How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Fit, Fierce Feminist Caitlin Constantine

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Meet Caitlin Constantine, digital media producer for a TV news station in the Tampa Bay area, voracious reader, wife, lover of the outdoors, experimenter in the kitchen, and mom to a greyhound and three cats. Oh, and in her “spare time,” she’s also a competitive endurance athlete (who most recently qualified for the Boston Marathon).

But that wasn’t always the case, which is why Caitlin’s achievements are all the more impressive.

You see, after playing on varsity teams in high school, she gave up on sports and most physical activity upon entering the “real world.” She likes to joke that by the time she was in her mid-20s, the most exercise she got was walking to the corner store to buy cigarettes or around the block to get a beer at the local bar.

That all changed, however, when Caitlin turned 27 and met her husband, a former smoker and drinker who reinvented himself as a marathon runner and salad-eater. After watching him finish a marathon, she decided to take up running herself, which eventually led to her completion of two ultramarathons, five marathons, a few dozen half-marathons and too many shorter distance road races to count.

A few years ago, she broadened her athletic horizons to triathlon and has since completed two half-Ironmans, along with several sprint triathlons. And since she’s got big plans for 2016 with the Boston Marathon, her first full Ironman race and a bunch of smaller races in between, I thought it’d be fun to pick her brain about some of her favorite things, as well as where her athletic endeavors will take her next.

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? Right now my favorite workouts are tempo runs, which I usually do on a multi-use trail through a park near my house. The trail runs through a wooded area around a small lake, and it’s so beautiful, especially in the mornings. I also see lots of wildlife — alligators, tortoises, roseate spoonbills — which keeps things interesting. One of the reasons my husband and I bought our house where we did was so we could be close to this park, and I’ve yet to regret that decision.
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As for the run itself, I always love doing tempo runs. I like running hard, but not puke-my-guts-out-hard like you get with a speed workout, and so I find tempo runs really scratch that itch without leaving me utterly depleted.

2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? When I’m on the bike I wear Specialized Trivents, which I like because they keep my feet cool and well-ventilated (extra important when cycling in Florida heat!). They were recommended to me as a great bike shoe for triathletes, and so far I’ve found they live up to the hype.

I switch between two kinds of shoes when I run. When I do anything that’s half-marathon or shorter, I wear Brooks Pureflow. I had been wearing Newtons Distances for a couple of years and really liked them, but then something changed in the recent model and suddenly I couldn’t wear them without feeling like I’d shredded my calves. A friend recommended the Pureflow to me and my life has never been the same since. Usually with running shoes it takes me a bit to get used to them, but I was running beautifully the very first time I put the Pureflows on. Sorry, Newtons. It was great while it lasted, but my heart belongs to Brooks now.

All my long-distance runs are done in Hoka Conquests. I started wearing them in 2014, when I trained for the Keys 50 (an ultramarathon run entirely on roads and sidewalks) and I found they really minimized the impact of lots and lots of running on my joints. That’s particularly important for me as a tall, solidly-built woman, as there’s more of me to create that downward force on my feet with each footfall. I can still run pretty fast in them, too. I qualified for Boston while wearing them.

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3. What other training gear can’t you live without? My Garmin 920XT. I mean, I suppose I could live without it, but why would I want to? It’s so fun!

4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” I love to do my binge TV-watching while riding on the indoor trainer. I’m sure some triathlete purists would scoff, saying that a real athlete would do her trainer rides while in a garage without air conditioning while doing nothing but staring at a poster of Kona, but whatever.

I still do workouts and ride fairly hard; I just have something else to think about aside from how much I hate riding on the trainer. And this is how I see it: if watching TV helps me be consistent about riding on the indoor trainer, then so be it. Anyway, this has helped me go from having a weak bike leg to being decent on the bike. I posted my best bike splits at the end of last year, so it seems like it’s working!

5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? This is a relatively new development for me, dating back to about the summer of 2014, when I did the Keys 50. During the whole training cycle leading up to the race and then the race itself, I learned a lot about how to be mentally tough. Before that I was a total wuss who would quit whenever things got even the tiniest bit painful or scary, but that race was like a baptism by fire and I came out of it much, much tougher than I was before.

And as any endurance athlete knows, mental toughness is literally like 90 percent of success at these sports. Obviously you have to train your body to be able to withstand the stresses, but all the training in the world is worthless if your mind folds like a cheap card table when faced with adversity.

Now, I don’t know if I’d say I’m mentally tougher than anyone else, but I do think it’s a quality I have that has allowed me to have a lot of success with racing and training in the past 18 months or so, and it’s a quality I recognize not everyone has. The good thing, though, is that if I can develop mental toughness, ANYONE can.

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6. What do you listen to while training? Just about everything, as long as it has a good beat. I actually just wrote a post on my blog about this with some of the songs I’ve been listening to lately.  It includes everything from 80’s pop like “Maniac” to classic rock like Van Halen to Janelle Monae and Britney Spears.

7. What are you currently training for? Right now I’m about two months out from the Boston Marathon, which marks the first time I’ll be running the race. I worked pretty hard and consistently for a few years to get myself to this point, and so while I have a time goal for Boston, I’m mostly just looking at the opportunity to run that race as my present to myself for all the hard work I put in over the past few years.

By the way, I’m also using the Boston Marathon as a way to raise money for Free to Run, which is a non-profit organization that uses running and outdoor sports to empower women and girls in Afghanistan.  If you’re interested in learning more and possibly contributing, you can do so by clicking this link.

After that I’m training for the Hurricane Man Roughwater 2.4-mile swim, Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga, and then Ironman Louisville, which will be my very first full iron-distance triathlon. I’ll also do a bunch of smaller local races in between, but my eyes are on those big goals right now.

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8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? If I’m being honest – they could be better. I’m old enough that I really feel the effects of a lack of sleep or inadequate recovery, plus I demand so much more of my body than I ever did before. I’m getting better, though. I try to get at least seven hours of sleep a night, and if my job (which, as I work for a 24/7 TV news station, often has wonky hours) means I don’t get enough sleep, then I skip training and prioritize sleep. I just don’t see the point in training when I am also exhausted.

I do make an effort to eat shortly after a workout, because I’ve noticed if I go for a run and then don’t eat anything for a while afterwards, I’ll end up headache-y and tired all day and then my legs will hurt the next day. It makes sense that this would happen, though, as doing so is basically like asking a construction crew to build a house without any tools or materials. Except worse, because then the construction crew riots inside my head and I’m miserable all day long. So I definitely make sure to eat plenty of good food.

I also like Epsom salt baths and having my husband use The Stick on my legs. I try to foam roll regularly and to strength train to keep my muscles strong and healthy. And lately I have been SUPER into yoga. I practice at home and I also go to a hot yoga studio once a week. I like it not only for the restorative aspects, but also for the way it helps me be more chill and centered.  It’s good for my mind as well as my body.

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9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? To enjoy the process and not be so focused on outcomes! My super-wise husband gave me that advice, and I’ve really taken it to heart. A friend was talking with me the other day about the path I took from being a middle-of-the-pack runner to a Boston qualifier, and he said he really appreciated seeing someone put in hard work to become faster and stronger.

I was like, “But I don’t think I’ve been working that hard?” But then I thought about it for a while afterwards, and I realized that I actually have been working quite hard. Because I’ve coupled workouts with a mindset that appreciates each run/swim/bike/race/yoga session/strength session (well, if I’m being honest, about 80 percent of them) as I’m doing it, it hasn’t really seemed like hard work because I’ve just been so immersed in the process.  Achieving my athletic goals has just been a side bonus to the overall experience of living this lifestyle.

10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Goodness, that’s a hard one to choose.  Part of me wants to say the very first finish line I ever crossed  — a 5K way back in 2007 — or the first marathon I finished, where I sobbed as I ran the last 0.2 miles or the first triathlon I finished, where I realized I could survive swimming in open water.

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But really it’s a tie between crossing the finish line of the Keys 50, where I was just totally blown away by the enormous difficulty of what I had just accomplished, and crossing the finish line of the Albany Marathon, where I BQed, and getting to savor the experience of realizing I was on my way to accomplishing a long-held goal that I had worked so hard to achieve.

The one thing all of these things have in common, though, is that I was forced to change the way I thought about myself afterwards. Like, I had no real choice but to accept that certain things I thought I knew about myself were no longer true, and that I had to come up with new ways to think of myself.

And the awesome thing is that all of those new qualities I’ve now assigned myself — based on real proof in the forms of things I had *actually done* — are all qualities that I believe have made me a better human being.

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. Another hard question!  If I were to think of professional athletes, probably Chrissie Wellington, because she is not only an amazing athlete but also a smart, funny person, or Hillary Biscay, just so I could experience one of her infamous smashfests.

But the truth is, there are a lot of women I’ve met over the internet — both as a blogger and a member of the Coeur Sports team — with whom I’d love to go for a run or a bike ride or hit the weights alongside, and I would likely choose them before anyone famous. I couldn’t even start to name them because I’d forget some and feel like a jackwagon.

This has been one of the greatest things about blogging, by the way — meeting so many incredible people. It’s the best!

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Thanks, Caitlin! Can’t wait to cheer you along this year as you check some pretty awesome items off of your running and triathlon Bucket Lists. 

Friends, if you’re interested in being featured here (all levels & abilities welcome!), please drop me a line at info(at)kineticfix(dot)com.

How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Living the Sweet Life with Ruth Rickey

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When I initially set out to do this interview series, I thought it’d be interesting to see what kind of gear people prefer, what their training routines were like and that it’d be fun to hear about racing from all different kinds of perspectives. What I didn’t expect was to get absolutely blown away by the incredible back stories in these athletes’ lives.

Case in point: Ruth Rickey, a former attorney and administrative law judge who, put simply, fell in love with cakes. Ruth worked her way up as Bakery Manager for IGA’s 3200 stores in 31 countries before opening her own shop, Ruth’s Sweete Justice Bakery, and operating it for more than a decade.

Since then, she’s been teaching all over the world as a ICES Certified Master Sugar Artist. Ruth has also been seen on WE TV’s Wedding Cake Wars (her team won), twice on TLC’s Ultimate Cake Off (assistant to Pat Jacoby on two wins) and on three specials on The Food Network about The Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show.

In the midst of all this success, however, Ruth was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia, which was incurable and untreatable at the time, and she was given 2-5 years to live. Miraculously, six weeks after her diagnosis the FDA approved Gleevec, a drug that revolutionized cancer treatment and saved Ruth’s life.

After switching medicines a few times, Ruth is happy to report that she’s now back in genetic remission. And to pay her miracle forward, she spends her free time doing marathons, half marathons, century rides, triathlons and various charity events to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the Go Mitch Go Foundation.

I can’t even imagine what it’s been like for Ruth as she wages a fight for her life all while balancing a successful career, endurance events and philanthropy. But I can imagine that every one of her victories — whether in the kitchen, at her doctor’s office or out on the race course — probably tastes pretty sweet.

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? I love riding our new River Trails route. It starts in downtown Oklahoma City in our Boathouse District. It is a cool new area where the Olympic rowers train. The route winds past the boathouses on both sides of the river. There are some gentle inclines/descents and turns to keep the ride interesting. It then connects into the West River Trails, which take me by two different lakes. The route doesn’t have a lot of pedestrian traffic and is closed to vehicles. It is newly paved and simply makes me happy to ride! Besides the normal geese, ducks and other birds, I can even see a buffalo on this route. Only in Oklahoma!

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2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? I run in Brooks Ravenna and I cycle in Pearl Izumi tri shoes.

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? I love my Garmin 920! I like being able to use the bluetooth to get the data onto my phone immediately. I love the live tracking part of it for my hubby…due to my medical issues, he worries if I’m out training without him. Now he can see where I am whether I’m training or racing!

My Coeur tri shorts turned out to be a game changer! After my 70.3 in September, I was in so much pain from chafing. I never realized how much the seams could rub. Since changing to Coeur, I’ve been so much more comfortable! I’m not sure why all chamois aren’t done this way. My hubby wants guys’ shorts to be made like them.

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I also love my Bontrager Windshell Pants. Oklahoma has crazy wind. It is normal to ride in 15-25 mph winds with 40 mph gusts. These shell pants keep me warm through everything and because they don’t have the chamois in them, I wear them when I run in the cold, too. They were pricey, but I think they were worth every penny!

I know it isn’t really gear, but I cannot live without Base Salt. I’ve always needed salt, but once I started using Base, I found that my active recovery during races and training improved dramatically. It seems like such a minor thing, but a hit of Base salt every hour or so keeps me going.

My other recent find is Infinit Nutrition. When I did Redman 70.3, I struggled on the bike, which was supposed to be my strongest area. I had no energy and could not make myself eat enough while riding in the heat. I knew I needed to make a change. Once of my coaches highly recommended Infinit, so I went to their site and created my own custom formula. So far, I’ve used it on several three-hour rides and have maintained my energy the entire time and have not been hungry at all. I know that the nutrition issue is going to be big for my upcoming races, so I’m truly happy that it looks like I have a workable solution now!

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4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” I used to lose so much time every day packing the bag for the next workout. I finally went and bought three Nike bags in three colors: Red for run; Black for bike; and Blue for swim. The bags are ready for me to grab at a moment’s notice and have everything I need in each one of them.

5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Actually, I came into triathlon without excelling in any of the disciplines. I had done more than 20 endurance events with Team in Training for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, but I was a walker, a slow biker and a non-swimmer.

I actually think my strength is my mental game and my heart. I figure that if I’m out there training or racing while taking chemo twice a day, there isn’t much I’m going to encounter that will stop me. I’m not athletically gifted, but I enjoy doing what I can and seeing my body get stronger. I am the girl who can finish a race 10 hours later and still be smiling.

6. What do you listen to while training? My water iPod has classic rock on it. I’ve changed the music I use while swimming. Originally, I had very relaxing music as I was getting past my panic attacks. Now, it is time to work on speed, so I need my 70’s rock to get me going! On my bike trainer or while running, I have a playlist of all of the “Now That’s What I Call Music” cds. They are generally high-cadence, fun pop hits that keep me going.

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7. What are you currently training for? I may have overshot this year, but I’m registered to do Galveston 70.3 in April, the Legends 100 Tri in June, The World Championship Long Course Triathlon at Redman in September (97 miles) and Arizona 70.3 in October. I really want to do a full Ironman, but know that I’m not physically ready for it. I figure if I can do Legends and World’s, it will show me if I’m ready for IMAZ 2017. If so, I will be volunteering at IMAZ this November to grab an early spot.

8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? On top of my leukemia issues, I also have Addison’s disease. My adrenal glands don’t function properly, so I can end up nearly bed ridden when my levels get low. I hurt to the bone when this happens. I have to take steroids twice a day to make my body function like normal.

I’ve learned a lot over the last year or so to look for the signs of when I need to increase my dose. My coach schedules a day off weekly for me, and I try to honor it and respect his plan. I used to be an insomniac, but I sleep really well these days! I think all the activity is good for me in that respect.

9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? Stop saying “I can’t.” I at least make myself try everything. Even if I know that I don’t have the physical capability, I have to try. Because most of the time, I discover that I CAN.

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10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? I attempted New Orleans 70.3 and ended up with an asthma attack in the water and a DNF. It haunted me…I was so disappointed. So a few weeks later, I stepped up for a local sprint tri. It was the first time my husband wasn’t racing at my side as my “protector.”

The day before the race, I did a practice swim at the site and felt like I was ready…the water was calm and the weather was perfect. But that is never how races go! On race day, a front blew in. Temperatures plummeted, and the winds picked up. The race director later said it was the roughest he had seen it at that lake and that he nearly called the swim.

I was a nervous wreck, but got into the water and started in the last wave. I was still mostly using side stroke to swim. I got to the first buoy and was about to call for a kayak to go in, but I looked around and saw numerous people hanging onto all the kayaks. I realized I was actually ahead of all those people. It kicked something into gear for me, and I was determined to finish that swim.

I did the entire 750-meter swim using side kick drills…I didn’t even use my arms. I got out of the water and was actually not the last person. I headed out on the bike, almost in disbelief that I had survived that cold, choppy swim. And my bike time actually matched my normal speed when I was just doing a bike training.

I started the run just happy to be out on the course. I set a 5k PR that day. It wouldn’t be fast to anyone else, but it was EVERYTHING to me! When I ran across the finish line and they put that medal around my neck, I knew that it would only be a matter of time until I became an Ironman. I found a strength that day that I never realized I had. I found a joy in the experience.

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11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. I’m sure everyone picks someone famous for this, but I just want to work out with my husband and my brothers, Verne and Robb. The four of us have started racing together and it makes my heart smile. How lucky am I to get to share the love of this sport with my family?!!

12. Anything else you’d like to add? A lot of my friends think you have to be super fit to do triathlons. They think only elite folks attempt this. I think I’m proof that there is a place for the person at the “back of the pack.”

Since I started on this journey, so many of my cake decorator friends have become more active. My industry is full of overweight people…it can be really hard not to taste the amazing things we create. I love that so many of them have messaged me that they are starting to move, to walk, to run, to do ANYTHING because of my posts.

I share the ups and downs of my training. I share my fears. I share my victories. If you’ve ever thought about trying triathlons, I can genuinely say that this is the best group of people. They have never made me feel bad for being slow. They celebrate the “final finisher” with as much joy as the winner. What a great group to be a part of!

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Thanks, Ruth! I’m honored to be able to share your story, and I’m excited to watch you crush your goals this year as you prepare for all the adventures ahead. 

Friends, if you’re interested in being featured here (all levels & abilities welcome!), please drop me a line at info(at)kineticfix(dot)com.

How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Aussie “Ironmum” Rachel Gorrie

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Rachel Gorrie is no stranger to persevering through adversity, so it should come as no surprise that this Aussie “Ironmum” tackles the physical challenge of 70.3-distance triathlons with the same kind of determination she’s used to overcome the other curve-balls life has thrown at her.

Rachel’s first victory was delivering her son safely despite myriad complications for both her and baby, but it’s been a marathon of a journey ever since. Her son, Lachlan, was born at 31 weeks weighing 1300 grams, and the family has since discovered he has left Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy and permanent brain damage to the right frontal lobe.

So when Rachel decided to do the Ironman 70.3 Western Sydney last year, she had a lot on the line — but not only did she finish the race, she also managed to raise awareness for children who have Cerebral Palsy. And in the process, she was able to collect more than $5000 in donations towards the cause, which will help provide funding to support their needs with things like access to yearly checkups, regular Physio, Speech and OT assessments, as well as social worker support.

Once again, I’m honored to share the story of another incredible Coeur Sports ambassador. It just goes to show you that heart, courage and all-around baddassery know no geographical bounds!

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? I actually like them all. I love a cruising ride, a long run and also a relaxing swim. But then I love a great tough strength session. I do enjoy riding with friends on the M7 and on the path around Lake Illawarra. I just need to do something to keep active and my mind clear.

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2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? I just updated my bike shoes. I switched to a men’s pair of Shimano as they are a wider fit. So far so good, as the numbness has gone. Also love that they are black.

For running I wear Nike Luna Glide. I over-pronate, and these have been a great shoe for me with enough support yet light, too.

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? Can’t live without my Coeur tri shorts, bike jersey and visor! The jerseys are not as heavy as other jerseys I have had previously. The fabric is lighter and keeps you so much cooler. Feels great against your skin. And I have also found that the Coeur visors fit perfectly. Not too tight around your head and full elastic for a quick transition.

4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” As a mum, I am very time-poor and need to be very organized with my training. I have found that switching from distance training to time is working best for me. Allowing that one hour or two hours instead of how many kilometers I need to do is a great approach and easier to commit to.

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5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: I am natural at breaststroke! You know that one person who is doing breaststroke during the race overtaking you? Yep, that’s me!

Bike: I am awesome on downhill and on the flat. I can hold a good speed for a long time but as soon as a hill hits you are guaranteed to overtake me.

Run: I am great at pacing myself, I do like a good chat along the way when racing especially if there is a no headphone rule. It’s amazing the inspiring stories you hear during a race if you have the time to talk and encourage others.

6. What do you listen to while training? I have a 70.3 mix at the moment. Good old Aussie music in there like INXS and Divinyls, as well as Fleetwood Mac and Guns n Roses. I like all music, but it has to have a good tempo to keep me moving.

7. What are you currently training for? Training has started for IM70.3 Cairns. I got the 70.3 bug after I completed my first one last November. I can’t wait to get there and tie in a family holiday, too. My son Lachlan loves Ironman and is eager to watch it again.

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8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? I love naps!! Really, really love naps! I nap as much as I can. I seriously could sleep now if you told me to, LOL! If sleep is the 5th discipline I can’t say I’m not great at that.

9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? Would be from my girlfriend before my first 70.3: “You know these entry fees are expensive, you really need to take your time and get your money’s worth!”

Enjoy it, take your time, soak up the atmosphere and eat all the snacks provided, enjoy the recovery area and thank the volunteers. After all it’s a hobby for the majority of us, it’s not the Olympics.

10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? Hands-down has to be my first 70.3 last November in Western Sydney. The reasons why I did it (see links below for details) and my son presenting my medal.

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11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke from The Bold and the Beautiful), I met both her and Dom at Western Sydney. She was so supportive and really took the time to have a chat before the race to settle my nerves. I think she does fabulous work for Breakaway from Cancer and is also doing wonderful things for Women For Tri. I would love to meet her again and train with her.

12. Anything else you’d like to add? If you want to know “why I tri,” you can read more here, here and here.

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Thanks, Rachel! I can’t wait to see you cross another finish line at IM70.3 Cairns and am thrilled for what that will mean for both you and Lachlan this year. 

Friends, if you’re interested in being featured here (all levels & abilities welcome!), please drop me a line at info(at)kineticfix(dot)com.

How I (Swim, Bike &) Run: Athena National Champ Sarah Girven

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Meet Sarah Girven, a wife, mother, triathlete, animal lover, hiker, runner and all-around adventurer. She’s another fellow Coeur Sports ambassador — new to the team for 2016 — so I was excited to get to know her better after reading about some of her adventures via her blog.

What I find particularly inspiring about Sarah, however, is that she began working out in February 2012 and has been going strong ever since. And by “going strong,” I mean that she’s since trained for and competed in all kinds of events, ranging from 5k’s and half marathons to sprint-distance and 70.3-mile triathlons.

Not too shabby of a race resume — especially since it’s a mere four years old, right?! 

Although Sarah’s currently sidelined due to injury (but on the mend, thank goodness), she usually spends her time racing in triathlons, duathlons, aqua-bikes, bike, road and trail races. And when she’s not working with her local triathlon club or as a board member, she’s busy running her house, shuttling her kids and volunteering.

Sarah seems like the consummate multitask-er, to say the least, so I was excited to pick her brain about tales from training, as well as get the low-down on her favorite gear and the best advice she’s received as an athlete.

1. What’s your favorite route or workout? My favorite route and workout is riding my bike on HWY 159 from Las Vegas towards Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area. I do about a 50-mile ride with more than 3300 feet of elevation gain. The backdrop is amazing, and makes the ride totally worth it.

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2. What shoes do you wear — both on the bike and on the roads? I currently wear Brooks Glycerin 13. I am on my third pair and really like how they immediately fit my feet when I put them on. All three pairs have had a long run as their break-in and have never caused any issues. I bike in Shimano SPD SL SH-WR41. They are dirty and beat up, but I love them. They fit great and are tough!

3. What other training gear can’t you live without? I have a few things that I love to train with. I always wear a hat or a visor. I live in Las Vegas and need it to protect my face and catch my sweat. My favorite visors are Headsweats. I love the elastic back strap because it is so easy and quick to get on during a race. I also usually run with my Nathan Hydration Pack HPL #020 on training runs. It carries a 2-liter bladder and is fit for running, so it does not bounce. It also has enough storage for my phone, a small first aid kit and some snacks.

I never leave home without my Garmin 910XT. I’m able to use it for lap swimming, open water swimming, biking, running and hiking. I enjoy looking at the stats when I’m done with a workout. Finally, I’m always wearing sunglasses. I have two types that I wear, XX2i France1 and Rudy Project Rydon or Stratofly SX. I like the XX2i for running because they really grip my nose and do not move when I run no matter how sweaty I get. I like the Rudy for biking; they have transition lenses so they adjust to whatever lighting I am in.

4. What’s your best time-saver or “workout-hack?” I have two tips or hacks I use: One, I set my workout clothes in the bathroom so I get dressed in my gear as soon as I get up and go to the workout as soon as I drop my kids off to school. That way I am already out of the house and ready because if I go back home I might not leave again. Two, I try to pick things close to my house or from my house. If I have to drive a long distance to do a workout, I am less likely to go but if I can walk out my door and start, I am more likely to do it.

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5. What part of each discipline (swim/bike/run) are you better at than anyone else? Swim: I grew up around the water, so I am very comfortable in it. I have a good, steady pace and have no anxiety about training or racing in it. I am tall with a long torso and arm span so I tend to be a smooth, quick swimmer. My friends enjoy swimming with me because they say I push them to go harder.

Bike: I am a rocket when going downhill! I can make a steady climb but I will fly by you on the down-side. I can definitely use my larger frame to my advantage.

Run: I have a pretty accurate internal pace setter. I can set a pace and hold it for a long period of time.

6. What do you listen to while training? I do not listen to anything while swimming or biking. I do occasionally run with an iPod Shuffle. I put one ear bud in and leave the other out so I can hear and am aware of my surroundings. The playlists are just songs I enjoy and are not selected for pace or tempo. I use it as a tool to take my mind off my run.

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7. What are you currently training for? This is a hard question to answer. This past October, I tore my ACL and meniscus in my right knee, and I had the surgery to replace the ACL and clean up the meniscus in December. Currently, I am in physical therapy to regain my strength and flexibility.

I am not training at the moment but I do have a few races on my schedule, though: I have one sprint, two sprint relays where I am the swim leg, two Olympics, a 70.3 half triathlon, Ironman Arizona and a few running races on the calendar.

My “A” race is Ironman Arizona on November 20, 2016. I am not sure if I will be able to compete in this race, though. It will all depend on my recovery, healing and training. I am staying hopeful but am also realistic and do not want to do anything to jeopardize my health.

8. What are your recovery and sleep routines like? What are those? LOL! I would sometimes do ice baths or Epsom salt baths after long runs or extra intense workouts/races. I occasionally foam roll. I also try to do a light swim, bike or run to loosen up a day or two after a hard race. I try to get to sleep by 11 p.m. and am up at about 6:30 a.m. on a normal night.

If I am training, I wake up between 4:30-6:30 a.m., depending on the activity. Since the summer heat is so intense in Las Vegas, I tend to wake up at 4:30 a.m. to get my workouts in before the heat gets too bad.

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9. What’s the best athletic advice you’ve ever received? The best advice I have received is to enjoy the journey. I have had it delivered to me in several ways. One story I often tell others is when I was about to race my first 70.3 (actually 70.4 because the swim was 1.3 miles), and a friend told me that when I am hurting to take a minute to look up and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

The race was in Long Beach, Calif., and as it turned out, the run was hurting. I reminded myself of her words, so I looked up and took in the sights. It truly was amazing. The ability to do this sport is a gift! Our bodies are able to do amazing things and we are blessed to be able to do it. Another friend recently said that we get to spend an entire day doing what we love. How blessed are we?

10. What’s your favorite racing-related memory? There are so many! If I have to pick one it would be from the Athena National Championship race at the Grand Rapids Triathlon on June 16, 2015. I was racing for the 70.3 title, and I was in the 40-54 age group. I had a goal of finishing in 6:15 going off of my previous times. It was raining that day and since I have zero experience training in the rain, I was not too optimistic of my results.

I had a strong swim, and it appeared that I was the first Athena at the bike rack in the transition area. My ride was solid and even with the rain, I was hitting my time goals. I made it back to T2 fourteen minutes ahead of my goal time. Once again, I was the first Athena to the bike rack. I hit the run and was able to hold steady. I knew that this is where I would win or lose the race.

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At mile 7, my husband saw me and told me that I was crushing my times. He said that I was about six minutes ahead of another Athena. As expected, I was passed at mile 10 but I was ok with that because she is one of my best friends so I was extremely happy for her. As I approached the finish line, I gave it my all. I crossed the finish line and found my husband. He wrapped his arms around me, kissed me and told me how proud he was of me.

We found out that I finished in 5:53:29! I placed 2nd overall and 1st in the 40-54 age group becoming the National Champion for that division. I loved racing with my friend and seeing her win 1st place overall, but I will never forget the pride I saw in my husband’s face when I crossed the finish line.

11. Fill in the blank: I’d love to grab a workout with _________. I would love to workout with all the girls from my Athena Facebook group and my Coeur Sports ambassador team. There are so many ladies that I am inspired by, and I would love to meet them in person. They are encouraging and are a wonderful support network. I also wouldn’t mind working out with Andy Potts or Ryan Lochte!

12. Anything else you’d like to add? I love to trail run and hike. I could spend days out on the trails. It is my happy place. I love the fresh air, quietness and beauty of it all.

I write about my adventures in racing, training, and hiking here. You can find me on Facebook and Instagram, too. I’m also a proud ambassador for Coeur Sports, Pierce Footwear, FitFluential, Fusion Sports USA and RACEPLACE.

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Thanks, Sarah! Here’s hoping that your recovery goes well so you can be in tip-top shape for training this season. 

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

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!

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!

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!

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!

How I Run: Team LUNA Chix PDX’s Katie Phillips

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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)! 

If you’re a soccer fan (and who isn’t here in Portland?!), you’ve got Dr. Katie Phillips to thank for keeping our beloved Thorns players’ eyes on the prize, so to speak. As the official optometrist for the team, she provides the area’s most exceptional vision care (I can vouch as a patient myself!) to help keep the ladies in tip-top shape for game days.

A native of Reno, Nevada, Katie first moved to the Beaver State to attend Oregon State University for her undergraduate degree and went on to receive her Doctorate of Optometry at Pacific University. She’s been an Oregonian ever since; having met her husband while at OSU, they got married in 2005 and have had two adorable kiddos since.

Katie’s always been a great role model for moms who are juggling it all — career, family, fitness, etc. In addition to being a small business owner, she’s also a Hood to Coast veteran and frequent half marathon finisher, so I knew she’d make a great addition to our team when it comes to inspiring others to stay active despite hectic schedules!

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1. What’s your favorite route? At this point in my life, any time I am out running I am enjoying my route, although my neighborhood is super hilly, so when I find a scenic flat route, I am loving every second!

2. What shoes do you wear? Brooks Ravenna and Nike Air Zoom Vomero

3. What other run gear can’t you live without? Music! I find that a good running playlist helps the minutes fly by.

4. What’s your best time­saver or “runhack?” If I have the day off, I put my running gear on. It doesn’t guarantee a work out, but it limits my excuses.

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5. What do you listen to while running? I am embarrassed to admit I have terrible taste in music. I like upbeat pop music while I run.

6. What are you currently training for? Hood to Coast is first on the agenda, but I would like to get a half marathon on the books before the end of the year.

7. What are your recovery & sleep routines like? At this point I don’t have any specific routines, but a good meal after a race definitely hits the spot.

8. What’s the best running advice you’ve ever received? To listen to your body, and when that doesn’t work­ go visit the experts! Due to pregnancy restrictions and sciatica issues I was unable to run for nearly three years. After a properly-fit heel lift (thank you, Jenni Johnson), continued chiropractic care (Dr. Scott Shephard) and yoga when possible I was able to return to the exercise I love best.

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9. What’s your favorite running-­related memory? Before I began entering races, I went to cheer on a friend at several different mile markers as she completed her first marathon. I was so inspired by the runners and moved by the other people rooting on their loved ones, that when I got home that afternoon I signed up for a marathon.

10. Fill in the blank: I’d love to go on a run with ________.  My husband. Unfortunately, bad knees plague him, but it would be a great activity to do as a couple.

Thanks, Katie! So thrilled to be ‘seeing’ more of you now that we get to meet up for our weekly workouts 😉 

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