How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Ironman athlete Kecia Place-Fencl

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Meet Kecia Place-Fencl, wife, mother of two black Labradors, 8th grade science teacher, triathlete, yogi and lover of fitness and outdoor adventures. She’s also a fellow Coeur Sports ambassador, which is how we first met (well, virtually…although we hope to get the Coeur crew together someday) and have been rooting each other along via our respective blogs ever since (check hers out here for some inspiration!).

What I love most about Kecia, though, is that no matter how jam-packed her schedule is between training and teaching, she’s never too busy to lift others up with a few encouraging words or offer support when someone’s in need (i.e. she’s talked me down from the ledge after my open water swim meltdowns). She’s a true team player, and in the world of solo endurance sports people like that are few and far between.

What’s also admirable about Kecia is the way in which she trains using SMART goals to set clear objectives and hold herself accountable. It’s changed the way I approach my own personal planning for the year, be it training or life in general, and I’d highly recommend trying out her technique.

But don’t let this lady’s kind demeanor and thoughtful approach to life fool you; inside Kecia also beats the heart of a competitive athlete. She’s set her 2016 race calendar and will be ramping up to her “A” event for the season: Ironman Wisconsin in September, her fourth time tackling the 140.6 distance.

Here she gives us a peek at how she’s prepping to make 2016 her best year yet…

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? Riding my bicycle in the fresh open air with my main squeeze beside me makes my heart happy! But honestly, I even love to ride my bike on the trainer! Insane??? Maybe!! But the trainer gives me safety, better time management and provides me with a more controlled environment for riding. There is a reason I refer to any bike ride I do as #bikelove…I truly LOVE to ride my bicycle!!

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2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? When running, I rotate between the Newton Kismet (which I LOVE) and the Asics Gel-Nimbus. On the bike, I wear my Specialized Ember.

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? Swim Gear: My Roka X1 swim goggles are da bomb! They don’t cut into my eye sockets and allow me to focus on my swim stroke instead of the pain my face is enduring, which I have experienced with other brands. I know they were designed for open water swimming, but I use them for every swim I do…even in the pool.

Bike Gear: My Coeur Sports tri shorts. Hello seamless chamois and no angry kitty!! I have zero chaffing and can’t imagine my 120 mile rides without them.

Run Gear: My Coeur Sports tri top. Before I started running in these amazing tops, my chest would chafe until it bled. Since running in these amazing tops, I have experienced no chafing. It no longer looks like someone shot me in the chest after a run…that is a definite WIN!!

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4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” My situation is unique. Both my husband and I train and race most of the same events throughout the year, especially Ironman races. This requires a lot of communication, planning and preparation. Each weekend, we plan and make meals (almost always homemade and healthy options), set out workout and work clothes, and coordinate who will tend to the dogs and when.

5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: I grew up swimming in Lake Okoboji, so open water swimming does not cause me to panic like it does some people. My parents often called me “a fish” growing up…while I may not be a fast fish, I can swim at my endurance pace All. Day. Long. I often find myself singing “Just keep swimming” as Dory does 😉

Bike: Living in Iowa, I spend a great deal of time on the trainer. It provides me with safety and allows me to save time while completing my workouts. For many people, a trainer workout can give them too much time in their own brain, but that is not the case for me. The trainer gives me focus, structure and allows me to feel completely in control of my workout. It allows me to get physically and mentally stronger on the bike by teaching me about focus, strength and fortitude.

Run: I started my endurance lifestyle as a runner. I may not be fast, but I am very comfortable running and often control my pace quite well. I typically set myself up for a pretty successful run coming off the bike!

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6. What do you listen to while training? Swim: Growing up on the lake has instilled water as a calming agent in me. I love listening to the water move past my ears…it calms me.

Bike: During power work on the trainer, I listen to music with a good beat to keep my cadence up and help me push more watts. While riding on the open roads, I am always listening for traffic, animals and any commands from my main squeeze and other friends who ride with us.

Run: I typically listen to my husband and friends converse, my breathing and our feet striking the pavement. I have never listened to music while I run and enjoy listening to the natural sounds around me as I pound the pavement. I love the peace that comes with the sounds of nature that surround me.

7. What are you currently training for? My “A” race for 2016 is Ironman Wisconsin on September 11, 2016. I am excited to go back to my home course in the Midwest and push myself to new limits at Ironman no. 4!

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8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? I definitely have my sleep routine down! I am typically in bed by 7:30 pm with a book in hand…this is my way to decompress before lights out shortly before 8 pm to guarantee at least eight hours of sleep. The alarm clock wakes me at 4 am for my “rise and grind” morning workout.

As for recovery, I consume chocolate almond milk with Osmo recovery after every workout to immediately start the refueling process. I also take an Epsom salt bath every week and get a massage every 2-3 weeks. I love hot yoga, but definitely need to incorporate more of it my training plan, especially during peak training. According to my massage therapist, I also need to spend more time with my foam roller 😉

9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? To measure my success by the size of my smile. This came from Jim, a blogger friend. Definitely advice that will stick with me for years to come!

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10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Definitely Ironman Boulder 2015…I had the time of my life with lots of family and friends cheering me on and racing alongside of me. I raced to a PR of almost 72 minutes and finished before both my husband and a male friend who were also racing. Girls rule!!

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. All of my Coeur teammates! I would love to be able to workout with all of these amazing ladies at the same time. The amount of inspiration and awesomeness that these ladies exude is astounding!!

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Thanks, Kecia! Looking forward to following along on all the adventures to come this year…

Fit friends, please give me a shout (info (at) kineticfix.com) if you’d like to be featured!

January Goal Check-In

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Ok, 2016 — ready or not, here you are. Although it feels like we’ve just begun the year, we’re already a month in.

I’ll admit, pregnancy has given me a more leisurely attitude to this year’s goals…well, at least at this point in the game. And purposefully so.

Not only do I want to be kind to my body right now, but I’m also trying to stay present, cut down on unnecessary stress and enjoy the final weeks of Ben and I being responsible for no one but ourselves. All that’s about to change, and I know we’ll get back on track and into our competitive pursuits again eventually…but until then I’m making a concerted effort to keep things casual.

Read more about the five goals toward which I’m working in 2016.

Here’s where things stand at the moment:

1. Health & Fitness

Until Baby H’s arrival, I’ve been hoping to be able to stay active. That means continuing regular workouts with a mix of cardio, strength and flexiblity work throughout the week with one day off to allow my body to rest.

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Fortunately, my doctor’s fully in support of this plan. Despite some minor aches, pains and first-time-mom freak-outs (Me: “There’s a bruise around my belly button; what did I do wrong, and should I stop working out?!” My doctor: “Nope, that’s just pregnancy.”), she’s great with the fact that I keep moving so the baby will keep moving…ideally into the correct head-down birth position.

2. Training

As I mentioned in my initial post on 2016’s goals, I’m signed up for the Portland Marathon and am considering a few smaller races leading up to that (recovery permitting, of course). Since then, I’ve further revised this goal so it’s more about completion than competition; meaning, I’m going to train to be able to finish events without any expectations of times, PR’s or age-group placements.

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While that’s the stuff that typically gets my juices flowing when it comes to training, it’s been a relief to let it go and give myself permission to not feel like I have to push so hard to prove something. And in the meantime, I’m working on maintaining a solid foundation on which I can build post-baby with an ultimate goal of remaining injury-free.

3. Community

Earlier this month, we officially announced the new roster for 2016’s Team LUNA Chix Portland Run. It’s a fantastic group of women of all ages, abilities and interests…but the one thing they all have in common is that they’re stoked to be able to once again connect with the community, promote the sport of running among women and raise money for our charity partner, the Breast Cancer Fund.

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Next up is our team leader retreat next month where we’re setting some goals and doing a little bonding before the season officially starts in April. Mark your calendar! We’ll be resuming our FREE Monday night workouts (6:30 – 7:30 pm), and you can find up-to-the-minute details via our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

4. Career

Now that the holidays are over, things have been ramping up again work-wise at Pulse Creative. I’ve got several projects in-progress with clients, including website audits, messaging workshops and content creation, along with ghostwriting articles for Forbes and other outlets on behalf of C-level execs — flexing my old journalism muscles has been especially fun!

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But as I attempt to wind things down for my maternity leave, I’m already contemplating the direction I want to take my business when I return. In other words, what really lights my fire, work-wise, and how can I do more of that? 

It’s been something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately — not only in terms of where I can make the most impact for clients, but also how I can continue to create a sustainable career that allows me to find fulfillment yet maintain a healthy work/life balance. I want to continue to do this same type of project work, but I’m also exploring how to package up my favorite services for clients so I can serve them even better in the long run.

5. Life

Despite being proudly Type-A-organized, I will admit to having what I jokingly call a “Monica’s closet.” Look closely and you’ll see a bike helmet hung next to blazers and a hydration pack mingling among my purses. Yep, #fitpeopleprobs + #cityliving = interesting storage solutions.

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While my original goal was to finish  Marie Kondo’s book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by mid-month so I’d have an update on it being in action for two weeks now, I’m behind schedule. I finished the book, but I know that one month isn’t realistic to be able to follow all the instructions laid out in it.

So I’m revising my timeline — this is about year-long goals, after all — and am aiming to tackle step no. 1 (my clothing) by the end of February. So if you don’t see me for the next few weeks, you know where I am…or what I might quite possibly be buried under!

How are your 2016 goals coming along? 

How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Ironman triathlete Barbara Perkins

Courtesy of Barbara Perkins

There’s only one thing you need to know about Barbara Perkins: Some girls chase boys. She passes them. As in, if you’re racing against her, you better be prepared to get your butt kicked.

“Tenacious” doesn’t even begin to describe this lady; not only is she a fellow member of the 2016 Coeur Sports team, but I was blown away when I heard about her racing resume and plans for this year.

She started her Ironman journey back in 2012, preparing to race IM Lake Tahoe in 2013 with a group of friends from Team in Training. All she knew is that she wanted to finish. But when she crossed the finish line in 4th place and missed a Kona world championship slot by a mere eight minutes, she was hooked.

At IM New Zealand in 2014, she managed to shave an hour and a half off her previous time, was the first amateur female out of the water in the swim and ran a best time of 3:47 in the marathon — yet still fell short of the coveted Kona slots amid stiff competition. Undeterred, Barbara set her sights on IM Lake Tahoe only to have the race cancelled three minutes before the starting gun went off.

Not one to back down from a challenge, IM Coeur d’Alene in 2015 became Plan B. The season started off better than ever, with an age group win at IM New Orleans 70.3, but then things took a turn for the worse. Last May at Challenge Knoxville, she took a spill on the course and lacerated her liver.

Barbara’s Plan C is now IM Texas in May, which has a reputation for being flat, fast and sometimes unbearably hot. It’s only a few months away, yet she’s determined to do everything in her power to make this THE race in which she once again tempts fate and makes a bid for her spot at Kona.

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? My favorite workout of the week would probably be my long runs with Team Brilliant on Sunday mornings. These people are the definition of endorphin junkies. Most of them are triathletes, but there are also quite a few ultra marathoners and people who just enjoy running.

On the first day I went to a group run, three of them were planning on doing a marathon the following weekend, hadn’t trained at all and were going for a casual 20-mile run. One of them ended up qualifying for Boston. That tells you what kind of people these guys are.

As far as bike rides, there is a route in Bloomington on the Old 37 that goes out to the Morgan Monroe State Forest. No matter what time of year it is, this ride is always breathtaking and inspiring. It is also secretly very hilly and a great training ride.

2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? For the run, I just switched over to Brooks Glycerin 13’s. I used to swear by Mizunos, but they changed their design so I have been searching for a new pair. I am very happy with these new kicks so far!

On the bike, I wear Louis Garneau Women’s Tri X-Speed shoes. These trusty bike shoes have been with me since the beginning of clipping in. They are so easy to use with just one strap and make for speedy transitions.

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3. What other training gear can’t you live without? Swim gear: Finis Agility Paddles. I love pulling and doing drills with these bad boys.

Bike gear: I am so in love with my bright, neon pink Rudy Project helmet. I finally got one this past year. Also, my Coeur little black tri shorts are an absolute necessity. With all the riding I do, gotta have #noangrykitty.

Run gear: Trucker hat. I have fallen in love with running with a trucker hat on. This year I was sporting my #5Q hat. Also, Smith Optic sunglasses. They are so clear and also come in bright pink!

4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” This one is tough. Probably doing rides indoors on my trainer and catching up on Netflix. Killing two birds with one stone!

5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: Well I grew up as a swimmer, so this comes a bit more naturally to me than other triathletes. I sort of took it for granted when I first started racing triathlons, but have embraced my background again.

Bike: This is usually my weakest discipline, but I would have to say that I overcome it with my tenacity. When things get tough, I dig deep into the pain cave and am willing to go where others cannot.

Run: Can I say that one of my favorite things is chicking guys? Because people tend to pass me on the bike, I usually make up the time on the run. But really, I love encouraging people who look like they’re having a hard time. Just giving them a high five or saying a couple words goes a long way.

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6. What do you listen to while training? My favorite Pandora station I listen to while working out is Krewella. Sometimes I’ll mix it up with 80’s rock or Jason Derulo. I love dance music with a fast tempo. It helps me stay motivated and I try to match the beat of the music.

7. What are you currently training for? Next year, I have my sights on grabbing a coveted Kona spot. First I’ll try at IM Texas. And if that doesn’t work out, then I will try at IM Lake Placid. Two very different and difficult courses, in very different ways.

8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? I love having chocolate milk right after a work out!

By nature, I am a night owl, but this sort of contradicts the lifestyle of being a swim coach and getting up at 5:00 am. It’s still a work in progress but I try to be in bed by 10 and take naps when I can.

9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? Before one of my races, my coach Craig Paiement told me, “To those of you who have prepared properly, I wish you good fortune. To those who haven’t…I wish you good luck.”

I didn’t know what it meant, so I asked one of my other friends I was with. It means, that if you have done the work and put in the time, then all you need on race day is good fortune. If you haven’t trained as much as you should have, then you need “good luck.” Trusting myself and knowing that I have done everything I could in order to have a successful race has helped me immensely.

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10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Probably one of the most meaningful race memories I have had was this past year at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships. On the day of the race, I knew it wasn’t going to be exactly the race I had imagined.

I was still suffering from a lacerated liver due to a bike crash earlier in the year. Because of that, I had no expectations. Before the race, I was so relaxed and just wanted to have a fun race. Other people were freaking out, and I was having a blast.

When I came up to the finishing chute, I saw my mom and just lost it. It had been an incredibly hard race, with a lot of climbing on the bike. On the run, I was in so much pain and had to keep stopping. It was a very hot day on top of that, which didn’t help.

But I made it to the finish and was just so happy to be there in that moment. I’ve never cried at a finish line before. It was all very emotional.

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. Do I have to pick just one?? Paula Newby-Frasier, Chrissie Wellington, Mirinda Carfrae and Julie Moss. All of the Ironwomen greats.

12. Anything else you’d like to add? If I have learned anything over the past couple years in my journey, it is to just be grateful to be able to do something I love so much. Health, money and ability are not a given. I feel lucky every day I get to train!

Thanks, Barbara! Your perseverance is beyond inspiring; I’m excited to watch you crush IM Texas this year and finally conquer Kona. 

Fit friends, please give me a shout (info (at) kineticfix.com) if you’d like to be featured!

Introducing the 2016 LUNA Chix Portland Run Team!

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We’re baaaack!

Well, not officially until the spring. But in the meantime, I’m thrilled to announce our team leaders for season two of Team LUNA Chix Portland Run, which runs April through October.

We had so many excellent applicants for just a few open spots, it was tough to narrow it down to just 10 people — but the good news is that, since this is a non-competitive, community-oriented team for runners (and walkers!) of ALL levels, we look forward to opening up our workouts to everyone who is interested in attending.

So mark your calendars! Our regular workouts will take place on Mondays from 6:30-7:30 p.m. We’re hoping to keep our usual location — Duniway Park Track — but will have to confirm that closer to the start of the season, pending Under Armour’s proposed renovations.

Here’s our official roster for the 2016 team:

  • Syreeta Abrams: Previously one of our most enthusiastic community members, she tackled trail races last year and has her eye on a 5k PR this season.
  • Megan Landrum: Our resident women’s nutrition expert is back for a second year, but you may not recognize her new (married) name!
  • Nicole Licking: Fresh off a strong showing at the Holiday Half Marathon last month, she’s rallying for another successful, race-filled season.
  • Kristin Minto: After completing her first marathon and captaining a Hood to Coast team last year, we can’t wait to see what she’s up to next!
  • Sharlene Murphy: Also back for round two next season, she’s got a new baby (congrats!) and is already plotting her comeback to the track.
  • Vanessa Peterson: Previously our speediest community member, she has been leading off-season workouts, so our goal is to just try to keep up with her!
  • Madeline Rhoades: A new addition for 2016, she started last season as a non-runner but all her hard work paid off when she RAN our final four-miler.
  • Ashly Robinson: Another community member success story who took to trail racing like a pro last season and is excited to inspire and welcome others!
  • Alex Schrimp: A former community member who nabbed a PR at the Holiday Half 5k last month; she’s all about sharing motivation and accountability.
  • Jennifer Hellickson: I’ll be heading up the group next season with a mini LUNA chick in tow (coming March), but I can’t wait to get back out there!

As you can see, it’s a pretty fantastic crew! We’re looking forward to getting out into the Portland running community again — recruiting new community members, logging miles, hosting clinics and events throughout the season and raising funds for our charity partner, the Breast Cancer Fund.

Stay tuned for updates, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and don’t forget to join us on Monday evenings for a workout when you’re in the Portland area! 

December Goal Check-In

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It’s almost time to say “sayonara” to 2015! But before we go, I’ve got one final monthly check-in for this calendar year.

I’ll be doing a more thorough review of the year’s goals in an upcoming post. In the meantime, however, this one’s more about progress made during this last 31-day push.

Read more about the five goals toward which I’m working this year.

Here’s the latest:

1. Seeking Balance

After November’s turkey trot, the racing bug bit me hard (if you can call it that…because I’m not able to actually ‘race’). I wanted nothing more than to get a holiday run on the calendar, but cooler heads prevailed in the end when I realized that we had too much going on with baby stuff, holiday prep and travel.

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Instead, Ben and I opted to keep December low-key when it came to pre-planned fitness events. We had enough to keep us busy between work, doctor’s appointments and parties, so workouts ended up becoming more social as a result.

Here’s a tip: If you’re feeling over-scheduled, kill two birds with one stone and make a fitness date with friends. Not only will you get to re-connect, but you’ll also work off some of those extra cocktails or cookies in the process!

2. Training Smarter

Dear Running,

As much as it pains me to say this, we’re going to have to take some time apart. It’s not you — it’s me — and I hate to do this to you because you’ve always been there, but I hope we can try again when the time is right.

Love, Me

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After a decent five-miler earlier this month, I had a no good, horrible, very bad treadmill run mid-month that made me 99.9% sure running is off the table for the foreseeable future. Despite my best efforts — support belt, cushy shoes, hydration, slower pace, etc. — it was uncomfortable bordering on painful, so I cut my planned four-miler in half and ended up making up the difference with walking.

I’m thankful to have made it this far with intermittent jogs, and I’ve been keeping consistent over the holidays with lots of walking and at-home body weight workouts, all of which were much easier when on the road without regular access to a gym. It was all about being flexible, cross-training and modifying when needed!

3. Facing Fears

Aside from this week, I’m giving myself a pat on the back for continuing to make it to the pool regularly. Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s quickly becoming a favorite activity because it feels so lovely to give my joints a break from all the extra weight.

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The toughest part remains just getting there, but once I hit the water it’s all good. And I’m pretty sure Baby H is happy, too, because is feels like s/he just chills out once I find my zone while bobbing back and forth down the lane.

And, yes, believe it or not — I’m looking forward to continuing this little tradition into the New Year, too.

4. Pushing Myself

It took a combination of objective and subjective feedback this month to realize that as I enter the 3rd trimester, “pushing” is a relative term — as in, balls-to-the-wall workouts are now a no-no, if not an impossibility. Rather, it’s all about consistency and keeping myself in check…which sometimes proves to be a challenge in and of itself.

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Thankfully, though, I’ve been utilizing a great book from one of my Team LUNA Chix Portland Run teammates and fellow preggo, Sharlene Murphy: The Pregnant Athlete. It debunks the myth that you can’t have a safe, healthy pregnancy and maintain a high level of fitness — and it’s been a great source of motivation and inspiration when I catch myself occasionally getting bummed out about what I can’t do right now.

Another tip: Focus on the positive. Just as every pregnancy is different, so is everyone’s range of activity while pregnant; even if you can’t push like you’re used to in one area, there’s a good chance you can still make progress in another.

5. Giving Back

Our lovely LUNA crew was out representing in full force despite of less-than-desirable weather for this year’s Holiday Half on December 13. Of note was the aforementioned Sharlene, who completed the 5k at nearly 39 weeks pregnant, and Katie Wilkes for successfully running her first half marathon. Way to go, ladies!

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And in other news, we’re hard at work assembling our 2016 team. As of December 15, we officially closed applications, so we’re now in the process of reviewing all of them and making some tough decisions (we got so many great applicants; thanks to everyone for your interest and enthusiasm!) before notifying our new team leaders.

We’ll be making the official announcement in January, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, please give us a follow via our FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts so you can stay in the loop during our upcoming season.

How’d you do with your 2015 goals? 

How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Ironman athlete Erin Klegstad

Courtesy of Erin Klegstad

Courtesy of Erin Klegstad

Meet Erin Klegstad, triathlete, yogi, lover of life, happiness, espresso, the outdoors, vizslas and the ocean. She believes that bike rides make every day better and that kindness can change the world.

Here’s a fun fact: We have yet to meet in person, but we connected through social media and follow along on each other’s adventures via our blogs (find her at sweetsweatlife, and I highly recommend it!); I feel like I know her, and I especially appreciate the thoughtfulness, kindness and sense of purpose with which she approaches life. We’ve also been teammates for Coeur Sports (she’s one of the elite racers) for the past few years so I figured it was high time to get to know her even better here on the blog.

Another fun fact? She’s also an amazing athlete. So much so that she placed second in her age group at Ironman Wisconsin this year, which meant she nabbed a spot at the World Championships in Kona for 2016. It couldn’t have happened to someone more hard-working, deserving and supportive person, and I’m even more excited to root her along as she prepares throughout the next few months.

In the meantime, here’s an insider look at her approach to training, along with what else will be powering this fantastic lady on her quest for Kona!

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1. What’s your favorite route or workout? During the week, I run the same out-and-back route over and over and over (definition of insanity?! Ha!) because it’s there and out my front door and I don’t have to worry about planning out a different route everyday. But, for long runs, my favorite route is the 8.5-mile Ford-Franklin bridge loop along the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. A running path on both sides with plenty of water fountains and porta potties!

A favorite bike route is a 100-mile loop from our house and along the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi that full of great climbing, wind and a halfway pit stop for Mexi Coke in Red Wing (of Red Wing boots!).

2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? I’ve been running in Hoka Cliftons for nearly two years and won’t run in anything else! On the bike – love my Sidi tri shoes. I have my eye on a pair of hot pink ones that Sidi debuted at Interbike this year. 🙂

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? Swim gear I can’t live without: baby shampoo. It keeps my goggles fog-free every single swim!

Bike gear I can’t live without: no way could I get through a 112-mile ride without my Coeur Sports shorts. Seamless chamois FTW! Seriously, that chamois is a game changer. Zero chafe ever.

Run gear I can’t live without: I’m a lululemon speeds shorts junkie (I won’t tell you how many pairs I own); love my Feetures socks… blister free always; and, I can’t run without a trucker hat (they keep my hair out of my face)!

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4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” Hmm… definitely using Garmin Express to sync my 920 and Edge 500 simultaneously to TrainingPeaks, Garmin Connect and Strava. And, then immediately logging those workouts with comments across the board and in my spreadsheet. I’m quite meticulous about logging my data every single day. 🙂

5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: Who are we kidding, the swim is definitely not my strength… ha! It’s a work-in-progress, but I’m making strides every year by doing the work, even on those cold winter days when swimming’s the last thing I want to do! I’m always tempted to sit in the sauna instead… 🙂

Bike: Living in Minnesota, I spend a good chunk of the year on my bike trainer (even during the summer, I’m on the trainer… that itself is a great time saver, and it’s safer than the road). There’s something really satisfying about trainer workouts… intense focus and staying in control of your watts. Anyway, I’d have to say focus… I have no problem turning off my brain to truly stay in the moment during a trainer workout. I think that’s one reason I love triathlon so much… it keeps me present and enjoying and embracing each second – even when it’s painful.

Run: Pacing is my specialty! Tell me to run x-pace over x-number of miles, and I’ll run ‘em almost on the nose every single time.

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6. What do you listen to while training? The only thing I listen to while running are my footfalls and my breath. I haven’t ran with music since 2008, the year they banned MP3 players during marathons. I was training for my first (and only) open 26.2 and ditched it since I wouldn’t be able to race with it. There’s nothing better than the quiet of running… I love being able to hear myself think (and not mess with annoying ear buds!).

But, when I’m doing hard bike intervals on the trainer (never ride with headphones outside, people!), I almost always listen to Girl Talk’s All Day. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve listened to this mix. It keeps me focused, and the rhythm is tops!

7. What are you currently training for? The Ironman World Championship! It still hasn’t hit me that I get to race in Kona next year!

8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? I’m fairly good at recovery. I do legs up the wall daily, take a lavender Epsom soak weekly and am quite lazy after training (think sofa city!). My sleep routine is a work-in-progress, but thanks to the sleep tracker on the Garmin 920, it’s improved. Tracking my sleep each night is a good motivator to get to bed when I get sucked into HGTV or reading!

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9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? A friend said to me before Ironman Wisconsin in 2014: never give up, even when it hurts because everyone else is hurting, too. I think of that during every single race, especially near the end when sitting down would feel amazing. It reminds me to dig deep and to continue giving it my all, all the way to the finish line. Another goodie is: remember to smile! It makes the hurt a bit more bearable… plus, we’re so lucky that we *get* to do this!

10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Ahhh… this is a tough one! I’m grateful to cross any finish line, but I think my favorite is Ironman Wisconsin this year. There were a couple mishaps during the race, but overcoming those to run down a few people in my AG for a second place finish and a Kona spot – with my entire family there cheering me on – made the finish line downtown Madison so much sweeter.

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11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. Can all my Coeur Sports teammates move to one place so we can swim, bike, run all day together?! That would be a dream!

Thanks, Erin! I’m stoked to see what 2016 will bring, and we’ll be cheering you along every step of the way as you prepare for Kona. 

Fit friends, please give me a shout (info (at) kineticfix.com) if you’d like to be featured!

How I Run: Team LUNA Chix PDX’s Carolyn Domme

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In honor of our inaugural Team LUNA Chix Portland Run season, I’ve been introducing my teammates via this interview series…and here’s the last of the Q&A’s with our 10 team leaders. I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know these impressive ladies, and come join us for a run next season if you’re in town — we meet Monday nights from 6:30-7:30 pm in Portland (click here for details)! 

A lover of the great outdoors (seriously, whether it’s wandering the woods, hitting the beach or floating the river, she’s in her happy place), Carolyn Domme hails from the “Land of Enchantment,” otherwise known as New Mexico. And after soaking up the San Diego sun for a few years in between, she’s now proud to call Portland “home.”

We started our LTWR (long-term workout relationship) shortly after I moved to Portland myself because Carolyn’s always game to try something new, whether it’s studio-hopping, trying out new workouts or even signing up for her first-ever road race last December, which you can read about below. Even though she’s a self-professed non-runner, you’d never guess it, especially because she’s verbally agreed to sign up for another 5k this holiday season.

As an avid mountain-biker, hiking adventurer and hot yogi, Carolyn thrives on variety when it comes to fitness. And bonus: She’s got an amazing sense of style and an adventurous palate, so if you’re ever in need of fashion advice or a recommendation for one of the best restaurants in Portland, Carolyn is your go-to gal!

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1. What’s your favorite route? I like urban runs through the alphabet district in NW Portland. It’s just a pretty place, and it keeps me preoccupied seeing people, houses and parks while I pass by on my run. I prefer to do a loop instead of back tracking with an out-and-back, which is why running in neighborhoods works so well for me.

2. What shoes do you wear? I like Nike running shoes. I’ve worn the Nike minimalist shoes for years now, and I love them because they are lightweight, comfortable, and I like to feel the contact with the pavement.

3. What other run gear can’t you live without? I absolutely love the SPIbelt, which is really just a fancy word for fanny pack. I just discovered this item over the last year thanks to the LUNA running belt, and I wear it every time I do an outdoor activity. It’s very small and doesn’t bounce, and it fits just about anything you want to shove into that small but very expandable pouch.

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4. What’s your best time-saver or “runhack?” Working out first thing in the morning guarantees that I will get up, get out and get it over with.

5. What running-related thing are you better at than anyone else? I think I am very good at planning ahead and staying hydrated, which makes a significant difference in performance. Sometimes people forget the importance of drinking water in advance of a long run or hard workout.

6. What do you listen to while running? I love Spotify. They do a weekly recommendations playlist based on listening habits, and every week it blows my mind how well Spotify has me figured out. It’s really fun to find great new tunes while working out.

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7. What are you currently training for? Nothing, but I have my eye on the 5K Jingle Bell Run. I ran my first 5K there last year, and it was a really fun experience.

8. What are your recovery & sleep routines like? I am a huge believer in the importance of getting enough sleep, so I’m generally in bed by 10 pm if I’m not working late. I also love stretching out with a Pilates ring or rolling on a foam roller while I’m at home watching TV in the evening. I think being well rested and stretching consistently makes for better training.

9. What’s the best running advice you’ve ever received? For the longest time I never set goals for myself or tracked time/miles. Over the last several months, my workout partner — who happens to be Jenn our awesome LUNA leader — has tracked the miles/time with all of our outdoor activities, and it made me realize that it motivates me to work harder when I can compete with myself.

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10. What’s your favorite running-related memory? I started running when I lived in San Diego, and my favorite running memory is running along the coast with all of the other runners in the warm sunshine.

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to go on a run with ______.  Amy Schumer. She’s hilarious, and would help pass the time in the best way possible.

Thanks, Carolyn! Looking forward to hitting it hard with our workouts in the off-season. 

Runner friends, shoot me a note — info (at) kineticfix.com — so I can feature you, too!

October Goal Check-In

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Fall is flying by! It feels like I just wrote September’s update, and I know the next few months will go quickly with the holidays nearly upon us. Can we just hit the pause button for a moment?!

Because I was traveling for a good part of the first half of the month, the second half has been about getting back into a groove here in Portland, getting organized on a few different fronts (work, home) and starting to plan ahead on a few others (kiddo, 2016 schedule).

Meanwhile, Baby H is keeping busy growing and making his/her presence known more and more each day. So I’ve been trying to stay flexible when it comes to my monthly goals; I know the further along I get the more I’ll need to listen to my body, so there’s no time like the present to accept that and put it into practice.

Read more about the five goals toward which I’m working this year.

Here’s the latest on my progress:

1. Seeking Balance

I mentioned I was home again earlier this month for a childhood friend’s wedding. We did the math one evening and realized we’ve been friends for almost 30 years.

After we got over how old that makes us feel, we had a blast at the weekend’s events — from bachelorette party to rehearsal to wedding. Not only was it great to spend some quality girl time together, but I’m also thrilled for Colleen and Eric to start this next phase of their lives together, surrounded by love!

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I am still struggling with my body’s new definition of “balance,” however, which might be a theme this year. Or maybe it’s just a constant struggle for us all in this day and age?!

Either way, now that my energy has returned in the second trimester I get over-excited to do #allthethings, but if I push too hard I end up getting a headache for a day or two that no amount of Tylenol will kick. So this next month I’m hoping to pace myself better so I can still get stuff accomplished, but not get knocked on my butt afterwards.

2. Training Smarter

Thanks to pregnancy tilting my pelvis forward, along with a dumb move I made in Michigan trying to lift my nephew out of his carseat while leaning over, my SI joint has been flaring up again. I’ve been addressing it with massage and acupuncture and, aside from my twice weekly runs, low-impact activities are my jam (biking, yoga, walking, Pilates, swimming, etc.).

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One tip to help turn that frown upside down when you’re mourning what feels like the loss of your former level of fitness? Metrics, metrics, metrics.

Despite breathlessness on runs, the inability to utilize the majority of my ab muscles and my current distaste for high-impact activities, I managed to hit some good numbers on the bike during a recent ride. There’s nothing like some quantitative proof that your hard work is still paying off when, qualitatively, you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

3. Facing Fears

Stop the presses — I’m back in the pool! Yes, it sucks because mornings are dark and cold and the last thing I feel like doing is jumping in the water, but once I’m there it’s actually pretty great being a preggo “human submarine,” as Ben puts it.

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My first workout was simple: Go back and forth for 30 minutes. Just keep moving. So I did a little more than 1000 yards of freestyle punctuated with a lap of breaststroke here and there.

Going forward (just to keep myself motivated), I’ll be looking to build up to longer workouts or cover more distance in that 30-minute time-frame. But either way, I want to keep it leisurely and fun — and enjoy the fact that I can get my own lane more often than not because people seem to be leery of getting too close to a pregnant woman bobbing back and forth!

4. Pushing Myself

Because I can neither resist a) running in the fall foliage of the Midwest nor b) registering for a race when I’m traveling back home, I talked my sister into running the Rattlesnake Run 5k with me while in Michigan. Yes, the race went well and I came in second overall for the women and first in my age group, but it was a learning experience.

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I didn’t PR by any means, but I felt good that morning so my plan was to push the threshold of what I could handle (within reason , of course) just to see where that limit now lies. Well, I found it; the breathlessness that comes with pregnancy is unlike any kind of breathlessness I’ve experienced before in a race, even when I’ve been running all-out.

And although I miss that feeling of pushing my body to the limit, it’s just not the same kind of thrill when you’re second-guessing every ache and pain and what impact it has on the little person you’re carrying. So I’ve decided that any races between now and March will be strictly fun runs!

But that’s not to say I can’t look ahead… I’m slowly figuring out my 2016 schedule, and while I’m not planning on tackling any new distances or PR’s, I have signed up for the Portland Marathon as my carrot for getting back into running shape post-baby.

5. Giving Back

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we just wrapped up our first official season with Team LUNA Chix Portland Run, so I’m in the throes of planning for next year. We had such an amazing group of ladies who really embraced us and made the team their own, and for that I’m incredibly appreciative.

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And next year our plan is to come back even bigger and better! We’ll be doing monthly workouts in the off-season, as requested, plus we’ll be taking applications for any open spots for our 10 team leaders. Stay tuned to our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for more info if you’d like to join us — the more, the merrier!

How are your 2015 goals coming along? 

Celebrating a Successful First Season of Team LUNA Chix Portland Run

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This past week marked a major milestone: We held our last official practice of the season for Team LUNA Chix Portland Run. Our season runs April through October, and having run track workouts in the dark for the past month or so, we’re ready to switch things up for the next few months of our ‘off-season’ (more on that below).

But first…we had a lot to celebrate. Not only was it is successful year of fitness and fundraising, but we’ve also forged some pretty terrific friendships over the past few months.

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Our friends over at Title Nine Portland generously invited us into their space for the evening, so we scrapped the regular track workout in favor of an out-and-back run/walk from the store before enjoying some treats together. By the way, if you haven’t been by the store yet it’s definitely worth a visit; they’re known for being the sports bra experts, so do your gals a favor and get them fitted properly! 

I had planned out the routes in advance and printed out directions for both the two-milers (walkers) and four-milers (runners), plus we had plenty of safety gear on hand (reflective vests, headlamps, glow-in-the-dark bracelets) to ensure everyone stayed super-visible while hitting the streets. After splitting everyone into groups by pace, we set out…and I hung near the back of the four-miler pack to act as sweeper and make sure no one got lost.

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Of course, then Syreeta (who kindly kept me company) and I were so busy chatting and catching up while running that we were the only ones to end up over-shooting the turnaround point by about a quarter mile! We were close to the Forest Park trail head when we finally realized that we’d blown past it, so we quickly doubled back and caught up to the tail end of the group.

Once everyone was safely back to the store, we nibbled on snacks, drank wine (well, those of us who weren’t knocked up!) and savored the moment together. Then it was time to get down to business, so we raffled off a bunch of LUNA gear and gift certificates, plus Title Nine ran a special discount for hose of us who wanted to shop (just in time, too; I’ve outgrown all my current sports bras and got fitted for a new one).

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Because everyone wanted to continue to momentum and camaraderie of the season, we also talked about meeting up regularly in the ‘not-so-off-season’ for workouts, trail runs and possibly even some non-running social activities. So stay tuned to the team’s Facebook page for details if you’d like to join us!

And, of course, we’re already starting to plan for season number two, which means we’ll be accepting applications for any open spots for the 10 team leader positions. Again, keep an eye out for details via our Facebook page.

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In the meantime, you can keep tabs on our adventures via the official Team LUNA Chix Portland Run Instagram account where we’ll be posting pictures from workouts, runs and other happenings. Yep, we’re all over Twitter, too, if you want to reach us there instead.

Cheers to a first season for the record books, and here’s to an even more inspiring, exciting and sweaty second season starting next spring!

How I Run: Team LUNA Chix PDX’s Kelsie Adams

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In honor of our inaugural Team LUNA Chix Portland Run season, I’ll be introducing my teammates via this interview series throughout the next few months…get to know these impressive ladies, and come join us for a run Monday nights from 6:30-7:30 pm in Portland (click here for details)! 

Meet Kelsie Adams, mom to three “rambunctious” girls (with a fourth kiddo on the way!), who might quite possibly have the most energy out of all of us. I mean, running a marathon (which she’s done) must seem like a walk in the park compared to chasing around after a trio of little ladies every day, right?!

A born and bred Oregonian, Kelsie says that running is her perfect way to escape and have some “me” time amidst the happy chaos. Not only does she run to stay healthy physically and mentally, but she also believes it’s the secret to being a better, happier mom and wife.

These days, Kelsie runs whenever and wherever she can squeeze it in, though. Give her some rain and a beach, and she’s in her happy place.

But don’t discount her as a competitor — Kelsie’s participated in 10K’s, half marathons and completed the Portland Marathon when her oldest daughter was just nine months old. She also led her team in roadkills for last year’s Portland to Coast, proving that having kids can indeed kick your athleticism into high gear!

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1. What’s your favorite route? Anywhere along the coast. I love the smell of the fresh, salty air. It gives me a cleansing and invigorating feeling.

2. What shoes do you wear? New Balance 880v4

3. What other run gear can’t you live without? My phone. I know it is terrible but with three young kids I like to have it near me for safety reasons. My husbands knows not to bother me on a run, though, unless it’s an emergency!

4. What’s your best time-saver or “runhack?” Simply putting on my running shoes. The sooner I do it, the sooner I get out the door.

Kelsie making some road-kills at 2014's Portland to Coast relay!

Kelsie making some road-kills at 2014’s Portland to Coast relay!

5. What do you listen to while running? Pandora. I listen to many different stations from Running Radio Mix to Enya. It just depends on my mood at the moment.

6. What are you currently training for? Nothing at the moment. But hopefully I’ll get something on the books soon!

7. What are your recovery & sleep routines like? At this point in my life, I have NO recovery & sleep routines. I may have had one seven years ago before my first daughter was born, but I cannot remember 😉

8. What’s the best running advice you’ve ever received? Know that every pain will pass with each mile.

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9. What’s your favorite running-related memory? My first race. I just remember the energy around me before the race, and I knew that I was really going to like my new hobby.

10. Fill in the blank: I’d love to go on a run with __________. My husband. Pre kids we ran together, and it was always such a fun way to catch up on our days’ events. I know we’ll be able to do it again on day soon enough; I just don’t want to rush it.

Thanks, Kelsie! Looking forward to more adventures and memories over the next year (and beyond). 

Runner friends, shoot me a note — info (at) kineticfix.com — so I can feature you, too!