Ragnar Trail Run – Prep Week

It’s Monday and I’m starting to get in the zone. Physically I believe we are ready. We’ve put in the miles over the past few months, we’ve logged our time on the technical trails, we’ve tested our headlamps in the dark. Without a doubt, we’ve had a blast doing it as we rated each other’s lumens and jokes about alien glow vests. 

There’s nothing better than waking up to this on a Sunday morning. While the rest of the world slept quietly, we found each other at the trails at dawn. We ran, we cursed, we hiked, we tripped, we laughed, we rolled ankles, we huffed and puffed up hills. We made it out alive and exhilarated each time. 

I’ll say it again- there’s magic in the woods. Time stands still and the trees change you. I have no idea what that is, but it’s special. 


So the 8 of us are physically, mentally and emotionally ready for the runs.  Packing for a 24 hour event in the rain? Not so much. Rain is a game changer. We are now trying to figure out how we are going to stay warm and dry. We are collecting all the tarps and trash bags we can find. It’ll be trail running Survivor style. Huddled together under the trees, we’ll eat our bananas and almonds, wishing for a break in the weather. It will be EPIC. 

I am so excited and so ready.  As I skip further into my zone over the next few days, I only have to remember to have the time of my life– in the darkness of the woods, in black bear country, during bow and arrow hunting season, with no electricity, and nothing but laughter and friendship and my tired legs to carry me through. I can’t wait!

Adventure awaits!

-Mama K

Marshman Triathlon- Race Recap

Life is too short to let fear and doubt stand in the way of feeling awesome.  I’ve always loved the saying “everything you want is on the other side of fear” because it’s the absolute truth! Yesterday I was a bundle of nerves waking up at 4:45am to prepare for the Marshman Triathlon.  For months I’ve said to myself  “Self, it’s only a .25 mile swim, 12.5 mile bike, and 2 mile run- no big deal- you’ve got this.” But with every approaching day I started to think nope, you sure don’t got this.  Sunday morning arrived whether I was ready or not….

We arrived at Marsh Creek State Park around 6am and in the pitch black darkness of the night.  While everyone unpacked their fancy bikes and took them off their fancy bike racks on their cars. Smartly wearing headlamps, these prepared folks worked deftly and unphased by the lack of light.  Jane and I simply popped open the back of the minivan and let our stuff spill out. 

We then quickly decided we should hit the bathroom first not knowing that there wasn’t any electricity. We made do with the light of an iPhone 6 and actually enjoyed the peace of pre race pooping in quiet dark solitude. 


As we started the path  down to the lake, the sun started rising despite the cloud coverage. The sleepy world began to wake up. 


We had no idea what we were doing and I am thankful that it was a small race and organized in a way that the flow of packet and race chip pick up went smoothly.  After looking around at other racers we figured out what to d with all of our stickers. I remembered that one had to go on the bike but completely forgot about the one for the helmet. It’s been a while. We made our way into the transition area wondering what we were doing there. Were we really capable of doing this? 


We set up our bikes on the racks and carefully laid out all of our necessary items: a towel, socks, shoes, hat, helmet, sunglasses, hydration pack, tank top, and GU. 


We undressed, grabbed our goggles, cap, and ear plugs and made our way to the start of the swim area.  After a short pre-race meeting explaining some things I can’t remember and the national anthem, we were ready to go. Well, not quite. The duathlon participants started off as wave 1, followed by the men’s group of triathletes, followed by the women’s group of triathletes, followed by our wave 4 (friends group) at 7:45am. 

It was an in water start so we all swam out to the starting buoy.  The water was a warm 80 degrees and it was very comfortable once you got your whole body in. Overall I thought the swim was great. It went fast and it was only complicated by weird lake grass that was literally all over you and felt like it was grabbing onto your legs to tug you down. It was super strange. All in all, I felt so much better on the swim than I expected. 

We transitioned and jumped onto our bikes. The first 4 miles were a struggle for me. My legs burned, my mind was unfocused and I quickly started with the negative talk – you didn’t prepare for this, you didn’t even ride on one hill. This is what you get.  Mile 5 was an absolute bitch and I wound up walking up half of a giant hill. I was really mad at myself, but you can only grind out what you can until you just need a break or a change or something. Anything.  Halfway through the race I ate a GU. I definitely needed it (didn’t eat breakfast – BIG MISTAKE) because I felt so much better shortly after that. The 2nd half of the bike was actually enjoyable and was somehow so much easier than the first half despite it being an out and back course. I was going either 8 mph going so slow uphill or going 23-29mph going downhill. There was no flat.  

Transitioning to the run was simple. Starting the run was okay because I refused to walk in front of a lot of people. Once I was far enough away though, I stopped and stretched my aching calves for a few moments. I walked so much more than I wanted to during the run, especially the first mile which was uphill. Luckily it was also an out and back course and the second half was much easier. I stared to feel good and warmed up at mile 1.3 then promptly got a side stitch at mile 1.45. I walked until 1.5 miles and then finally decided to push through whatever else happened to get this thing over with.  The finish line felt sooooo good. 

While I wish I would’ve gotten under 1:30hrs, but  I’ll take my 1 hour 35 min time. That was really hard and I made it.

Overall, the weather was perfect, the bike course was a great challenge for me and the run was just enough. I had a great time and felt great. Today I feel strong and badass and that’s all that matters! I’m definitely looking forward to our next triathlon. I will be better prepared, that’s for sure. I would really like to pick up my speed on the bike and the run.  I say that now and I’ll probably do the same exact “training plan”: go to crossfit with friends, run at track night with friends, and trail run with friends; swim once or twice a month and start riding the bike 3 weeks before the race. That outta do it! 

The real reason we did this race…..a nearby cafe….


Blaze your trail today! 

– Mama K 

Heavy Grindy

This post is simply an expression of my super excitement that I get to workout with these women on a weekly basis.  They push me, the build me up, and they play with me.  We go on adventures together and plan for big and wild dreams to come true.  They blaze their trails of awesomeness everyday. They encouraging others, light up the world, and let their goddess nectar (AKA sweat) flow to prove to themselves over and over again ACTUALLY I CAN.  They are beauties AND beast. And for that I love them.

Today’s holiday WOD:

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1 round of Cindy is 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats.  Here was the workout:

3 Rounds for Time –

  • 10 Cleans and Jerks (each team member did 5)
  • 10 Rounds of Cindy (each team member did 5 rounds and switched each time so you got a few seconds of rest)
  • Remember to repeat twice to get to your 3 rounds total

It was about a 30 minute workout that brought everyone to their knees.  We all left it out there on the floor.  I worked on my pull-ups, sucked my way through my push-ups, and banged out my air squats.  As I looked around to capture the moments of sheer torture, I learned the following  (yes, it’s a repeat lesson from Mama W’s inspirational post from yesterday):HeavyGrindy5

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And in the end…… 30 minutes later….

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Keep moving forward,

-Mama K

 

Block the Noise

I felt so good about my brick workout yesterday. I rode 12 miles with my husband in 53:49, which was about a 13 min/mile pace and then I ran 2 miles in 22:02 minutes.  I was really proud of myself.  I was hoping I’d feel OK during the bike because I knew I was going to feel crummy for my run.  I was doing this workout on tired legs and I knew I hadn’t practiced transitioning from the ride to the run more than 2 times so I was mentally prepared to trudge through the awkwardness of running on bike legs.

 

So I was really excited yesterday for doing all of that before breakfast.  But then the mental war with the Sole Blockers started last night and this morning.

“You really didn’t do that much.” 

“Your run was really slow…not good enough.”

“Only 12 miles on the bike? That’s not very impressive.  It was all flat.” 

So as I sit here and type this, I’m working really hard on combating the Sole Blockers of discouragement and doubt.  I’m trying to maintain my confidence and the good vibes that I picked up along the way yesterday.  I’m already nervous about this event and have thought about bowing out of the triathlon because I haven’t trained much for it. Mainly because of working long hours and being so tired from the summer and kid commitments.  I even told Mama D a few weeks ago that I was thinking about not racing and just coming to watch her.  She supported my decision, but told me to give it a few days and see how I felt after some rest and giving myself a little break.

We had a text message conversation late last week deciding that we’d survive it (one way or another) with a lot of laughs and another story to tell.   I was back to feeling like maybe I could do it.  And then yesterday I felt REALLY good about being able to cross both the start and the finish line.  This morning I am back to feeling like maybe I should participate as a cheerleader.

And then….just when I was beating myself up the most for sitting on the couch, drinking a cup of coffee and thinking “You should really be out there riding your bike again and not lying around“… I saw this Facebook post from a fellow Mama that renewed my faith in myself and my capabilities.

Mama W is an incredible CrossFit athlete and is training with us for her first half marathon ever (she’s even going all out and doing the Glass Slipper Challenge in Disney in February which is 19.3 miles).  I am so thankful for her words of encouragement this morning.  She showed me I have to block the noise of doubt and fear and discouragement and dig deep  mentally so I can keep moving forward.

Mama W says:

Hold tight to your commitment. 

Beginning something is easy. Finishing it, on the other hand takes courage. Everyone starts off motivated and excited.

But when that emotional rush wears off and all that’s left is a lot of hard work and the need for patience, that is when you find out if you really have what it takes to succeed.

There is no promise that achieving what you want will be easy. IT’S f*cking hard!! We all have a different level of what’s hard. I feel like I suck at it all most days. I feel like I should be further than I am, but I refuse to let anything or anyone stop my goals. Extraordinary achievement requires extraordinary effort.

If you’ve been tempted to quit- don’t. Whether it’s a WOD, lifting those barbells or running miles….Let this be the time you hold tight to your commitments and bring your dreams to life. Always dig deep and fight for it.

 

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That’s it. After reading that I declared that I was going to do the Marshman Triathlon and I was absolutely finish what I started.  And even if I finish last, it doesn’t mean I failed.  It will still be a great victory.

Keep pushing,

– Mama K and Mama W

Sherpa or Fairy Godmother?

So our running group knows that I am pretty much the Sherpa when it comes to our runs.  I am always prepared with fuel, hydration, sometimes pepper spray, phone for photos and tunes if needed, napkins in case someone didn’t get to poop before we met up.  If there’s something you might need, it’s likely that I have it in one of my pockets. Thanks, BBC for posting this picture of me on one of our hilly snow runs last winter. Just kidding, this is a real Sherpa…  But I might be able to come in second.

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bbc.com/news/world-asia

Anyway, Mama D thought it would be fun to turn it into a little Dr. Seuss-ish story.

Here it goes…

Hello my name is Candice Knox,

And I always carry extra socks.

Extra socks, you say?

Well, what about a can of pepper spray?

Of course I do, it’s safety first!

I also have things to quench your thirst.

Nuun tablets, Gatorade, coconut water too –

Pickle juice, maple syrup and lots and lots of GU!

You won’t eat GU? It makes you gag?

No fear, no worries, let me reach into my bag!

Trail mix, waffles, a piece of candy or two-

Please don’t ever doubt –

Fairy Godmother will take care of you!

 

Everyone needs a Sherpa and/or a Fairy Godmother!! If you are like me, raise your hand nice and high.  Be proud and know that you can take your friends on an adventure fully prepared for anything that comes their way!

Run slow and run heavy (because you are carrying everyone else’s shit),

-Mama K