I LOVE Strava!

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A friend of mine is training for a 5k in February and she texted me the other day to ask me what I used to keep me motivated to run. I know most people like to use Map My Run, which I have nothing against, but I really found an awesome app to use.  I immediately told her to download Strava Run (and for you bikers out there, Strava Bike). My husband and I are very competitive people and like to have goals to achieve whether it is going against other people or even ourselves.  Mike was the one to show me this app and now I am hooked!

The best thing about Strava Run is that it pretty much is going against yourself (unless you find a course that someone else has run and documented).  In my case, my neighborhood has a perfect loop that you can run a perfect 5k.  I run this about once or twice a week and it will tell me whether I beat any previous records I set. Mike likes to run a loop at NMSU where other runners have recorded their times, so he can see his records along with others.

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I like how it shows how my pace was (I was running with the stroller this day) and how I started off faster and then got slower with my pace.  That tells me that I need to pick up the pace at mile 2 and 3.

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When you finish a run, it will show your overall pace, calorie burn, elevation gain, and moving time.  The moving time is especially good for those times you are standing at the beginning trying to get the music started on your headphones.

Here’s where the competitive part comes in.  On this particular bike ride, I noticed I had a Queen of the Mountain when I was done.  This means that the people who rode before me had a slower time.

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You then click on the trophy and it will tell you the time you did it in and the other times of the other riders.  You can add friends (and enemies..hehe) and see an activity feed of their rides.  I love looking at what other people did to keep me motivated!

You should try it out!  It’s really a great app!

Polar Bear Triathlon 2013

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The Polar Bear Triathlon happened last weekend and boy did it come with a fury!  We have had awesome warm weather ….and all of a sudden the morning of the triathlon, it decided to turn to winter!

As we were driving to the range, we were getting rained on as we went through the pass.  A little rain doesn’t do any harm, right?  And as we were prepping, they postponed it a half an hour because of the slick roads and I could tell it was going to be a windy one too!

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The run started at 8am.  Everyone took off like a shot.  With my training, I felt like I would be ok on the run, but I soon realized I wasn’t as good as I thought I was.  Mike did pretty well and stuck with the front crowd, while I just kept a pace and made it in under 30 minutes (Thank goodness!).

We didn’t get a lot of pictures, but here is documentation of the ice that we came back to when we transitioned to the bike.

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When I got to my bike, I had a sheet of ice on my seat.  I couldn’t put my bike shoes on with my gloves, so I took them off.  I hurried and transitioned and found out that my shifter was so frozen that I had to keep hitting it twice to shift up.  Then my brakes were acting shady.  As I rounded the corner, guess what I noticed was not on my hands?You guessed it. My gloves.  I decided just to keep going and told myself I have mountain biked in worse. I grew to regret it about a mile in.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about where Mike was…

Since he was in the front of the group, he shot out on the transition.  The cop that was directing traffic decided not to direct the bikers and they took off on a course that was not part of the real course. Long story short, Mike ended up going six miles more than he needed for the race (and still got first place in his category). A bunch of people got really jipped!

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This is what it looked like when we went over the pass.

So now back to my story…

While I was riding, I was deciding whether to quit or not.  I kept picturing me getting to the pool and the paramedics having to treat my hands for frost bite.  Let’s just say a saint of a biker came by me named Jason McClure (a friend of ours), who found out I didn’t have gloves, and then waves his in the air and drops them in the middle of the road for me.

Lifesaver.

I had to finish now so I started hauling! I passed a lot of people at this point.  It kind of disappointed me that I never got to see my legit time considering the whole glove incident. I would love to have seen the showdown at the end because the top three people in my category (with me included) were all a minute apart.  I like to think that by stopping on the road and putting the gloves on might have cost me.  (It’s what every person does post race. …the shoulda, coulda, woulda.)

Mike was able to try to get back as much time as possible, while we went through some terrible head winds.  People were complaining and I heard a few girls crying out as I went by…no joke.  It was dang cold.

As soon as I got to the swim, I hopped in the pool and it felt awesome and warm!  I knew I was going to be crappy…and I was, but I didn’t stop.  I think I was around ten to eleven minutes. My goal was nine. Ha!

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The other sucky thing was that we didn’t find out our results the day of the race because they weren’t able to record the bike times (which is a HUGE bummer because that is the only portion where I felt awesome and wanted to see how I did).  They did give out the Southwest Series Champion trophies for 2013 and Mike won!

We later found out Mike got first in his category and I got third.  I’ll take it! It was such a hard race, but I am so glad I did it.  Seven months ago I had a baby…so I’ll use that as an excuse. Hehe. Mike and I are always making fun of the excuses we make after a race.

It is what it is!

Liz’s Week In Review

20131116-035110.jpgSo when a week gets too busy that you start to jumble everything into one blog post, you just have to call it a “Week In Review”. I really want to try and document as much as I can while I am staying home since this will not be a permanent thing for me, but I have found I have been MORE busy than when I had a job!

First off, how cute is that when I toss a binkie at my daughter and she immediately puts it in her mouth?

I have been a little disappointed in myself for not riding well this week. I really want to get this weight off! We are very lucky to have family in town to watch Olivia on Tuesday nights.  Even though it is getting dark early, we still want to make it out to the Dona Ana’s.  This week I didn’t do my usual route because I was so tired, so I went and explored Chutes and Ladders, which is a really hilly, technical part of the coarse and had a blast! If you look closely a the map…you can tell when I got lost. (Bottom right hand corner..)

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P.S. I just learned how to screen shot (I am so behind the times) and I just had to show you by putting my Strava links on here. 🙂
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P.P.S. I love these shoes by the way AND they are on sale at Kohl’s. (I took a picture to send to Mike as a hint for a Christmas present!).  I also was able to run this week and actually got my 5k under 30 minutes…woot woot! Only 20 more pounds to go and maybe I can get a faster 5k time! 🙂

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Olivia had her six month check up too this week.  I was glad to get some answers to questions I had.  She didn’t grow too much height-wise this past couple of months, but she made up for it in weight.  And let’s just say her head is in the 90 percentile, so I have no worries about her head growth.  She still is a long thing at almost 26 inches (25.8 to be exact). She was a champ!

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I felt like I was in the kitchen the whole week.  I was making soup for an Enrichment activity and then I made Mike some corned beef and cabbage, which is an awesome fall/winter food.  (Too bad our house stunk.  People kept walking in and asking if Olivia had pooped. Ha!)  We had a youth activity this week where we made hygiene kits for charity.  It reminded me of when we went to the Ronald McDonald house back in April and they had the kits available for us.  It makes me feel good that we can give back. I’m always so appreciative of what they did for us.

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Transitioning to crib.  That’s all I have to say. And let’s just say that it was been a LONG week when it comes to sleep.  This girl sure did like her Rock and Play and this mom misses her not sleeping through the night.  She is getting better though.  She only woke up twice last night!

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When in doubt on where to put a baby, laundry baskets work well.

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We started off the week with colds.  It made for a very fussy mom and child (poor Mike!).  Thankfully, we are both out of the clear now, but it sure is nice to get some cuddling in! Remind me that I will not have these times back!

We ended the week by going out on a quick date to a coworker’s wedding. I don’t even remember the last time Mike and I went out and dressed up.  It was fun to hang out and have some time together and talk.  He sure was a trooper!

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And I got to see my lovely friend Stephanie and as we were leaving, I saw my fellow seventh grade science teacher Britt.  I sure do miss them! (But not the job…hehe). 20131116-035059.jpgHope you all had a great week and Happy Friday!

Question:  Do you think wearing black at weddings is bad luck? I was feeling a little guilty tonight about wearing black (mind you that my wedding was black and white) and I swear I have heard that people frown on it. Is that true?

Iron Soldier Triathlon 2013

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Triathlon time again!  Mike was able to participate in the Iron Soldier Triathlon at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas back on Saturday, September 28th.  It was a 400 meter swim, 15.5 mile bike, and ended with a 5 kilometer run.

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I was stressing out because I signed Mike up for his race, instea dof having him do it.  When you sign up, you are supposed to give them your swim time so that they can put you with the same people at the beginning and I totally forgot what I told them!  So Mike went in with a surprise and thankfully I chose correctly! He was able to swim in the 7 minute time frame I chose for him!

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As for the bike, Mike went out on transition and found out his chain was off his bike.  He had to fix it really quick and then hop back on so it was off to a rocky start.  He was able to have the fastest time in his category and third fastest time overall. To think what his time would have been without the chain drop!

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He felt good on the run.  He felt a little deceived because it went a little further than a 5k, so he was mentally done before it was officially done!

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The whole “triathlon” gang that does the usual triathlons in Las Cruces were there to join in on the fun too, and as you can tell, they all received medals for their achievements! So proud of them!

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The Color Run El Paso

Last year Mike and I did the Color Run in Albuquerque with his brothers (which ended up being a fiasco of losing our car keys and spending two days trying to get them remade…meanwhile, finding out I was pregnant).  This year, we found out it was going to be a little closer to home, so we had to go try it out with my good friend Stephanie and her husband Bill.

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We had to have Olivia try out the shenanigans too, so we brought the jogging stroller and put a weather shield over it to protect her.

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We had to stand at the start for a while because of the congestion.  It was a pretty big crowd.  Meanwhile, people were already busting out with the paints in the air!

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Pre-Color Run cleanliness.

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Olivia was already getting bombarded!

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Mike took the stroller for the first half of the race.  He looks so cheesy in this picture!

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I love this shot of all the “haze” left over from the pink portion.

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Mike being Mike….again. Poor Olivia.  FYI…she slept the whole race!

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I took over mid-way and was trying to find a way to avoid the colors with the stroller.  That was not happening!

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I was kind of bummed because the end was so congested, you really couldn’t run it!  It was more like a walk from the 1.5 mile mark.  I wish they had more street space on this one.

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And this is what happens when you wake up a sleeping stroller child.  (Yes, she got a little warm.)

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Overall, it was fun.  I would say that if they changed the venue that I would do it again in El Paso. Otherwise, I am willing to go back up to Albuquerque next year.  What a fun way to get people out running.

Thanks to the Kellys for joining us!

Yucca Triathlon 2013

We are now starting to repeat triathlon races!  It was time for the Yucca Triathlon at White Sands Missile Range this past month.  Considering this was Olivia’s first triathlon last year (I was five weeks pregnant when I did it), we had to go do it again!  This was also the triathlon that got Mike interested in competing in triathlons too!  I was bummed to not do it this year, but it was fun to watch and take pictures with the jogging stroller!

(I will be hopefully doing the Polar Bear Triathlon in December to make up for lost time.  My body needs to heal a little more before I feel confident enough to try it again!)

Mike came in third overall and first in his category.  The weird thing that happened that day was that there was a gas leak in the pool area.  While Mike was out on the bike, I could hear a bunch of fire trucks coming (which could send anyone into heart attack mode) and then they made us stay away from the building.  So it ended up being a duathlon!  No swim!

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Olivia was a trooper.  I wanted to run part of the running coarse, so I did it backwards and met them at the halfway mark and took pictures.  I ended up getting some personal records on my Strava so I was pretty happy about my stroller jog.

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Here is Mike at the starting line…being Mike.

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I loved the pictures of all of the people running because the back of the Organs are in the background.  Of course, the only close up picture of Mike didn’t have the awesome mountains.

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Mike makes fun of me because I always get shots like these, where he is halfway in the shot.  I guess if you look at my shadow, I look like I’m not trying really hard. 🙂

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It was fun to hang out as a family on a race day.  Beautiful weather too!  Overall, it was a success.

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2013 Ironman Boulder 70.3

The long-awaited Boulder Ironman 70.3! We had been waiting for this day for a long time.  Mike and his buddies signed up for this in January (because it sells out SUPER FAST) and were training in the winter and summer to get ready for this competition. They were really into triathlons and wanted to have something big to work towards.

The biggest thing that Mike looked forward to was riding in Colorado and the competition that was going to be there.  He was really excited to learn about the pros and to see and hear about them in person.

The Ironman 70.3 consists of a 1.2 mile swim, a 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run.

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When it came to the swim, Mike trained at the local swimming pool as well as in the ocean in San Diego to make sure he was prepared. He swam 4 times a week and always swam a mile and a quarter.

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Mike felt pretty good about the bike portion of the race before hand because he had been training on his own. His training consisted of riding in high altitude locations (like Cloudcroft) and long distance riding. He really enjoyed the course.  It was fast and beautiful.

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To prepare for the run, Mike ran his own half marathon courses as much as possible.  He made sure to run at least 3 times a week.  Mike didn’t feel too good on the running portion, but we found out later he was on the verge of a really bad cold/flu before the race began.

When Mike hit the finish line, he was cramping pretty bad.  He felt like he couldn’t stay hydrated.  It was super hot out and very humid that day for Colorado.  This finish line pic was so awesome to see.  He finished!

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We took Olivia up to this race because Mike wanted for her to be there at the finish line.  She did an awesome job riding up there, as well as waiting around for the results.

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Mike was able to ride around Fort Collins, Colorado the few days before.  He tried to be really careful not to go too crazy, even though it was tempting to ride like crazy in such a beautiful place!

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The day we showed up, we went down to get Mike’s race packet.  They had so much merchandise that we wanted to get.  Mike bought a visor to use when running and we were able to meet up with his friend Norm who was also doing the race.  He was able to give some great advice since he has done it before.

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This is where Mike did his transition.  He had a great spot to get in and out! Considering transitioning has always been hard for him, he rocked it!

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Here’s Olivia cheering him on before he went out for the swim!

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The race started at the base of the Boulder Reservoir.  Mike lined up with the swimmers that were marked for 37 to 38 minutes.  And Mike did just that.  He swam the 1.2 miles in 37 minutes!

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After Mike came in from the swim, he had to change immediately into his bike gear.  He felt like transitions went pretty well.  His swim to bike was the best out of the two.

I am so proud of him and look forward to watching him compete in more triathlons!!!