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Innovative Event at Rev3 Knoxville 2012

One of the best parts of me being an athlete and competing in great races is that it sparks new ideas for my own events. I had the pleasure of participating in the Rev3 Knoxville Olympic distance (.9 mile swim, 25 mile bike and 6.2 mile run) this weekend in Tennessee. The Rev3 race production company puts on a top-notch, competitive, well-organized and family friendly event.

I am always awestruck at the new innovative things they are doing with their races. This year they began using ‘bags of water’ instead of bottled water on the race course at water stations and the finish line. This eliminated the need for all those messy water stop cups. They also had to be mega creative and think outside the box when it came to this year’s transition zone.  A new building was being erected where last year’s transition zone was so the new transition was in a parking deck. Yes, a parking garage! This is the first time that I have ever had transition in a parking garage… it had it’s good points… no need to cover my bike and stuff in case it rained. The bad part was lots of concrete to run across with my cleats and barefeet and the good ole Garmin doesn’t like to find satellites when it is under a parking garage thus I had no idea how fast I was going on the bike course. Good thing I am a wingin’ it kinda gal and didn’t get all bent outta shape about it, I just went by effort and that was really nice!

The race awards were also super cool, the finisher medal fit into the notches on the age group award medals, so it turned into just one nice, big medal! I was fortunate to feel spunky and fresh today and came up with a great performance, placing 3rd in my age group and 12th female overall. The swim was once again tough this year, with a bit of choppy water and choppy bodies and arms flailing around. My swim wave was the not so lucky group to go last and this meant swimming over and through the slower swimmers. It also meant that the other groups of swimmers were coming back from the out and back section and caused even more confusion in the water and running into other swimmers. Once I got onto the bike course I felt in my element and attacked the hills and got in a good rhythm. I noticed that some other cyclists weren’t having quite the lucky day, one was puking over the railing up one of the climbs and several guys had crashed out, flat tires all along the way and I had a near miss by a cyclist not paying attention to where she was going. Whew. I realized early on that my gears weren’t shifting quite right on the bike so I was trying to stay out of the easiest gear to avoid the clunking sound.  I mistakenly put it in the gear going up one of the steep hills on the way back in and my chain instantly fell off the ring. Uggh… the worst place to stop on the bike is on a hill, but it had to be done to put my chain back on. So I climbed off the bike, put it back on and then clumsily tried to get my foot back in my pedal as I climbed up the hill. I started passing back all the gals that had passed me while I was fixing my chain. By the time I got to the run I was feeling sooo good.

I kept track of my nutrition and saved some for the run and it really showed when it came time to get off the bike. I stuck it in my GOOOO gear and started pushing. I had some girls to catch that came out of transition and off the bike before me and so I picked them off one by one. I was feeling like my legs were just flying, the sun was blazing but I kept telling myself that it felt good. Nothing like a little mental trickery, right? The run seemed to go by pretty quickly, considering that the last time I did the Rev3 race it was the half-ironman so twice the distances. All in all, I kicked it to the end and felt great the entire time. I had a blast and enjoyed hanging out after the race, eating black bean burgers and getting all the cool swag with my age group prize! Rev3 Knoxville 2013, oh yea!

Play everyday = a happier, more energized you!

Colder weather is upon us and it is so easy to switch into hibernation mode this time of year. It takes extra dedication to your health and wellness to get up and venture out on the cold mornings to go to the gym or to get your run in outside. Keeping your routines through the months that can be more ‘depressing’ than the sunnier, warmer months of the year, is important and will make you happy!

People ask me all the time how I do it and how I fit in all that I do in a day/week/month. I am constantly juggling being a single mom and children, my workouts and work and everything else that life brings on a day-to-day basis. I realize that the reason I stay so energized and focused on what I need to get done every day is because the regular exercise that I do pretty much on a daily basis gives me energy! By starting my day with a run, swim, spin on the bike or yoga I am mentally and physically preparing myself for the day. I am also awakening and energizing my whole being and allowing myself to get those good endorphins flowing to keep my energy levels high for the day.

I read this article from Athleta Chi titled ‘We all need to play’ and it all rang so true to me and is what I live on a daily basis (even when it is cold outside!) and want to share with others. I promise it works!

Need to get energized?! 

  • Make being active a priority EVERY day!  Find the time and stick with it – with no excuses.
  • Do activities that you enjoy doing and that are fun.  I enjoy surfing, but also like to run or bike to get my day started.
  • Try to exercise in the morning.  You will have more energy throughout the day and are more likely to get it done.  Same with your children — if they can get active a little before school, they should!
  • Learn to say “NO.”  You do not have to be a super busy mom to be a good parent.  It’s okay to say no to others, even your children, if it takes time away from your own needs.  It’s not being selfish. It’s you just setting a good example–to say that you, too, are important.
  • Encourage your children to go outside and play…and then go with them!  Let them be kids and play freely, unstructured without set rules.  A little imaginative play is very important, and many children do not know how to play anymore.
  • When your young children are trying your patience, think about what they have done that day.  Did they get some activity?  Were they able to run and expend their energy?  If not, send them out to play.
  • Training schedules are important, but they are not written in stone.  Rest days are important, but may not be necessary for all activities.  If today is your required rest day, but you feel like you want to do another activity, do it!  You need to listen to your body before all else. It may not need or want a break — or conditions may be perfect for a specific sport or activity!
  • If you are feeling low on energy, just get up and do something.  I guarantee you will feel better and happier once you get going.
  • Cold weather makes for a little more planning and maybe some warmer clothing, but it will be well worth it.