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Wine n Dine Half Marathon!

Well those of you who have been following along with Facebook or Twitter will know that the Wine n Dine Half Marathon took place last weekend and it was glorious! This race was super exciting for me. Not only did I get to run with a bunch of my old friends, but it was a DISNEY RACE!! Which of course is my favorite type of race. We all know Disney knows how to put on a show, well they certainly also know how to put on a race!! This particular race is the finale to a magnificent event that Walt Disney World puts on in Epcot, called the Food and Wine Festival. Food and Wine is pretty much the greatest festival ever. They have booths set up all over the World Showcase from different countries and you can taste different food and beverages from each booth as you wander around the park. They also have live entertainment almost every night, this year some of the highlights included Wilson Phillips, whom I did not get to see, and Hanson, whom I did indeed see!! This magnificent event goes on for just over a month and culminates in the Wine n Dine half marathon!!! The race begins at the Wide World of Sports and goes through both Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios before ending in Epcot with a giant party and much exultation! I have been looking forward to this race for months and I’ve been training hard. I did, however, have a few trepidations.

1. Running outside!! I’ve been training strictly on a treadmill for the last 7 months. How am I going to react to running on real life land, have I been training g hard enough? I try to vary my treadmill incline and speed enough to mimic land, but maybe I didn’t train correctly or enough.

2. Temperature!! I spent the last 3 months in the Baltic, training in the cold, how will my body react to the high temperature and humidity of Florida?! Especially with all the signs proclaiming ‘EXTREME HEAT WARNING!! STAY HYDRATED, THIS MAY NOT BE THE WEEKEND TO RUN YOUR BEST TIME’

3. Time!! This was a night run. Start was 10pm. Sure I do training runs that late, but my entire race history, be it marathons or triathlons, is all morning. I know how to prepare for morning races, I know how my body reacts, nights races are a whole other ball game, I’m not sure how best to prep.

So I went into the race, not expecting much, but expecting to do the best I could do. As expected, the first 3 miles were the worst. I always fight through those. Between mile 2-3, a ruthless cramp almost crippled me, but I ran through it. I love running outdoors. After the amount of discipline I’ve developed to run on a treadmill for endless miles, it was like a vacation to run outside, so many things to look at, so many people to race!! Turns out I didn’t do so badly in the training department. Once that pesky cramp worked itself out, I ran like there was no tomorrow. I felt amazing and turns out, I ran my best time ever! 2:05!! And I had a blast!!! Great success!!! And at the finish line, not only did I get a massive giant medal, but also a glass of wine!! Best. Race. Ever!!!!

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30 Day Challenge

I will be the first to admit it, I really let myself go during vacation. I wasn’t racing so I ate, drank, lay around, cruised for a few weeks and drank some more. It wasn’t a catastrophe, but I ended my vacation with that uncomfortable feeling when your clothes have gotten a little tight and you avoid being in photos. When I got back on board for this contract, I got back into the gym, but wasn’t really feeling committed, more lackluster and missing my outdoor triathlon training. Then along came the most wonderful trainer and a group of colleagues from different departments. Together we have all begun a 30 day fitness challenge. We have all made different goals that we would like to achieve, but it all centers around the basic principles: Eat Clean, Train Dirty and work hard together. We train together, bootcamps, cycle classes, whenever possible, and are always there for each other when we have tough days. It’s a truly amazing group of people. We have representatives from many different departments and each person brings something fabulous and individual to the group. Everyone is at a different fitness level and has very different goals but we are all there for eachother and always so supportive!  I’m really excited about it. I feel amazing and strong and my passion has been renewed. I’m back into tri training full force as best I can with diverse treadmill workouts and challenging spin classes. Of course, I’m not getting any swimming in, but when we get back to the Caribbean I sure will! If anyone out there has any off-season treadmill workouts to share, I’d be thrilled to add them to my list!!

EAT CLEAN TRAIN DIRTY!!!

To Swim or Not to Swim

Well, being a gym rat is going quite well actually, I’m getting into a comfortable groove of running/biking/weight training in the guest gym. My schedule is actually ideal for training. I work split shifts so I always have time every day to go to the gym. We don’t ever work all day straight, there’s always a break! I really feel like I’m getting so much gym and self improvement time, it’s amazing. The only thing missing is swimming. Of course, swimming is the component that I have to work hardest on to keep up. My current solution has been to swim back and forth along the beach when we are in ports with a close beach. Which is at least 2 days a week. Sometimes I can’t get off the ship, but I’ve been making do! One thing that I can’t get enough of right now is the eucalyptus steam room and dry sauna on the ship. The wall opposite to the door is actually a massive floor to ceiling window that looks out onto the ocean. There is nothing better after a workout than sitting in the steam room and staring out at the ocean. It’s heavenly!! I’ve also discovered napping!! It’s amazing!! How did I live without naps before???? Does anyone out there have any advice for me in the triathlon department?? How can I maximize my gym workouts to keep me in shape while living on a cruise ship all winter (pool swimming is out of the question, crew aren’t allowed in the guest pools, originally I thought maybe I could do some pool running)??

Isla Roatan, Honduras. My floating home on the left!! Wanna race to the ship??

Goofing off with a co-worker in Roatan!

 

Gym Rat

You know, I used to be a gym rat. I loved the gym. Didn’t want to train outside (except for horseback riding), just inside, constantly, all the time. Then I started hiking with a good friend of mine and fell in love with outdoor training. Then I started racing triathlon and became addicted to the outdoors. The last 7 or 8 years I’ve been all about the outdoors, still doing a gym workout or two here and there, but mostly as many outdoor sports as I could get my hands on. Now I’m living on a cruise ship. Training outdoors is less feasible. Don’t get me wrong, when we dock on a Bahamanian island, I’m on the gangway with my one piece on and goggles in hand, ready to swim back and forth along the island, but for the most part, I need to re-connect with my long dormant gym rat. It’s been easier than I expected. One thing I’m really excited about is the chance to really focus on training and my health. I have a tendency to run myself ragged at home. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely not complaining, I love every single thing I do at home and am so happy to do them all, but sometimes I forget that I am in fact not invincible (shhhhhh that’s a secret) and eventually I am going to hurt myself. Case in point, savagely murdering both of my ankles this summer. They are rehabilitating nicely, which I’m very pleased with. My point (I swear I have one) is that I’m going to really focus on my health while I’m on board, I’m only working one job, and in my spare time, I’m pretty limited in available ways to fill my day. A very good friend of mine from home has offered to help me in my quest for the ultimate healthy state, and I was thrilled to accept!! We have been friends for at least ten years and he is one of the most positive, inspirational, and genuine human beings I have ever had the pleasure to know. I’m so excited to be a part of Team Alvarez!! Please check out his facebook page here: Team Alvarez!! Now, in order to practice what I preach, I am headed to bed, I have an early start tomorrow, and I need my beauty sleep!!

Play safe and happy training!

E

Where did you train today??

So now that I live on a cruise ship, I’ve been focusing my training on rehabilitating my ankles after how badly I destroyed them this summer. I started by walking on an incline (12) for 25 minutes then running for 5 minutes, like my physio told me, and have slowly been working up a minute a day. If the cankle complains, I run the same amount of time the next day. Then when it’s happy again, I increase by a minute. I just got clearance to train in the guest gym, which also means I can run on the Sun Deck track!! Check it out!!! Where did everyone else train this morning??

Oh, and yes, on the right that IS INDEED a mini golf course!!! Check it out also!!

 

AMAZING!!

 

E

Summer adventures!

I had such an amazing summer full of friends and fun and adventure. I feel like there’s a million adventure days I haven’t shared, so here’s one!! A lovely co-worker of mine has a cabin on Shawnigan Lake so one sunny afternoon, she invited some of us up for sea dooing and wakeboarding and boating!! So much fun!! We really do live in one of the most amazing places in the world and it’s so nice to get to enjoy it!!

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Michael Lake Cross Country

Well it’s been a pretty hectic few weeks!!! Since I’ve been injured and not allowed to run, it means I can’t focus on triathlon, so instead I’ve been focusing on horseback riding. It’s been better for my ankle overall and still lets me feel like I’m training. I’m still bike riding and swimming, but running is totally out of the question, I mangled my ankle very badly. So focusing on riding has been really saving me while I recover and I’m so happy to be doing it. I adore riding, and I’ve been very lucky to be riding some amazing horses. One of which is Rylin. He’s an amazing horse, so talented, has tons of jump and is very athletic. He’s a bit of a chicken, but that’s ok because I’m brave enough for both of us, and he’s got so much heart that when I tell him something is safe to jump, he’ll go for it with everything he has. Recently we went on a barn trip up island to Michael Lake Equestrian Centre, which is a stunning facility with a beautiful cross country field. We camped over night and rode two lovely days in the field. For those of you who aren’t familiar with cross country, it consists of a very large winding field with natural type obstacles, like ditches, large ponds, stone walls, logs, stacks of logs, and trails through forests. Generally, our hunter/jumper horses don’t see a lot of those kinds of obstacles and don’t get to play in a giant open field, so the cross country experience can be tough. Our horses all rose to the challenge and were amazing for both the days. We got some amazing photos and had the most wonderful time!!!

Check them out!!!

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Jumping the skinny jump is a lot harder than it looks!!!

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Can you see the dog in this photo?? she’s there!!

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My coach and her amazing 4 year old, Roulette!!!

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The crew after a lovely ride, headed back to the paddocks and camp site!!

Tough Mudder

I know you’ve all been eagerly anticipating the Tough Mudder update and I’m ready to give it to you. First of all, I ADORED the atmosphere I found in Whistler during the race weekend because it was full of like minded people who are also into racing and health and the same things I am. Myself and my team stayed at the Westin and loved every minute of it. My friend works for them and took very good care of us while we were there. The challenge itself was amazing. I adore the idea of it, lots of teamwork, and for a good cause but also very physically and mentally challenging. For those who don’t know about it, this race is known as possibly the toughest race on the planet. It’s intense and painful and so awesome.

The official Tough Mudder Vancouver video came out today, check it out!!!

Tough Mudder Whistler

I’ll post more photos later!! I managed to hang onto a disposable camera for the whole challenge, so I ended up with some great photos!

 

The Cankle

I have been a little absent for the last few weeks and I’m sorry about that….partially it’s because of an injury and partially I’ve been away. Let’s start with The Cankle. No matter how hard you try to prevent injuries as an athlete, it still happens. I work so hard to prevent injuries while I’m racing and training, and I very rarely injure myself during a race. However, two weeks ago, while walking back to my car with a coffee on my way to work, I tripped. Possibly on the air, possibly on an invisible cat, possibly on Doris Gravlin (don’t worry, she and I are friends, I’ve worked at the VGC for 5 years and we are very close.) Whatever it was, I flailed and sprained my ankle so badly that I was advised to not bear weight on it. This happened four days before Tough Mudder, which I wasn’t planning on missing. And I did not. But anyway, after this little mishap, my ankle swelled to a RIDICULOUS size, so much that I began calling it The Cankle, and making people do it’s bidding. Check it out…..

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So that’s The Cankle, and somehow the Cankle and I managed to run 18 km with 25 obstacles. More on that later. For all the other athletes out there who are cursing me for racing on this ankle, don’t worry, I’m paying for it now, but I’m stubborn and couldn’t not race. Sooo please forgive me, I’m a bad athlete, I don’t know how to rest.

Inspiration

In my spare time I like to keep an eye on what the triathlon gods are up to, and one of those amazing humans is Craig Alexander! In this series of videos by triathlon.com, they look into a bit of Craig “Crowie”‘s training days, 8 weeks away from Kona! Just an amazing athlete!!

 

 

 

 

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