My Blog Log

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Swim Workout

I like to share some of my workouts occasionally. This was from last week with my Master's Swim Class:

Warm up:
250 freestyle
250 pull buoy(arms only freestyle)

Main Set:
4x200 freestyle- #1, #3 hard effort with 15 sec rest. If you are doing this on your own, time yourself swimming a 200 as fast as you can. Try to maintain this pace now for 1, 3.
#2,#4- stroke count and good form freestyle at a moderate pace(80% effort) again you may take 15 sec. rest after each 200. To figure out your stroke count, swim your best formed freestyle for a 25m/yd distance and try to maintain that stroke count during the 200. A good goal for some advanced swimmers is 18 strokes for a 25m/yd distance.

Kick set:
5x100 flutter kick- these are hard kick effort with 10 sec rest for ea 100. You may choose to mix up your kick set with some back stroke kick. NO fins with this set.

5x100 Freestyle- 10 sec rest after ea 100- these are hard effort or should be at the top of zone 5. If you don't know what your fast 100 cycle is time yourself swimming a fast 100 and stick to that time/cycle for the set.

5x100 pull buoy set- 10 sec rest after ea 100- odd numbered are hard effort and even numbered are recovery concentrating on form.

200 cool down- freestyle.
total is 3000m but you may add or subtract from each area to fit your time/needs.

Enjoy! Kelly

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


  Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers. I thought it fitting to post about all the things I have to be grateful for. I am thankful that I have an outlet like triathlon to go to in time of joy, sadness, frustration, elation et cetera. I turn to triathlon often, and plain and simply it is a healthy way to deal with everyday life. Mostly I don't like exercise, but through swimming, biking, and running I'm able to take away stresses that nothing else seems to suffice. The thought of daily exercise is something that I struggle with like any other person. The difference is that I choose to try to stick with it without thinking too much about it. I know how great the feeling is when I'm done working out so I try not to think of the work ahead and the pain that is involved. Don't think, just do. I'm human and I go through phases with triathlon. Some days I'm all in and some days I'm not. I like sharing that because it shows anyone can do this. I'm a mom, a wife, a part time employee. I'm not famous. I'm not a pro-athlete. I am a very dedicated age group female that is living the lifestyle, and for that I'm truly thankful.
   My family is something else that I'm so thankful for. I have a great husband, two boys, two brothers, and two sets of parents that are my rock. I have friends too that I know I can count on and vent to in time of need. Life is so busy, but I know the friends and family that I have will always be there for me, and that is a real comfort and something that no price tag could cover.
     I'm thankful that my husband Mark has always supported my triathlon and running endeavors. It hasn't always been easy fitting in all the workouts to prepare for events. When my boys were little Mark was always there to help out with the boys so I could get my training done. He has been my biggest cheerleader over the years and has attended almost every single event I have done. He doesn't realize how much it means to me to see his face at the beginning, middle, and end of a triathlon. It is huge and gives me something to look forward to in between transitions. I don't think I could have gotten through an entire event without him being at the finish line.
     My mom is another huge supporter of mine, always cheering me on. The fact that I know how proud she and my step dad are helps get me through some very tough training and events. My mom can always pull me out of rut, too. No matter what I might be going through with training, work, or life she is there with solid advice and I'm so grateful for her wisdom.
     I'm thankful for my dad who is a huge athlete himself. A former basketball star, runner, and now tennis player my dad has always encouraged my athleticism. I learned early in life from him the importance of staying in shape and living a healthy lifestyle. He taught my brothers and I how to swim, ride our bikes, play basketball and football. Some of my fondest memories growing up are the football games at the park that we played.
     I have an opportunity to touch lives everyday as a Masters Swim Coach and Substitute teacher. I am so thankful for those jobs as I can share my passion with others and help them achieve their goals. The last couple of years I have had several students complete an Ironman event with my swimming help. The feeling of giving back to something that is so near and dear to myself is like no other.  As long as I can coach, I could actually give up triathlon if I had to.
     My boys are a special light in my life and without them I can not imagine what I might be doing. My sons have helped keep me grounded in life and triathlon realizing what is most important-their well being. It's quite simple really as long as they are cared for, healthy and happy, not much else in my world matters. My purpose in life is to make sure their life is better than my own. I love sharing my love of sports with them and now they are old enough to participate in some 5k's with me and we can run together as a family. It has come full circle since the days that I pushed them in a running stroller around the lake nearby. My love of triathlon has shown my boys that I'm more than just a mom ,and that anyone can have goals and achieve them.
     Last, but not least, I'm thankful for health and to still be able to participate in triathlon and running events.  I never take for granted the health God has granted me. Health is a gift and I'll keep swimming, running, and biking until I can't physically do it.

Happy Thanksgiving and Tri On,



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Enjoy the Moment

    One of the things that I have learned lately about triathlon and life is to try to enjoy the moment. We live in a culture that is constantly moving and changing and it is easy to forget to live for today. I tend to fall into the trap of thinking what is next, when in reality what is next might not come. My last post I wrote about how we triathlete type folks are always planning, training, thinking about what is next, but during my last event I learned to take a break from worrying about the logistics of racing and just get into the excitement and glory of the day which in reality is the most important part.
     The people responsible for this transformation in attitude are my dear friends Todd and Jodie Purich. We have been friends since our kids were a year old. Todd put together two relay teams this year for the Half Iron man distance at Beach 2 Battleship Triathlon in Wilmington, NC. This is one of the best long distance triathlons in the country and was rated fifth in the world according to Triathlete Magazine. It offers both the half iron and full iron distance and the venue is beautiful as you start at the beach and end in downtown Wilmington. The race is well run and the crowd support phenomenal. I would highly recommend adding it to your race or bucket list. Don't be concerned that this is not an Iron man brand race, it is awesome and the proceeds raise money for the YMCA of Wilmington which helps children and families.
     I loved racing this course as a relay team and would highly recommend it if you want to participate in a longer race, but don't have the time to train for the whole 70.3miles or 140.6 miles. This year there were over 100 relay teams. Racing as a team was fun too as we had our own cheering section for each other. I was more relaxed knowing that I had to crank out a bike ride versus all three sports.
    There were several special parts or moments that I enjoyed that day. The first is being with good friends and the fact that their children who I have known since they were babies were part of the relay teams. Their sixteen  year old twins participated in their first iron man event. It was really cool for me to see how excited the kids were to race. Their daughter seemed to really catch the "triathlon bug" as she expressed interest in doing more events. That was so exciting for me to see. It's hard to describe the feeling that one gets from attending and racing at these events, but the best way to describe the environment is electric. There is so much positive energy floating around you can't help but get caught up in it. This year there was a band playing afterwards and they had a large screened television near the finish line showing video highlights of everyone racing. It was quite a sight to see.
     Even if you never have any aspiration to race I would highly recommend volunteering at an event like this. You will completely be inspired and have an awesome time just seeing what participants go through and the positive encouragement that strangers give one another as they see participants on the course and cheer them on. What always warms my heart as a participant are the kind words I receive from complete strangers.
     My friend Todd, who put together the teams, really contributed to me getting into the moment. He said little things all day like, "Isn't this great...Did you look around on the bike, isn't it beautiful?...What a day!" It was little phrases that he said that made me look at the little things about the day rather than worry so much about my time or who was in front of me. Enjoying the weather and the day was as important as the race.
     We enjoyed all types of weather that day too which made me feel really alive. The temperatures in the early morning were very cold at 39 degrees and by the end of our race it had warmed up to 70 degrees. The sun was shining and the sky was clear which really helped make the day great as well. If you've ever raced in the cold and the rain you can appreciate good weather even more.
     I learn something each time I race and B2B was no different. I've raced this course three times, but I still learned something from one of the participants this year. In transition while waiting for my swimmer to come tag me I talked to some other cyclists. We were talking about what kind of layers of clothing to put on since it was so cold to start and we knew it would warm up by the end of our rides. One of the guys said, "newspaper." I did not follow at first and then he said," Stuff some newspaper in your bike jersey. It acts as an insulator and then you can pitch it when you get too warm." I loved this and will try it sometime. The other tip I learned was to duck tape underneath your cycling shoes. There is an area underneath cycling shoes where you clamp into your bike pedal. Air can come in through this small area, but if you put a little piece of duck tape around it the cold air will not come in. One day before the race I also invested in some neoprene shoe covers for my cycling shoes. The covers go over the tops of cycling shoes and provide a shield from the cold wind, and insulates the foot so your toes are nice and toasty during cold weather riding. These were key that day.
     Enjoy  the little things in each and every day. No matter if you are a triathlete, business person, teacher, parent or whatever. We should all take time to enjoy little moments as life is but a blink.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Lessons Learned

   Why triathlon? Why would you want to train five or six days a week. Swim, Bike, run almost every day, constantly review and watch what you eat, obsess over how long it takes you to do these events? The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and obtaining the same result. Most people that don't participate in triathlon would probably say that those of us that do are indeed insane!
   It is hard to understand, but I know for myself it is a very addictive sport and hobby.  I learn something new each day I train and each time I race. I learn what I could do better, what I did well, and what I want to change the next time. Why in the world would I want to keep doing this to myself? As a triathlete I don't play triathlon, I endure it. We endure hardships every day in our lives so for me enduring pain during swimming, biking, and running gives me the courage to see what I'm made of. Later, I can apply that inner strength to every day.
     So many times in life we fear the unknown. Most of the time before I start a race I'm terrified. Imagine looking out at a large body of water, knowing that you are going to be in it swimming with hundreds of people. This isn't exactly comforting, even for a swimmer. Facing my fears helps me to overcome them. When I cross the finish line I am no longer afraid.
     I started a business last year and I was afraid for many reasons, but like triathlon I felt that if I didn't at least try I would never know if it could be possible, and not knowing is worse than being afraid of something. One year later, I am up and running a pet sitting and dog walking business called Dawgz Gone( that has been successful.  I have some very loyal customers and I am still growing, but like triathlon I didn't start out doing an Ironman. My motto has always been slow and steady. Take your time with things, pay attention to details, believe, and good things will happen.
   I raced a few weeks ago in The Outer Banks Olympic Triathlon in Manteo, North Carolina. I did this race last year as well, and enjoyed the venue so much I went back this year. It was a come back race for me as I had taken a little time away from racing and training last spring. I learned many lessons during this time and during this particular triathlon.
     Lesson number one: I would not completely stop running for the length of time I did last spring. Three months with little running was too long. I lost some endurance and it took me a few months to get back in good running shape. I am reminded of Diana Nyad's mantra"find a way."
    During the OBX Triathlon I over hydrated. Too much of anything is never a good thing, including water and Gatorade. Lesson learned, you don't need 40oz of liquid before you start an Olympic Distance Triathlon. I tend to get very nervous before the start and my mouth gets dry as a result. I over hydrate to compensate for the dryness. As long as you drink around 12-16oz  before the start that should carry an athlete to the next phase of the race or the bike portion. Drink small sips on the bike. I ended up drinking another 16oz on the bike portion of this race and when I got to the run portion my stomach was bloated. I could feel and hear the water swishing around in my stomach. Not good. Mile one of the run I had to make a pit stop into a porta potty which cost me some time on my run split. So a good rule, drink around one sports drink or one bottle of water(around 12oz) before you start the swim. Hydrate on the bike by drinking two to three large sips of water or sports drink every thirty to forty minutes while riding. For an Olympic distance triathlon around 500 ml or 16oz on the bike should do it. There are always water stations out on the run course so I prefer to use those rather than carry water. A good rule on the run is to sip water every couple of miles or every twenty to thirty minutes. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink, at that point it is too late and you may be dehydrated. Pay attention to the weather also because you may drink more if it is hot and humid.
   Use your watch or Garmin to time yourself. Another important lesson from my last race was that I forgot to start my timer on my watch. Even professional timing companies make mistakes. I was connected with a relay team for some reason during the OBX Tri. I discovered this when I went to print off my timing information after the race, and it had my number linked to another timing chip. My splits for each sport were incorrect, but worse I had no record of  my times to give the officials. Lesson learned, keep your own time just in case. I gained eight minutes as a result.
   Lesson number four, don't be afraid to talk to the officials if you feel something is off with your race. Even though I did not have my correct splits for the OBX Tri I knew that I wasn't listed correctly and let the officials know. The officials and timers are there to help you and want you to have a fair race. 
   Enjoy every moment when your out there. Look around, enjoy the scenery, talk to other racers while you are out on the course. As a forty something athlete I am blessed to be out there participating. There are so many people suffering from illness or injury that would love to be able to walk or get off the couch. I am truly blessed with god given gifts and for those I am truly thankful.
     Beach 2 Battleship is coming soon. I can't wait and will have a report when it's done.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Get Your Kids Moving

     I substitute teach in the Elementary and Middle School levels and one of the classes I often fill in for is Physical Education. We used to call it Gym back in the day, but today it's PE. I am an active adult and love to practice what I preach and what a better way to do this then share my love of sports and play with children. The funny thing to me is that there are not a lot of substitutes out there that will not fill in for PE. It's nothing to shy away from I want to tell other subs, it's all about playing games and getting the kids moving.
     I was in recently for Elementary level and I was amazed at how quickly the children got tired.  I also noticed that some of the kids were overweight. The class was introducing the children to jump roping which included safety and different types of jumps. Most of the kids knew how to use a jump rope and could master the skills, but there were some that had no idea what to do. Some of this you might think is due to age appropriate development, but the class I'm writing about was a group of ten year olds.
     It  got me thinking, why can't a ten year old jump rope? Kids are spending more and more time on the computer and playing video games and spending less time outdoors. I remember my childhood and how I spent most of my free time outside. My brothers and I would rush inside only to eat lunch and then we would quickly get back outside to play games of tag, football, jump rope, hide and seek or other games that we made up. The only time we were interested in going into our house was to eat or sleep during the summer months. We had pogo stick jumping contests, jump rope contests, endless games of capture the flag. Whatever we were doing we were moving. When we got tired we sat in the grass and played board games or talked to each other.
     According to the CDC, childhood obesity has more than doubled in the last thirty years. The increase in childhood obesity went from 7%  in 1980 to 18% in 2010. Obesity is defined by excess body weight. Overweight is defined by having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, or water or a combination of these factors. Obesity and over weight issues result from too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed. Regular physical activity in childhood and adolescence improves strength and endurance, helps build healthy bones and muscles, helps control weight, reduces anxiety and stress, increases self-esteem, and may improve blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
     The US Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children aged 6-17 years of age get sixty minutes daily of physical activity. For children this simply means going outside and playing. Children don't need to run for miles or work out per say. Activities like bike riding, playing tag, climbing a tree, skateboarding, roller skating, jump roping etc. all count towards physical activity.
     Physical activity has been proven to help with academics as it helps with focus, behavior, and attentiveness. Schools can play a huge role by offering PE programs as well as after school running clubs and activities, but I feel that is not the sole responsibility of a school. Parents must actively be involved in promoting their children to get active. Turn off the television, computer, and video games and get outside. Play with your children. You don't need a fancy gym or equipment to play. A simple ball of any type can be used in a variety of games and activities. Take a family walk, bike ride, or hike.
     Healthy food choices must also be taught at school and at home. The importance of a balanced diet is also key in helping kids stay fit. Instead of reaching for the chips or crackers make sure you have plenty of fruits and veggies available for snacks and meals. One of the things that I cut out for my children is juice. Juice has a lot of added sugar and calories. At our house we drink milk and water with our meals, it is surprising how many calories you can save by just having a glass of water with your meals.
     The bottom line here is get your kids moving and it will give them a great foundation for healthy living and hopefully a long life.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Importance of Earthing or Grounding

     I took a little hiatus from my blog and from triathlon over the winter. I took a long term teaching assignment and spent many hours preparing and focusing on that. Currently, I am training and preparing for some tri's late this summer. I have an Olympic distance in September and Half Iron distance coming in October. Taking a break from things we love is okay and sometimes even healthy. My neighbor even said, "We can't be into everything at all times." I think balance in life and in hobbies is really important.
     Speaking of balance, one of the things I like to blog about is nutrition and healthy living. I recently was doing some online research to find out some information on how to eat and stay healthy as an athlete during pre-menopause. I am a forty something approaching fifty. As I age it is important to me to stay as natural as possible. Many doctors feel that medication is the answer to many of our health issues. I believe in more of an Eastern philosophy where diet, exercise, and herbal supplements play a large roll in health. As I was surfing around looking for answers to women's aging health issues I discovered something called grounding or earthing.
     I was at the beach at the time, which later proved to be very helpful. But what is grounding or earthing? Earthing, or grounding as it is often called, simply means connecting to the Earth’s natural, negative surface charge by being barefoot outside or in bare skin contact with conductive systems indoors while you sleep, relax, or work. Connection with the Earth restores a lost electrical signal to the body that seems to stabilize the complicated circuitry of our essentially-electrical body.  Our built-in self-regulating and self-healing mechanisms become more effective.  There are head-to-toe improvements.  Better blood flow.  Less pain and inflammation.  More energy.
 Sounds simple right? Simply touching your bare feet to the ground can be beneficial.
      Dr. Laura Koniver, a general practitioner in South Carolina, has done some research on the topic and found earthing to have some science behind it. First, it is important to understand something called free radicals which are highly reactive atoms, molecules, or ions that have unpaired electrons. Free radicals are related to inflammation. According to Koniver, inflammation is linked to many diseases such as cancer, heart disease, immune dysfunction and cognitive decline. When we work out in any shape or form(even gentle activity) we are creating microscopic tears in our muscles. We are creating free radicals.
     That is very normal, but the key is to neutralize the damage. We hear a lot about antioxidants which help to neutralize the damage, but that is where earthing can help. According to Koniver the free radicals that we build up throughout the course of a day are positively charged, the earth is negatively charged. We can get healing electrons from the earth by literally touching the ground. We get our oxygen from the trees, and vitamin D from the sun, so if you think healing electrons from the ground seem crazy, think again.
     How does earthing or grounding work? The best way to get the benefits from earthing are to walk barefoot in dirt, sand, grass, or rocky areas. You may still get some benefit from paved areas, but not if the pavement has been painted, the paint acts a sealant and you won't get the electron transfer. Rubber on your shoes or flooring also separates the transfer. The best place to earth, according to Koniver, is at the beach(barefoot) on wet sand because the moisture acts as a conductor.
     According to Dr. Koniver, earthing can help with a wide variety of health problems such as arthritis, sleep disorders, depression and menopause. She is doing a study on the effects of earthing and obesity. She had a patient in 2012 that was losing ten pounds a week doing nothing more than earthing (literally walking around in the dirt, outside) for ten minutes a day. Another patient of Dr. Koniver's was suffering from menopause. The hot flashes, mood swings and hormonal imbalances were making the patient feel anxious and ill. The patient tried grounding for two months. Afterwards, she felt significantly better and had less menopausal symptoms simply by walking around on her lawn barefoot, and sitting on the ground each day reading a book for twenty minutes.
     I decided to try it while I was at the beach last month. I ran on the beach in my bare feet for that week. This used to be torture because the sand was often uneven and the slope would bother my ankles. I decided to try again and give this earthing thing a chance. I ditched my running shoes and ran on the beach during low tide when the sand was packed tighter and there was less of slope and more of a flat surface. I loved it, had no soreness, and felt more alert.  I spend hundreds of dollars each year on very cushioned running shoes. I am very conditioned to running on pavement, but still suffer from soreness. Running or earthing on the beach I had none. I also noticed that I slept better after earthing. I generally fall asleep very easily, it's the staying asleep all night that is sometimes a struggle. The week of running on the beach(barefoot) I slept through the night.
     We can't always be at the beach, but we can still walk on our lawns or dirt trails and reap the benefits. Earthing has become popular in parts of Europe where you will see groups of people walking in the wet grass early in the morning. There are also earthing products available such as bed sheets and mats that have silver in the products that act as a conductor. These products are believed to help ease sleep disorders and chronic pain issues.
     The bottom line here is that earthing is free and why not give it a try? I know there will be skeptics, but when you think about it the earth has provided us with many things and energy is something we can all use.
     For more information there is the book called, Earthing The Most Important Health Discovery Ever? By Clinton Ober,Stephen T. Sinatra MD, and Martin Zucker and is available on and You can also find more information on grounding or earthing at


Friday, January 4, 2013

What Will You Gain?

     Happy New Year! A new year has different meaning for all of us, but most of us think of new year's resolutions. This  year I really did not want to set myself up for any resolutions because I think they are really hard to stick to, and sometimes can counter the positive effect that they are supposed to have. So no resolutions this year? I want to try a new twist on the idea.
     Kellogg's has the right idea. Their new campaign, ' What will you gain when you lose?' is brilliant. Kellogg's has proposed to think of losing weight as what you will gain instead of a negative word like lose. They are kicking off their campaign in Time Square on January 3rd by displaying a large scale and screen. When you step onto to the scale instead of seeing a number, inspirational words will display to encourage healthy weight management. I love this idea.
      The word lose( according to the Online Dictionary) means; Be deprived of or cease to have or retain (something): "I've lost my appetite", or to cause (someone) to fail to gain or retain (something): "you lost me my appointment at the university. No wonder we can't stick to our resolutions. The word lose has many negative connotations like deprived and fail to gain something. Who would want to start something like that? But if we change the wording(mind-set) and realize the many things we may gain by becoming more conscious of what we eat, and how exercise will help us gain something, why not try?
     One of my goals for the new year is to gain fitness that I lost over the holiday. I lost fitness during the holidays because I had bronchitis, and I was busy getting ready for Christmas at the last minute due to illness. When I think of losing weight I really don't want to because I know that means depriving myself of foods that I love. But, if I rethink what I'll gain or get out of working out, I know that I'll be able to eat something that I love because I've done the work. As long as I don't go overboard with the treats I'm golden.
     I know that I'll gain those smaller jeans once I get back on my regular routine of swimming, running, and biking. I may even gain a new pair of jeans that don't hang in my closet, again as a reward for sticking to a plan.
     When I stick to my regular routine of eating right and exercise, I also gain a sense of accomplishment which raises my self-esteem and generally makes me happy. There are three gains in that last sentence: accomplishment, self-esteem, happiness. Sticking to my commitment of healthy living gives me back much more than I put out.
    Increasing activity levels will also benefit our heart health, and may increase our brain cognition, and help us sleep better, according to an article on science I know that personally I do sleep better when I am more active. Again all those items listed are gains.
     I am a big list maker. When I have a decision to make I fold a piece of paper in half and at the top write pros on one side, and cons on the other. When it comes to fitness I can guarantee if you try this list making exercise you will have more on your pro side than con side.
     A new year is always exciting. Whether you just want to improve your fitness goals or maybe you just want to be more organized. Change your thought process to what you will gain rather than what you will lose, and you will be on your way.

Tri-On and Happy New Year!
Kelly for more information on the benefits of moderate aerobic activity in adults.