Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy New Year - Start it right!

I don't understand why people go out and party on New Years Eve only to wake up to the New Year feeling like crap.  I am not someone who wants to start a New Year off with a major hangover.  I would rather wake up refreshed and ready to start my New Year with a great ride or run!  Yes maybe I am a little weird and you don't have to start your New Year with a 20 mile run BUT don't start it with a hangover.  Have a fun New Years Eve, don't drink too much and start the New Year feeling great and full of energy.  Go and get in a good workout and enjoy the beginning of a NEW YEAR!  I hope your New Year is filled with health and happiness.  You are the only one that can make a difference in your body.  Remember your health is important so take care of it and take care of your body because it is the only one you will get! Happy New Year!

Friday, December 16, 2011

I know its hard but just do it!

This time of year it is such a challenge to stay motivated but this time of year is really critical to your performance next year.  It is the best time to work on technique in all areas of the triathlon sport.  In each area you can focus on key elements of your training:
  • Swim - this is a great time to add some drills into your swim set.  I have athletes do some other strokes during this time of year.  Incorporating back and breast stroke will help strengthen your freestyle swim. 
  • Bike - this is the time to add some cadence and single leg drills into your training.  These are best done on the trainer and will help improve your performance on the bike.  Increasing your cadence on the bike will be beneficial during your race season!
  • Run - Some of your easy/moderate medium distance runs, pick one area to focus on.  Some example are:
    • Cadence - 90 steps per minute
    • Arm movement - make sure your not crossing over in front or hunching your shoulders.
    • Mid-foot landing - many runners heal strike and don't even realize it.
    • Minimize your impact by listening to your run...can you hear your landing? You should not be able to hear yourself run.
  • Strength training - do two days of strength training a week.  During the race season it may be hard to even do one day.  This time of year try and add an additional day. 
Most important don't become lazy and think you will get back in the pool in January or February or think you will get back on the bike at a later date.  Maintain your fitness in all areas during the off season!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What's Your Goal?

Let me start by saying this blog post can apply to anyone out there. You don’t have to be a runner or triathlete for this to hit home. I have always been the type of person that needs a goal. I need a challenge or I don’t seem to be content. With 2011 coming to an end I am starting to think about next year. I am also reflecting on 2011. This was a pretty good year for me. I had a PR (personal record) in a Half Ironman and a Full Ironman. My PR at Miami 70.3 was a total time of 5:18. My previous best time was at the Honu Half in Hawaii at 5:21. I had a PR for an Ironman in Texas. My time was 11:41. My previous PR was at Ironman Arizona at 12:11. In addition to my two PR’s I started dating someone who is also a triathlete. It was pretty difficult for me to find someone who could keep up with me but Michael had done a great job! Not all my races were great races in 2011. In fact my first race of the season in February was one of my worst races. I had one of my slowest times for a Half Ironman in Costa Rica. My time was close to 7 hours. I had traveled all the way to Costa Rica to have a horrible race. I ended up getting sick a week before the race. The doctor said I shouldn’t go. With everything paid for I went and raced. I had a respiratory infection and asthma. It was difficult to start my season with a bad race. I had another Half Ironman in April so hopefully I could redeem myself and get my confidence back. I went into this race with only a few expectations. It was a training race for my Full Ironman in May. I wanted to have a good run for this race. I took it easy on the bike and swim. It worked because my run was one of my best. I placed 1st in my age group and got my confidence back. The second race was perfect for rebuilding my confidence going into my Ironman.
My 2012 race schedule is already set. It looks like this:
  • January - Phoenix Marathon  
    • My goal here is to PR with a 3:35 however 3:30 would be great!
  •  February – Panama 70.3
    •  My goal is to PR at 5:15 however 5:10 would be awesome! A secondary goal would be to qualify for 70.3 Championships in Las Vegas. This could be tough depending on the competition.
  •  April – Rage Half
    • This is just a training race for my full Ironman in Texas
  •  May – Ironman Texas
    •  My goal is to PR at 11:30
  • July – Escape from Alcatraz
    •  My goal is to beat my previous time at this race
  •  October – Pumpkinman Half Ironman
    • My goal is to beat my previous time at this race
  • November – Roth Challenge Full Ironman Distance in South Africa
    •  I don’t really know what to expect here. I am doing this race because my boyfriend is from South Africa and wants to do it.
How will I get faster next year? What is my plan? I have already started to incorporate a few things into my training that will help me get faster.
  • Running – I will alternate track/hill workouts into my training. I have previously done very little of this ( I really hate speed work)
  • I am swimming with a group (masters) once a week and other days I usually swim with clients. Previously I mostly swam alone. Swimming with others will push me out of my comfort zone.  
  •  Running with others. I run a lot with my boyfriend and sometimes with other clients. This tends to push me a little harder. Previously I did most of my training solo. 
  •  My diet (although still not perfect) has improved. I have added much more veggies into my diet. The antioxidants from more veggies will certainly help with recovery. I have added more protein for recovery. Most of these changes are thanks to the good influence of my boyfriend who is a much better cook than me.  
  •  More stretching and foam rolling. I definitely slacked on this last year. 
Hopefully I did not bore everyone to death with my plan for next year. So remember when I said that planning for 2012 could apply to everyone not just triathletes and runners? Everyone needs to have a goal. As you go into a new year it is a great time to set a goal. I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions but I love goal setting! Everyone had some successes in 2011 and some failures in 2011. It is time to reflect on both and learn from both. Believe it or not I learned some things from my bad race in February. I learned that I could do almost anything I set my mind to. I was really sick and wanted to quit that race many times throughout that day. I didn’t quit and I was proud of myself for that. I could have easily quit and nobody would have thought I was weak. Let’s face it I was pretty sick. I learned some of the challenges my clients face when they are out there racing for almost 7 hours. I was very humbled. Hopefully from any failures you had during 2011 you learned some things about yourself. Hopefully what you learn will help you achieve your goals in 2012.
Start thinking about your goals for 2012 and your plan to make them happen. Make sure you write your goals and the plan to achieve them. Verbalize those goals to important people around you. I have just verbalized mine to a lot of people! Make sure your goals are realistic. I would love to do a 10:30 Ironman race but that is not very realistic being that my fastest time is 11:41. If you are trying to lose weight set a short term and long term goal for the year. If you want to lose 50lbs in 2012 that is great. However a year is a long time and you may lose focus throughout the year with one broad goal. Break your goal into 3 month segments. Each segment should have specific steps to help you lose your weight. This will help your eating habits become more of a lifestyle. Don’t think about what you have to give up. Think about what you have to add to your diet to become a healthier person.
Your goals for 2012 may be totally different than what my goals are but hopefully they will make you a healthier and happier person in 2012.


Thursday, November 3, 2011

It’s Over Now What?

Today I finally felt like I was getting back to normal after my half ironman on Sunday.  I did the Miami 70.3 – 5 days ago.  Normally I get back into the pool a few days after any race.  I take it easy but I always get moving right away. I do this after any event even an Ironman.  This race was different.  We made it a very quick trip to Miami and when I returned I couldn’t seem to get enough sleep.  Between the jet lag, race and the end of the season I was tired. We got back early Monday morning and I went to work that afternoon.  I didn’t sleep well while in Miami and it all caught up to me!   Having no energy is a very weird feeling for me. I am always on the go and full of energy.  I rarely go more than one day without some type of exercise.  Today I finally got into the pool for an easy swim.  It felt great to get moving.  After I write this I plan on going for a short run with my dogs.  This week will be easy.  I don’t have any more races for 2011.  My race season for 2012 is going to begin early in the year with the Phoenix Full Marathon in January.  My training for that will begin next week.  My season for next year is already planned.  I am doing the following races for 2012
·         January – Phoenix Marathon
·         April – Rage Half Ironman
·         May – Ironman Texas
·         June – Escape From Alcatraz
·         October – Pumpkinman Half Ironman
·         November – Roth Challenge South Africa
It is that time of year to start planning your 2012 race season.  You will need to choose what races are your A races and what races will be B and C races.  B and C races will be used for training for your A race.  The A race(s) are the most important races for the year.  You should not have all your races A races however you can have 2-3 A races. 
Now that your season is over don’t slack on the discipline that you don’t like to do.  Many people stop or limit doing what they don’t like to do.  So many people stay out of the pool in the winter because they like swimming the least and because it’s cold outside.  Get your butt in the pool!  This is a great time of year to work on developing your technique.  If it is too cold to ride outside get some Spinnerval DVD’s and do some work on your indoor trainer.  Limit or eliminate the spin classes in the gym and do work on your trainer if you can’t ride outside.  This will be much more beneficial for your upcoming race season.  Now is also the time to think about getting a triathlon coach if you don’t already have one.  Many people wait until a few months before their race to get a coach.   Your coach needs this time to get to know your strengths and weaknesses.  This is a great time to get a coach and set your season up to be a successful one. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Last Race of the Year

Early in the year my boyfriend wanted me to do the Half Ironman in Miami on October 30th. I hesitated for a while before making a decision. I hesitated because my race season started early in February doing a Half Ironman in Costa Rica, another half in Vegas, full Ironman in May, several Olympic and Sprint distances and finally Miami in October. I knew by the time October came I would be burnt out on racing. I ended up signing up and was actually feeling pretty good about the race in the weeks leading up to it. I let him book our travel (one less thing for me to have to worry about). I must say it was nice not having to think about some of the small details. We left for the airport Friday morning to catch a 10:30 flight. He said we arrived in Miami at 8:30pm. I thought that seemed like a long time. Come to find out he booked a flight with 2 stops before getting to Miami. Lesson number one……next time I will book the flights. He did however take some healthy food for our day long adventure. Thank god he brought it because I would have been starving if he didn’t bring his mixture of ground turkey, egg whites, brown rice and spinach. That is one problem with traveling for events. It is so important leading up to an event that you eat really and hydrate really well. That is sometimes hard to do in an airport.
Going into this race, I could possibly have a PR (personal record). My previous best time at a Half Ironman was at the Honu Half in Hawaii. My time there was 5:21. This was a flat bike course so I should have a fast bike. The run course had a few hills but wasn’t too bad. I was hoping to beat my 5:21 time. Once I saw the weather conditions all my expectations went out the door. I had no idea how I could ride in the rain for 56 miles. The bike is my strength except when it’s raining! The forecast for our race was looking pretty dismal. I am very scared about crashing (I have had a few). Rain and slick roads are really dangerous for biking. Add in lots of wind and it’s not a good combination. Race morning we get up to wind and rain. There was not just a little rain it was pouring rain. I seriously thought about not doing the race. As we were setting up in transition I went to turn on my Garmin (which I use for my pace on the bike and run) and the battery was not charged! As we were leaving for the airport I was going to bring my charger and my boyfriend said to me that my Garmin was charged. Lesson number two……always check your own equipment!
I decided I would do the swim and then see about the bike when I got out of the water. The water was warm enough we could not wear wetsuits. I failed to bring my speed suit so I had to swim in my tri shorts and shirt. I also failed to bring clear goggles. I brought two pair of dark tinted goggles. I was thinking, “hey we are in Miami I will need my dark goggles”. Little did I know it was going to be dark and overcast most of the day. The water was really choppy. It was like a washing machine. My swim time was much slower than normal but at this point I wasn’t even sure if I was going to complete the race. I got out of the water and the rain had subsided to only a mist. I got on my bike and was extra careful for the first 5 miles of the ride. Once I got out of town onto the straight rode I picked up my pace. I really didn’t have a good idea of my pace, cadence, HR or anything because I didn’t have my Garmin. All that I had was a Timex watch. I was able to time myself for each 5 miles on the bike. I was pretty sure I was holding about a 20mph pace. Considering the wind I was pretty happy with that. I was worried about losing air in my tires or getting a flat for most of the ride. The day we packed our bikes to leave for the airport, I had to change my rear tire because it was flat. My new wheels have valve extensions on them and they were not holding air. I also did not have a chance to ride my bike on Saturday to make sure I wouldn’t get a pinch flat from the tire change. A pinch flat can easily happen if you are not careful when changing the tire. I will admit I am not the best at changing tires. Saturday the local bike shop tightened my valves so that they were holding air but I was still concerned for most of the ride. Fortunately nothing bad happened. My nutrition on the bike was great. I was able to stay well hydrated and take in enough calories to set me up for a good run. On the run I decided to carry my own water bottle with carbo pro in it. I usually rely on the aid stations for the run so this was something new during a race. I do this in training but racing is different. It turned out to be great. I used the carbo pro for my calories on the run instead of gels. Gels sometimes upset my stomach on the run. My run was good. It was not my best run time but I was happy with it. I was very happy with my overall time of 5:18 and that placed me 6th in my age group.
My boyfriend also had a PR of 5:38. He beat his previous best time by almost 50 minutes! He did awesome! With all the troubles we encountered leading up to this event and the horrible weather, I have to say it was a good day! He asked me if I want to make this race an annual tradition and I had to say NO but I would do it if he wanted to:)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Swimming and Triathlon Training – Is it all about the speed?

My first (and only) 8k swim
I have always thought that I’ve been a good long distance swimmer with decent stroke mechanics. My swim stroke was videotaped in the pool showing my technique both above and below the water and although there were some minor issues, I thought my mechanics were pretty good. I typically finish middle or top of the pack in most triathlons and in the pool my times have been pretty much the same over the past few years. I am definitely not the fastest when swimming 25’s and 50 sprints in the pool with other swimmers, I don’t sprint well and I don’t like to do it. In fact, people who have worse form than me, most times, beat me at the shorter distances like 25’s and 50’s. This would frustrate most people but I understand my body and understand what I can and can’t do. I don’t sprint well period!
I could however swim forever without becoming fatigued because I swim efficient. When I come out of the water in a triathlon I feel as if I had a good warm up, I am not exhausted or tired. So even though I may not be the fastest swimmer, I am very efficient and am able to save most of my energy for the bike and run.
Many people who compete in triathlons are very focused on their times in the pool but being a fast swimmer doesn’t translate into an efficient swimmer. Swimming for endurance and working on technique does not come over night, it takes years to develop. I am not saying that recording your times is not important; it is always good to know how you’re progressing day to day. If you have a great day in the pool, your times were faster, you felt stronger and you set established some significant improvements on previous times, doesn’t translate into becoming an efficient swimmer. Think about why you had a good day, was it because you had a great night’s sleep? Did you eat well? Did you come off a rest period? So many factors could’ve influenced your great day. Setting faster times is all good and well but how efficient are you and are you finishing with enough energy to complete the remaining 2 disciplines effectively?
This is the time of the time of year that most people are ending their racing season. I find this time of year people get in the pool less frequently or not at all. This time of year you should be working on your technique to become a more efficient swimmer; you should be doing more drills that are technique focused. Think about getting someone to video you in the water so you can see your stroke and mechanics so you can focus on becoming a more efficient swimmer. This will be far more effective for you than focusing on becoming faster. If you can have a good swim in a race and come out of the water feeling energized and ready for the bike that is a good thing! The worst thing you could do is to jack up your heart rate in the swim and come out of the water fatigued.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Race Day!

running to the finish
Sunday I did the Las Vegas Tri.  I had several clients and friends racing so it was bound to be a fun day.  I was doing the sprint race.  I love doing sprints because they are fast and short!  You are done before most people are getting out of bed.  After doing Ironman events a sprint is a walk in the park......well maybe a sprint in the park.  I went into this race very relaxed and just wanted to have fun.  I got right into the front on the swim.  I was prepared to push myself in the swim which I rarely do.  I didn't see anyone ahead of me heading out to the buoy so I felt pretty good.  At the buoy we started catching some of the men that started 5 minutes ahead of us.  Turning at the buoy I only saw a few red caps (red was the female color).  I still felt great and thought I would keep this pace.  At the beginning of the swim I saw Marie who I swim masters with.  She is one of the fastest swimmers I know.  I thought if I could get out of the water even close to her I would be doing good.  She didn't have a wetsuit and I did.  Wetsuits will make you slightly faster in the swim.  Sure enough as we exit the water she is right ahead of me.  I think to myself "I must have had a good swim if Marie is right there."  On to the bike.  It is only 13 miles but it will be all out for 13 miles. I pushed hard on the bike and at the turnaround I thought I saw one girl ahead of me.  Sure enough at the second turnaround I saw her again.  She was far enough it was going to be hard to catch her.  We get to the run and I knew I had to have a good run to maintain 2nd or even attempt 1st.  The run starts out up hill for about 1/4 mile which was tough.  Once I got up the hill I was doing good keeping a 7:20 pace.  I see the girl ahead of me at the 1.5 mile turnaround.  I begin to realize she is too far to catch on a sprint race but I still try to maintain my pace.  I start to get a side cramp and tell myself to run through it with only 1 mile to go.  I slowed to about 7:40 pace until mile 3 because of the side cramp.  I finished and thought I was the 2nd place finisher.  Come to find out the girl ahead of me ran out of the bike out exit and not the run out exit and was disqualified!  OK I will take first place even if it is by default.  I must say the girl was fast and I am not sure I could have pushed any harder. 
Hollie, Jeff and I
Post race talk with Vic
I had a number of clients and friends racing yesterday.  Some did the sprint and some did the Olympic.  I am happy to report everyone did awesome! Jeff G. did his first sprint and won his age group!  Hollie got back into the tri world by racing for the first time since having a baby! Vic is a client that I have who will be doing his first Ironman next year. Sunday he did his first sprint.  Brent, Shawn, Jeff E. all had great races improving previous race times.  Jeff E. will be doing Ironman Arizona in November. My boyfriend Michael got 2nd in his age group, this was the first time he placed in any event!  Nancy Dickenson raced the Olympic and won overall female!  Coach wins sprint, clients wins olympic.....I would call that a good day! She is amazing and will be doing Worlds ITU in November.  She told me she chased down two girls on the run yeserday to win first place!  I said better to be the chaser than the person getting run down! Overall we all had fun and it was a great day. Thanks to Vic and his wife for taking the great pictures of the race!  The race was done and now it was off to work for this girl! 

I had another client Derrick who completed his first Ironman on Saturday.  He completed the Redman Ironman in under 16 hours!  Excellent job Derrick.

Getting my eagle award (very ugly first place award)

Gary, Michael, Vic

Monday, September 19, 2011

My Experience at 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas

Recently I had the privilege to volunteer to help physically challenged athletes at the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas; it was truly an amazing experience.
My good friend Mike who is the founder of Getting2Tri, an organization that helps challenged athletes participate in events through clinics, training, support, and education, headed up the volunteers for the PC athletes.  
You can read all about them at
Each of the volunteers was assigned to an athlete that they were responsible for helping throughout the day. Nancy and I were assigned a single leg below the knee amputee named Karen, she told us what she would need throughout the day and we were there to help her in any way we could. Karen actually qualified for this race in the age group category NOT the physically challenged; she is an amazing athlete and person! She was so calm race morning with only a few concerns, I had to laugh at my race morning jitters which seem silly in comparison to hers. A challenged athlete has to worry about who will be there to help them into the water, who will help them out of the water, who will help them get off the bike, and who will have their prosthetic limb/s or chair at the end of the race and many more concerns. These are important things to be concerned about when racing, my silly race morning jitters seem meaningless after seeing what she has to go through!
For her that day there was no need to worry because Nancy, Mike and I had it all covered, we eagerly watched for her to come out of the water. We were all on edge waiting for her as any one of the white caps out on the swim course could be her! She made it to the swim exit and we carried her to her prosthetic leg that she would use to ride the bike. The long walk to transition area seemed forever. We got her into the tent and got her transition bag and she was off for the hilly ride. After seeing her safely out of T1, we made our way over to T2 at the Henderson events center and waited for her to come in so we could help her transition into her running prosthetic leg. The transition from her riding prosthetic to her running prosthetic was uneventful and soon she was out onto the very challenging running course. The run course was made up of 3 laps so we were able to see her often and cheer her on. In the end she finished in 8hrs and 11minutes.
All of the PC athletes were amazing, one truly gets a sense of the drive and determination of these amazing athletes - there was an amazing guy who was a double amputee, who had no right arm and only half a left arm. You can see a picture of him in my post; he wanted to do everything on his own, truly amazing!! I am not sure how he does it, many able bodied people would not be able to do a 70.3 with BOTH ARMS!!
The ITU World Championship for long  course will be in Las Vegas on November 5th.  We will be looking for PC volunteers for this race so if you are interested in volunteering please contact be.  It will truly be a life changing experience!

Here is a volunteer video from the 70.3 World Championships.  You can see me and a few other PC volunteers at about 2 minutes 17 seconds into the video. 

Nancy, Karen, and I at swim start

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Injuries, 70.3 World Championships, and The Life of a Trainer

It has been a long time since my last post so be prepared for some random thoughts that have been on my mind!  I am happy to report my training is going good.  I am preparing for the Miami 70.3 at the end of October.  After that a little break then the Arizona Rock and Roll Marathon in January (which I hope to PR at). Then 2012 will start off strong just like 2011 with the Rage Half Ironman in Las Vegas followed by Ironman Texas once again. 

My hope for all that training is to stay injury free.  The goal of most triathletes is to be able to continue their training without any injuries.  I have been really lucky through the years and not had any major set backs.  Not to say I don't have little bothersome problems here and there but nothing that has kept me from training completely.  The great thing about being a triathlete is that you have 3 sports.  If you are unable to run for a short time then it is likely you can bike or swim.  So you can still maintain some fitness while you recover.  I have worked with athletes that have had injuries that prevented them from running and I always suggest deep water running.  If you can't run then don't feel like it is over for you.  You can get many of the same benefits from deep water running as you can from regular running.  I know people that have trained for triathlons doing only deep water running as their run training.  The only thing you need is a pool with a deep end and a water belt that will help keep you floating. 

Here are some tips (things that I do) to keep injury free:
  • Listen to your body and your coach.  If you feel anything slightly out of the norm for you then talk to your coach.  Maybe they will suggest a few days of an alternate workout depending on your problem.  Don't just modify things yourself without getting  advice.
  • Swimming, biking, and running are great but don't forget about 3 other things that are equally important
    • Stretching   ( I stretch by myself about 3 times a week and have someone who stretches me once a week for an hour)  Nancy Dickenson is the best at stretching and you can find her contact information at
    • Foam roll
    • Strength training
  • One or two times a month get ART! Active Release Therapy has really helped me in my training. Make sure you find someone qualified in ART Therapy -  I personally use Dr. Satterlee at BioMechanics of Las Vegas -
  • Massage is another way to keep your body healthy.  Find a great sports massage therapist and try and get it done at least once a month.  In Las Vegas Ashley Godfrey and Jessica Wheeler are the best.  Contact me if you live in Vegas and need a good sports massage therapist.
  • If you are experiencing continued problems with injuries then you might need someone to evaluate you when you are running, swimming, or biking.  Running with improper form can lead to injuries.  Biking on a bike that is improperly fit can cause injuries (and you may feel these injuries when running only not even when you bike).  Biking on a bike that is not fit right can absolutely cause you problems on your run! If have bad form swimming it could lead to shoulder problems. Get help if you have ongoing injuries.  The Chi Running Clinics are very beneficial for beginning and advanced runners.  Chi Running is all about running injury free -
This coming weekend we are lucky to have the 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas!  It will be amazing to see most of the top triathletes in the world compete here in Vegas.  I will be helping my good friend Mike Lenhart the founder of Getting 2 Tri -  G2Tri provides service and support for any challenged athlete that is looking to get into the sport of triathlons.  Mike is helping to coordinate the volunteers for the physically challenged athletes that will be competing at the 70.3 World Championships on September 11th.  I will be one of those volunteers along with many of my clients. 

It is my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.......that is how I feel about what I do.  I am one of the lucky people that get to go ride bikes with clients, swim with clients and get paid to do it!  Many people are working at jobs that they really don't LOVE or even like and they are not sure how to make the change.  For me it was not something that happened over night.  When working in retail as a district manager I made the decision to get my personal training certification.  I didn't plan on using it, I just wanted to do it.  So I did and I maintained the certification for many years before making the leap to do it full time as a job.  I did it for a year in Atlanta.  I didn't make much money but I was doing something I really enjoyed.  After a year I decided to return to  the retail world and earn significantly more money.  I was 2 years back into the retail career and I knew this was not what I wanted anymore.  The extra money was not worth the stress.  This time I was going to start my own personal training business.  I moved back to Las Vegas and started networking my butt off!  I contacted people I knew when I lived there three years ago.  I struggled for about 6 months.  Then things started to fall into place.  At that point I knew I could do this and make a pretty good living.  I am able to be successful as a personal trainer and triathlon coach and I am so thankful for that.  To be successful as a trainer you have to be successful in business.  A trainer needs to know about the body and have the skills to train people but having people skills and business skills are just as important.  You can be the smartest trainer and know more about the human body than anyone but if you can't get clients what good does that do for you.  You can know how to get clients but if you don't have people skills to keep those clients then what good does that do for you.  Many people tell me they want to be a trainer or a coach and I always tell them its not just about being a trainer.  You have to be a smart business person and you have to have good communication skills.  Many great trainers lack both of those skills. 
That is a few things that have been on my mind lately.  I will try not to be such a slacker in updating my blog.  Check back next week and I will recap my adventure volunteering at the 70.3 World Championships and Interbike!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Vineman 2011 - Surrender to win

Vineman Full Race Recap from Greg Bailey - Congratulations Greg!
I quit.
At the mile 18 aide station I looked at the assorted drinks and foods, the encouraging volunteers, the other racers, and couldn’t rally.  The people and the race nutrition were a blur and neither of them I could imagine ingesting.
I signed up for the 140.6 mile Vineman because I thought it would be an “easy” flat course and the half ironman was already sold out.  Not a problem, with a great tri coach and 9 months to prepare I should be able to knock it out without a problem.  I learned that  no ironman race is easy (especially the first one) and the Vineman was anything but flat.  This Vineman was their biggest ever with 1100 entered in the event.
The Vineman swim was in the Russian river composed  two crowded laps of athletes from the full, the aquabike, and the woman’s only half called Barb’s race.  It was the first time I couldn’t get clear and just swim but at least the water was a perfect temperature, fresh water, and no waves.  I finished the swim at 1:17 well below my goal time of 1:30.  Everything was good including my wife Colleen who had volunteered and was at T1 to help me out of my wet suit. Could this race be this easy?
The bike was a 112 mile two loop course of rolling hills  including climbs over “Chalk Hill”.  The roads were rural and very rough with potholes and raised fissures.  Seven hours of constant shifting, grinding uphills, and dodging road hazards had me mentally and physically tired.  Finally the thoughts of an easy race went out the window the second time I saw Chalk Hill.  I did stay on plan with 2 liters of water/Gatorade and Hammer nutrition, food was much harder and getting my calories with liquids was the way to go.  Rolling into T2 exhausted I had some serious doubts about a finish but Colleen was there to keep me  focused.
One of the big mistakes that I made on this race was that I never laid eyes on the course and really didn’t even look at an elevation map of the run.  This run course had hills and I left my climbing muscles on the bike.  Gatorade, Coke , water, pretzels then run at each aid station. After the first  8.5 mile loop I was optimistic again.  I looked at my pace of 5.5 miles per hour did some simple calculations and believed I could actually finish the marathon in 5 hours!  By the middle of the second loop my pace was down to 4.5 miles per hour and I was hurting.  Colleen wasn’t at there at the end of the second loop and I was seriously done.
Running/shuffling now at 3.5 miles an hour I just decided that I would go to the 20 mile marker, then 21 through 24 passed by in a daze.  When it hit me that I had just a couple miles left I started sprinting at a blistering pace of 3.3 miles per hour.  Colleen met me with one mile remaining  and ran with me all the way in to the finish.  The rush of emotions crossing the finish line was amazing and it actually made the hundreds of hours of training a small price to pay.
I’m so proud to be an ironman athlete and so grateful to Colleen, Cyndee, Madison and everyone that believed in me.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Race day recap it was another good one.....kind of

Last weekend I went to California to compete in the Strawberry Fields Olympic Triathlon.  It is in Oxnard,CA just North of LA.  We left Saturday with the race being on Sunday.  I did this race last year and loved the flat, fast course.  I wanted to beat my last year time of 2:22.  This is not one of my "A" races this year so I did not put a lot of pressure on myself.  The weather and water conditions were going to be great.  Last year the ocean was a little rough and the water was really cold.  This year 1 foot swells was all that we had and water temp. was great.  Just a little wind for the bike and that was it.  This bike course is super flat and only 24 miles.  Last year I did the bike course in 1:01 and this year I did it in 58 minutes!  I got caught up in competing with two others on the race course.  Let me be clear......this is usually not something ANYONE should do.  You need to always race your own race and stick to your plan!  But I know how hard it is to fall into this scenario.  Someone rides past think, "I can go faster than her/him" pass them pushing a lot harder than you should.....and the cycle repeats itself.  Well for me it repeated for 24 miles.  There was a girl that was really fast on the bike and a guy and we all played the game for 24 miles.  I rode much harder than I should have.  I got to the run course and only managed to be with the girl for about 2 minutes.  She kicked my butt on the run.  My run was about 3 minutes slower than last year.  I am totally sure that it was because I pushed much harder than I should have on the bike.  In the end my overall time was faster than last year by 4 minutes and my total time was 2:18 but it was mostly because my swim was better.  I should have stuck to my plan and tried for a 1hr bike and probably could have had a sub 45 run. This becomes even more critical in the longer events such as Half and Full Ironman. I finished 8th overall and 2nd in my age group. There were some FAST people this year even with a better time I placed lower than last year!    This race reminded me of what I tell my clients and what I said at the beginning......race your own race and stick to your plan! Here we are after the race.  Both Greg and Michael had great races too.  Congratulations to them!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Swim with Swimmers, Run with Runners, and Cycle with Cyclists to become a better triathlete!

I must admit I am a person who trains a lot by myself when I am training for a long event like an Ironman.  Some people seem to prefer to train with other triathletes in a group.  I have always thought whatever works for you is best.  Everyone is different when it comes to what motivates you.  But when you hit a plateau you need to make some changes. 

I recently felt this way with my swimming.  I am a good swimmer and love swimming long intervals.  I hate doing anything fast. I do incorporate some speed work into my training but I am not getting any faster.  I even swim with other triathletes to motivate me and push myself.  Last week I decided to go swim with Viva Las Vegas Masters.  This group is made up of some really great swimmers (not just triathletes).  We did a variety of strokes and I really pushed myself in the pool.  I thought I was getting quality swims until I went to swim with them.  We did a variety of strokes which for any triathlete is really great to do but many never do them.  When I swim with on my own I add a little variety with the different strokes but I can't say I push myself like I did when swimming with the masters group.  Swimming with this group made me think about my training overall.  How am I going to get faster in my training?  Maybe its not a bad idea to swim with swimmers, run with runners, and cycle with cyclists!  I think at times it could push you over a plateau in your training.  Training with someone better than you might push you harder than you would like to go or would have one your own. 
I am going to continue my swimming with the masters group and hopefully I will get faster in the pool.  The Viva Las Vegas Masters swim group is a small group in Summerlin.  As a coach who is always the one on deck telling people what to do it was a good change to have someone tell me what to do.  It was hard but as always it was a good feeling to be pushed to my limit!  Oh and they said that was an EASY workout that night.  I will let you know how my next masters swim class goes so stay tuned!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Top Ten Summer Shape-Up Tips

Summer is here and everyone is thinking about getting healthy, fit, and looking great!  Here are some small changes that you can do that will help you look and feel great! 
1.       Eat fresh food not processed foods.  Anything that has more than 5 ingredients in the label should be avoided. 
2.       Eat small meals throughout the day. Eat 5-6 small meals throughout the day. Prepare your meals ahead of time
to avoid impulse eating. 
3.       Try to get 5 servings from protein a day, 5 vegetables, 1-2 good carbohydrates (this may vary depending on
your activity level) and 1 fat.
A serving size is about the size of your palm.  If you wait to eat when you are really hungry you waited too long.  When you finish eating you should not be
stuffed or really full.  Eat small meals every 2-3 hours.  Planning is the key to success!  Track your food intake on a log or phone application.
4.       Vary your workouts and don’t always do the same thing! Do a variety of cardiovascular exercise. The treadmill, bike, stair climber, swimming, and elliptical are all great options.
5.       Do resistance training at least 2-3 days a week. Resistance training (weight training) will build muscle and muscle fuels your metabolism to burn calories.  
6.       Drink plenty of water.  Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water.  If you wait until you are thirsty you are likely dehydrated. Drink frequently and if you are outside in the summer you should drink more than 8 glasses a day!  Dehydration can cause you to feel fatigued and get headaches.  Drinking plenty of water is essential for you to feel great and keep your skin healthy. Each day start with a full gallon and strive to finish it by the end of the day.
7.    Avoid caffeine, soda, energy drinks, and alcohol.  Some of these contain caffeine which will dehydrate you.  Some of them also contain sugar which is empty calories and can cause a sugar crash. A sugar crash will give you a quick energy boost for a short time and then you will suddenly crash and be really tired. Alcohol is empty calories and will dehydrate you. 
8.      Avoid sugar all together!  Don’t get your calories from sugary drinks either.  This includes fruit juices which may seem healthy.  You are better off drinking more water and less sugary drinks.
9.       Don’t eat just because you are bored. If you tend to snack at night, then find an activity that will keep you busy at that time.
10.    Take a good multiple vitamin and mineral supplement. When you are exercising and in the summer heat you sweat and lose minerals through your sweat.  It is very hard to replenish everything through your diet. Get a good multiple vitamin at a health food store.  Some good products are Alive Multiple Vitamin by Natures Way or GNC’s Women’s Ultra Mega. If you sweat a lot in the heat or when you exercise you may want to also get a mineral supplement in addition to the multiple vitamin.  One other supplement that is great for
keeping your energy levels high is COQ10.  Make sure you get the form Ubiquinol and take 100mg a day! This provides cellular energy. 

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at:
Train With Cyndee

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Simple Tips to Slim Down

Here are some easy things you can do to ensure success with your weight loss goals:
  1. Studies show that people that track their food intake have greater success with weight loss.  Track your food intake each day EVEN if you have a bad day!  Use simple phone applications to make it easy.  I like myfitnesspal!  Make sure to pay attention to all indicators not just calories.  Watch things like protein, sugar, fat, sodium, and fiber.  Fiber will keep you feeling full and more satisfied and the goal should be between 20-30 grams a day!
  2. Plan your week of meals on Sunday.  Prepare food for several days so you don't grab bad choices at the last minute.  Place each meal in individual containers.
  3. Don't have unhealthy food choices in your house and this means even if you have kids.  People often tell me they snack on their kids food sometimes when nothing else is available or because its easy.  Why would you want to feed your children junk?  Keep healthy choices around the house for you and your kids!
  4. Manage your time.  Use lunch hour to get a walk or run in.  Include kids on your walk or bike ride in the evening or on weekends.
  5. Track your water intake and ensure you are getting enough each day.  Start with a full gallon of water and strive to finish it by the end of the day.  Don't just estimate and assume you are drinking enough.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Losing Weight and Being Healthy.....It's Not Just About the Exercise!

Today was another great day for me.  I am so thankful everyday that I have a job that I love.  I worked training people from 5am to 7am.  Then I had a break so I ran 9-miles on the treadmill.  I had to teach aqua class from 9 to 11.  Then a little break to go home and check on the dogs.  Back to work to teach spin then go for a swim with Michael and Hollie.  After my swim one more client to train then home to the dogs!  I must say that was a good day.  I had people around me that made me laugh.  I have my dogs around everyday to make me smile. 

You might ask why I am telling you about my day.  Well my job wasn't always this great.  My life wasn't always this stress-free. I worked in the corporate world for almost 20 years.  I worked in retail as a district manager and supervised at times up to 30 stores.  It did not matter how many hours I worked, there was ALWAYS work to be done.  Lack of sleep and stress were always a battle.  I trained for 3 Ironman events while trying to manage my work, training, and life.  I finally came to the conclusion that there would always be work to be done, no matter how many hours I worked.  I stopped killing myself and still was able to perform within my bosses expectations. But eventually I gave it up to be a trainer and do what I really love!  Not everyone can do that. 

Many people begin exercising to become healthier, be fit, feel better, and lose weight.  The first thing they do is begin an exercise program.  That is a great start but there are MANY other components to leading a healthy life.  If all you do is start exercising you may be disappointed at your results.  If you are sleeping less to get up earlier to exercise you may be negating all your hard effort in the gym.  Lack of sleep could cause you to feel tired and could lead to weight gain!  Lack of sleep could affect your cortisol levels which is a hormone that if elevated could cause weight gain.  Cortisol also causes muscle breakdown.  So if you are going to the gym lifting weights to gain muscle you may be sadly mistaken. Lack of sleep and stress increase cortisol which causes muscle breakdown defeating all your hard effort weight training. Not to mention if your diet hasn't changed and you are not eating enough protein you will have a hard time putting on muscle. If you begin exercising don't sacrifice your sleep! 
So lets decide to workout because you want to become healthier. So you give up some sleep.  You still are stressed at work, haven't had time to really commit to eating healthy but are trying to make better choices.  You are frustrated because you are spending time exercising, your more tired, and not losing weight.  Sound familiar?
I see some of the same people in the gym working out everyday for hours.  Some of them come to my classes (aqua or spin), they do weight training, spending up to 2-3 hours at the gym each day.  I am amazed these people are overweight (seriously) for years....nothing changes.  All the time they spend in the gym and NOTHING!  If you are spending more than an hour in the gym and you are overweight, not losing weight, something is wrong with your program.

Becoming healthier, feeling better, and losing weight involves many things not just exercise.  We all have very busy lives but no matter how busy you must make being healthier a priority.  If you don't make health a priority and live at your job, there may be a point where you are forced to take time off due to a health related illness. You need to focus on all of the aspects of being healthy NOT just exercising.  Here are all of the important things you must do in order to be healthy:
  1. Eat Healthy
  2. Exercise
  3. Flexibility
  4. Get 8 hours of quality sleep
  5. Drink plenty of water
  6. Take essential vitamins
  7. Reduce stress (yoga, meditation, relaxation)
  8. Surround yourself with positive people that make you laugh....remove   negativity as much as possible
  9. Time management and don't live at your job
I am sure there is more that I am leaving out but these are some of the important ones.  Take time to focus on all areas of your health rather than just exercise.  It is all important! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm Here to Win - Great Book!

A week ago I was in the bookstore on a break from work looking for the follow-up book to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  I only went into the bookstore for that book and I saw Chris McCormacks new book, I'm Here To Win.  Chris McCormack is a professional triathlete that recently won Kona in 2010 and also did in 2007. I decided to get the book and check it out.  I am not a huge fan of any professional triathlete in particular but I thought maybe he had something interesting to say.  When I told a few people I bought his book and was going to start reading it they said, "oh he is pretty cocky and full of himself."  I thought, well I am gonna read it and see what he has to say.  I must say it has been a really great book.  He has some great stories about his training in the beginning of his career.  Some of the stories  I have experienced myself even as an age group competitor.  I was amazed to see that even at his level he sometimes has some of the same feelings I have experienced while racing.  He also gives great advice to anyone who has trained for an Ironman or is thinking about training for an Ironman.  Lastly, I think after reading the book you may see why people think he is cocky and arrogant.  He is just plain honest unlike most people at his level.  He tells it like it is and I think that is the best anyone can do.  I can't stand people that say things that everyone wants to hear.  Chris McCormack is not someone who will tell you what you want to hear and because of that people may find him arrogant.  I would suggest if you are a fan of his or not you pick up the book and read it. I guarantee you will come away with some good advice. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Post Race Blues - Get Out of The Funk!

It never fails......I plan a big race a year in advance, train hard for months, the big day finally arrives and the excitement of getting there is amazing.  The joy of finishing almost indescribable.  The feeling lasts for several days and then a week later I find myself restless and ready for something else.
I raced at Ironman Texas May 21st, 2011. This was my 5th Ironman to complete.  The best feeling I have had in my life is crossing the finish line at an Ironman.  It is amazing and even better if the race went well like my latest one.  I was stoked and felt like I was in the best shape of my life.  I had my best performance and recovered better and faster than any other Ironman race.  Now its two weeks later and I am already restless without a big event right around the corner.  I have the same feeling I have had after every big event in my training history.  I don't have any big events immediately around the corner and to top it off I have cut back on my training.  All of which is good for my body to rest but I feel blah!  That is the only way to explain it.  No big workouts, light training and no endorphine rush!  Being an expert in fitness as a triathlon coach and personal trainer I know my body needs some easy weeks of training after an Ironman.  But my mind doesn't want that.  I get a rush out of training hard and having a goal approaching.  I can't explain why I am like that but it keeps me happy and my mind healthy.  My next big race isn't until October.  I have a few smaller ones throughout the summer but nothing major.  I know I am not the only person to experience post Ironman blues.  I have talked to others and they get what I am saying.  It is an uneasy and unfocused feeling. 

So what is my strategy to get me back on track?
  1.  Take this time to get personal stuff done that was put on the back burner for the past few months.
  2. Try some new things.  I recently bought the TRX training kit and will be doing this in place of strength training for a month.  I have been wanting to do this for a while. 
  3. Work on improving my speed and focus on a few shorter distance races throughout the summer.
  4. Focus more on flexibility by incorporating hot yoga into my schedule.  I will continue to see Coach Nancy once a week for my stretch session.....she is amazing and keeps my body healthy through all the training.  Check her out at
  5. Put more time into my personal training business and triathlon coaching business. My business is busy but there are several things I have wanted to do to make it better.  This is the time to do it!
Hopefully my mind will soon get out of the funk and get focused with my plan. 

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Faster, Stronger, and Better with Age?

    Landing in Houston I was dreading the Ironman Texas race on Saturday because I felt the humid, hot, temperatures when I walked out of the airport.  I have come to realize my body doesn't like to race in extreme weather in either direction too hot or too cold.  I race best when the weather is just right! (OK who doesn't) My training in Vegas did not consist of much heat training because this year has been exceptionally nice in Vegas.  I have had virtually NO humid weather training other than the fiasco in Costa Rica in February. (you can read my blog on my Costa Rica race if you want a laugh) Going into Ironman Texas I was less than confident about my upcoming performance.  My training was enough to get through the race but less than I have trained for in other Ironman races.  The funny thing is I was not nervous or uneasy about the race at all.  I think being less confident about my training might have been a good thing.  I didn't put pressure on myself and was just there to have fun and finish in under 13 hours.  On this course that shouldn't be a problem.  The course itself was a flat bike and run.  It was not like some other Ironman races with tons of hills like St. George. 
    It is funny because in other Ironman races I always have a variety of emotions all day during the race.  I question why I decided to do the race, I want to quit, I get excited from fans cheering, the emotions never end.  Saturday in Texas I was pretty level headed all day once I finished the craziness of the swim.  The swim through me for a loop because once again I had to fight through the first half  to survive!  Here is a photo of the madness! I felt like I was fighting for 30 minutes before I could get into any kind of rhythm to swim.  I ended with a slower than expected swim but was glad to get it over.  I got on the bike and felt great from mile 1 to 112.  It was flat with some wind but nothing compared to what I have trained on in Vegas.  I did not push myself as hard as I could have on the bike but in the end that was probably a good thing because I felt pretty strong on the run.  During this Ironman I did not ever ask myself WHY I was doing it, I just focused on getting to the finish.  I took it one hour at a time and ultimately had my best finish in an Ironman event.  I finished with a total time of 11:43 and 9th in my age group.  Best of all after my race I felt good enough to go out and eat at a restaurant.  Every other time I have raced I was so destroyed from the race I could hardly move off the bed once back at the hotel.  Here is a photo from the finish after I crossed the finish line.
    Today is Monday and I am doing an easy swim and light strength training.  I feel really good and am ready to focus on some smaller goals for the next few months.  Completing an Ironman is a huge accomplishment.  There is nothing like the feeling of crossing the finish.  But the time and dedication that it takes to train for an Ironman is all consuming!  You have to be very dedicated and have an understanding family and friends.  Training for Ironman events have taught me many things.  Some of the things I have learned because of my training successes and failures and some things I learn from others I meet or see doing the event.  I have met some amazing people in the past 10 years I have trained for triathlons.  It gets better each year and thankfully my performance is getting better all the time!


    Saturday, April 16, 2011

    Finally it was a good one!

    Today I raced the half ironman at lake mead.  The race is called Rage and for me this was a training race for my full ironman in Texas next month.  I had a plan going into this race and it was executed almost perfectly.  It is pretty rare in racing triathlons that things go perfect but it does happen once in a while.  Because this was a training race I did not want to kill myself.  I needed to push my effort but not so hard that my training this upcoming week would suffer.  I have a lot of training over the next few weeks and have got to be on top of my game. 
    The water at lake mead was VERY cold.  I am not sure why all of the sudden I have issues with really cold water but it seems the last two races that I have done in water temps in the low 50's have been really difficult.  I have raced cold water races and never had issues but these last two have challenged me in a whole new way.  When I got in the water I had to slow my pace to control my breathing.  I am pretty sure the water temperature was a factor in my labored breathing.  Staying calm and keeping an easy pace when this happens is essential so that is what I did.  Let's face it triathlons are not won by the swim anyway!  Coming out of the water to transition I was shivering.  Taking off my wetsuit was a challenge.......transition in general when you are shivering is a challenge.  For the first 15 miles on the bike my teeth were chattering.  I couldn't push my effort at all I was so cold.  The thing that sucks is that when you are that cold your body uses alot of energy just trying to keep you warm.  So I wasn't going fast on the bike but my body was working hard.  I finally warmed up and started feeling good on the bike.  My plan for this race was to cruise through the swim and bike not pushing too hard and try and have a really good run.  Because of the cold water this was exactly what I did!  My bike time was slow for me but average for most.  I got off the bike and began the 13.1 mile run.  Right from the start I felt strong on the run passing two girls.  This is going pretty good I thought.  The run was NOT flat by any means.  Slight/moderate hills, long inclines, rocky terrain made it a challenge.  I was still feeling strong at mile 5 and sticking to a good pace and my plan.  My plan on the run was to walk all aid stations and try and keep around an 8:30 min/mile pace.  So far so good and I even passed a few more people.  This is great because usually on the run I don't get the opportunity to pass many people!  Back to mile 5 and feeling good....until I hear a girl breathing hard and getting closer behind me, then ahead of me!  Shoot she was moving fast.  Now I pick up my pace.  My mind is telling me don't let her out of your sight.  So I kept her in my sight even at some points getting pretty close to her.  She was an amazing runner and pushed me harder than I would have gone.  In the end she finished ahead of me but I finished with one of my best run times an 8:10 pace!  I saw her at the end and thanked her because I am sure I would not have ran that fast!  There were some really fast girls racing today.  I was happy to finish 1st in my age group and I think 5th overall for females. 
    I had a few clients racing today too.  Greg finished his first half ironman today.  He pushed through the cold, heat, hills, a flat tire, and he finished.  Nancy is a trainer at LVAC  and she is an amazing athlete.  Her website is  She won the overall female place for the olympic distance.
    Whenever you decide to challenge yourself like we did today you never know how the day will go.  I have had great days and horrible ones (in fact you can read about my last race a few posts back) .  Each time I learn from my experience and my clients experience.  Congratulations to everyone who raced today! 

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    Think About What You CAN do NOT what you CAN'T!

    I always am trying new approaches to motivate my clients. I talked on this subject on a previous blog post called what motivates you.  A challenging part of my job as a trainer is finding out what motivates each person because everyone is so different.  I throw out 1-2 month challenges to my clients on a regular basis.  I give away fun prizes and public acknowledgement at the end.  Its all in fun and fits right along with my motto to "Train Hard and Have Fun".
    My most recent challenge was for each client to find something to add to their daily routine.  Something that can improve their health and fitness either mentally or physically.  I am positive that being healthy mentally can be a large part of your physical health. My clients were surprised that I was not telling them to remove something from their diet for this new challenge.  For some people telling them what they can't have right off the bat does not work.  So when trying to live a healthy lifestyle think about things you can add to your routine to help your physical and mental health. Keep in mind when doing this be specific.  If adding food or fluids make sure you provide how much.  When adding cardio, sleep etc. be specific in your goals. Here are a few examples:

    • Drink more water - provide a specific amount and make your goal realistic.  If you currently don't drink any water then drinking a gallon a day might not be realistic.
    • Get more sleep.  If you only get 5 hours on average increasing by one hour a night is huge.  Is it but again small steps and make it realistic.
    • Meditation
    • Eat more vegetables - specific amount.
    • Eat smaller more frequent meals.
    • Add more cardio or just add cardio if you are not doing it.
    • Add stretching or foam rolling to your routine.
    • Increase fruit each day.
    • Take a multiple vitamin.
    • Walk your dogs - I personally love this one!
    • Yoga
    • Add weight training.
    • Add more protein.
    These are just a few example of things you can ADD to your routine to become a healthier and happier person.  Think about what you can add and start with one  and work on achieving that goal for a month and hopefully it will become a habit.  Being healthy mentally and physically is a lifestyle.  Every change you make needs to be something you do for the rest of your life. 

    Train Hard and Have Fun!
    Coach Cyndee

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011

    SEE-ME in ATL

    Last month I attended the South Eastern Endurance Multisport Expo in Atlanta. I lived in Atlanta the first year that my good friend Mike Lenhart had the vision of having a triathlon expo. We sat at Einsteins in the mornings after working out and discussed how much fun it would be. Well some people talk about things but Mike gets things done. We did it the first year and it was a blast. It has become a pretty big event with major sponsors like Subaru and All3Sports. Mike has created a fun event for the endurance community in Atlanta. The attendance is just about 1,000 people. Mike asked me to be a speaker at the event and of course I said yes. It was a great opportunity to catch up with my friends in Atlanta. I arrived in Atlanta on Tuesday after being in Costa Rica for a few days. The event was on Saturday so I had time to relax for a few days. Mike was busy finishing all the details of the event. You can see information about the event on the website at The event is held at The Concourse Athletic Club. I worked as a personal trainer at The Concourse when I lived in Atlanta. The day of the event I was busy getting ready for my presentation and ran into my friend Ryan. When I lived in Atlanta I would periodically ride with Ryan and he would kick my butt! He puts on a series of international triathlons. His race series is called 11 Global. His vision is to have 11 Olympic distance races throughout the world. Currently his races are in South Africa, Dubai, Italy, and here in the US in Atlanta. His race series can be found at Here I am working hard at his booth while he sits and takes it easy! Just kidding Ryan.
    I had time so waste so I helped Ryan at his booth promoting his race in Atlanta. I always have a good time with Ryan and talking to people about triathlons is never a problem for me! At Ryans booth I saw a friend that I hadn't seen for several years. Last time I saw Scott Rigsby I was carrying his legs around New York City. Let me explain! Scott Rigsby is the first person to complete the Hawaii (or any) full Ironman on prosthetic legs. When I lived in New Jersey him and another friend of ours Mike came to do the NYC triathlon. While there I hung out with them for several days. Scott has legs for swimming, cycling, running, and walking. That makes for a lot of luggage when traveling for a race. When I recently saw Scott he gave me a copy of his new book titled, Unthinkable. I read the book on the plane home from Atlanta. It is an amazing story and I would highly suggest his book. You can check out his website at
    If you need some inspiration your sure to get some if you read his book!
    Here he is pictured at the expo.
    Overall I had a great time at SEE-ME! It was a great event and proceeds go to a great cause. All the proceeds from SEE-ME go to the Getting 2 Tri foundation. Getting 2 Tri helps challenged athletes get involved in sports. The foundations website is They are doing great things for challenged athletes.
    I loved my time in Atlanta. It is a great city and the people are so amazing. I got in some good running and attended my friends Mike's spin class. He thought he was going to kick my butt. Little does he know the class that I teach is much harder! Atlanta is a beautiful place to train and live
    Here is a great picture of Bella! I got the pleasure of staying at her house for the time I was in Atlanta. Here she is hoping I give her a bite of my food!

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    My Experience Racing In Costa Rica - REV3 Triathlon

    In the past 10 years I have raced in some great places. I have seen some beautiful things. I have swum the waters in San Francisco from Alcatraz. I saw the Golden Gate Bridge from the water as I was swimming and it was amazing and breathtaking. I ran the Maui marathon and saw whales off shore during the run. I raced in Hawaii on the big Island and saw some amazing things. I ran 50 miles through Headlands National Park in San Francisco and the beauty was spectacular. In many cases the beauty made the pain of the race well worth it. Costa Rica has been no different and exceeded all of my expectations. Although I did not have my best race, if fact I had my worst time in completing a Half Ironman, it was still spectacular! I went into this race getting over a sickness that I had the week before. A week before the race I came down with a flu and severe cough that triggered asthma. I went to the doctor the Sunday before the race and he loaded me up with inhalers, steroids, cough syrup, allergy medicine and he said I should not do the race. Of course that was not going to happen and I was going to race! I felt a little better going into the race but still had the cough and breathing problems. Most problems breathing were when I ran. I seemed to be OK breathing on the bike and swim but running was tough. It was going to be even more difficult in the hot, humid weather which can make asthma worse. Costa Rica was HOT on race day in the mid 90’s with more humidity that I have ever experienced. Keep in mind I lived in Atlanta and Hawaii but this was no comparison… was going to be a very long day! After being sick I did not put any pressure on myself for this race. I just wanted to enjoy my time in Costa Rica and finish the race. I knew the run would be tough since I still had problems breathing and coughing.
    As we were looking at the swim course in the morning it looked somewhat long but then again it always does. Of course in addition to the heat and humidity we had wind. The water was rough like a washing machine. We had to do 2-loops coming out of the water once only to go back in a do it again. Most half ironman swims take me about 35-40 minutes. It can take 45-minutes on a really bad day or really long course. After several jelly fish stings and 25 minutes in the water I made it out……for the first loop! OMG this is crazy! It took me 55 minutes to do the swim. After discussing the swim with several people after the race they were also about 20 minutes over their normal 1.2 mile swim time. Ok so I don’t feel so bad about the swim. I have several stings from jelly fish to remind me of the lovely waters of Costa Rica!
    The swim was done now onto the bike. Right out of transition there is about 2 miles of hills. I thought no biggy because I am used to hills. I ride hills in Vegas and its only 2 miles right? Well this climb was like nothing I have experience AND it was right after the swim so there was no time to get my legs adjusted to the bike. I seriously thought I was going to die by the time I got to the top of the hill. I could barely breathe and was gasping for air as I hit the top of the hill! My lungs were on fire. Most of the course was flat to rolling hills which was great except for the wind. Parts of the course the wind seemed to slow me down to 14-16mph which really sucked. The bike was 3-loops for a total of 56 miles. The unique thing about racing here was the locals. They were amazing with their support. The aid stations handed out baggies of water instead of bottles. You are supposed to bite a hole in the bag and drink through the hole in the baggy. After swallowing several pieces of plastic I finally got the trick. The bike course had about nine 180 degree turns on a pretty narrow road. I went wide on one of the turns going into the gravel for a nice little crash. It was nothing major just a few cuts, scrapes, and bruises. I got back on my bike with the help from several local Costa Ricans and was on my way. I finished the bike and was off to the 4-loop run course.
    By this time it was exceptionally hot and this was no easy run. The run included hills, sand, heat, and humid conditions. It was clear from the beginning I was going to have to walk a lot. My breathing was labored from the start of the run. I think the combination of being sick, dehydrated, and the heat made my breathing and asthma worse. After each loop we run through transition to begin the next loop. After the first loop I stopped at my bike and got my inhaler out of my bag. Two puffs and I was off for another loop. I did another loop and two more puffs, another loop two more puffs…….can you overdose on asthma inhaler. If so I was close and it was not helping at all. I really couldn’t breathe. Each time I came around by transition I seriously thought about stopping. It is amazing the mind games that happen in my head during a race. I wanted to quit so many times this day, I was so close to quitting several times, but I didn’t and I kept walking and trying to run and trying to breathe. When I finished the run I went directly to the medical tent hoping they had oxygen. I was trying to tell them I have asthma and can’t breathe they tell me to sit down. They give me an inhaler which didn’t work any better than the one I had. They didn’t have oxygen which would have probably helped.
    Monday my body felt really weak, my lungs ache, I was sunburned, my middle finger was swollen from the fall on the bike, I have jelly fish stings, but I also have memories of a great race in a beautiful place. I met some great people and saw a lot of really amazing locals supporting the race. There were local people all over the run course pouring ice cold water all over me, putting sponges on my back, neck and head. The locals were offering me watermelon, cantaloupe, coke, and water. These were not at aid stations these were all local people on the streets. People were stopping in cars offering water. There were horses on the run course, dogs eating fish bones, an iguana, and people cheering everywhere!
    Monday the day after the race I went to the spa for 2 ½ hours of a massage, mud treatment, scalp massage, and a facial and it was amazing. After the spa I sat at the bar near the pool enjoying a pina colada. I was leaving the following day on Tuesday so I just wanted to relax. At sunset I went to the other bar at the hotel to get a great view of the sunset. I sat there with several other people that did the race. We enjoyed great conversation and a great view. I thought my flight was leaving at 2pm the next day. I was traveling with a great company called Endurance Travel. They were awesome and I would recommend traveling with them ( I told them what I thought was my flight time so they planned on taking me and a few others to the airport leaving at 10:30am Tuesday. I planned to sleep in, go for a morning swim and then get ready to go. I woke at 6:30am and thought I would double check my flight time. To my horror it was 9:50am. I frantically threw stuff in my suitcase, brushed my teeth, and had the hotel call a cab. In Costa Rica they suggest arriving to the airport 3-hours ahead of time and it takes an hour to get to the airport! As I ran into the lobby I saw the guys from Endurance Travel and they said they would take me to the airport…..thank god. I made it to the airport but barely. I was disheveled and hungry but made my flight. It was a hectic ending to a great trip. Now I am in Atlanta until Sunday. I am speaking at SEE-ME (Southeastern Multisport Expo) on Saturday the 26th of February. I am excited to be in Atlanta for a few days. I lived in Atlanta about 5 years ago and loved living there. I have a few more days of R&R before going back to work on Monday. I am sure my clients are enjoying my vacation as much as I am........hopefully they are getting to the gym:)