September 20, 2011

A Handful is all you need!

For as long as I can remember I have been on a search for the perfect sports bra.  I have tried sooo many in hopes of finding "the one," only to be disappointed time and time again.  They either chafe, don't fit right, don't give the right amount support, or give us the dreaded uniboob!  I don't know what most sports bra manufacturers are thinking, but women DO NOT want a UNIBOOB!!  Support...yes, uniboob...NO!

Now, I will be the first to admit that I have never been a "well-endowed" woman.  But, after having 2 kids which I nursed, what I did have pretty much disappeared.  And, I know there are many women out there that have experienced the same thing.  So, it became even more difficult to find something that worked for me.  

Enter the Handful...

I was given the opportunity to try out a Handful sports bra, and I was ecstatic!  I had read so many great reviews about it, but to be honest, I had my doubts.

BUT, this sports bra ROCKS!  It is cute, flattering, supportive, and super comfortable!  And, I have had ZERO chaffing issues with it, which is key.

PLUS, you can wear it for any and every activity!  I have worn it for yoga, biking, running, hiking, and during tris, and it is awesome!  I have even worn it as an every day bra because it is just sooo comfortable!

Oh, and I thought that I might be able to see the cute ruching on the front under my shirts, but you can't see it!  It's awesome!

My husband took the pics and made me flex...ha ha.  Seriously though, if you put this bra on, you would flex too because it just makes you feel like a strong, powerful woman!

I have had this sports bra since June and I have to tell you that it still feels like it's brand new.  After repeated use, the straps haven't stretched out, the seams haven't fallen apart, and I can just tell that it was made to last!  To me, this is important because as an active athlete that works out pretty much every day, I need something that will last.  I cannot afford to buy a new sports bra every 6months!

Plus, it comes in this cute mesh bag that doubles as a laundering bag for your washer!  How cool is that??

You can find out all about the Handful from their website HERE.  Seriously, if you have been searching for the perfect sports bra, you should give the Handful a try.  :)

*Note:  Although I was given a Handful to try and review, these are my own thoughts and opinions based on my own experience.  

September 13, 2011

Harvest Moon HIM Race Report

Or otherwise known as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly....

I was excited to do this race again because it was my first HIM I ever did!  Plus, there were 3 other TriBella teammates doing it, and we were all in the same wave, so I thought it would be pretty fun!
I'm going to do this race report a little different than my other race reports because I just didn't feel like this was an actual "race," but more of a LONG training day for IMAZ.  So, here goes...

The swim:
Time: 41:18 (Not too bad considering it includes a LONG run from the beach, up a hill, into transition)
If someone would have said that the swim would be the best part of my race, I would have laughed uncontrollably!  But, they would have been right.

My husband actually came with me to watch the start, and it was so nice having him there!  I was surprisingly, very calm at the start and was just READY to go!  The funny thing about IM training is that what once seems like a FAR distance, no longer seems so bad.  After doing the 2.4M swim race last week, looking out at the buoys for the 1.2M swim seemed completely doable and I LOVED that feeling!

The start was a little rough, but after awhile I was able to find my own space and just get into a nice groove.

I finished the swim, and saw my husband!  Yay!!  I gave him a kiss and headed towards transition.

Time: 2:58:59 (18.8MPH Avg.)
I hopped on my bike and headed out.  Right away I felt kind of weird, but didn't think much about it.  I got into aero and just made it my goal to ride at a good pace, but not push it too hard.  I didn't want to "race" this because I didn't want to risk having a long recovery and not be able to get my training in for IMAZ.
THE WIND....OH, THE WIND!!!  Mother Nature played a MEAN trick on all of us during the bike.  The course is pretty much in the middle of nowhere on country roads that have absolutely  no cover.  So, when the wind blows, you get blown around, and I got blown around A LOT!  There were times that I actually got out of aero because I wanted to have more control of my bike because I was afraid of crashing.

I got a huge HEADACHE that was pounding pretty much the entire time.  It sucked!  So, with all the focus on the wind, not crashing, and my head, I forgot to hydrate!  I don't know what happened, but I just wasn't paying attention to the time, distance, or anything.  In my mind, I thought I WAS drinking enough, but after the race, I looked at my water bottles and realized I ONLY drank about 48oz. of fluid!  WTF????!!!

I got into transition, felt like a TRUCK had run over me, and took my time getting ready for the run.  I almost thought about stopping, but that's just not in my character, so I kept on going.

The Run:
Time:  2:31:13 (11:33 avg. pace) 
Right when I started running, I knew this was going to be really tough.  My head still really hurt, and I just didn't have any energy at all.
The aid stations were roughly every mile, and THEY SAVED ME!  Normally, I don't even need/have to stop at every aid station, but this was not a normal day.

I decided to do a run/walk strategy where I would walk the aid stations, drink what I could, and run between them.  I thought this would get me through alright, but by mile 3 I realized I had stopped sweating.  My head was fuzzy and I began to think that I may not be able to finish.  It was soooo hot and the sun was beating down on me and I could feel my skin burning.

Then, my entire torso started to tighten and cramp up.  My stomach muscles ached and I felt like I was on the verge of throwing up the ENTIRE time!  IT WAS  HORRIBLE!  So, instead of running between aid stations, I just started walking as fast as I could and running whenever I could.

Finally, I had 1M left.  People were cheering and shouting, "You're almost there!" but I COULD NOT run.  It was so bizarre.  Then, I saw the finish line and started running, but my stomach hurt so bad!  I just wanted it to be OVER, so I pushed through the pain and finally crossed those mats.

My husband took this picture as I came in.  He said he barely recognized me because my "running" form was do different.  Look how tight and scrunched my upper body is...

THEN, the best part....THE SLIP-N-SLIDE!!  It was awesome!  The water was cold and it was just what I needed.  I got out, found my family, and immediately sat down.  I wanted to wait for my teammates to finish, but my family had been there waiting for me a LONG time, so after I felt a little better, I just got my stuff and we headed out.

When I got home, guess what I realized?

I got completely BURNED out there!  I did put sunscreen on before the swim, but obviously, it wasn't enough.  I should have reapplied after the bike to avoid this.  It hurts sooo bad and totally could have been prevented!

All in all, it was a pretty tough day for me.  I'm glad I did it, but there were some pretty low points during that race.  I don't know what happened on the bike with my nutrition.  I KNOW how important it is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, but my head was out of was weird.

So, while I didn't have the best race, I did learn a some very important lessons!
1.  I just CANNOT get behind on my hydration/nutrition because there is no way to make up for it.  I think from this point on I am going to set my Garmin to beep every 10/15min.  That way even if my head gets fuzzy, that beeping will keep me on track.
2.  I learned that I'm a little tougher than I thought I was.  It was a total suck fest on that run, and I was in pain, but I pushed through as best as I could and finished!  I am proud of myself for finishing, even if it did take me a very long time.   :)

September 10, 2011

A week in review and other things too


This week has been all about the taper!  I am racing in the Harvest Moon HIM tomorrow!  This race was the first HIM I ever did, so I am super excited to be racing it again!  The temps. are supposed to be perfect for the race, so I'm praying to the weather gods to keep it that way!  There is a slip-n-slide at the end that I'm also super excited about!!!  It should be good times! :)

Check out the goodies we got!!  Lots of great stuff, an awesome women's cut tech shirt, and a PINT Glass!

Look at how cool this pint glass is?!  I LOVE it! :)

* Park to Park 10M:
Well, I was supposed to do this race as an easy training run and had every intention of doing so.  BUT, once the race started, I just started RACING!  I don't know what it is, but in a race,  my body just goes!  With all of my IMAZ training, I don't really get to run FAST a lot, so it actually felt really good to speed  things up a bit.  I wanted to know what I could do.  So, I just kept running at a pace that felt not too hard, but not too easy either.  I felt awesome the entire time and finished strong!  I ended up finishing the 10M in 1:21 with an average pace of 8:06!!  WOOHOO!

I was worried about being sore and jeopardizing my "taper" week, but I wasn't even really sore the next day!! Seriously, I am continually amazed at what bodies can do with proper training!

Other Things Too:

When we moved, we couldn't take our dog house with us because we just didn't have room.  So, my husband built a new house for our dog and it is awesome!  Our boys love it!  AND, I have a feeling they might be using it more than our dog..ha ha!

So, what do you do when you have a new dog house?  Paint it Fire Engine Red of course!!!

The finished product! :)

*  I hope you all have a great weekend!
I'm completely behind on reading blogs, but hopefully after my race tomorrow I'll have some down time to get caught up! :)

September 4, 2011

I DID IT! My longest OWS to date!

Saturday I participated in the 3rd annual Racing Underground 1.2 & 2.4M Open Water Swim Race.  This is a pretty low key event, with no swag and no awards, but we did have timing chips, which was nice.  There were about 100 other people doing the race, which was the perfect amount for me to practice not panicking in a mass start.  Plus, with the 2.4M option, it was great for my IMAZ training.

The race was supposed to start at 6:30, which is a good thing, because lately the sun isn't even coming up until then (hello Fall)!  I got to the reservoir around 6 and it was still really dark out.  AND COLD!!  In the last couple of days, we've had a "cold" front move in which has dropped our daytime temps into the 80s.  It's awesome during the day, but Saturday morning it was in the 50s and there was a crazy WIND that made it feel even colder.  The water temp. was in the 70s, so it was actually nicer to be in the water then out of it! :)

Here's a map of the race course.  It was this huge rectangle that pretty much spanned the entire reservoir.  It is 1.2M, so for the 2.4M swim, we did two laps.  I thought the buoys looked really FAR away and got a little panicked about the distance.

As I was putting on my wetsuit, someone behind asked, "Is that Aimee from I Tri To Be Me?"  I was really surprised as I turned around and said, "Yes.."  It ended up being a guy named Steve (hi Steve!) that said he recognized me from my blog!  I was a little embarrassed, but we got to talking and he was super nice!  He helped keep my nerves at bay before we started!  We went down to the start together, then I lost track of him as we were warming up.  He was doing the 1.2M swim, so I hope he had a good swim! :)

Before I knew it, it was time to start!  We started on the beach, but the water level has dropped so much that I'd say the first 50ft. was only up to my knees/thighs.  The timing mat was on the beach, but honestly I didn't even start swimming for awhile, so I started my watch as I was walking through the water.      

The mass start wasn't bad at all and I had almost no contact, which was great!  BUT, the one bad thing about the race starting right when the sun was coming up was that we were swimming right INTO it!  Seriously, I could NOT see a thing!  I got off course so many times it was insane!  At one point I went to sight and was swimming diagonally into the wrong direction and I almost ran into a boat!  OOPS!!

Other than the sun, the first lap went pretty well, but it felt really LONG!  I just kept seeing buoy after buoy and I was glad to finally go around the final turn back to the start.  I came to the end of the first lap and had to walk through the water again in order to start my second lap.  I'm not going to lie, it was a nice little break! :)

Again, on the 2nd lap it was into the sun...ugh!  It was soooo hard to see the buoy and it was really frustrating.  AND, again, I kept getting off course.  It was a little choppy, so I don't know if it was the waves, or not being able to see the buoy, but I just COULD NOT get my bearings and swim straight for the life of me.  Seriously, I think I added another couple 100 yards to my total swim distance!  Ugh!

But, as I was swimming and swimming the whole time I was thinking, I CAN DO THIS!  Then, as I got closer to the finish, it was I'M DOING IT!  All I could think about was how awesome I felt knowing that I can swim the distance at IMAZ and it just made me sooo happy!

I got out of the water, happy as can be, and headed towards the bathrooms to change.  As I was getting my stuff, a girl asked, "Are you Aimee from I Tri To Be Me?"  I said, "Yeah!" and she said, "I follow your blog!"  It was so cool!  Her name was Jennifer (Hi Jennifer!) and we started talking all about the swim.  She was super nice too!

Anyways, according to my watch, I did the 2.4M swim in 1:28!!  Now, I know I am NOT a fast swimmer, but considering the walking and swimming off course a ton, I didn't think that time was too bad!  At least it's good enough to make the swim cut-off time at IMAZ.  :)  And, I still have 2 1/2months of training left!

* Next up...a 10M race tomorrow!  Woohoo!! :)

I hope you are all having a great Labor Day weekend!