ODU Triathlon {Recap}

This may be the fastest I ever get a race recap up!  That's what happens when you're staying at your parents' house and dinner is finished before 8:00! :) 

Yesterday I drove home to Suffolk from Baltimore to participate in the 3rd annual ODU Triathlon and spend some time with my parents.  Charlotte came too.

Before going to sleep, I got all my stuff ready to go for our 6:30 wake-up call. 

I was excited to use my new Pearl Izumi thermal (do I love turquoise/blue and black or what??)

The race was at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and was one of USTA's "retro tri" series.  

In specific, the USA Triathlon Retro Tri Series is a youth and adult multisport event that combines swimming, biking, and running. All events within the series are not required to be timed, but timing is acceptable. The focus is on participation rather than competition. Because of this, rankings will not be available for races within the series.
To participate in the USA Triathlon Retro Tri Series, athletes must be at least 13 years of age. There will be 15 events across the United States which will make up the 2014 series. The Retro Tri Series will serve to expose and continue to educate all participants on a healthy and active multisport lifestyle. It is open to first-timers, seasoned veterans, and those looking to stay active, all while in an event atmosphere.

Setting up my transition area.

The race consisted of a 400-yard swim, 6-mile bike on a looped course, and a 3.1-mile run through campus.

Up first, the swim.  The Iron Girl Columbia triathlon was an open water swim, so this was my first triathlon with an indoor pool swim (besides the 2 indoor triathlons that I did). 

It was a snake swim, meaning we entered the pool on one side, and swam up and down the lanes until we reached the other side.  

They did a good job spacing us out in the lanes, which is something I was worried about.  

Next, the bike!  The bike course consisted of six 1-mile loops.  We had to do 12 U-turns, which I was not crazy about.  Some of the turns we had to be careful of other people getting on the course.  I get a little nervous making turns on my bike, so this was a bit unnerving.  The 6 miles went pretty quickly though.

The run was through campus, and I ran most of it completely solo, so I was a little lonely. :)

I was struggling to finish strong at this point!!

All in all, it was a really fun, beginner-friendly event, which is the whole point of the retro triathlon.  I would recommend it as good, late season local race.  :)

Coffee + mimosa = post race necessities :)

Special thanks to my parents for spectating and supporting, and to my mom for taking these pictures! 

Annd now I think I'll lounge on the couch until I fall asleep ;)

5 Steps for Staying on Track this Holiday Season

Happy Friiiiday!!  I'm SUPER excited for the weekend because I'm going home to Virginia for a 4-day weekend.  My mom has all sorts of fun things planned I'm sure. :)

 I'm linking up today for the Friday Five with Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DCMar from Mar on the Run, and Cynthia from You Signed Up for What, and today's theme focuses on how to stay healthy during the holiday season.  So, here are my 5 steps for staying on track this holiday season.

1.  Be Realistic and Reduce Expectations.

You're busy with shopping and party prepping all weekend, every weekend, or maybe you're going to your sister's house for a few days around Christmas.  You're just not going to make your twice weekly spin class at your beloved gym.  Accept it and...

2.  Think Outside the Box.

 Skiing with your cousins definitely counts as a workout.  Roaming the shopping mall for that perfect gift does in a pinch.  Join your sister at yoga, her favorite activity, even if it's not your 'thing'.  Bonding time + workout = sure to put you in the holiday spirit (bonus!)

3.  Make a Plan.  

After you've thought about what other ways to work out, commit to it.  Write it down in your calendar or your iPhone, amongst the other holiday to-dos like gift wrapping and cooking your patented pumpkin pie.  Get that guest pass to your sister's yoga studio.  Buy that PiYo DVD and get it shipped to your mom's house.  Organize a friendly family 5k and email your family.

4.  Adjust accordingly.  

Ok, its not always going to go according to your plan.  That's life.  So get in what you can.  Every little bit counts.  Do some push-ups, go for a stroll around the neighborhood, do some triceps dips using the couch while you watch The Christmas Story.

5.  Don't forget about the food!

Obviously, one of the great things about the holiday season is spending time with family, sharing memories...and eating. :) Totally OK to enjoy that time with your family...and eating.  A few tips to combat the constant indulgences.  Bring your own snacks on that shopping trip or to family gatherings; you don't always have control of WHEN food will be available, so this way you can grab a snack and not go crazy when dinner is finally ready.  Offer to contribute a healthy (but delicious) side to the family meal.  Bring a veggie tray as an appetizer, greens or healthified (but still delicious) sweet potato casserole for sides, or a homemade dessert.  This ensures that you, and your family, have something healthy to eat, along with all of the other delicious choices.  

What are your tricks for staying active and healthy over the holidays?  


November Plank Challenge {aka Planksgiving}

{Per the usual, I'm posting this later than planned; Mondays are CRAZY busy around here}

I thought it would be fun to do a November plank challenge as we begin the rapid ramp-up to the holiday season.  I know that when I get busy, my core workout is the first to go, which isn't good for either superficial or overall body strength and stability reasons.  As I've talked about before, your core is more than just those ab muscles that you work to show off in a bikini (so yes - you still need to focus on your core now that it's sweater weather); your core is actually a whole system of structures that make up the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex (LPHC), including the lumbar spine, the pelvic girdle, abdomen, and the hip joint.  (Source:  NASM Essentials of Personal Training)  Weak core = higher likelihood of muscular imbalances and risk for injury.  I am, unfortunately, a CLASSIC example of this.  I have a double whammy of weak core and weak glutes, so if I'm not diligent about working my core, I am prone to injuries such as pirifromis syndrome and dreaded lower back pain. 

So, this is my challenge to both myself and to you this month:

Complete at least ONE plank on FIVE separate days of the week.

Challenge accepted?  (haha!)

Ok, here are the details.  At the beginning of each week (or umm Tuesday? I'll try to be better next week!), I'm going to post a different plank for that week.  Complete that plank at least 5 days and try to increase your seconds holding or number of repetitions (depending on the type of plank) each time.  Simple right?

Week 1:  Classic Elbow Plank

Here's a great article by Women's Health magazine on 4 Secrets to the Perfect Plank

Off to do my core work now, including an elbow plank! 

Let me know in the comments if you're up for the challenge! :)