As promised…

Well just over a week later we are together again and I am still babying this foot trying to get over this tendonitis. However, I have made strides to help not only treat but also make sure this doesn’t reoccur anytime soon…hopefully. I am a big fan of supporting and promoting local business and am a team member for our local run store. So when the issues persisted I of course went in and had my foot properly analyzed and ordered orthotics to help support and correct some issues. The Foot Landing and Sherri have always been a wealth of knowledge and help to our running community so I was much appreciated. I of course also began treating as directed by the doctor and more than likely won’t run until my first race of the season in 2 weeks the only difficult part is I am on my feet most of the day while working so I will have to be conscious to take it easy and refrain from ignoring and pushing through the pain. I have taken this opportunity to focus on swim and bike training which are always areas that could improve especially the swim. Exciting news though my race kit has arrived for this year and I’m in love and the combo of my US newton’s and matching mojo hat completes it (pictures below). Without further ado I will introduce my little not so baby sister… Carli

The Perks

There are countless perks to being the family member of a triathlete. Of course the first to come to mind are the materialistic things. All the cool goodies he gets to share from his sponsors, I have made it through this school year as a 5th grade teacher living off of nuun tablets! One I am looking forward to is my Love the Pain gold label hat 😀 I’ll move on though.

Another perk I have grown to love are all the family trips we have been on going to support our athlete. Our family is close knit to begin with but there is nothing like all waking up at o’dark thirty to go down to a starting line to cheer him on, then move on to tracking on our phones! “Hey did you see he took off so and so seconds/minutes from his last marathon”. The hours of keeping the little ones entertained until we can spot “daddy” running or biking by. Then the feeling of all of us cheering and screaming him across the finish line, I have never seen prouder faces on our parents and grandparents than those moments.

Now my favorite perk of all is the even stronger bond it has created between myself and my brother. I have always looked up to him because I mean really he is my big brother but watching him push himself to become a better person for not only himself but his family is amazing. The number of hours he puts into his training is mind blowing, while still being able to handle all of his daddy duties. He has motivated me in the last year to pick up a new hobby to bring myself to a happier place in my life through running. Now by no means am I up to the dedication of my brother but I am slowly becoming a stronger runner and healthier individual. He was by my side as I started my journey with my first 5k in a very long time and kept me going. The first time I wanted to stop he gave me the motivational “you got it, keep going “, the 5th time I wanted to stop I got the real big brother “stop being a pansy you got it, you can throw up after”! I am super excited that this February he will also be by my side as I run my first half marathon. It has been a dream of mine for a long time and he will keep me motivated to accomplish my dream. As the time draws closer my “coach” keeps reminding me I need to keep working, the miles won’t just come to you, you have to be ready for them. He has been a true motivation all my life, I always wanted my big brother to think I was the cool sibling even if I was the annoying little sister. I wanted to always make him as proud of me as I was of him. Even as adults I think he is one of the coolest people I know. Always willing to give of himself to help all those around him, and not just friends or family. He competes for the amazing RODS charity that helps special needs children find forever homes and give them the loving and fulfilling life they deserve. So my final words will be a push for you all to go and do what you can to help my cool brother reach his goal as he’s now committed to the 2018 Dopey Challenge for the RODS foundation and his new fundraising goal is $3200. Most people would tell themselves they could never raise that much money and run that 48.6 miles (5k,10k, Half Marathon, Full Marathon) but not my brother…

 

Another intro to a family member that means so much to me and hopefully help you gain some clarity into my journey not only personally but as a support system. I am blessed to have so much support as well as yes someone to share all the great product with! These next two weeks is going to be spent hitting the bike and swim pretty hard in hopes to heal so I can show and turn it on in the run for the sprint on April 9th. After that sights are set to St. Anthony’s Olympic at the end of the month which is definitely a favorite and one I intend to make a solid showing at.

 

Team pages and workout data links:

http://www.rods.org/team/collin/ … Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

http://www.nuunlife.com … Nuun Hydration

http://www.lovethepain.com … Love the Pain Endurance Apparel/Mojo Racing Team

http://www.teamironcowboy.com … Coaching Site

http://www.baseperformance.com … Base Performance Hydration/Nutrition

http://www.honeystinger.com… nutrition ambassador

http://www.thefootlanding.com … Team Player FL

https://www.strava.com/athletes/9908772 …Tracked Workouts

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Hello… Is it me your looking for?

Indeed, it’s been far too long and I fully intended to stay up on this but between wedding season (brother, sister and I all hitched), school, training, and everything life has to throw at me I let this slip. To those of you who usually kept up with reading my blog I do apologize but I will be resuming a weekly entry. To bring everyone up to date…

Since we last spoke my now wife and I tied the knot, and are happily married now for over 2 months…I know she hasn’t run away yet but to be fair she hardly sees me so that’s probably why she hasn’t gotten tired of me yet. ONLY KIDDING! Our youngest daughter Gracie turned one-year-old in February and our older Daughter is quickly approaching her third or eighteenth birthday it’s hard to tell somedays. My wife also had a birthday but we won’t talk numbers because again happy wife happy life!

School couldn’t be going better unless someone too the classes for me and did as well as I have been doing. Aside from the occasional sleep deprivation, overlooked deadline and rapid pace to finish an assignment, and early morning statistics it’s been great. I made the Dean’s List in my first semester back and am on track to do so again this semester. I will be graduating this summer and transferring in the fall to Florida Gulf Coast University to finish my Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Science Education. Will begin to work post grad but will also be continuing for at least a master’s degree in Educational Leadership.

Now for why most of you probably read this since your probably already saying enough Collin, how is training and racing season coming along!?! Well my first race of the year was a nice warm-up as I paced my sister for her first ever half marathon at the Disney Princess Half. She expressed a goal time of 2 hours 30 min and no more than 2 hours 45 min. She put in a decent amount of training and I was comfortable in pushing her toward her initial goal and possibly slightly faster. At approximately mile 10 I told her we could either hold pace or pick it up slightly and make 2 hours 20 min or we can cruise in as planned and make her goal time. she chose the latter because nausea and fatigue was setting in. At 2 hours 30 min and 43 seconds we crossed the finish line and went on to celebrate and enjoy the rest of the day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom. I followed up with a 5k this past weekend to test the wheels and despite a pretty howling wind finished in 22:32 and took 10th overall. However, it was the last time I would run and will be running for a little as I shut down due to a flare up of tendinitis in my foot. Luckily this happened to me last year and I still have patches and treatment instruction to turn this around in a few weeks. So I have turned my focus to swimming and biking. Swimming of course can always use more work and the more time I put into it the better the base leading into full iron training post St. Anthony’s Olympic Tri at end of April. Still debating on FGCU sprint, was going to do it as a warm up and transition work for the season but am not going to take the chance with my foot.

I wasn’t selected for my final ambassador app with Newton however they are an official sponsor for my race team and I do still love the shoes of course so I will continue to train and race in them! Especially with the discount we get from the team.  My run pace and bike pace were seeing solid improvements from HR based training, and am hoping someone hooks it up for my birthday with the swim HR monitor for Garmin. My swim times and workouts are improving however I am anxious to see what HR data could do for it as well. We booked our cabin for Tennessee this September for Ironman Chattanooga and I couldn’t be more excited! Several teammates will be on hand and a final headcount from family and friends aren’t in but I booked a cabin for 12+ people so there is room for anyone who wants to tag along!

I’ll go ahead and break this off here however the next entry will more than likely be this weekend or at the latest by Wednesday and will feature my sister and her thoughts on the Ironman, her brother and training as well as the beginning of her own journey as a runner. Until Next time… keep on #crushitwithasmile and #lovethepain #LTP #MojoRacing!!!!

Team pages and workout data links:

http://www.rods.org/team/collin/ … Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

http://www.nuunlife.com … Nuun Hydration

http://www.lovethepain.com … Love the Pain Endurance Apparel/Mojo Racing Team

http://www.teamironcowboy.com … Coaching Site

http://www.baseperformance.com … Base Performance Hydration/Nutrition

http://www.honeystinger.com… nutrition ambassador

http://www.thefootlanding.com … Team Player FL

https://www.strava.com/athletes/9908772 …Tracked Workouts

 

 

 

 

Transitions…

This past month has been eventful and full of just that, transitions. As I entered into the month of December I knew I had quite a bit on my plate, including making the transition from maintenance training to olympic training schedules. I also officially welcomed another younger sibling into the family as my sister was married early on in the month. The week following I was wrapping up finals midway through the month for my first semester back to school in my undergrad program. Then of course as I’m sure like most of you I joined the mad dash to prepare for Christmas as it was my 10 month olds first! Now As I have successfully transitioned through the first and now into the second week of my olympic training program which I am beyond excited about the next on the agenda… Wedding Day. Thats right tomorrow marks single digit countdown to the big day. I couldn’t be happier overall with the month of December but it taught me a lot looking back. Most important to focus on what’s in front of you and that you can control but look ahead and plan for that next step or…leap.

Yes it was a busy month and yes a squeezed in 5o plus hour work weeks between it all but it was easier to handle as I almost approached every task like I would a triathlon. I knew what discipline or event I was currently performing but was looking one step ahead planning my time and energy to maintain so to reach every goal insight and with some let in the tank to spare. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail! Always keep that in mind when approaching training and life. I also take this time to apologize for my absence over the last month and promise to be more vigilant in posting and updating. Extremely excited and looking forward to married life, my second semester back in school, training and I’m sure so much more. I am also over the moon thankful for the support of all my loved ones, friends, ambassador teammates, racing team mates and can’t wait to take this journey moving forward with you all. Much of my training this past month up until a week and half ago has been sporadic and indoors mostly so stats aren’t available for most. However links are available to view and communicate if you want to talk training or have any questions and especially tips… yes of course I’m still learning in fact I learned something this very evening. Until next time goodnight all!

Team pages and workout data links:

http://www.rods.org/team/collin/ … Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

http://www.nuunlife.com … Nuun Hydration

http://www.lovethepain.com … Love the Pain Endurance Apparel/Mojo Racing Team

http://www.teamironcowboy.com … Coaching Site

http://www.baseperformance.com … Base Performance Hydration/Nutrition

http://www.honeystinger.com… nutrition ambassador

http://www.thefootlanding.com … Team Player FL

https://www.strava.com/athletes/9908772 …Tracked Workouts

 

Humble and Thankful…

Training and competing in any sport at any level can be a humbling experience. This week in the mix of work, school and the holiday festivities I took a 5k that I had hopes to set a tone for the year to come or finish 2016 on a high note with… needless to say things didn’t go as planned. For several reasons I was not fueled, rested and recovered come race day and wasn’t able to overcome the damage done. However its the failures or near misses that teach us most moving forward if we are able to accept them for what they are. For instance I know and should have gotten a good nights rest instead of running on five hours sleep. I also shouldn’t divert from normal fueling on the night before and by no means should eat greasy heavy Chinese food. As small as these deviations sound they definitely threw my body for a loop and I was by no means ready to perform at peak level. However I learned and I live to race another day. Like most highly competitive individuals though I wasn’t going to go out this year or set the tone for the year to come with a near age group place miss. So on December 10th I’ll learn from this humbling experience and even though its anther short 5k I will come out prepared and ready to compete and leave it all out there.

This week each year reminds us to be Thankful. Thankful for those around us, the blessings we have and what we have to look forward to. All to often we take these things for granted. Surrounded by friends and family on Thanksgiving this year it reminded me once again to take pause and be thankful for what I have been blessed with and what the future holds.

Training has been going as smoothly as possible with few interruptions or adaptations to accommodate changing work and school schedules. Looking forward to the transition into Olympic Distance Tri training December 19th. I was fortunate to win a pair of Hoka One One Clifton 3’s and received them this week. Suspicions confirmed that they weren’t my cup of tea after the second test run and first in this pair. However don’t be afraid to try new things whether its variations in training methods or equipment.

Team pages and workout data links:

http://www.rods.org/team/collin/ … Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

http://www.nuunlife.com … Nuun Hydration

http://www.lovethepain.com … Love the Pain Endurance Apparel/Mojo Racing Team

http://www.teamironcowboy.com … Coaching Site

http://www.baseperformance.com … Base Performance Hydration/Nutrition

http://www.honeystinger.com… nutrition ambassador

http://www.thefootlanding.com … Team Player FL

https://www.strava.com/athletes/9908772 …Tracked Workouts

 

Flexibility…

Most of you probably saw this title and thought, yes of course it’s important to be limber or have great physical flexibility as an athlete. While that is the case, thats not where this post is headed. Some of you may have noticed an increased lapse in time between reading this and my previous post. This is where the flexibility comes in, you see all to often we feel like we have to do it all. That nothing can slip change or wait and if it does that means we have failed. Today I was upset at myself because for the first time in my training program I missed a day of training and let me tell you that doesn’t happen with me. I will give you my reasoning, which some may call an excuse, but I think it’s only fair to explain. Today I woke up feeling the beginnings of a stomach bug that had run its course through the rest of my family this past weekend. On top of that, I knew today for me was going to be a long day but had bargained with myself to try and feel better throughout the day in hopes to make the sickness manageable to get my training in this evening. My fiancé then pointed out that she unfortunately would be working late this evening, so running after I got out of work wouldn’t be an option. At this moment it dawned on me that I was falling victim to something I preach to everyone especially athletes, lack of flexibility. 

You see, there are going to be days where training is either cut short, altered in some way shape or form, or even missed all together. That’s life! Sometimes your body is going to tell you that what you had in mind is not going to work that day, or your schedule isn’t going to be capable of being adjusted or you just plain need to take a break. That’s ok, I don’t recommend making a habit of it, however every now and then life happens. Don’t let important things in your life such as your family, work, your body or other commitments or essentials suffer because you have to get that 110 min ride in or your 45 min recovery run. Yes, these are part of your training for a reason but it’s ok to back up your training schedule a day or to miss a workout. Ultimately, your not a failure for missing or adjusting, nor are you going to lose the race or perform horribly because you didn’t stick to the exact plan. Trust the process, it’s a journey. There are going to be ups and downs, good days and bad, hard days and some not as challenging, but in the end one day isn’t going to destroy the entire goal. So, again I apologize for the absence but I guess it was just me being… flexible.

Other Important news since we last caught up…

The Cubs won the World Series

Donald Trump was elected POTUS

And I am now an official Base Performance team member as an Ambassador! I know many of you have seen my updates for team’s and ambassador programs in which I will explain in greater detail toward the middle of December and be able to offer you all some codes for killer discounts and promo’s!

Team pages and workout data links:

rods.org/team/collin/ … Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

http://www.nuunlife.com … Nuun Hydration

http://www.lovethepain.com … Love the Pain Endurance Apparel and Lifestyle

http://www.teamironcowboy.com … Coaching Site

http://www.baseperformance.com … Base Performance Hydration/Nutrition

http://www.thefootlanding.com … Team Player FL

https://www.strava.com/athletes/9908772 …Tracked Workouts

 

 

Momma Knows Best!

This woman truly needs no introduction, but here goes…She’s my mom. Ok really though, she’s not just my mom, she has two other children, my younger brother Corey and sister Carli. She’s an inspiration to me to say the least, a person that I will talk in detail about later in the blog and journey. Until then sit back, relax and read because, “Momma knows best!”

The Heart of an Athlete….is it nature or nurture?  As the mother of an athlete and ironman, I have had plenty of time to ponder this question. I know I speak for millions of moms who have logged countless hours sitting on bleachers in the sun, rain, cold…cheering for our warriors on the field, track, and arena.     Yes, we believe that our child is the best and brightest on the field….and guess what, they ARE! But at some point, these young men and women leave their sport for other things…school, work, family…leaving the true athlete. The ones whose hearts beat for the thrill of the competition and joy the victory.

I am lucky enough to have one of those special athletes. As a child, he may not have been the best to his coaches on the field but his heart told a different story. He loved the sport…whatever it was that he played. You could see it on his face, read it in his moves…it drove him…inspired him… gave him the courage to keep going when things were difficult. These are the moments that a mom lives for…to see her child doing something that challenges him and rising and conquering that challenge! Collin was born with that heart….the heart of a champion.

Although his life has been full of obstacles both personal and on the playing fields…Collin continues to move forward. I would like to think that he has learned some of this along the way by example from his role models and the adults in his life…but inherently I know that he was born this way. Wow, I guess I can take credit for that! I would like to think that he has gotten some of that “I can do it if I set my mind to it” from his stubborn ol’ mother…we are very much alike and I could not be more proud of that fact…but back to that heart that beats inside him….I used to think that all of his races, marathons, and triathlons were for him. But for what reason…he knows, we all knew he was capable but to Collin that just wasn’t enough. Collin runs for a purpose! No, not to keep in shape…although that does help…but to help those that do not have the life that he has lived. One with a loving family that support and comfort, love and respect everything that you do. He runs for RODS – Racing for Orphans with Downs Syndrome. You see, that athlete’s heart now loves some special little girls…Braelynn and Gracelynn. They a beautiful, funny and perfect in every way. Collin and Suzie (their mommy) are wonderful, caring parents and are so very blessed.  It is because of these blessings that Collin runs…to give back, to inspire others by his blog messages, to raise awareness and funds for those much less fortunate than he….and that my friends is because he has the heart of a true champion and always will! It is not about the competition anymore that drives him but the thrill of victory for those he loves and supports that their lives will be better is some small way. Keep running Collin….and I will always be there…cheering as you cross that finish line! 

Being the mother of a triathlete, especially one in training for an IronMan can be very unsettling. No matter how old or how strong or capable your child is, a mother worries! In this mother’s heart, I know that this is a personal goal… one that Collin will train hard to reach because he wants to succeed so I will do what I do best… worry and pray and support him on his road to Chattanooga!

Team pages and workout data links:

rods.org/team/collin/ … Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

http://www.nuunlife.com … Nuun Hydration

http://www.lovethepain.com … Love the Pain Endurance Apparel and Lifestyle

http://www.teamironcowboy.com … Coaching Site

http://www.thefootlanding.com … Team Player FL

https://www.strava.com/athletes/9908772 …Tracked Workouts

 

 

 

 

 

What Works for Me vs. What Works for You…

Training is trucking along even though this is a maintenance period until December’s schedule begins solid improvements made and my base is getting stronger and stronger. A bit of an impromptu blog this evening, a topic I may revisit often to give insight into what I personally use.  Question or questions I hear often relating to training or racing and even life “What do you use?” or “What works best for you?” Well, very simply put what works for me most often would not be the same for you. Nutrition, equipment, training and overall choices everyday are never a one-size fits all. My best advice is to be open minded, ask questions and don’t be afraid to try new things. On the same note if you find something that works for you stick with it, all too often athletes or people see the latest or new and greatest and jump.

As far as my nutrition, at this point other than balancing my diet according to my activity level or training I will include but not limited to products by companies such as Nuun, GU, HoneyStinger, Base Performance. Were those the first products I chose for training or race day nutrition? No way, I not only experimented with a variety of brands but products within other or these very brands to arrive at what provided me with the best fuel to perform. Again, I’m going to keep this vague at this point because nutrition is a subject matter I’ll go into further detail at a later date.

Swimming, well there’s not a ton of equipment necessary for this discipline but most of my race and training gear is by TYR, my wet suit is Xterra. I will be looking into a different speed suit as my Torque Suit Pro has served me well but it needs replacing and I am open to see what’s on the market. I of course also use Love the Pain swim caps for training, however most races provide regulated caps to help determine divisions. There are other pieces involved in swim training like buoy’s and kick boards however usually what’s best available will due as I can’t recall what make or model mine are.

Biking, well this opens a huge can of worms, which again I will keep brief for the sake of just introducing the topics later to be explored. My #1 or race day bike is a 2015 Cervelo P2. I by no means started with this ride as I don’t suggest most starting out buy a mid to upper range level bike until they are committed to triathlon or riding. When I first made the decision to start triathlon’s and a bike I still will jump on occasionally is a Schwinn Axios TT. Yes, some of you in the Tri world are scratching your heads because most didn’t know Schwinn even had a Tri bike. They do and after a few modifications like a new saddle(ISM Adamo Prologue), new bars(3T), hydration(xlab all over), and a carbon fork, it served me well in my first race season. However, once I knew things were not just flavor of the week, I made the investment and am still making the investment to tune the Cervelo to where I like it or what I want it to be. The point is our bike is highly customizable and I will share wth you further my intentions with my #1.

Running is truthfully to me another relatively uncomplicated choice. Race or Training clothing boils down to comfort and purpose. If I am racing in a Tri, my tri-suit will act as both my biking and running apparel. This previous season it was a Rudy Project one piece suit, however in my initial season I used 2xu Tri top and Desoto Forza Tri shorts. Personally, I’m a fan of the one piece suit however I have and do train and race in both. Most of my run training or specific run racing gear is always under armor shorts and just an overall comfortable tee or race sponsor jerseys(nuun run t or RODS racing top). I personally also wear a hat 100% of the time training or racing. Most recently, my choice in head gear is exclusively Love the Pain not only are they comfortable and durable but come in a variety of shades and colors as matching is moderately important to me…ok very important. Last but most certainly not least my shoes are always Newton. I do switch between different models depending on training distance or pace, however I did begin my first season training and racing in Brooks only to discover they were just too much shoe for me. Meaning overall a much heavier and less responsive shoe for my stride. 

To recap though, try new things! If you’re not comfortable in what you’re doing or what you’re wearing or simply just can’t shake the curiosity then go for it. Just don’t forget what worked for you or don’t be afraid to walk away if its just not you…

Team pages and workout data links:

rods.org/team/collin/  … Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome 

http://www.nuunlife.com  … Nuun Hydration

http://www.lovethepain.com  … Love the Pain Endurance Apparel and Lifestyle

http://www.teamironcowboy.com  … Coaching Site

https://www.strava.com/athletes/9908772  …Tracked Workouts

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