Tag Archives: destination endurance events

Back on the Block

Hey there RYPEness…
…it has been a long time!

You know how all of a sudden it seems that “life” just gets in the way of what you are supposed to be doing? How you allow yourself to get derailed because it seems that you are being overloaded with too much “life”. Well, I am hear to tell ya…you ain’t alone. There’s comfort in company, isn’t there?
So, if I could share some things that I’ve learned from my little “life” experiences, I would say this:

  • God never dishes out more than we can handle. Ever.
  • Your test is your testimony…for somebody, somewhere…regardless of if you realize it or not.
  • Challenges make us reassess and dig deep to keep it moving.
  • “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” is a very true statement, because we always come out wiser.

Remembering those little jewels doesn’t necessarily make the blows softer, but it does make getting up, brushing off your knees, and moving forward a requirement. Na wada mean?

“Life” got a little rough for me these last months. My dad’s health was failing, I was under-employed, my bills were stacked, then I got a good paying job but it was kind of demanding – immediately, and my dad’s health continued to spiral, and then my brother’s sister died, and then a friend of mine was killed, and then my daddy died.

OMG.

Man…I am supposed to be training a team of dynamic sistahs for Tri Latta, sharing my healthy well-being advice with whomever would listen, and “Inspiring Women To TRI“; but now I don’t want to even get out of bed…let alone swim, bike or run.

Or so I thought.

Upon returning to Charlotte on a Sunday (my parents are in Cincinnati, so I was there for over two weeks), I couldn’t imagine racing that following Saturday. I hadn’t been in a pool to do a workout in months. I hadn’t ridden my bike in weeks. I hadn’t gone for a run in I don’t know how long. How was I possibly going to do a triathlon, sprint distance or otherwise?

So Tuesday I went for a run, first in like…ever. It was a solo run which was good. I was with my thoughts and prayers, and actually – unbeknownst to me at the time – beginning a healing process for my soul. The run was hard…as hell, but I got through it. So my plan was to just go out there and Tri Latta best way I could.

Friday I head to packet pick up, and while standing there at the participants meeting I received a text message informing me that a good friend of mine had just passed away.

WTF.

That was a moment….to say the least. Do I race? Do I bow out gracefully? Uh…yeah…NO! I kept repeating to myself, ‘you led these awesome ladies to this moment, how dare you consider a bow out now?!

Race.

And racing ended up being the most therapeutic thing I have ever done. The swim was difficult, but I gotta say…for a chick who had not been on a bike in a while, I kinda killed the ride. I mean, definitely wayyyyyy better than I expected. The run, well lets just say I had the inspiration I needed to keep it moving by having a Team RYPEr in front of me who I was chasing in my head, and a work colleague behind me who I refused to let catch me!!! HA! But when I crossed that finish line, a wave of emotion just came over me…just like when I crossed the finish line of my first triathlon ever…which happened to be Tri Latta…11 years ago. Crazy right? After I got myself together, I looked around and began to take it all in. How DOPE AND OFF THE CHAIN the amazing ladies of RYPE looked out there in our DOPE AND OFF THE CHAIN RYPE gear. How much love RYPE was being shown. How proud we were as a team to be the only example in that race that Black women DO Tri! And that we were able to display that to a plethora of little brown faces who happened to be volunteers on the race course (way to go Queen City Dolphins)! It was the most satisfying and purposeful “get cha self up and brush it off” moment I’d ever experienced.

So, all that to say this: It is true what they say…exercise IS a great way to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. You will feel the physical relief once those endorphins are released. Your mind is clearer and you physically feel stronger.

But on top of that, know that there is no feeling like the high you get when you are walking the path that has God intended. “Life” can get tough, but you can never allow it to stop you from crossing the finish line.

The RYPE Train is on the track and moving. Next stop…Tri Ballantyne.

Team RYPE

Team RYPE

 

 

 

Advertisements

Destination is good!

Hey there RYPEness!!

So we all get into our fitness slumps. Nothing seems exciting anymore. Your favorite run routes have becoming mundane. The weather is not the most friendly for any outside training.  It just plain kinda sucks.

Well…do I have the remedy for the rounding fall and heading into winter training blues! The Reggae Marathon, Half Marathlon & 10K was about the most fun I have had doing a race and then chillin’ hard AFTER the race…ever. From the people, to the excitement of starting a race at 5:15AM, to the music, to the well organized set up (tons of water stations), to the scenery (frequent glimpses of the ocean as you ran down the road lined with cheering Jamaicans and foreign spectators), it was, in a word, AWESOME! And then after you have run your distance, crossed the finish line and gulped down fresh coconut water served right out of the coconut, complete with straw…you grab a Red Stripe and relax your feet in the ocean.

Shiggity don’t get no better than that.

However, if tropical bliss aint your thing, then find a cool destination race in a place of interest to you. There are all kinds of lists that reference good races, like Forbes Magazines Top 10 Marathons Worth Traveling For. Grab a few of your best buddies and get them to sign up too, then the party begins. Motivating each other to do the training workouts is a lot more fun, and then the race itself becomes much more than a race! It’s a way to settle that bet…its a much needed BFF get-away…its a fun party that’s packed with healthy well-being elements that are not only going to enrich your physical self, but your mental and spiritual as well. There is something to be said about all of the studies being done on the concept of group exercise. There is also something to be said about all of the thought and effort being put into executing “cool races in cool places”. Bottom line…it works for people.

So…check the listings, find a race, grab your crew and start the journey! I can guarantee that you may find adding one of these types of races to your schedule will become an annual “must do!”

Just trying to “Inspire YOU to Tri”!

Getting ready to get it in!

Getting ready to get it in!

Baby its cold outside!

Hey there RYPEness!!!

Living here in the Carolina’s, I am typically very spoiled by the winters. Since I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, then left there to take up residence in Chicago, Illinois, I am more than familiar with frigid temperatures.

Don’t mean I like them though!

I left top side purposely so that my exposure to the cold would be short-lived or non-existent! Well…it appears that us folks down here in the good ole south need to prepare ourselves for some cold temperatures this winter. We have definitely skirted the issue the last few years, but this particular year I think that Old Man Winter is going to pay us a few visits and embrace us with his frost.

That being said, what’s a sistah to do when she needs to get her run in? LAYER….strategically!

There is nothing worse than getting out on a run and freezing your tail off. Well, except to get out on a run and realize that you have over-done it with your gear and now you are sweating like a pig and on the brink of spontaneous combustion. Neither scenario gives me warm fuzzies about maintaining my run routine. So what’s a girl to do? GO SHOPPING!!! Oh yeah babeee!

Strategic shopping that is. We need to go get some really good base layers in our lives to make getting out and hitting that pavement more enjoyable. I am not going to go into the different technologies that are out there, seems that every brand has come up with one. From Columbia that uses these little silver dots to reflect your own body heat to keep you warm, to Gore who uses wind guard so that the cold air just wont get through; most reputable brands have developed something that keeps your warm and dry. So find what works best for you.

IMG_2471[1]

Columbia’s Omni Heat Reflective

I ran in the 25th Annual Turkey Trot yesterday, and at race start it was 23 degrees. ANYONE will tell you that in most cases, I would have bowed out gracefully and simply not run. But I knew I’d picked up some nice pieces from TrySports and wanted to find out if they really worked. YEP! They sure do! My hands and head were kept extremely toasty wearing Columbia’s Omni Heat hats and gloves, the gloves were so cool that they have the little finger tips that allow you to use your touch screen on your phone. What in the world did we ever do before that little piece of technology was developed? I kept my torso warm by wearing Mizuno’s Breath Thermo. Their cool technology uses special threads that heat up once your body’s sweat hits it. On my legs I just wore a good pair of running tights that were fleece lined, so I was all good!! As a matter of fact, I was TOO hot! However, it didn’t have to do with my cool, selective running gear, instead more to do with the fleece/felt turkey costume that I ran in.

The TrySports Turkey!

The TrySports Turkey!

So…all this to say, no need to ix-nay your run workout just because the mercury plummets. Instead, invest in some really good key pieces that will keep you warm and dry, then go out an enjoy fitness in the freeze!

Hyped 2b RYPE!

Aside

Yesterday I completed the inaugural Carolina Half (70.3), it was my fourth half Ironman distance race. I usually give a regular ole race report about the course and things I experienced during the race, but this past week was definitely … Continue reading

Lake Lure Triathlon

Its been a minute since I’ve blogged, but this weekend reminded me of the reason that made me want to blog in the first place, triathlons. The last time I did a tri was August 2011…two wholllllllle years ago. MAN! Especially when considering it’s the inspiration behind my passion: RYPE!

So this past weekend my soror Cretia and I traveled to Lake Lure, NC, which is less than two hours from Charlotte. However…a world away. The mountains, the greenery, the lake….so beautiful and quaint. The movie Dirty Dancing was filmed there (love that movie). And this is the backdrop for the Lake Lure Olympiad Sports Festival, a weekend full of all kinds activities for grown folks and kids alike. Totally cool. The highlight of the festival is the 3 races in 3 days. It starts with a 10K run on Friday, sprint distance tri on Saturday morning, and either a 25 mile bike ride or 5K run up to the top of Chimney Rock.

The faint at heart need not apply.

We chose to just do the sprint distance triathlon on Saturday morning. Now, since we are training for the Carolina Half ironman distance coming up on September 29th, the distances didn’t concern us at all. However, when driving in, and there were nothing but significant hills ALL around us…some steep, some long, some winding so you had no idea what was coming…only to find more climbing…we knew this was NOT gonna be easy.

What?.

So Saturday morning arrives, and it is drop dead gorgeous outside. Few clouds here and there, around 70 degrees…its was so super perfect, I cant even explain.

We park and then proceed to make our way down to the transition area, when we are directed down this kinda long, very steep hill. At the bottom I see the signs for both bike and run OUT. Which means, just to get started on both we have to climb back up this mug. Grrrrr. And I could hear everyone around us mumbling and grumbling about the same thing. HA!

After setting up the area and getting body marked, we head down to the swim start…scanning the crowd for other “A” markings on the back of their thigh. Oh yeah…raced in the Athena category in this race. I know those buck-O-five weighing women have an advantage over me, so I jumped at the chance!! HA! For those who don’t know, Athenas are those women who weigh over…well, lets just say we don’t weigh a buck-O-five…or anywhere close. The male counterpart is the Clydesdales category. ‘Athena’ and ‘Clydesdales’ are both synonymous with the word ‘sexy’, just in case you weren’t clear.

Chat with a few ladies.
Notice we are the only two brown faces in the place. Still amazes me…RYPE TO THE RESCUE!
Say a prayer.
And off we go.

The swim was difficult, it took me longer than usual to find my rhythm. Then when I did and was headed towards the exit, it was actually poorly marked, so sighting was challenging. But eyyy….I finally made it, hopped on the bike and up the hill…then down a short hill to the exit of the property…then up a long winding hill…then down a short one…then a turn up a long one.

Yeah, you get the gist. Hilly. Really, really hilly.

But oh so pretty. We rode past nice open fields, along side flowing creeks, next to mountains, its was so nice. At one point I wanted to hop off the bike and take a break. But I had to keep it moving…especially when I rolled up on this lady who had “A” on her calf.

Say what?? I had not seen one yet! Could she be the leader? My little competitive drive kicked into full gear. I blew past her.

Up hill.

Yeah baby…I was moving. Get back to transition and….yeah, I gotta work on that. My transition times suck. 0:03:37?? What in the world was I doing???

So I head back out on the run….and literally, the 5k is 1.5 miles up and then 1.5 miles down.

That first 1.5 killed me. And as I was approaching the top, I see that other “A” lady on the way back down. Dang! I tried to kick it in top gear, but top gear wasn’t catching, and never caught her.

So…third place it was…uh, YAY! I got my first podium experience! Totally exciting!!

All in all it was a great day! Met cool folks, beautiful scenery, had a first time experience, hung out with my buddies, and got back to doing what I love doing….it was a great day indeed!!

Image

Get Your Stretch On!!

Hey there RYPEness!

We are getting hot and heavy into our training. Runs are getting longer, rides are getting longer, swim workouts are getting longer!! Although we are looking and feeling great, our muscles are definitely taking a pounding. More often than not, we feel that the amount of exercise that we are doing is more than enough (two-a-days on a reg now!!), and therefore our body needs to be subjected to no more.

…au contraire mon frere! Ya gotta stretch. Two main reasons:

  1. Elasticity! Our daily training requires that our muscles endure a LOT of repetitive motions, and stretching properly will help our muscles push through this. The more elastic our muscles, the more flexible we are. The more flexible we are, the less prone we are to having our muscles tighten up on us during a race! AND!…Flexibility = Increased Speed. Yeah baby.
  2. Injury Prevention! Besides getting all elastic n’ stuff, stretching prevents us from getting injured. As we training, we are building our endurance, which is allowing us to swim, bike and run farther distances. Stretching and having flexible muscles substantially minimizes the chances of pulls, tears and cramps. So you need to ensure you are doing the proper stretches before and after your training sessions.

 

So there ya have it….why you should stretch. Now, I guess you are wondering how you incorporate this. Well, your most intense stretching should always be done AFTER your workout. That’s when you muscles are warm and soft….so you get a better stretch. Your stretch before the workout should be more to loosen up. Also, make sure your stretches are static, meaning not bouncing. You want to stretch to a point of discomfort, but not pain…and hold the stretch for 30-60 seconds.

Here is a list of some good stretches to do:

You can usually run through these stretches in about 15 minutes. So make sure to just pad incorporate that time into you total workout time…BECAUSE ITS KEY TO YOUR RYPENESS!!

See ya!

Hydration is KEY!!

Hey there RYPEness!!

If you are like me, you have definitely noticed an increase in the heat and humidity over the last week or so. Man…it just came out of nowhere! Nonetheless, its here and us active folks need to understand how to deal with it.

WATER!

Image

Water is the building block of life as we know it, and you should be proactive about keeping yourself hydrated even when you aren’t training or being active. Not only does water speed up your metabolism, it cleans your body of toxins and helps all systems run smoothly. Basically, water makes you feel better….period.

But how do we approach it during our training? WE HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!

Here is a question for you: During your swim training, is it important to keep drinking water? I mean, you are in a cool pool right? YES IT IS! Its kind of hard to tell the difference between sweat and water when you are wet, but best believe that you are sweating. So keep that water bottle next your pull buoy and kick board as you push through that workout.

Heading out on that bike? Make sure you have a sufficient amount of water with you. Most riders need about 28oz of fluid per hour, so plan accordingly based on the distance you plan to cover. My approach to ensuring that I am drinking enough water is to make sure I am drinking about a quarter of my water bottle every 15 minutes.

If you’re looking for a general rule of thumb for fluid consumption during your runs: You should take in 4 to 6 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes during your runs. During longer workouts (90 minutes or more), some of your fluid intake should include a sports drink (like Gatorade) to replace lost sodium and other minerals (electrolytes). The carbohydrates and electrolytes in the sports drink also help you absorb the fluids faster.

So…there ya have it! Get those water bottles full and put those run belts on. Let’s get fit and stay hydrated!

Be cool RYPEness!!

 

 

You can become a triathlete…TODAY!

Good morning RYPEness!

Still nervous about taking that leap into the world of triathlons, are ya? When you hear the word triathlete, you automatically assume it entails the arduous tasks of swimming, biking and running, don’t cha? And you just keep thinking that the amount of time you have to spend in the pool to get ready for this race is definitely not compatible with easy quaff maintenance, aren’t ya? Ummmm hmmmm.

So check this out…according to the book “Exercise and Sports Science” (William E. Garret and Donald T. Kirkendall), a triathlon is a multiple-stage competition involving the completion of three continuous and sequential endurance disciplines. 

Following me? In the basic definition, I do not see any reference made to the words “running”, “cycling” OR “swimming”.

Now, what I am about to tell you is not going to win me the Nobel Prize. Nor is does it negate the fact that I am the biggest fan of the most popular and widely recognized form of triathlon (swim, bike run), and I am completely convinced that you CAN do a this form of a triathlon, and totally believe from the bottom of my heart that you should do the most widely recognized form of this most awesome sport. IJS. 🙂 What I am about to tell you is something that can give you that power-move boost you need…today.

Ready?….

Create YOUR OWN TRIATHLON!!

Say what???

Yeah…go to the gym today and create your own! All of those wonderful machines in the gym that have been calling your name? Like the rowing machine? The recumbent bike? And the elliptical machine? TRIATHLON!…let’s go!

Set your timer on your phone (yep, there is an app for that) to fifteen minute intervals. Take a few sips of water…and GO! Head to the rowing machine and start burning calories (125 to be exact)! Did you know that rowing is an excellent exercise for overall fitness? Rowing helps to build and tone muscles, strengthen cardiovascular function and increase stamina.

OK…time’s up! Hop up off of the rowing machine, grab a swig of water, wipe your sweat and move quickly to the recumbent bike. Why the recumbent bike? Well, there are a few reasons…one being that the seat is more comfortable. HA! The recumbent bike has a wide seat, as opposed to the slimmer ones on other bikes. Plus, the position you are sitting in is upright, so its just an overall more comfortable experience. However, according to a 2010 study published in the “European Journal of Applied Physiology,” pedaling a recumbent bike produces significantly faster muscle fatigue than pedaling at the same intensity on an upright bike. And since we are only on this for fifteen minutes, we want to get the most bang for our buck. So sit down, and start pedaling!

Once that buzzer sounds, grab another swig of water and do a fast walk over to the elliptical machine. Set it for 15 minutes and start ellipticalling. 🙂 If you want to be Billy Bad-Butt, then replace the elliptical with the stair climber, working those glutes to the maximus! Either one, now you are really burning those calories and almost done with your event! As those seconds tick down on the timer: :07…:06…:05, all of a sudden you start to hear music playing, and the crowd cheering…and then: “HEY [insert your name here], you ARE a Triathlete!”

Now, it may be a little awkward if you turn to the person on the machine next to you and high five them or give them a big bear hug. But if you tell them what you just did, I am sure they would understand your elation!

Go give it a try today and see how RYPE you feel afterwards!!
finish line
Have a RYPE day!

 

 

Let’s be healthy and eat fat!

Hey there RYPEness!

That subject line caught your attention, didn’t it? HA!

I read a very interesting article this morning and I thought I would share. As a triathlete, the routine generally consist of nothing but swimming, cycling and running. When do you possibly have time for anything else? 🙂 But when reading this article in my Active Triathlete Newsletter, I found some very interesting tips that can easily be incorporated into your weekly regimen. Things like doing 10 squats every time you go to the bathroom, or standing up while talking on the phone, or even the fact that lard from pigs is deemed a nutrient-rich fat that has nourished some of the healthiest population groups on the face of the planet for thousands of years. Who stinkin’ knew? :-\

Check out the article and let me know what you think:

3 Healthy Lifestyle Tips for Triathletes

Interesting stuff!
Stay RYPE my friends!

Finisher_2.

Monday Motivations!

Hey there RYPEness!

Let this poem guide your actions this week…

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

…and then world watch out!!

Have a great one!