Friday, December 21, 2012

Review of 2012

What a year it has been! Literally raced 18 13.1's/Tri's in 11 out of 12 months, fell in love with triathlons and have really found my calling. 

I decided to invest in my future and my love by getting a triathlon bike from the awesome guys at Twenty20 cycling! 

If you want your choice of awesome bikes ranging from Tri, Road, MTB and Cyclocross, great service and a bike fit from certified master bike pro's go see Jonny and Kris! They were so helpful throughout the entire process!

And now that I will be going back to school in the spring I will be cutting back on the races. no longer 18-20 races a year but more like 10-15 (I know so much different) but still am looking forward to focusing on triathlons while intermixing some 13.1's. I have also decided not to focus on any more marathons (unless I get into NYC, but I doubt that will happen as all the people who didn't get to run it has first dibs) because it takes so much out of you and it took me about 2 weeks (maybe less) to recover.

I recently found an article about a woman who had a child with ADHD (he is now an adult), got him interested in riding bicycles and racing them, and it helped him with his focus in school and controlling his ADHD without medicine. Riding is my Ritalin.

I have also become so greatly inspired, especially by those who have handicaps and still race, defeating the odds that no one can stop them. Including young kids with siblings who have cerebral palsy like Connor and Cayden Long.


Want to become a better runner especially when it comes to running hills... get in the pool and practice flutter kick with a kickboard. I HAVE NEVER FELT SO STRONG CLIMBING HILLS. And more importantly it works on your upper body strength along with the cardiovascular in a way that running can't. It's also easier on your joints.
Want stronger arms? Make sure to hip the slopes this winter. After taking a ski vacation this winter with my boyfriend, I have never had stronger arms.  I guess from the "falling" I had to push myself back up and whether it was from the front or back it consisted of a lot of push ups of the sort.  I have never felt so sore and strong but now I know a great way for my arms to get a head start at getting stronger and more defined.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon

Las Vegas, NV
December 2nd, 2012
 Half Marathon
Finish time: 1:58:33
Age Group: 127

My first race at night and probably the best place to do it. Las Vegas when lit up was colorful and very bright and helped light up the way while running along the Strip. The race was very cool and filled with lots of spectators and the half marathon course tried not to stray from off of the strip while the full diverted to north las vegas. Overall a great experience, pretty solid temperatures and the awesome course even though it was more like 13.25 miles.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lady Speed Stick Womens Half Marathon - Scottsdale/Tempe

Scottsdale, AZ
 Half Marathon 
November 4th, 2012
AG Place-41
Finish Time- 1:58:00

I decided to try and videotape every mile marker plus some in between for this race as I was running it at a jog and not my typical speed. Check it out!

Packet pickup was the day before at the host hotel The Doubletree which we stayed at. The hotel provided a shuttle to the race start and pick up at the finish line, as well as a gift bag upon check-in. They had some great booths at the expo which is where I bought my first pair of newtons (so far I love them). So I highly recommend staying at the host hotel. It was beautiful, had a pool and hot tub, along with salon/spa and room service.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chicago Marathon

Chicago, IL 
October 7th, 2012
Finish time: 3:59:32
Age Group place: 731

 You find your faith has been lost and shaken, Here's your chance and it's worth taking, Get on your knees and dig down deep, You can do what you think is impossible. Keep on believing, don't give in. You've got the strength, to raise the win. Remember what one dream can do. You are unstoppable

Chicago has come and gone but what a race! 45000 + runners taking to the streets filled with thousands of spectators. The race took place on a cold 41 degree Sunday morning with temperatures barely reaching 50... ie perfect weather conditions.  This year the corral system changed as there were two waves, one that took off at 7:30 and one at 8:00. The 7:30 wave required athletes to submit previous race times as to qualify for the earlier start.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Surf Town Half Marathon

Westerly, RI
September 16th, 2012
Finish Time: 1:49:20
AG Place- 18th

This past weekend my mom and I added Rhode Island to our list of 50 states by running in the Surftown half marathon in westerly. A beautiful little town on the water. The race had us running along the cliffs and through neighborhoods with the most beautiful homes ending along the main street next to the water where the race started. It was a flat and fast course with some little hills around mile 10. The race had around 1700 people participating. The most spectators were present in the beginning, mile 6 and the end of the race as that was the main strip that we ran through/past 3 times. The temps were in the 50's/60's, but the sun was so warm that you couldn't really feel the air temperature and I definitely overdressed. This was also my first 13.1 after my triathlon season and training ended so adjusting to running 13.1 after focusing on 5k and 10ks was a change. Not my best time as I was just getting over a cold but a beautiful fun race nonetheless.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nations Triathlon

Washington, DC
September 9th, 2012
1500 meter swim, 40k bike (24.8 miles), 10 k run
Finish Time: 2:41:16 (PR)
AG (25-29): 16th/239 

"This is 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name"

I decided to end my first triathlon racing season with the Nations Triathlon. I worked in dc for 2 years, live an hour away and love this city so why not end it here. Well the only thing that might have stopped me was the swim in the Potomac... and if you live in DC you know the Potomac is not the cleanest river, maybe 2nd to the Hudson. But I sucked it up and did it.

Friday, August 24, 2012

USAT Sprint National Championships 2012

Burlington, VT
August 19th, 2012
Sprint Distance
750-meter swim, 20k (12.4 mile) bike, 5k Run 
Finish Time: 1:20:12 
AG 25-29: 19th 

I never wanted to be one of those people who looks back and says, "I wonder if . . ."  If  I have a goal, I'll go out and set forth to achieve it.  When something is your passion, it becomes everything.  You put everything into it without hesitation. No, questions. No, doubts. Nothing to stop you.

The best of the best traveling from all over the country, coming to Burlington to compete for 18 coveted slots per age group for the world championships in London. Burlington is a beautiful city and perfect location for the race. The course was just enough bit of challenging for the age group national championships.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ft. Richie Sprint Triathlon

Cascade, MD
August 5th, 2012
Sprint Distance
750 meter swim, 15 mile bike, 5k run
Finish Time: 1:35:57
 Overall Place- 6th
AG Place 25-29- 2nd

“If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.”

Coach Tony says this is a B race... well after seeing the bike course, I knew this was going to be a B Race. To start, the race takes place on a deserted army base. So parts were a little creepy, the bike course was constant hills and 1100 feet of climbing, the run was hills and flats, the swim was in a man-made lake and sadly, non-wetsuit legal. So I knew in this race, a PR was not going to happen. But I went into it trying to improve my swim and transition times, which I did. I also went into this as a warm up for Nationals because if I can climb 1100 feet in 15 miles, and run up steep hills for 2 miles, Vermont should be a breeze.

Friday, July 27, 2012

New Jersey State Triathlon

West Windsor, NJ
July 22nd, 2012
Olympic Distance
1500 meter swim, 25.5-mile bike, 10k run
Finish time: 2:42:26
Overall Women's Finish: 60th
AG (25-29): 11th

“The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you.” 

Race Day: 

I had done the training, the 25-mile bike rides every day through the hills of Baltimore county. Running in the scorching heat or unbearable humidity miles upon miles, and  those hours logged in the pool, swimming sprints, and long distances to prepare physically for this day. I had competed in triathlons of shorter distances to prepare myself for the Olympic. The bike and run did not worry me, it was the swim. Hoping I didn't lose my breath heading into the disciplines that I could dominate and I usually do dominate. But when all was said and done, I finished and that was the most important factor. 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Running... it's cheaper than therapy

Credit Pinterest
Running is my private time, my therapy, my religion.

You have probably heard this saying time and time again and if you are not a runner you may not believe it. But for those of us who log many miles a week whether it's on the bike or running, it really does help.

Recently one of my friends went through a tough time and the first thing I said to him was to go for a run, a walk, or a bike ride. Just get outside, leave your phone at home and disconnect yourself from the world. Going on long runs is one of the ways that I am able to forget about everything going on in my life, and just focus on myself and think. People don't realize it but running is a great form of therapy.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Stratton Faxon Fairfield Half Marathon

Fairfield, CT
June 23rd, 2012
Finish time: 1:53:23
AG 20-29- 104

It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually, you learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants you to quit.
Photo Credit Grant Wilson

This race was one where I felt like quitting. The temperatures were in the 80s, steep inclines on every mile and around mile 5 I felt very uneasy and faint. But that didn't stop me. I grabbed some Gatorade, water and kept going. I made it a point never to pull out. Even if I had to walk out the water stops and give my body a second to catch up I was not going to quit. Quitting is not in my vocabulary.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Deadlier than Dehydration... Hyponatremia

After my most recent race, I realized that this is a topic that is very important and needs to be discussed. Staying hydrated while running is very important especially on those hot summer days but what people don't realize is that drinking sodium is just as important.

Rock Hall Sprint Triathlon

Rock Hall, MD 
June 3rd, 2012
Sprint Triathlon 
750-meter swim, 15-mile bike, 5k run
Finish Time: 1:25:12
Overall Women's Finish- 11th
AG (25-29)- 2nd place

"A man can be as great as he wants to be. If you believe in yourself and have the courage, the determination, the dedication, the competitive drive and if you are willing to sacrifice the little things in life and pay the price for the things that are worthwhile, it can be done. "
- Vince Lombardi
Race Day: 

The Rock Hall Sprint Triathlon is part of the MD Triathlon series by Set Up Events. A smaller but very well run management company. The triathlon is one of two for the weekend. Saturday they hold an Olympic distance and Sunday is a sprint distance. The nice part about this race is that it starts at 9:00 am and is not a far drive from where I live so I was able to drive out that morning and drive back right after.

Rock Hall is a cute little town right on the water of the Chesapeake. with not much traffic or people for that matter. reminds me of Havre De Grace if anyone has ever been there. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Athleta Iron Girl Half Marathon

 By Lisa Lockwood
Columbia Maryland
  April 29, 2012

"The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt," - Max Lerner

What’s worse than rain and mud? How about a race full of hills? The course takes you up and down for 2 hours. Not something I had in mind/enjoyed and because I was so exhausted I was surprised that I did as well as I did. No PR for this race, I would be surprised if anyone did, but I still ran at a pretty good pace. Aren’t there any flat areas in Columbia, MD? 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

About Me

So where to start... well my name is Erin and I am a marathoner and a triathlete. I love any and all sports and from the moment I arrived on this planet, I have always been an active child. 

In the third grade, when we were asked to run the mile as part of the Presidential Physical Fitness test, and I took off. After finishing first for all of the girls, I realized that I was quite fast and this was something I could potentially be good at. 
Fast forward to high school and college, and running became more of a hobby and exercise routine. Something to keep me in shape but also a way to vent from the stresses of life. 

Once I entered the real world and my first job, as a way to stay sane, my passion for running increased. I intensified my training, upped my mileage and set a goal to run my first half marathon then to run my first marathon and then my mom and I set a goal to run a half-marathon in every state.

And so my adventures begin. Why TriBarbie? It was a nickname given to me by the first triathlon club I joined and I like it. 

This blog is to describe the wonderful and not so wonderful races out there for those of you looking to accomplish a goal of running a half, full or a triathlon while also giving my two cents into the world of running gear, music/playlists and the wonderful quotes I find. 

So if you think you are out of shape or can't even imagine the possibility of running a 5k, 10k, 10 miles, half marathon, marathon or even triathlon, man have I got some news for you. Yes you can and hopefully I can encourage and motivate you to run a race of any length and hopefully incorporate an active and healthy lifestyle to pass on to your friends and family. 

And always remember: "It ain't about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward, because that is how winning is done."

Friday, May 11, 2012

New Jersey Marathon and Long Branch Half Marathon

Long Branch, NJ
 May 6th, 2012
Half Marathon
Finish Time: 1:42:49 (PR)
AG 25-29- 28th/808

Other people may not have high expectations of me, but I have high expectations for myself.
-- Shannon Miller

Going into this race, I had the mentality that I was going to PR. It was my mission. It had been almost a year since my last PR and this was the race, the conditions, the course to do it. With that said, I PR'd by 6 seconds. could have been more had the wind not picked up in the last mile but still I did it, and I'm damn proud.  

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

You Know You're a Runner When...

Photo credit Pinterest
  1. You rotate your running shoes more often than your tires
  2. Running for less than an hour seems pointless
  3. You feel guilty because you only ran 3 times last week
  4. You have at least one black toenail or 1 missing toenail
  5. Your social calendar is planned around race dates
  6. The majority of your wardrobe is running attire
  7. Your iPod/iphone has multiple running playlists 
  8. You've run more of your local roads than you've driven
  9. When you hear PR you don't think Public Relations
  10. Energy gels are an essential part of your diet

    Monday, April 30, 2012

    IT Band? Is that why my leg hurts?

    Photo Credit Rice University
    I along with many runners have been blessed with the dreaded IT band strain. At times, I wish it was my knee joints because I know that through icing it will go away faster. IT bands, on the other hand, do not. I usually get hit with IT Band issues while running in over worn shoes or uneven pavement. And after my marathon in Philadelphia I could barely walk because I had strained it so much by running on the uneven course.

    Thursday, April 26, 2012

    So you want to run a Half Marathon

    "We all have dreams.  In order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline and effort."
                                               --Jesse Owens

    Photo Credit Peter Mooney on Flickr
    A friend of mine recently brought up the topic of running and of course I became very excited. She proceeded to tell me that she was considering running a half marathon and wanted to know if there is a specific training program that I follow or recommend.

    Now let's just be clear, when I started my racing I never really had the interest of following a training program but if that is what you want to do then go for it. But if here is what I told her and what I will tell all of you novices.

    Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    Motivation and Determination

    "Keep your dream in front of you. Never let it go regardless of how far-fetched it might seem."
                    --HAL HIGDON

    I am constantly inspired but so many athletes in the world today. Those who run marathons and triathlons especially. But none inspires me more than those individuals with disabilities.

    Flying Pirate Half Marathon

    Kitty Hawk, NC
    April 22nd, 2012
    Finish Time: 1:49:30
    AG 25-29: 10th

    The starting line is a neutral zone where all preconceptions go out the window. Once you cross that line, it's just you and your motivation to help put one foot in front of the other to get you to cross that finish line.

    Photo Credit Zach Frailey from Flickr
    Rain rain go away come back not when I'm running. Well, that wasn't the case this past Sunday. Saturday was beautiful, 75 degrees, the sun was out; it couldn't have been more perfect. But that all changed overnight. Rain, wind, and thunderstorms. The perfect combination for our race on Sunday. Thankfully the wind calmed and the storms were on pause but the rain was in a constant pour that made my shoes feel like 5 pounds but lets just say, major motivation was needed this weekend and I haven't been this sore after a race since my marathon.

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Nautica South Beach Triathlon

    Miami Beach, FL
    April 1st, 2012
    Classic Distance
    1/2-mile swim, 19-mile bike, 4-mile run
    Finish Time: 2:04:43
    AG 25-29: 16/57

    "True Success" in this world is not determined by how much money you make, or by how many possessions you have. But by the positive impact you have on other people as you work towards your goals and dreams in life.

    It's official, I am hooked.

    Even though it was a rather stressful weekend due to getting my bike to Florida, it ended with the most amazing experience and the most fun I have had in any race. On Sunday April 1st, I ran my first ever triathlon in sunny south Florida, a place where I called home for 3 years on the infamous south beach.

    Going into the race I was more nervous about the bike just because I had been practicing in the countryside of Maryland where the elevation can get up to 1500 ft above sea level compared to Miami which is at sea level, so it was a big difference in speed. That and I was nervous about getting a flat.

    Friday, March 30, 2012

    Allstate Life Insurance New York 13.1 and Karhu 5K

    Brooklyn, NY
    March 24th, 2012
    Finish Time- 1:47:22
    AG 25-29- 34th

    Photo Credit Waly Gobetz on Flickr
    This race was a spur of the moment decision and I'm not going to lie, it was for the medal. Not the 13.1 medal that every finisher gets, but the NY-NJ challenge medal available to the first 250 people who register to run both the Allstate New York 13.1 and either the New Jersey Marathon or Half Marathon.

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012

    Running Shoe Reviews

    Product Review #1

    Brooks PureCadence

    The Cadence is the shoe I used for my first marathon and I will continue to use them for longer distances. These shoes are for Guidance to Support runners and delivers a lot of support through  features such as a wider Nav Band. A reinforced heel counter secures the foot and provides a lot of cushioning for every step you take. The arch support doesn't last as long as the Connect's but with its 4 mm drop it helps you feel a natural foot strike while also proving more stability compared to the other shoes in the Pure Project line. You can also feel the toe off as the shoes are made to lead your foot through the gait cycle. But just like its family, it is a minimalist shoe which only lasts 250-300 miles.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2012

    Training Tips: What to do on those Hot Hot Hot days

    So I figured that since a lot of my friends are starting to run marathons whether it is for the accomplishment of completing either 13.1, 26.2 or they are just starting out on their racing journey, that I would give out training tips and lessons learned from my own experiences when it comes to running in the hottest part of the year...SUMMER.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2012

    Sarasota First Watch Half Marathon and Relay

     Sarasota, FL
    March 11th, 2012
    Finish Time: 1:49:47
    AG 25-29:18th

    Photo Credit of Ellen Wagner on Flickr
    Every year my mom and I vacation to Sarasota, FL, a beautiful Florida city on the water with gorgeous views of the gulf, clear blue water, white sand and a quaint walking town located across the inter-coastal called Lido Beach. So when I found out that U.S. Road Sports and Entertainment put on a race every March in Sarasota, I had to take advantage. And besides, I am already a huge fan of U.S. Road Sports and the races they put on.

    Saturday, February 25, 2012

    Maui Oceanfront Marathon

    Maui, HI
    January 22nd, 2012
    Half Marathon
    Finish Time: 2:07:48
    AG: 5th Place

    My Mother ran this race and this is her report of the event 

    I ran the Maui Oceanfront half marathon on January 22nd.  It was my third half marathon and a beautiful one I might add. It was a small race with maybe 2500 entrants. They had a full marathon option as well as a 15K, 10K, and a 5K. The marathon seemed very hilly, but the half was very flat. I also ran a personal best time. The race took place on the shoulder of the main road, along the ocean with cars driving by us. It was very pretty looking out at the ocean while we ran. The course has you run out and back, which was nice because we started and stopped in the same place, unlike the full marathon which has you start in Wailea and end in Lahaina where the half marathon starts. 

    What also seems to be an annoyance is that with the marathon you have to be at the start line by 5:45 because that is when it starts. The half doesn't start for another hour.  They have a walker option for the marathon, but those lucky few have to get to the start even earlier. I wish they didn't have a walker option because at times they got in the way walking side by side. They instead should have been instructed to walk single file since we were all running on one shoulder.  There was plenty of parking and we got there about 45 minutes before it started. The race started before the sun came up and it didn't shine down on me till I was half way done. A woman from tropical Tiles and Gallery was selling painted tiles with your name and time on them with a design specially made for this marathon in 3 different sizes. It arrived 2 weeks after the race and I love it. The medal which was average has a parrot fish on the front and turtles with a picture of the island on the back. I would have rather had a whale on it.  My bib also had my name on it so they were able to announce me as I was finishing. I came in 5th overall in my age group.

    Perks: They had a Massage station after the race which was amazing and the line was very short which is always nice. The food consisted of chocolate chip cookies, pineapple, oranges, donuts, Oreo's. I really enjoyed the fact that they had my name on my bib. There were lots of water stops along the course which was nice as I learned that the marathoners had to go without an aid station for the first 7 miles and on race day it was very hot so I can't imagine not having lots of water stops. The medal was very pretty, but I'm sure the pink ribbon wasn't a favorite for some of the men running. It was a beautiful, flat course and while running we saw whales off the coast. I think the coolest part though was seeing the winner of the marathon run by me. 

    Ehh... Not a Fan: They let people swap shirt sizes before everyone picked up their shirt and, as a result, they ran out of some select t-shirt sizes including my boyfriends. However, they did offer him a $10.00 refund or the choice of getting his size in a few months. The shoulder of the road where we ran was not exactly flat but leaned to the side of the road at times a bit more than I liked and some of the walkers decided to walk side by side and get in the way of the runners which was very nice of them (sarcasm) and as a result, we had to run in the street to get around them. there also wasn't a pasta dinner organized for the night before which was terrible, but I know some people really enjoy going to these dinners. They also had some problems with the timing system, but it was fixed within a few days. 

    Overall, Maui was amazing and definitely worth it. If I can suggest a beautiful but smaller race that runs you along the coast of Maui overlooking the ocean, then go run on the lovely island of Maui. 

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon

    Miami, FL

    January 29th, 2012 
    Half Marathon
    Finish time: 1:46:20 
    AG 25-29: 37th

    Photo credit of Matthew Paulson on Flickr
    This was by far one of my favorite races I have ever participated in. The expo was huge with lots of companies present, however, the expo is on the south beach instead of by the start, which means limited parking.  

    However probably one of the coolest expo's I have been to. And the shirts were bright and made of a great material.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Philadelphia Marathon

    Philadelphia, PA 
    November 20th, 2011
    Finish Time: 3:47:34
    AG 20-24: 71st

    The Philadelphia Marathon was my first marathon I ever ran and it was a great race. It takes place in November when the temperatures are perfect for race day conditions. It started off sunny and became cloudy towards the end of the race so I did find myself chilly but not too cold.