Monday, December 21, 2015

The Feel Good Story of the Month: Let's Finish Together with Kim Stemple

Kim and Jim
If you have not heard of this woman by now (she was featured in a recent article on Runners World), you need to. I had the opportunity to hang out with her and I have to say she makes me want to try and be a better person.

Kim was a special education teacher and cross country coach at a school in Boston, loved running triathlons and marathons (as we always find ourselves chatting about the next one on the schedule), but what she mentioned is that when she lived in Boston, she realized that running in these races just wasn't fun anymore. 

Well in 2009 everything changed.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Some Thoughts From Erin: 2015 In Review

2015 has been quite a journey for me. I have accomplished so many goals of mine this year. Goals that have been on my list for the past 5 years or so. I have worked so hard to get to this point in my life. I survived a house fire (with my bike in tow), while interning and obtaining my Masters degree, and still was able to continue on with my training to race in over 50 combined races (over 13.1 miles) since 2010 including:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why Runners Should Try Running Without...

Well, it's official, runners have become addicted to something besides running. It's called technology- Garmin's, smartphones with fitness apps galore, Fitbits and heart rate monitors, the list goes on and on. New devices are being created every year to appeal to practically everyone who now wants to track their fitness and the demand is through the roof.

But while we think about the next gadget we want and probably don't need, I thought it'd be fun to reminisce the good old days. Prior to the development of handheld music-playing devices and GPS watches, what did runners do?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Run with GoVivo!

Since I started running again thanks in part to my running streak, I have been able to test out this running belt from the folks at GoVivo! After running with it, I believe that this belt would be a great addition to those runners who like to carry all of their items separate from each other but don't want to carry five different packs on their running belts (Yes I am talking to you mom).

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Holiday Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered the holiday giveaway! The winner was picked at random at that person is Aileen R.! 
Congratulations! I will be emailing you to get your size and contact info!
Thank you again to everyone who entered and stay tuned for 2016 where I will be giving away even more prizes thanks to my new sponsors! Enjoy!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Holiday Giveaway!

It's the holiday season so I figured why not do an awesome giveaway! Thanks to my sponsors Headsweats and Feetures, I have been able to get donated some gear to give out to my fans! 

Friday, December 4, 2015

Some Thoughts From Erin: Sponsorship/Ambassador Updates

I am incredibly excited to announce that I have signed on with two new companies to represent them as their ambassador on their team of athletes for 2016. They are...

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Favorite Races Of All Time

I have finished many races in the past 5 years. Some disappointing ones and many wonderful ones. Ones that have exceeded my expectations and some that were just awful so I figured I'd put together my top 5 of both marathons and triathlons. 

In terms of my favorite marathons, here are my top 5 favorites so far and ones I highly recommend you sign up for: 

Monday, November 30, 2015

December Run Streak

Many people take part in run streaks all year round, some for a month or the most popular option from Thanksgiving to Christmas. I really liked this idea and thanks in part to my SOAS teammates, I have decided to take part and complete my own run streak! Unfortunately mine will have to take place beginning the month of December as I was incredibly lucky to get sick during Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Best Stocking Stuffers for Runners

Thanksgiving is this week which means many retailers will have sales all weekend long. So if you haven't figured out where I am going with this one, get ready. This is the best time of year to buy gear! Many retailers will have sales especially online and why not support those local businesses by buying your running friends and family some new gear! Besides, we all know that our runner friends suffer from NMRGD (Need More Running Gear Disorder) and OED (Obsessive Expo Disorder) so why not help them out?

Monday, November 23, 2015

NTK info for traveling to races

After my first year competing in triathlons, I wanted to fly everywhere. But I learned my lesson that year and now I try to drive to most of my races. However, for road races, I am finding that most of those races within driving distance are dwindling, which means I now must fly again. The problem with flying before and after a race, is that it can take a toll on the body and prevent recovery. With my most recent race in Louisville, I decided to put together the steps you should take to keep your body healthy and happy and ready for race day.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How To Deal With The Post-Race Slump

If there is one thing that I always get hit with after a major "A" race, it is the post-race slump. That moment when the last thing you want to do is train, you put your bike in the corner and take a break from him or her. Take some time off from running and letting your hair get back to normal thanks to a break in chlorine intake. 

For me, the post-race slump has been more about rest, relaxation and planning out next year's races, but it was more so about taking time off the bike. After racing on it for 6 hours, the last thing I want to do is get back on. Some people are better at it, for me mentally, I just couldn't do it. 

But running, I found myself doing more so than I thought. Did my new present of the Garmin 920XT from my coach help? Absolutely! I had a new gadget to tinker with and see what it could do on my runs. The runs were short and sweet, but I was back to it the week after. 

The post-race slump can also turn into, the post-race blues. You just spent all this time training and preparing and now that race is over. You feel lost and confused, or at least I did. 

So instead of staying like this, I got out of my slump by following these four steps:

Friday, October 30, 2015

How Cool is This? Eco-Friendly Shoes!

Becoming eco-friendly is on a lot of brands minds these days. Trying to make products that can be recycled or are made of recycled products is incredibly important not just to the brand but to the people purchasing those products. It can pretty much make a break a purchase for some people.

Well if there is one brand that is trying to jump on that bandwagon it is Adidas. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Have Some Fun While Watching Meb Run the NYC Marathon

Credit Rob Larsen
Meb Keflezighi has proven time and time again that he is a running machine. With his wins at Boston, New York and a silver medal in the 2004 Olympics, he is now taking on another challenge. To break the US Men's Masters record at the TCS NYC Marathon on November 1st.  

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Marty McFly Nike Shoes

If you are a fan of the Back to the Future franchise like I am, then you have to remember when Marty went to the future in the year 2015 and put on the awesomely cool self-lacing Nike Mags.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ironman Louisville Race Recap!

Ironman Louisville
October 11, 2015
Louisville, KY
Finish Time: 12:46
AG- 26th

The big race has come and gone and it was an incredible experience! It still hasn't hit me yet that I did it even though I raced for over 12 hours but still I am so incredibly proud of myself and happy that I definitely will want to do another one in a couple years (maybe 2017).

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Iron Horse Half Marathon

Written by Lisa Lockwood

I just ran the Iron horse half marathon 10/11/15 in Midway Kentucky. It was a very small hometown race which was run very well. They mailed me my bib for an extra $20.00 so I didn't have to worry about picking it up. I also received a really nice long sleeve brooks running shirt. I stayed in Georgetown Kentucky about 20 minutes away for $80.00 a night. The weather was cool at the start 45 degrees and 60 at the finish. There were no corals or starting music or gun in the beginning.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Everything You Need To Know About The Special Needs Bag

If there is one thing I am still trying to figure out, it is what I will be putting in my special needs bag. But thanks to my awesome SOAS teammate and riding partner, I have an idea of what I will have in it. 

But for those of you new to triathlons or Ironmans like myself, we will be provided with five bags come race day and they should be an extended version of what you would typically leave by your bike in transition during a smaller race. They contain tools, nutrition, clothes, gear, shoes and much more. I put together my list of what I will be putting in mine to use or wear. Fyi, just because I am "putting" it in my bag, that doesn't mean I will actually use it. When you are in the moment, your needs differ and I am sure mine will. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Ironman Training Week 9 and 10

This week consisted of the beginning stages of tape and week 10 is a continuation of that. I was able to get my bike tuned up before I shipped it off to Louisville but I was also able to get in 2 more bike workouts including a brick. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Monday, September 28, 2015

Ironman Training Week 8

Got in some last big runs, some swimming and took a break from the bike which was needed especially because I wanted to take it into my LBS to get it tuned up. It's hard to believe that I am two weeks out from the big day. My nerves are officially starting to hit me. I know I will be fine come race day as the training has prepared me, but I still can't believe it. 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

My Favorite RaceCation Spots

If there is one thing I would love to do, it would be to take a long racecation. Mine typically consist of a weekend or 24 hours because mom and I gotta get back to work. But if there is one thing I do enjoy, it is seeing a new city, trying out another race and checking off another state. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ironman Training Week 7

This week was my last big training load and woof is how I describe it. I logged some normal bike sessions and FTP tests. I ran a bit more, did some bricks, but it all culminated with the metric ironman. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Ooo GU'ey Goodness

So if you aren't aware, GU revamped their product line recently making them all gluten free and vegan and brought out some new delicious flavors. 

In the past, my favorite GU products were the Chomps, but thanks to the great team at GU and Outside PR, I was able to test out some great flavors and put together my list of favorites and the ones that weren't so yummy. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nation's Sprint Triathlon Race Recap

Nations Triathlon Sprint
Washington, DC
September 15, 2015
AG (25/29)- 1st
Overall- 6th

This was my second time doing the sprint triathlon but the first time with the swim included. It was a very windy day so the conditions were a bit challenging but I was able to reclaim my title with my first place finish, see my SOAS teammates and watch my man run around the course to cheer me on. But once again, it was a great race and nice to run in my backyard. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ironman Training Week 6

Okay, we have hit the 30-day countdown. Actually now it is more like 25 but still I love this photo. This past week I got to relax a bit more on the heavy training because I raced the Nations Sprint Triathlon and it was much needed. After biking 100 miles and having a heavy workload week, a break from the bike was just what I needed. But now I am jumping back on the horse as I have a fun, heavy workload ahead. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Ironman Training Week 5

This past week was a major challenge for me both mentally and physically. There was a lot of biking on the trainer culminating with the big 100-miler. There were only a few swim sessions and two runs because coach wanted me to focus on building my bike volume to get to this point. So what did I experience during my first century?

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Review of the Rad Rod

Move over The Stick, because I just found a better product. 

If you are looking for something to help roll out your legs after a long bike ride or run, you definitely need to check out the RAD Rod by RAD Roller. 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Feel Good Story of the Month: This 14-Year-Old Isn't Letting Anything Stop Him

Photo By Paul Buchanan
Determination is the key to accomplishing your goals and dreams and Ben Baltz proves it.

Originally submitted to the Runner's World cover photo contest by his sister, this photo has recently gone viral but it is not because of the elements this father and son duo were battling during a triathlon. It showcases the strength, courage, and determination Ben Baltz has in order to finish what you put your mind to. 

Just Keep Swimming With FINIS!

I was never one to enjoy swimming with a structured workout. I just liked to go for a swim at the pool and swim until I am done 1 mile or an hour. That was my style. But now that I am doing different workouts and using different tools I am starting to enjoy them more thanks to the fun tools I get to train with.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ironman Training Week 4

Ironman training so far has been good but tiring. My bike mileage is up even more and I have noticed that going for a run isn't as tiring anymore or as taxing on the body. Going out for a long run now is easy which I guess is good because it shows that the amount of training I have been doing on the bike and, in general, is improving my endurance even more. 

Friday, August 28, 2015

When You Should and When You Shouldn't Run

The weather can make running outside not very enjoyable. It can slow you down if the heat index is really bad and speed you up if you are racing a thunderstorm. You CAN run in any condition but when are the elements too much for when you should stay inside and dare I say it, hit the treadmill?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Ironman Training Week 3

Love my SOAS gear!
This week was a bit more of a challenge. I developed a nasty cough and GI issue that sidelined me until Thursday. Being sick sucks but it's better to try and get healthy rather than subjecting yourself continuing your training, making your immune system worse, and ultimately putting your training on pause even longer. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ironman Training Week 2

This week, bike mileage was bumped up to 170 miles. Yay! I did most of them on the trainer and the long rides outside. But for some reason I noticed that on Thursday after a high gear trainer ride my legs were sore. This was different and not something I am used to after a workout like that, but maybe that was my body's way of telling me I need a break. So Friday I swam and lifted to prepare myself for the long bike rides this weekend. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Ironman Training Week 1

Ironman training is in full force and I have spent a lot more time on the bike this past week. This past week it was 150 miles and will keep growing prior to Ironman Louisville. Riding this much more than I am used to, I started to get sore in the saddle region. I have a great seat and wonderful triathlon cycling clothes #Ilovesoas, but I guess when you increase your mileage on the bike by that much, it will happen. 

Thankfully I have the support of NormaTec recovery which provided me with my boots to help in my recovery and make putting in those long miles on Saturday and Sunday possible. Other than the increase in bike mileage, I did swim and run but not as much as bike time. That will grow over the next few weeks so stay tuned to see how my training goes in week 2!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Road To Ironman Louisville

The journey to Ironman Louisville is in focus. This year I have done three triathlons, one was a 70.3, one marathon and four half marathons and I feel that my running game is on point, my biking is pretty good and almost there, but I definitely am nervous about the swim.

Swimming 2.5 miles in the pool is much different than in open water. Yes I will have a current for part of it, and it's not a mass swim start so it's pretty much one of the best swim options for me, but hey this is 140.6 miles, not 70.3. 11-13 hours of racing, not 5-6. So I have every right to be nervous, but I know I can do it.

So for the next two months, I will recap my week of training and my progress which will culminate with Ironman Louisville on October 11th. Thank you to my sponsors, friends and family for all of their support and I can wait to show you that all it takes is determination and motivation to become an Ironwoman.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Let's Help Raise Money For An Important Cause

I am racing at Ironman Louisville and I have decided to race for a cause close to my heart and in honor of a great man. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Some Thoughts From Erin: Why Endurance Athletes Enjoy Getting Dressed Up

If there is one thing I love to do, it is to get dressed up when I go out at night or on date night. For someone who is used to training in the dead of winter or the hot summer months, sweating profusely and not looking so pretty, I want to be able to get dressed up at night. I want to cover up those nasty tan lines, put on a cute outfit, some makeup and top it all off with some nice pumps in comparison to biking and running shoes.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Sports Running Belts and Water Bottle Holders

When it comes to racing, handheld water bottles, race belts, and hydration belts are incredibly important. You need them for training to rehydrate, carry your gels and personal belongings or to just carry your race bib. We hate it when they bounce because that is unnecessary extra weight that we don't need bouncing around on us and we want them to be able to carry what we need rather than adding on extra storage pouches. I have been able to try out so many different belts that I believe I have found the best ones.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Feel Good Story of the Month- The Power of Triathlons

This past weekend a video was posted on the BBC Look North Facebook page featuring a little boy by the name of Bailey Matthews. The eight-year-old is from Doncaster in the UK and just finished his first ever triathlon at Castle Howard. I should also point out that this young boy has Cerebral Palsy.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Tips for Beginner Runners

Are you just starting to get into running? Don't know where to start? Don't know what things you should have and what things you shouldn't? 

When I began running, I did and made many mistakes that I eventually learned about through my own experiences. So I have put together my list of top 5 things I wish I was told to do and buy when I first started running because it would have been incredibly helpful in the beginning. I know it will be helpful for you!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

8 Ways To Appreciate The Moment Of Running A Marathon

Credit Pinterest
At the Austin marathon, I was gunning for a BQ. I had spent months training for the big day, suffered a concussion and still made it out to log my long runs. Unfortunately, on race day I was keeping my nutrition down and as a result, I did not BQ. In fact, I was lucky enough to even finish the race, but I did end up in the medic’s tent at the finish.

Even though I was disappointed, this experience taught me something. Typically in races where I am trying to get a PR or make the podium, I tend to not appreciate the experience of the race and where I am running. I don't take in the race day atmosphere because I am so focused on doing well. But because of my situation during this race, and the fact that I knew I was not going to accomplish my goal, I was able to enjoy myself and appreciate the race for what it was.

Thanks to the Austin Marathon, my boyfriend now will always remind to the appreciate the race for what it is and the fact that I can actually do these races. He also makes a point to say that I love this sport, so why not look around and enjoy the moment I am in rather than let it pass me by. If you are running a marathon, why not actually remember it rather than the pain you went through to finish.

So every time I race, I always try to follow these 9 tips for race day enjoyment, and I highly encourage you to do so as well.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

New York City Triathlon

New York, NY
.9-mile swim, 24-mile bike, 5K run
Finish- 2:42:28
AG- 10th
I returned to the big city this year to try and beat my time from 2014 but sadly, I did not succeed. Due to some bike issues, a minimal current, and a hot run, it was not my day. This year's race was a lot more humid thanks in part to the heat wave that rolled through. At 5 am, is was 80 degrees outside! But it was still an awesome race and very cool to once again run through New York City.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

This Ironman is Doing the Unthinkable for Charity

If you haven't been paying attention to the news recently, a man by the name of James Lawrence, IronCowboy to be exact, has been completing an ironman race a day. Yes, you read that correctly. He is completing 50 full triathlons in 50 consecutive days in all 50 states.