Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tri for a Cure Weekend & A Contest

Tri for a Cure has come and gone~

Tri for a Cure is a unique event that is a woman's only triathlon that raises money for the Maine Cancer Foundation. This year there were 1100 participants and they raised $1.2 million dollars for MCF!

this is my third year in a row at the event and each year I am so touched by the strength of the people at this race. Stories of survival, strength and courage and so many people racing in honor of those who did not survive the battle against cancer. It seems each year the "survivors" wave gets bigger and bigger...so many pink caps!

This year I was repping Rev 3 and SBR Sports, Inc. all weekend which was, of course, totally awesome.

Rev 3 and SheJAM's have joined forces at the Rev 3 Maine race to introduce an all woman's wave of the Olympic distance race, which is a fund raiser for Maine Cancer Foundation.

A Revolutionary All Women's Olympic Triathlon to Kick Cancer. REV3 sheJams Triathlon is a unique race that will be limited to 300 women. REV3 will bring a world class venue to Old Orchard Beach and allow us the opportunity to create a life changing experience for women who participate!

Anyone can compete, but all must raise $100 for the cause! We all know someone who has been touched by cancer. Come out and show your support by challenging yourself and raising money for cancer research, education and patient support programs through the Maine Cancer Foundation.

It was great to hear so much buzz about the Rev 3 Maine and SheJAM's race!
The calm before the storm...literally.
Saturday's clear skies turned into heavy rains come race day

Even those who were not ready to tackle an Olympic distance course were excited to volunteer (if you want to volunteer, please visit http://rev3tri.com/maine/volunteer-me/training/

Saturday was a day filled with chatting about the Maine race and TriSlide, TriSwim and Foggle! I had some wonderful helpers who love Rev 3 and SBR Sports just as much as I do!
training buddy, Marc happy to help!

the BFF rocking the Rev 3 R

I also got to meet one really cool chick this weekend! She introduced herself to me on Saturday at the Expo and said she read my blog (but never comments! ha ha).

Meet Megan!!
and her super cute Dad, Ted.
Loved these two-they reminded me a bit of me and my own Dad. He was there as race support for Megan and THAT in and of itself it total rock*star status for sure.

As soon as I arrived to the venue on Race Day, I saw Ted immediately and then found Megan. I was really glad I was able to give her some good luck mojo!! It was all very romantic, right at the Port-O-Potties to boot :) (Or green tombs of death as I like to call them...these were SO clean, especially for a TRIATHLON! ha ha)

Megan is a Mom, wife, runner and now she can add TRIATHLETE to that resume.
Tri for a Cure was her very first tri and she did amazing!!

She was 47th overall with a finish time of 1:29:13! She splashed out 12:09 1/3 mile swim, rocked a 48:53 bike split (for an 18.4mph avg) and killed that run with a 22:24 5k time (7:14 pace) Congratulations Megan!! I better see you registering for more and more triathlons now! I am looking forward to seeing you at Beach to Beacon next weekend (as you run past me!).

Want to win some cool stuff?
Wanna win a can of TriSlide and some foggle wipes?

The BEST caption for this photo wins. What determines the best? Who knows! Make it funny, make it serious, just make it memorable!
I may open up the best entries to voting.

Disclosure: the SBR Sports prize of TriSlide and Foggle is totally funded by me because I love this stuff and I am sure you will too!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


The other day I was referred to as "insane" for talking about a long bike ride like it was an afternoon at the spa or a day at the beach. I was quite taken aback by the comment and pressed the issue. Apparently, my passion for training and racing makes me "odd" and "a little off my rocker" and this person wondered if I have taken this too far.

I found this quite interesting...Then shortly after this lovely conversation (with a family member, mind you) I read THIS POST on my friend Jason's blog and had to laugh.

No, you will never hear any apologies from me for my choices these days.
I train a lot. I love to race. I surround myself with like minded people. I am happy.

But to label me insane? odd?

So let me get this right.
When I was lazy, fat and depressed there was nothing ODD about that?
Eating a $50 bag of Chinese take-out and drinking enough beer to put down a frat boy on a single Friday night is SANE?

Now, I do understand that I do train/exercise quite a bit more than the average "active" person but there is nothing average about me. I have an all-or-nothing, type A personality. I have found something that makes me happy, challenges me and keeps me healthy.

yes, i do take pics of my bike all the time. i love her.
does that make me crazy??


What motivates me to train hours and hours a week?
Why do I get up at 3am to fit in training?
Why do I spend hours on the roads running and biking?
So many things.

A desire to be better. Always, better. Stronger.
My daughter. She is growing up in a home that values active living and eating real food.
My dreams. There are so many things I want to do. If I want to do these things, I need to work.
work work work

...and believe it or not, I LOVE TRAINING.
Do you know how freaking happy it makes me to have Coach Awesome give me a tough workout and I nail it, bam! boomtastic! That is a good feeling, my friend.

I am still a baby (well, maybe a toddler now) in this triathlon world. I have so much to learn and I feel like a sponge, soaking it all in. I have some wonderful, fantastic, experienced role models that give me good advice, guide me and I am lucky to have them.

Don't forget, just 3 1/2 years ago I was learning to run. I was learning to live. I was learning WHO I was and what made my soul happy, my passion burn and I was creating a new path in life.

If you want to consider me insane for where this journey has taken me, sure.
No problem.
I'm insane.

But I'll gladly ride my bike 100 miles every Sunday (ok, maybe every day) with a huge smile on my face
sittin on the couch, watching TV and eating garbage.

So I'll continue to train, get up early, go to bed early and live the life I am living.
Call me crazy but I'm happy.
For once in my life, I am truly happy, centered and vibrant.

Has anyone ever commented on your "crazy" endurance driven life?
What was your reaction?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Being Brave & Having Fun!

Life has been a little crazy-busy lately and sadly, I have not had much time to blog!
As of this moment, I am laying in my bed getting some NormaTec love on my legs, hooked up to my recovery boots and my laptop, checking out Ironman Live for my IMLP friends and planning my bootcamp class for tomorrow. After two big training weeks, this week was actually a recovery week and I felt more tired recovering than I did busting my butt for two weeks straight.

Lots has been happening on the home front though. My Grandmother passed away recently but on the bright side, family was visiting from out of state when she passed away so my Mother was with all of her (three) siblings. Everyone found comfort in one another and "Nany" has gone on to a much better place.

With family visiting there has been lots of time at the beach, plenty of lobster a whole lot of fun.

Lola and I even had a very special day together-we went shopping for some Brave goodies like

totally sold out EVERYWHERE

but we got this

which OF COURSE she wore to the movie!!

and this

then had a lovely lunch date and went to see the movie.
It was really cute and she is already asking to see it again.

I love it that Merida is a strong (stubborn) girl (with a lot of sass!) who just does not want to be "a princess" and "get married". I dig the message of finding out who you are and living your passion-a great message for today's girls. Getting married is not the end-all be-all of a girls existence ;)

Anyway, I have some cool stuff to tell you about. I don't want to be one of those blogs that is just always talking about this and that item, but really--I AM DANG LUCKY to be able to use these two things and talk about it here!

Like these
I just love my NormaTec MVP's!!

Chrissie Wellington
Chrissie and I both recover in our NormaTec boots!!

and these delicious little gems from XPS Baking Company

and I also have some follow up posts on the awesome GNC protein powders that I have been reviewing. *hint*hint* Perfect Protein Ice Cream will be the first up on those...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Caprese Turkey Burgers

I just love having a garden. 
This is our third year with a veggie garden and each year it gets bigger and bigger! I just love having so many varieties of fresh lettuce every day and is there anything really better than a fresh tomato off the vine?

This year I also added several fresh herbs to the mix as well as different varieties of pepper-both HOT and sweet! 

with DirtGirl weedbusting

DirtGirl and her radish

The weather has been quite odd (for Maine) this year and we were blessed with an early Spring. We have been harvesting lettuce and radish for over a month now and finally, we have zucchini and cukes coming now too! I love "sneaking" in veggies into everyday favorites and decided to try a new spin on another summer favorite of mine:
Caprese Salad

My idea? bunless caprese salad inspired turkey burgers. 
Please bear with me on this "recipe". 90% of the time, I just "wing" it in the kitchen and don't really measure stuff, I just eyeball it. These came out SOOO good though, I had to share right away so everything is approximate. 

Bunless Caprese Turkey Burgers


1lb lean ground turkey breast
1/2 cup shredded zucchini (I just use a cheese grater)
2 green onions, sliced thin
2 TB chopped fresh basil
1 clove of smashed garlic (I use a garlic press)
sea salt and pepper (as desired)

1 egg, beaten 
1-2 slice of bread (could be day old, could be the heel of the bread. I used a whole wheat & flat bread and used the heel for this batch)

Slice zucchini into rounds and season with salt, pepper, crushed or powdered garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Let sit for a bit and grill for a couple mins each side. 

thick slices of tomato 
sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
fresh, chopped basil
sea salt
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

in a small bowl, whisk egg and break bread slice(s). You want the bread damp but not sopping/dripping with egg. Again, this is a subjective thing on the size of the egg and the bread.

then combine egg mixture with the turkey, chopped herbs, onion, zuc, garlic and S&P in a large bowl. Do not over mix-form into patties. 

I find that sometimes, turkey patties can be a little "loose" and can fall apart easily. I like to make my patties ahead of time, cover them and keep them in the fridge for a while before grilling them. If you are pressed for time, you can put them in the freezer for a bit and this should firm them up enough to grill. 

Grill patties and zucchini slices. Then layer

zucchini rounds on the bottom
top with a turkey burger
add a slice of the fresh mozzarella cheese
top with tomato slices
fresh basil chiffonade
olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Enjoy this guilt free burger on a hot summer night!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Rev3Maine Recon {THE RUN}


I am so happy to see this run course. Check out this thing of beauty:

The course if an out and back course, which I love.
This may not appear terribly flat, but it is a gentle, consistent climb for the first 2 miles or so-and as you can see, it is only a gain of 80 feet or so of elevation. Then you get to cruise down this nice little decline and head out onto the trails.

This is the first road you will travel from T2 (Milliken Street) and as you can see, this is pretty dang flat. A good time to get those legs moving and ready to GO GO GO. The picture shows the view from Walnut Street, where you will turn left.

Lots of big trees line the running route so think "shade". Beautiful huh?
As you can see, this road will start the slow, slight incline on Portland Road.

 More shaded, tree-lined, flattish streets.

This is really the biggest incline you will face on the run!

After you conquer that roller, you will head left again onto Millikin Mills road for a short stretch and then you will hit up the gravel paths of the Eastern Trail.

You will pass this little pond on your way to the trail.
How picturesque!
You many even want to stop for quick swim (or not).

On the start of the Eastern Trail.

The soft surface of the trail will certainly help those tired legs.
It is nice and smooth here too so nothing to slow you down!
The trail does wind through nature and the woods and on this particular day, it was very humid and very hot. This brought out a lot of the deer flies (which is a biting fly). It feels like a mosquito bite (a mosquito on steroids) and they are tenacious little buggers.
My opinion? They just make you run faster

 You will hit the turn-around on the trail and head back the way you came. Those little inclines you went up on the way are now declines to fly down for a super fast finish!!

And you have made it! BOOM-
Showing off the 12 bug bites of my back, which made me run even faster!

All in all, Rev3 had done an amazing job putting together an excellent course!
It is beautiful, challenging, spectator friendly and the community is so excited to have Rev3 in Old Orchard Beach. I can guarantee TONS of crowd support.

After the race, cool off with a dip in the ocean, ride the roller coaster, enjoy the lobster bake and enjoy that PR!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rev 3 Maine HalfRev Recon {part I}

I am so excited for the Rev 3 Maine HalfRev (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run) race that will be making it’s debut in Old Orchard Beach, Maine this August 26th!

Not only am I lucky enough to be part of the awesome Rev3 Team, I am blessed to call Maine home and this race is taking place on my own stomping (training) grounds. What a perfect opportunity to give everyone a sneak-peak at what’s to come with the HalfRev course!  Today, I will take you through the HalfRev bike course and later this week, I'll give you the "run down" on the run course for both the Rev3 HalfRev and Olympic distances. Also to come is a preview of the Olympic bike course (which IS different than the HalfRev).

The Swim

What can I say about the swim other than this is where you will be swimming.
Gorgeous. Simply wonderful-the (cool) Atlantic ocean.
Somedays the water is very calm, other days there are rolling waves to contend with. You never know what kind of weather Mother Nature will dish out on race day but I promise you will enjoy this swim. The water is even getting warm (by Maine standards) and I have already had several open water swims in the ocean.

Transition-this is the view from "BIKE OUT"

The Bike

Upon exiting transition, you will head up a very short, little street with a bit of incline out on the main road through town. The road is basically 3 miles of flat with some short, easy inclines. This is a good time to get the legs warmed up and get ready to ride! This stretch of road has some “cranky” spots of pavement but nothing major and it is easy to navigate around the rough patches of road.

Shaded roads along Flag Pond Road
A side view of the overpass and the Maine Turnpike

Once you cross busy Route 1, you will be bearing left, heading inland and into farm country with some fun rollers and beautiful views. Right away you will hit up a small little hill-which is the overpass crossing the Maine Turnpike and a bit after that, you will turn left through a lovely residential area with lots of big trees (shade!) then onto Route 112. The first part of this section is flat and fast but get ready for a little (or even a lot) wind as this area can windy even on a calm day. The roads here are super smooth and clean and this road tends to be very busy. Lucky for us, we will be racing on a Sunday which should limit some of the larger vehicles like 18-wheelers.
After a couple miles here, you will come upon a gorgeous equestrian farm with a long, white fence and the typical “big red barn”, this is your warning that you will be making a 90* left hand turn. Be ready for some gentle rollers, pretty farmlands and some fun, fast flats. This is also the start of the “meat and potatoes” of the course. I’d like to quote my Rev3 Team Mate, Ryan now from his Rev 3 Maine bike report, because he sums it up so well:
“Here's the thing: when you hear "flat," if you are from, say, Kansas, this course will come as a shock to you. If you live in Montana, then this'll be considered pancake-flat. For the rest of us, I think the most apt descriptor would be "rolling." This course isn't like Rev3 Quassy, which is a beast to climb. But what it will do is separate those who can use their shifting to their advantage and those who attempt to go at courses with the idea of smashing it.”
The white fence
get ready to turn left!

After the horse farm, you'll head into the country and hit up the rollers

Also note, if it is a hot day, there is little shade now to protect you and being inland, you will no longer have the cooling air of the ocean so keep this in mind come race day and make sure you are hydrating!

As you head further inland on these picturesque country roads dotted with farms and large fields, you will be hitting up lots of (what I call) gentle rollers. There is nothing that really screams “climb!” but there are several short hills to get up and over.

 My co-riders cresting the top of one of the rollers on Rt 5

an aerobar view of another roller
one of the longer rollers to get over,
 this picture does not do the incline justice!

As you head into South Waterboro Road (mile 17.76 per Rev 3 map) you will have some steadily undulating terrain, the shade will return. This is also my favorite part of the course! Lots of ups (I think the longest, steepest climb is here) and some fun downs. This will then lead into some flats where you can take a break from the rollers (only for a bit) and you are roughly half-way done.

But don’t get lazy here either--because while flat, there will be more winds to contend with. I ride this road often and it always seems to have a strong headwind and crosswind regardless of the weather. You’ll have several miles of (mostly) flat to enjoy!

Around mile 40, you will head right onto Simpson Road. Be aware of the road conditions here. There are some rough spots and some uneven road from frost heaves and such, but you are not here for long.

see the warning for the stop sign on the right?
 you can just barely make out the upward turn to the left
 where the road will eventually go. UP UP UP

This is also where the Rev 3 sense of humor can be seen.

You’re trucking along, feeling pretty happy about the day when you see a nice little downhill coming up. You will also see a sign that says “STOP” and another that says ONE LANE BRIDGE AHEAD. But you can’t really see much more.
So this quaint little downhill that then goes over a cute single lane bridge and then WHAMMO!
There is this steep little bugger of a hill...but once you get up that steep part, it continues on up up up and around. Now, it is not a long hill or a hard hill (heck, after Quassy, I really wonder if there are any hills anywhere that compare...) but just be aware of it.

I’ve done it in a hard gear--trying to power DOWN the little hill to float up.
That’s not gonna work unless you can get some shifting in early on the downhill.
I’ve stopped at the STOP sign (as directed) and then spun up the hill in a super easy gear (no issues) but lost some time doing it that way.
There is definitely a happy medium to be found to get up the hill quickly without mashing or crushing your quads.

After this stretch, you are homeward bound! You’ll pass the familiar red barn, white fenced horse farm and turn left, back into some country farmland. There are lots of turns here and you will find yourself heading back through familiar territory (the first 3 miles of the course).  Now you can take advantage of the decline on your way back. Get those legs spinning and ready to run!

I love this course and I think anyone doing this race will enjoy it as well. It has enough challenging elements to keep the seasoned triathlete working, definitely a course to seek out a PR and yet gentle enough to be a perfect first at the HalfRev distance (70.3 miles).

Stay tuned for a step-by-step breakdown of the run course!
Here's a hint of what's to come!!