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Showing posts from 2016

Fresh Cranberry and Walnut Scones

When I tinker with recipes to make them my own, my main goal revolves around making a palatablefinal product that I feel excited--not guilty--about eating. During this time of year, I find myself succumbing to the temptation to indulge in the myriad of treats that make their way into my workplace, parties, and social gatherings. Did I mention my house? Also about this time of year, I find the scale to be incredibly unkind, though honest, about my weight. Since September, when my rigorous training schedule concluded, I've had to pay very close attention to my portion sizes and the types of foods I choose for meals.  Recently, I used some PhD Nutrition (recently rebranded to F2C Nutrition) Pharma Whey protein powder in a recipe for scones I created so I could use fresh cranberries I'd found on sale at the grocery store. Generally when baking, I use dried cranberries. Yet I wanted to experiment with the fresh ones since it is the season, after all.  Bryan often chid

XC Supercamp

If I'm not mistaken, I remember Bryan and I sitting on the coach a couple days after the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, in Australia, entertaining the idea of snow. At the time, I struggled with post race doldrums and considered signing up for one of the full races in Cabo and Cozumel when I learned the Foundation slots for Arizona had disappeared. In the end, however, Bryan and I determined it probably suited us better financially if I squelched my cravings to race an Ironman with a late season marathon instead. That way, we could then commit ourselves to learning and exploring a different offseason endeavor: nordic skiing. More specifically, Bryan and I wanted to better understand the techniques associated with improved skate skiing, as we had both found ourselves in seasons past floundering a bit on the immaculately groomed trails on Mt. Spokane. Bryan claims he felt better than that, yet I always came away saturated in sweat, feeling as though I'd just finished fight

Tri Cities Marathon

Photo by Javier Pita This marathon has left me perplexed, surprised, elated, and feeling slightly ridiculous. I never thought success would come in the wake of such intense uncertainty. When I found myself consciously trying to ignore the way I limped across the park the night prior to the race, I couldn't ignore the thought of trying to run (race) the Tri Cities marathon the next day. I hoped that by attributing my pain to the way many of us feel before a big event when everything  hurts, everything would be okay. I even posted to Facebook to put forth my disclaimer of a poor race performance that I envisioned would actually transpire. Perhaps to some, it looked more like a "woe is me" attempt. In some ways, I wondered exactly what I hoped to read from the responses of friends and family. That night, Javier Pita responded to my Facebook post in ways I never imagined anyone might. Also in the Tri Cities preparing to race the next day, he offered me endless words of

Worlds 70.3 Sunshine Coast, Australia: Race recap

Memories from yesterday's race completely overwhelm my train of thought, making it difficult to know where to begin my review. Overall, though, I feel event organizers successfully made athletes feel welcome and special on a weekend designed to showcase some of the best age group athletes of the sport.  My Sunday morning started with me sitting on the beach, waiting for my turn as part of the last of 19 waves to begin the race. I looked out onto the calm waters and felt grateful it still looked as calm as it did when the professionals took off on their journeys. I watched Bryan exit the water and had the pleasure of cheering him onward before I headed over to join my wave. With what sounded like relief, the announcer encouraged us females 18-29 to swim out to the start line, approximately 100m from the shore. As we moved out from under the arch and into the water, the amount of shoving and jostling hardly surprised me. Just as like every other Worlds 70.3 event I've raced,

Countdown to Worlds 70.3: Race week

In an effort to calm my growing pre race jitters, I turn to Blogger to share my profound thanks and appreciation to everyone who has given me the motivation and encouragement to keep working for the ultimate goal I've set out before me. As Bryan and I ate our lunch this afternoon, we reminded ourselves why we sat here on the porch of an AirBnB just outside of Coolum Beach, on the shores of the Sunshine Coast, on a land further than either Bryan and I have ever traveled, in Australia. Ironically, neither of us mentioned that honeymoon we thought this trip would help us to celebrate our recent marriage in June. Rather, the memories of waking up at 4 o'clock in the morning, multiple mornings, one day after another, to finish one workout before work so our arrival might allow us enough time to complete yet another workout midday and/or upon returning home, flooded our minds. When on the Sunshine Coast, relish the sunrise. We have come so far. Yet I found myself smothered i

Countdown to Worlds 70.3: Week 2

Coolum Beach, Queensland, Australia Today, Bryan and I touched down in a new country, in fact, a new continent. I am happy to say that despite enduring an 18+ hour travel excursion, we both enjoyed the waters of the Coral Sea underfoot this evening. In addition, every bag of luggage made it. Regardless of the way TSA violated my bike and the contents of my bike box, my efforts to protect everything with pipe insulation and styrofoam apparently succeeded. The first few days of this week mimicked those of the previous four. However, I remember telling my girls on Monday that indeed, this would be the last 45 minutes of hell that involved running at such a speed that no one, upon awaking on a Monday, would ever like to see before 5 o'clock in the morning. On Wednesday, I informed them that having to endure the boredom of watching their owner run up and down a hill would finally come to an end. What I don't think they had quite prepared themselves for, however, was mom leavin

Countdown to Worlds 70.3: Week 3

We observed from the sidelines our friends and fellow triathletes braving, what had evolved into, a windy afternoon in Coeur d'Alene for today's Ironman event. Even as I contemplate another full distance triathlon sometime in the future, I couldn't help but admit that I enjoyed spectating instead of racing today. For these last 4 weeks, training hard for a half Ironman has stretched me considerably. Yet this week, I seemed to have surpassed my fears of breaking down and actually experienced some of my strongest workouts, to date. My coach has structured my training pretty consistently from week to week. This has allowed me to better (especially with each passing week) mentally prepare for the upcoming training session. Where once I felt nervous for a hard tempo run the day following a track session, I now feel ambitious and eager to nail it. I've only failed to do it once. I figure my odds have improved each week. Thankfully, my dogs have grown accustomed to ushering

Countdown to Worlds 70.3: Week 4

No words can possibly describe what I feel. I hope for confidence; I exude fatigue. If I thought last week felt hard, this week brought me to my knees. The Coach says it's supposed to feel that way, and I'm to, "please stay healthy." Believe me, I'm doing all I can to keep my body from breaking down. Massages with Elements at Wandermere, foam rolling that makes me wonder what hurts worst, the recovery or the workout, and praying. I do a lot of talking with God these days. Perhaps I'm not quite in denial, but there may exist a mild amount of bargaining. Bryan sent me to bed earlier this week because I had the personality of a "wet dish rag." I never thought I'd take him up on the idea when the clock barely read 7 o'clock in the evening. Yet I did. Since my generally jovial self has taken a turn for the toilet, I suppose at least my training had better stay sharp. Derek has outlined a week that looks much like last week. What I learned this g

Countdown to Worlds 70.3: Week 5

I nearly choked last Saturday when I pulled up my training plan Derek had posted for the upcoming week. It seems he understood my second goal in this countdown to Worlds: focus on my run. It was with great pleasure that I've embraced what that means, as he'd scheduled a total of 6 runs for me to pursue. My Clifton 2's by Hoka One One and I have never had so much time together. After one week in this budding relationship, I have never felt so comfortable with any pair of running shoes. (Bryan feels no jealousy. Believe me.) I hit Riverside's newly paved trail section, just a five minute run from my home, early Monday morning with my two best running partners, Maci and Ryder. (Again, Bryan doesn't loathe this at all.) Not quite light yet, I felt grateful for smooth asphalt because after just a 10 minute warm up, we embarked on a 30 minute interval at my 10k race pace. Initially, the only thoughts running through my head were that just 30 minutes ago, I remember how

Countdown to Worlds 70.3: Week 6

Recovery week. It's one of those times I realize the benefits of having a coach. After last week's race in Calgary, my body felt surprisingly good. On Monday, Bryan and I made the 8-hour drive back to Spokane (Nine Mile Falls), opting to knock it out in one day rather than take two. If we accomplished nothing else, we allowed my mother the opportunity to sleep in her own bed one day sooner than previously planned. (House-sitting at the Rowe household is not for the faint of heart.) Yet I'll proffer a second achievement. I didn't find myself trying to run an "easy" run the day after my race. I've made the mistake of attempting an easy workout, namely a run, the day after a race. In the end, it cost me the benefits of what a recovery week is supposed to supply. This past week, however, I feel I've upheld my "coachable athlete" status, following Derek's suggested return to activity to a "T." This morning, the hour and a half bi

Calgary 70.3

I sat in my doctor's office, eleven days out from race day, concerned about general malaise and a nagging cough. My head told me my chance of racing Calgary 70.3 would be slim to none, but I hoped my doctor might think to prescribe me something that could cut the recovery time down significantly. I walked out with a perscription for an antibiotic and prayed to God that perhaps this would quell my acute bronchitis and keep it from manifesting into something bigger and more disabling. Naturally, I wanted to push my luck when I felt better three days later. Again, I credit my coach for encouraging me to take the time to heal. Derek even tried to distract me with recipes for chicken soup and ginger teas. I made both. Thankfully, I recovered soon enough that I didn't have to attempt his third suggestion, which involved sitting under a sheet in my bathtub, naked, soaking in the steam from a pot of boiling water with healing herbs. Believe me, I would have done it. This time, howev

Ironman Coeur d'Alene 70.3

After the last two years of weather disasters for athletes attempting to compete in the Ironman CDA event, I remember thinking to myself as I'm registering for the inaugural 70.3, It will only be half as far to endure twice the normal amount of heat and wind. Perfect. Imagine what my thoughts primarily revolved around about 10 days out from race day? Just how accurate is this Weather App anyway? It seemed with each passing day, the weather only improved. Where once the temperatures hovered in the 90s, they suddenly started to plummet into the 80s. As a result, coming off a relatively good race for me in Victoria just two weeks prior, I felt relieved that I'd have the chance to use my fitness to my best abilities. Not having to contend with Mother Nature made my job slightly less unpredictable. Race morning had arrived, and walking from our parking spot at NIC toward the Bandshell, I gazed I ntently upon the water. Just last weekend we had come over for a training day to run

Victoria 70.3

For the second year in a row, Bryan and I enjoyed a great weekend up in Victoria, BC, where the skies remained clear, the winds calm, and the temperatures mild so as to prepare a beautiful race venue for us to enjoy. Despite the few changes from last year's course, namely the two-loop bike course turned into one loop and the site of the transition area and Athlete village moved to the opposite end of the lake, virtually everything else felt the same. This race boasts an early start time. Both Bryan and I found ourselves scrambling to find a parking spot, get through transition, and then make the long walk down to the water. We must remember to bring cheap flip flops next time, as the walk on the gravel trail proved to feel a little too tough for our tender feet. Compared to last year's wave start, race organizers changed the swim to a rolling start, in which (ideally) athletes would self seed into a chute based on their predicted swim finish times. What organizers did not ac

Troika Olympic Triathlon

Yesterday I put my pre season training and fitness to the test in preparation for the commencement of 2016's triathlon season. I placed 1st at the Negative Split Half Marathon in April, coming off a lower leg injury I'd been struggling with all winter. My fitness wasn't quite where I wanted it, but I figured it served as a good start to the year. I raced Bloomsday in May, running it 75 seconds slower than last year, but with a respectable time (for me) of 49:04.  Negative Split half marathon. Leading up to Troika's Olympic distance triathlon, I felt prepared, but tentative. The forecast predicted rain and cold. Combined with Medical Lake's notorious winds, I thought my good luck with regard for race day weather conditions had finally come to an end. Yet I was happily surprised by mild temperatures, clearing skies, and relative calmness as Bryan and I made our way over from Nine Mile Falls.  Sure enough, Medical Lake's water looked enticing. When w