain out of his eyes

We got lots of compliments on the tatoos
The race was awesome! Most everyone had to swim and bike in the rain. It went off and on from pouring, to a drizzle, and a few times the sun even made an appearance. For the most part I think people got to run without the rain. No one was free from the mud. It was everywhere! I even saw a shoe come off because it was stuck in the mud. That is never fun. Because we were late we didn't get to see the swim start. We saw almost everyone leave T1 and head out onto the bike. It was so much fun to cheer our teammates on and give support.

Sunday. Day 2. The sun was out! The wind came along too. The water temp was 61 degrees - alittle colder than the day before. Sam and I were told to make sure we get in, warm up, and put our face in the water before the start. We were so chilly from the wind that we put our wetsuits on pretty early. This is only the second time I've put on a wetsuit and it's not the prettiest event I've been a part of. We did have TRISlide that we sprayed all over us to slide the wetsuit up. It worked really well. I put on my heart rate monitor and even my bib number under my wetsuit (anything to save time in transition).

me and my mom waiting in the wind

sam waiting for the race to start
The swim. I wasn't really worried about the swim. I was told the water was beyond cold and super choppy. Nothing I can do about that, so I tried to not think about it. I was in the last heat, so I got to see how everyone was getting in and handling it. I saw a few people get pulled out pretty close to the start - that always makes me a little nervous. I got in and swam around before my start. The cold wasn't too bad, it was cold....but it didn't take my breath away. I put my face in and made sure my goggles were good to go. The horn went off and I swallowed about half the lake. I choked, gagged, coughed....tried to calm down. I went on my back - didn't really help. I let myself cough and gag to get it over with. I did some breast stroke, tried to slow my breathing and realized I'm not going to die. There was no way I was going to wave my arms and get out. I was going to do this! I made such a scene that my mom and mother in law actually saw me struggling from the side and wondered if I would get pulled out. Not me. I got it together and started to freestyle. I got to the first buoy and kept going. My goggles didn't fog once! I was able to swim straight and keep going with freestyle. I passed a few people here and there and got into a rhythm. Then it was done. Phew! I climbed up the steps and started pulling off my wetsuit. Time: 22:46

T1: I pulled my wetsuit off quickly. I was nervous about that part. I didn't want to fall in the mud and make a big mess. I got my helmet on and buckled (no DQ here) and put on my bike shoes. Off I went, running through the mud. For this race you have to take your bike up a hill and you can lock in at the top. Long transition - but what can you do? I ran by my fan club on the way up the hill (always fun) and clipped in at the top.

Bike: Off I went! This was my first race to clip in, I was nervous, but determined to do it. My feet and thighs were kind of numb so I just peddled. Rolling hills describes this course the best. It took me some time to get into the right gears and move along. My heart rate was high, but I felt good. I passed people mostly on hills, and got passed on the flats. Don't worry, already sent my Coach the email about "how do I do this better?". I did see one person fall. He was a bigger guy and flipped completely over - bike attached - into the grass. I asked if he was ok and he popped up said "yep" and got right back to it. Hilarious! I felt pretty good on the bike, but my time was not as fast as I hoped. Something to work on. I guess there was a good amount of wind on this ride too - I was just trying to stay up and moving. Time: 48:24

T2: You have to get off your bike at the top of the hill and run down with your bike to the transition area. This was a little tricky as it was slippery in bike shoes. I chose to go down in the grass - I'm no fool. All went well. Parked my bike, changed my shoes, and I was off again.

Run: My feet were completely numb for most of this run. I think that was a good thing. My legs were sort of numb too. I just ran. I didn't pay attention to my pace at first, I just wanted to settle in and get going. The sun was out and it was a great course. Around mile 2.5 my feet started to though. At first it just felt like I had mulch or something in my shoes, then it hurt. As my feet and legs thawed they started to feel tired. I think I slowed down a little, but I haven't uploaded the Garmin yet to see by how much. Breathing was good, muscles felt good, no tummy issues. My time was 28:30. One of my top 4 5k times! I'll take it!

giving sammy a high five

Wish I had another sprint to do next weekend! I love race weekend for how much it inspires me. It's hard work but for good reason. This was also a great race since so much of our team was racing and cheering! I think we had just as much fun cheering the day before as we did racing. Great way to start my spring break!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Zensah Sports Bra review and Giveaway Winner!

Happy Friday! Today starts my spring break (perk of working in a school). I'm pretty excited - nothing better than waking up, getting coffee and breakfast and all while in my jammies.

First - a product review. The people at Zensah were nice enough to send me a compression running bra.I got to pick my color, which was more pressure than I thought it would be. I do have their leg sleeves in green so I decided to go with green for the sports bra too. Here's what the website says:

The Zensah sports bra has moisture wicking technology that keeps you dry, even after the toughest workouts. It's available in 10 colors. The innovative athletic sports bra is made with Zensah Fabric which is thermal regulating. This allows you to never feel too hot or too cold, providing increased comfort no matter what athletic activity or sport you are engaged in.

The seamless design prevents any chaffing or discomfort typical of other sports bras. All our bras are made with proprietary Zensah fabric. The sports bra fits all body types. It's able to be used from everything from running to soccer to yoga.

I have huge problems finding a sports bra that fits comfortably and I can afford. This sports bra is $35.99 - not too bad. I've seen them up to $80!! Who can afford that?! I suffer from chub rub, this happens everywhere. Not all the time, but more often where the band of the sports bra goes around my rib cage. I wear a heart rate monitor and that causes some issues too. I was really excited to try this gem!

I wore it on a run around Burke Lake. About 5 miles and a sunny but cool day. I can't say enough good stuff about this bra. First, I LOVED the color. I will NEVER wear it without the protective layer of a shirt, but I love how bright and fun the green is. The Girls were well secured. No bouncing. It was not so tight that I couldn't breath or move around (that's happened a few times to me). No chub rub. I ended up finishing the run, going home, and sitting around outside with the kids. I totally forgot I had the sports bra on until that night! That alone is huge for me. I often get a sports bra that's so tight - to hold it all down - and then I can't wait to get out of it. Not the case with this one. Two thumbs up!!!! I'm hoping to wear it in my first sprint tri this weekend.

You didn't think I was going to model it did you?

Now - two super cute pics:

Wednesday night run - Mason fell asleep

Sam's Thursday run - both crashed

And now for the Giveaway Winner!!!!

Number 13: Ozone3!!!!

Congratulations! and send me your mailing address at ann_hardman at hotmail dot com

Thanks for following my journey

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rumpus in Bumpus Sprint Triathlon preview

Yeah! It's here! My first tri of the season!!!! Rumpus in the Bumpus in Bumpus, VA on Sunday. It's a team race which means tons of familiar faces (passing me) and tons of cheers! We are going down on Saturday to watch and cheer our teammates on in the International distance. I'm nervous, but so excited!

Let's talk about what I will be wearing:

The Bike and Run (stupid sideways pic)

The swim (add green swim cap and goggles)

What will my kids wear? Easy. I make shirts for most of this kind of stuff. It's easy and they look so cute! Here's their Cheer Gear (patent pending on that gem of a rhyme)

Front - Pretty glad I spelled it all right

Back - Sam is a show off with his skillz (that's right, with a Z)

My mom and Sam's parents are coming to cheer and watch the boys. I'm just hoping they don't fall jump into the water at any point in the day. Papa John's will be there selling pizza (!) and other snacks. What kind? Here's the menu:

And they have the swim heats posted. I'm in the novice category and Sam is a Clydesdale.

I have big goals for this race. I really want to impress my Coach and my family. I beat Sam last year by 45 minutes. I don't think that will happen this year (to his credit), but I'd like to come close. I'm super ready for the swim (I mean, the wetsuit picture tells it all) and I'm clipping out on the bike (phew!). The run is the run, I've done a million 5K's - I just have to push.

This week's workouts are solid, keeping skills and form sharp. We are ready to "Nail it!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Race week and Giveaway reminder!

Disclaimer: No pics. Can't find my camera....ANYWHERE!
This weekend was pretty darn successful.

Friday night was Mason's birthday party. He's three now. Pretty big deal - or so he thinks. I'm just happy he's potty trained. The party was a success, even with the non stop rain. We did hamburgers and hotdogs, a real crowd pleaser. My mother in law made a banana cake. The only thing Mason asked for - banana cake (shape, not flavor).

Saturday morning we met Coach Rob at World Gate for our bike FTP test. We were told it would be an hour in the hurt locker. We were nervous. It was hard, we pushed harder than we even have, but we survived! Rob was great at pushing us and he recorded our heart rates every 5 minutes. Now he uses that info to tell us how hard to work during our workouts. Easy Peasy.

Sunday we met Coach Rob again for a swim workout. Our first Tri of the season is Sunday, so he wanted to check in with us to make sure we are ready. We did the workout in our wetsuits (first swim in them) and it was super hard to put that puppy on. He gave us some tricks (plastic bag on the foot to slide right in) and we jumped in. The lifeguard said she had never seen someone in the pool in their wetsuits - glad we were her first. It was a great swim. We worked on form, speed, drafting, defensive elbows (that's right, look out!). Sam rocked it. He swam really well and has made huge strides in his endurance.

Now it's time to check out the times from last year and see what we need to place in our age groups and all that fun stuff. I'm hoping to get a much better time than last year since I hadn't really trained at all. I also need to make the boys some shirts to wear to help cheer us on. Fun times!

Don't forget about my yummy giveaway!

SOLE SISTERS: Try Chips Giveaway! Try Chips. Waste Nothing. Try ...: "I had the opportunity to sample Try Chips at the Multisport Expo. DCRainmaker did a great write up on that event here. Today is my son's thi..."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Try Chips Giveaway! Try Chips. Waste Nothing. Try Everything.

I had the opportunity to sample Try Chips at the Multisport Expo. DCRainmaker did a great write up on that event here. Today is my son's third birthday, so I figured it's a great day for a giveaway!

I really enjoyed the chips and so did my kids. I especially like that the bag is one serving (I have no willpower) and it's 100 calories. I love fruit and this wont go bad (stupid rotten bananas). I can have it in the car or my purse for emergencies, or throw it in my gym bag for after a workout. I sent them a message telling them I love their product and they sent me a whole box! Yeah for me and yeah for you guys!
How cute are they? Nice little message on the box!

1: Aspire - SUPERCHARGED WITH Green Tea ALL NATURAL 100% Fruit for your everyday endurance Flavor 3 – ASPIRE - Apple, Apricot, Pineapple, Banana, Pomegranate Ingredients (ASPIRE) Dried apple chips, freeze dried apricot, brown rice syrup, freeze dried banana, freeze dried pineapple, dried sweet potato, dried cranberry, Matcha Green Tea, Wild Sunflower Root, freeze dried pomegranate, cranberry.

2. Endeaver: You TRY hard – why let that effort go to waste?  To fuel your efforts you need REAL food.  We carefully selected the Amazon's nutritionally-dense purple berry - ACAI and supercharged them with our proprietary blend of apple chips & more, to create a synergistic combination of nutrients & vitamins that are alive and ready to revitalize you with natural cardio-protective, anti-inflammatory, and lung-expanding benefits. Don't waste another minute, enjoy TryChips on your next ENDEAVOR!

3. Venture: You TRY hard – why let that effort go to waste?  To fuel your efforts you need REAL food.  We carefully selected Patagonia's supercharged berry - MAQUI and powered them with our proprietary blend of apple chips & more, to create a synergistic combination of nutrients & vitamins that are alive and ready to revitalize you with natural immune-boosting, joint protective, and lung-expanding benefits. Don't waste another minute, enjoy Try Chips when you VENTURE out in the great unknown!

Here's a write up from the website: When we looked for a good healthy snack we were astonished by the absence of natural food-based energy munchies that would help us reach our goals. Sure, we can appreciate the need for an elite athlete to consume hundreds, if not thousands, of calories and scientifically engineered ingredients to fuel their bodies, but not us. Not the everyday athlete just looking to get healthy, lose a little weight, and try something new.

Try Chips are an all natural snack, enhanced with super foods carefully selected to replenish your energy after pushing your body beyond its personal comfort zone. Our final ingredient in our war against Apathy and of course our battle cry…

Waste Nothing. Try Everything. 

What do you get? You get two bags of each flavor to try out!

How do you get them? Easy, here you go:

1) Become a follower or tell me you already are one and leave me a comment (one entry) Mandatory
2) Like TRYCHIPS on FaceBook and tell them "Ann from Sole Sisters sent me" (one entry)
3) Tell me your go to snack (one entry)
4) Go to their website and leave me a message of what you loved the most about them (one entry)

I will pick a winner April 15th
Big Rule: You must live in the US

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ukrop's 10k race report and upcoming giveaway

It's been a few days, but here's my race report from the Ukrop's 10k.

41,000 people registered for this 10k! That's insane! I don't think I've run a race that big before. You would expect some Rock N Roll events to be that big, not a 10k in Richmond. It was really well run. Super organized. They even had security at the start line to make sure you had a bib and that you were in the right pace choral! I've never seen that happen before. It was kinda nice.

The race started at 8:30. That is the kind of race start I can get on board with. We stayed at our friend Lee's house and the kids stayed at home with Nana and Pop Pop. We drove down Friday afternoon. Leaving our neighborhood Sam realized he forgot his visor. No one wanted to turn around. We decided things like that can't throw us off. We kept going. On 95 Sam realized he forgot his Garmin! That we would have turned around for....but we were too far from home. I had mine and my goal for this race was the pace him - so me wearing the only Garmin made sense. We got to Lee's house and settled in. We had dinner (Lee cooked) and watched some tv. Anyone seen An Idiot Abroad? HILARIOUS. Then, off to bed - not gonna lie, I fell asleep on the couch.

We woke up around 7am, got coffee going and breakfast. Put on our shoe tags, bibs, and decided how cold it really was and what we needed to wear. Lee's wife was going to drop us off as close as she could to the start and our choral did go until 9:09. We got in the car at 8:10 and headed out.

Sam and Lee post race
We got to the race as it was happening. So weird. Tons of people were already running. Before we got to our choral people had already finished! Even weirder. We hit up the porta potty, waited for about 10 minutes and then got on our way. There were pockets of super crowds, not too bad though. I forgot this was Sam's first race - until it came time to start weaving and passing people. He got a crash course in that. It's tough to do, especially when you are running with someone. Have I mentioned how Sam is built? Think Mr. Incredible. HUGE HUGE HUGE shoulders. He does not weave in and out of people well.....yet. He got better as the race went, I did push him through a few spots though.

The race was in the sun mostly so that warmed us up. Every block or so there was a band - always love that. We talked a little: "is this pace good?", "how do you feel?", "can you push harder?". It was fun for me, but alot of pressure. The pressure really hit when my stomach went nuts. I needed a porta potty but I didn't want to hold Sam up. I told him to keep going and I'd catch up. "No" What? Are you crazy? Just keep going! "I want to cross the finish line with you." Ahhhhhhhh. Too cute! So, we stopped -quick - and kept going. We did alittle sprinting to make up for that stop.

So Happy!!!!!!
We crossed the finish line holding hands. It was great. Sam nailed his first race and the weather was perfect. Did I mention there is zero elevation? Pretty nice!

Yeah! Done!

Now it's on to the next race. We are both doing a sprint tri April 17th. Last night we got to go to Potomac River Running (one of our sponsors) and have a team night. We had a Q and A with a professional triathlete Margie Shapiro (so awesome) and a chance to shop with our team discount. I love this place. I buy everything one stop shop! What did we get? Glad you asked!

We had a gift card! We got some serious nutrition, body glide, I got the blue tank, and Sam got the black shorts. Pretty sweet!

Team Fexy at Potomac River Runners
My giveaway? It's coming tomorrow in honor of Mason turning 3! Stay tuned!!!!!