Tag Archives: Swimming for health Ironman


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.


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!!


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 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.



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!


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!


Hey there RYPEness!

It has been a whirlwind of the past few days! So much going on…and not enough time to get it done! Sometimes you start to feel like there is no way you are going to over-come, accomplish or catch a break. Days can get full…between responsibilities for your career, responsibilities for your children, responsibilities for your spouse, it sometimes feels that there is no way that you can take some time for yourself.

black-woman-stressed-536x250Bottom line? You have to. And the relief from the aforementioned stresses can be gone is a little as 30 minutes. Sounds too good to be true, ey?

Try this…go for a run. Go for a nice 30 minute intense run. And if running isn’t your thing, power-walk!

If you run with music, put on a playlist that is positive. I had a friend advise me to create a playlist called “My Soundtrack”. That playlist was to only contain songs that encouraged me, spoke to me, made me feel good, made me feel powerful, made me feel empowered. If you are stressed out, the last thing you need is Lil’ Wayne yelling obscenities at you. Save that playlist for another time! Right now, put your soundtrack on repeat…even if it’s only one song.

If you are not a music runner, clear your mind and put yourself in your favorite place. Imagine calm. Talk to your Creator. Be introspective.

….and RUN. Release all of that stress, release all of that negativity, find your greatness and let it out!


Check out a few of these facts on what exercise does for you:200512522-001

  • It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps to bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis or a nature hike also can contribute to this same feeling.
  • It’s meditation in motion. After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements. As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything that you do.
  • It improves your mood. Regular exercise can increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise also can improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All this can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

Nice right? Just 30 mere minutes can do that?

Yep….sure can. Here is a link to the complete article that talks about other benefits of exercise on your mental health:


So, you still think that finding 30 minutes a day is too much for you? I didn’t think so. Go to your local Meetup.com and find a run group. There are soooo many out there that are awesome and can definitely meet your running needs. Think you may be a solo runner? Then cool…find your 30 minutes for “me” time and re-align yourself with your personal soundtrack. Exercise is key to feeling good!


And….your sanity is not a bad reason to start training for a triathlon. I’m just sayin…

Hyped 2b RYPE!

Why Tri?

Hey there RYPEness!!

It’s always fun for me to look back over my triathlon career and marvel at how far I have come, and how funny training was in the very beginning. Actually…I find myself in the midst of some pretty funny shiggity in my current training season. HA! So I went back through some of my notes, and found a very old blog (from spring 2008) when I was training for my very first 70.3 race. I found it hilarious…so I thought I would share:

Twas an Epic Weekend

Well…the end is almost near…White Lake Half Ironman Triathlon is only three weeks away. I can hardly believe it myself.

On Saturday a good portion of the Western Carolina Team In Training teams participated in Charlotte Racefest. Those training for shorter distance events did the 10k run, the rest of us did the half marathon. At this point, I have never run farther than 9 miles.

 “That’s OK…” my coach said. Umm-hmm.

Miles 1 -3, just getting the legs stretched…easing into the stride…chit-chatting with the pack around me…having a good ole time. Got to mile 4…still feeling awesome…my buddy and I did about a 60 second walk…then picked the pace back up. Feelin’ good. Mile 8…lawd, lawd….not feeling good anymore, but not feeling bad either. Mile 9ish…HILL!…thank you little two year old, whoever you are!…that cute little cheer got me up to the top. Seriously y’all…she was adorable! Mile 10…HILL! Are you kidding me? Mile 11…HILL! Please. Help.

All in all, it was great. I was extremely proud of myself. I have always dreaded running and have never run in a half marathon before. So crossing that finish line – not last – felt so incredibly good. I felt like I could lay back and bask in my accomplishment…

…NOT! Why? Cause we have another training event on Sunday! What you ask? We are going on a 60 mile bike ride…starting at Crowder Mountain…MOUNTAIN!

So I wake up Sunday morning. My legs feel like 100 pound weights. I step out of bed…almost fall because the 100 pound weights immediately turn to wet noodles. At this point I really think that the best option is to take a couple of Advils and return to the fetal position. But noooooo….I decide to brave the ride.

I arrive at the meeting location…legs tight as I don’t know what. I ask one of the coaches about the course…his response “oh….its hilly!”


But he tries to console me with, “But!!!…if you can do this then the White Lake course is a piece of cake!”

Yeah. OK.

So we start the ride…immediately out the park there is an uphill. Get up it, no problem (fresh legs). So we are going through rolling terrain…moderately hilly (as the course was described)….no big issue. One of the ladies riding beside me says “my coach said the worst hills are in the first mile.”

GREAT! Lets ride…I am sure we have gone a mile already!!!

So I am riding along…meet a new friend, Suzanne. She has been here in Charlotte since the 80’s…originally from Buffalo…lives in the suburbs…you know, just great “gettin’ ta know ya” chit-chat on a beautiful 60 degree, sunny afternoon in the Carolina’s. For miles and miles, through the back roads of North and South Carolina, the terrain is mostly FLAT!

Man…this is great! We get close to the first rest stop…we are in a little over 20 miles. I get my first fall as a result of the clipless pedals. At the stop sign…over I go. No  biggie…it was bound to happen. And who cares…THE TERRAIN IS FLAT! So we get some needed water, grab a banana, clean my “knee vs. gravel” battle wound and off we go.

Then we make a turn. Something inside of me felt funny when we made that turn. Like danger lurked ahead. It was a dark, uncomfortable feeling…but I didn’t listen to that inner voice…I just road…like a woman on a mission…down this poorly paved road…shaded by rows and rows of magnificent trees.

Down hill…flat….down hill….flat.

This is just too good.

Down hill…curve….what?

Suzanne, “Shelly, you see this hill?”

Shelly, “Damn”

So we get some momentum…and before you know it, we are at the top! No biggie.

Then another curve…What?

Another hill. Bigger and more daunting then the first.

Then another! AND ANOTHER!

Are you freakin’ kidding me???

We climbed ALL THE WAY UP into Kings Mountain National Park.

I think then can just bury me here. Cuz I’m DUN!

But we made it. Actually…I cut my ride short about 3 miles. There was a little footnote on the route sheet:

In case of emergency, there is a short-cut…”

All I needed to hear. My thighs actually having a voice of their own to scream obscenities at me classifies as an emergency to me.

The alternate route cut the ride by about 3 miles and E-LI-MI-NA-TED a very challenging hill (you like that term huh?…I took it from our coaches…they think they can say that and trick us…like we don’t know that means KILLER BEAST OF A – YOUR QUADS WILL EXPLODE – CLIMB!). So I take the short-cut… that unfortunately was not short on hills!

I’m ready y’all. I am ready for whatever White Lake has to throw at me. I made it through Epic Weekend! And you know what? I am very proud of my accomplishment!


So…Why Tri? Because…it’s totally worth it to have stories like this to tell!!

Stay RYPE!


Runners for Boston

Good morning RYPEness

Today I am going to one of our local run stores (Run For Your Life) and participating in “Runners for Boston” memorial run. “Runners for Boston” is a free, casual run that will take place all over the U.S. starting at 6:30PM tonight (April 22nd).  Runners are encouraged to wear the Boston Marathon’s signature blue and yellow colors, or any Boston Marathon apparel.

Last Monday was a horrible day in the US, and unfortunately one that is among too many that have occurred over the last year. We find ourselves living in a time that most of us never fathomed. It can, if you let it, paralyze you from fear of what could happen next. We cannot allow that to happen. We have to pay tribute to those who have been affected by these horrible acts by continuing to live our lives with joy and love in our hearts; prayerful that the abundance of these two things beaming from within us will choke out the few bad who do these evil things. We have to. The alternative is not an option.

I hope you can join in this run today. Find a group or go it alone….but just go. Be it a run or walk, at 6:30 tonight let’s run united for peace.