Thursday, June 30, 2011

Why Vitamix? And More on Strength Training

Pretty funny that I only got one comment on that last blog. Not that I ever generate tons of comments as it is, but one is possibly an all-time low. Did I leave you guys speechless by telling too much about my personal life? Hahaha. Probably best to stick to the triathlon theme, eh? Well, you'll still get bits and pieces of the personal stuff too, turns out my new sherpa is coming to Portland with me next week! Speaking of Portland, I also found out that JetBlue is waving bike fees for the month of July in celebration of the Tour de France. I made flight res with them without knowing this would be the case, so needless to say I'm pretty stoked that I'll be saving a few bucks.

Yesterday I was an easy day with only a swim. Taper mode is in full effect, and, yup, I'm feeling all those nasty taper feelings. I was comforted by shortening my work day to enjoy some sunny beach weather... sitting on my porch, listening to Jack Johnson-esque music and sipping on a beer that screamed Oregon, of course (see my ocean view?)....Not that best ocean view haha, but I can walk across the street for this view. It's gearing up to be a busy and beautiful holiday weekend here at the beach.

Anyways, enough fluff, onto the main point of this blog! I want to answer a couple questions I got recently on the Vitamix and Strength Training...

1. Why is the Vitamix so great? ~Austin and SixTwoThree

I'm not going to go too infomercial/testimonial on this one because Vitamix ain't giving me anything for free, but I will tell you my top 5 reasons why I think this blender is the bomb.

1. It can blend anything to your desired consistency in mere seconds. I think it could even blend rocks if you wanted. Nut butters, raw beets, tough raw veggies, etc. You wouldn't believe how the toughest things turn into smooth liquids instantly. No chunky, grainy, un-blended crap in your drinks. I was using a temp blender at my new place before the V-mix, and my carrot cake smoothies were grainy and chunky, yuck. Plus, I had to leave that blender running for so long just to get something to happen. The V-mix is usually 30ish seconds, always less than a minute, for any smoothie I make.

2. You don't lose anything. This is a good argument for a V-mix over juicers... Juicers spew out the veggie/fruit leftovers, but V-mix leaves you the whole fruit/veggie to consume. With strawberries and apples, for example, you can even leave the greens on and the core/seeds all in there. No prob. Nothing gets left out. And you never get weird seedy chunks in the drink.

3. Diversity of what you can make. Of course smoothies and juices are the most frequent, but there's also ice cream/fro-yo, soups (leave it on long enough and it literally makes the soup piping hot), nut butters, baking batters (pancakes, cookies, cakes, pies, brownies), adult drinks (haven't tried that yet to be honest haha), etc., etc. I use it to make my mashed cauliflower (healthy version of mashed potatoes), and it does it 10x better than even the food processor. Great for my black-bean brownies too.

4. Easy to clean. There are only two parts -- the base/motor and the blender. You never have to unscrew anything or try to clean hard-to-reach crevices or parts. It easily rinses out. My old blender had like eight parts, some small and annoying, and you'd have to individually clean each piece after every use or risk mold, it was such a hassle. The V-mix just needs a quick and easy rinse. Heck there are times I don't even use soap/sponge, just a good rinse.

5. Longevity. I use the V-mix one to two times a day for the most part, and apparently these things are supposed to live long and strong. They're often used in commercial/business settings for that reason. So instead of having to replace a so-so blender every couple years, invest in a good one that lasts forever. I have the same philosophy when it comes to buying my tri gear.

So there you have it... my love for the V-mix in a nutshell. Now let's just hope Vitamix reads this and does something for me in return ;)

Second question....
2. When during the week do you add it? I really need to build more muscle but I'm not sure about the best time to add it in the schedule so that it doesn't negatively affect swim/bike/run training. Thanks!! ~Jennifer

For starters, I wrote a post a while back on strength training related to your question.

Strength training will not negatively affect your SBR. Yea, there might be times when you don't swim as well because your arms are fired from X workout, but simply adding in one or two strength training sessions a week will only make you a stronger triathlete in the end. That said, you're probably in-season right now so starting a strength routine is going to leave you more sore than if you'd been doing it for months. So, start slowly... go with one session a week (separated from your SBR if possible) and build up. Plus, I recommend talking to a professional who can guide your program, tell him/her that you're training a lot for triathlon. Strength training is really fun once you get into a routine, I personally love that it breaks up the monotony of SBR.

When it comes to me, I hate to say it, but I don't have much rhyme or reason on how I operate on the day to day with my workouts, SBR or strength. Maybe it's because I spend so much time planning my athletes' schedules, so planning my own workouts comes second to that. Instead, I go into each week with specific goals for each sport, strength training, overall volume and intensity (i.e. base vs. recovery vs. build week), but that's about it. No set-in-stone daily workout plan. I just get 'er done based on my knowledge of what I should be doing that week, and hitting numbers I need to hit (whether that's power on the bike, mileage in the run or hours overall).

So how does strength fit in? Personally, I try to get in 1-2 strength training sessions a week when I'm in season (like now), and 3-4x all the other times of the year (offseason, transition phases, early base building, etc). Inevitably I probably strength train a little bit more than that simply because I work at a gym and am constantly pushing weights around, demonstrating exercises, etc. But when I do my own focused sessions, they're usually in the mornings before my swim, bike or run workout. Otherwise, I'll do the swim, bike or run, and then not strength train until hours later. If I'm doubling up, I always have a hearty protein/carb shake after strength even if I'm not that hungry... do not want to lose any muscle mass or weight. With my athletes, some come to me for strength training, and I usually try to separate those appointments from their scheduled swim, bikes and runs, or at least have them strength prior to SBR or many hours after SBR.

Sometimes I incorporate strength into a swim, bike or run. Swim -- get out and do pushups/situps/squats/lunges, swim with a T-shirt, etc. Bike -- during trainer sessions, get off and do a round of something, even rowing, several times throughout the workout (those are some of my fav workouts, btw!). Run -- is in the gym, work in lighter-weight deadlifts, squats, TRX stuff, upper-body, anything!

Bottom line is every triathlete should be doing a little strength training year round. The idea is that you want to always be stimulating your body in new ways to prevent stagnation and a plateau, while building a resilient injury-resistant body that will hammer SBR for a long, full season. Of course, SBR over and over will make you better at SBR, but throw in strength training and you'll get even better and be more likely to avoid injury. Planning-wise: Don't do as much when you're in season (1-2x a week of maintenance work). It's in the offseason or early in the base phases when you want to hit strength training hard.

Last but not least, here's a simple but good workout that combines strength and running, especially good if you're looking to utterly FRY your hamstrings. I did this last week, and it left me the most sore I've ever been in the hammys (the most sore I've ever been overall was after Bikram yoga, when I was getting so hot and lose that I stretched way beyond my means and was toast for days).

Strength/Running Routine:
3 rounds...
50 abmat situps
50 Romanian Deadlifts with Oly bar (45 lbs)
800m sprint


Hope everyone has a great 4th of July weekend. I know I'll be sticking in Laguna Beach... there are literally signs around town advising people to avoid driving. Looks like I'm stuck... rough ;)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Good times

How many times have you seen a blog that start off like this: "Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since my last post." I hate to jump on that bandwagon, but I have not been blogging as much as I'd like. I'm not going to lie, a big reason I'm more MIA lately is because I'm dating someone, and that's been taking up more free time (the little free time I have). More on that later.

Anyways, a little life update. It's pretty simple: I'm working more, driving way less (last week was a lovely ratio of 40 miles car, about 170 bike), training hard, and playing hard. I just finished up a big two-week training block with lots of Ironman-specific training and I feel great (can barely walk as of Sunday, but I feel fabulous). Swim... I'm finally getting used to going over 4k in the pool. Not to mention, I'm loving ocean swims. That's a good combo for me. Bike: I've never felt better, especially on hills. My average mph for long rides is even surprising me. And Run... running is running. All I can say is that I never run flat routes anymore; it's all hilly in Laguna Beach, like real hills, and I think that's doing me well... scene from just over half way up yesterday's long-ass climb (0-800 ft right away).

What's interesting to me is that I find it almost surprising that my motivation levels are higher than ever right now even though all it seems to be is SBR over and over and over. I like it; one of the goals I have in mind when making training plans is "keep it interesting." It's never the same old shit. That said, when it comes to the way I coach myself, I tend to go more day-to-day with my schedule. I go into each week with an overall goal in mind (build, x amount of volume, recovery,etc) but what I do each day is never set in stone until I'm actually doing it. I like that. I'll even do that with some of my athletes sometimes when random stuff is going on in their lives and they can't stick to the plan I had in mind. I don't mind making daily adjustments, it's all fun for me.

Next up for me is a slow transition into taper. I'm all set to do Rev3 Portland Half-Ironman on July 10. I can't wait! They actually changed the course, which I'm not too happy about because I guess now it's very flat, whereas before it was more hilly. I'll take hills any day over flats. Oh well, I'm sure I'll get plenty of that at IMC... about two months out baby!

Other than triathlon, life is good. I have a lot of balance going on, which is one of the reasons I think I'm still so motivated to SBR so much. It can't all be triathlon, and I make sure of that when it comes to my personal life.... so here it is. I guess I'll spill the beans on dating stuff, which I normally like to avoid on this blog.....

It's funny, I've gone back and forth about wanting to date a triathlete dude. Seems like it could be perfect or disastrous. It's nice to think you can have a guy who's into the same sport and gets it, but it's also nice to think a guy can provide time away from the sport and you're not always going to be obsessing over triathlon together. Who knows. Thankfully, this guy I'm dating is giving me an option to this scenario that is very much to my liking. He's getting into triathlon, but it's not his main thing. He wants to do half-Ironmans (signed up for his first one this Sept) and Ironman eventually, so it's not like he's super casual about it, but his main thing (besides his real job) is racing cars. Hm, sounds like he found the right girl given my family. Bottom line is, we're both active, competitive, driven people and we mesh well. He was the one who played sherpa for me at my last race. He did a good job, so I think he's stuck now :) This weekend, he was racing (cars) and unfortunately I had to be the selfish triathlete and stay home for training, but I still cheered them on as they WON their endurance race Saturday night. Good times.

I have another blogs in the works that answers a couple of questions you guys left me, so stay tuned...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


One word: Vitamix. I was going insane without one. Life was fine before I had one because I didn't know what I was missing, but after having one at my fingertips every day, it was torture to live without one. Man, I sound like a whiny spoiled brat saying that, huh. Oops! But it's true though, that machine is addicting. I tried to make do with a Magic Bullet and food processor, but that wasn't happening. So I splurged thanks to a Costco special. Life is complete again.

The smoothie I made today post-workout wasn't anything too out of the ordinary for me, but for some reason it all meshed exceptionally well, so I thought I'd share:

Pumpkin Protein Shake
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 medium banana (frozen or fresh is ok)
1 heaping scoop vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I eyeballed this measurement and possibly put in more, not sure)
5 baby carrots (had to finish the bag, lol)
2-3 tbsp ground flaxseed
dash salt
stevia to taste
5 ice cubes

Blend and enjoy!

I tried to savor mine, but it was so good that I finished the whole batch pretty quickly, along with my daily green/rainbow colored "everything" salad. Those never get old. I'm sure the workout I had just done played a role in being a human vacuum (typical). Speaking of that, the workout is worth sharing...

Strength & Conditioning Routine
Warmup: 10-15 min of functional exercises, such as single-leg toe touches, reverse lunges with a twist, bridges, leg circles, scap pushups, light jog, etc, etc, etc... then to the meat.

5 rounds, for time:
250m row (holding a sub-1:50 500m pace)
15 KB swings (go heavy)
10 knee to elbows
plank with rope pull, left & right side*
10 squat jumps
100-touch jump rope
20 sledgehammer swings on the tire

My time: 26:01

*This one is killer: get in plank position one hand down and the other pulling an entire battle rope laterally through a hook on the wall; do R arm then L arm, I hope that makes sense

After S&C I spent an hour in the pool, and it was not easy at all coming off that first s&c workout. But I need to work on building upper-body endurance and power so it was all good in the hood.

I was finally feeling normal again, too, after a fatiguing (but fun) weekend... both Saturday and Sunday night had this grandma up way past her bedtime. Sunday was extra special because my sister is in town and we went to a Pepper concert together.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Standing on the "Overall Podium"

I've said it plenty of times before, and I'll say it again: I love racing triathlons! And it's so much more than "all about the results" to me despite the title of this post. It's the whole experience, it's the other people, it's feeling the race adrenaline, going fast, dealing with adversity, smiling through it all while hurting a lot too, etc, etc, etc. It's all those things and more that will make a great race -- if you just focus on results, where's the fun in that?!

So can you tell I raced today? Totally still on that high :) I did the Bonelli Olympic Triathlon that I mentioned in yesterday's post. I didn't realize until just now that this was only the second true Olympic-distance tri I've ever done (OC Tri in 2009 being the only other). All in all it was a great day. I ended up 2nd female OVERALL and 1st AG. It was pretty cool getting an overall placing for the first time. That even convinced me to stick around for awards :)
At first we heard that I was third overall (thus the 3 fingers), then got word it was 2nd. Btw, check out my brand-new Ignis kit, sweet huh!!!
My good friend Jason got 3rd overall, he's going for speed this year (instead of Ironman), and it shows!!

The whole race experience this time around got off to a good start. A mellow Friday night with a solid dinner (sweet potatoes, chicken, veggie-loaded salad, beer). I prepped my overnight oats with chia seeds so I'd have brekkie waiting in the morning. The race location was well over an hour from my place, so we hit the road early. Good thing we did because even at pre-6 a.m. there was major crap going down on the freeways -- several accidents, one of which had the whole freeway closed, and the offramp for the race site was closed too. Several detours thus ensued. Thank goodness I had a sherpa driving me otherwise I would have been uber panicky on my own. I don't do well with figuring out new directions in a foreign area so early in the morning when I have racing on the brain haha.

So to the race... the Bonelli races are low key, very grassroots and full of friendly happy people. Love love love. Surprisingly, there was a pretty good turnout for this event, more peeps than I'd seen at the past races. Plus, I had several friends, one client (Ray, with the hair) and Mike (my training buddy/boss/friend) all doing the race too, so I felt right at home :)
Here are Mike and I (in the middle) pointing out the buoys on the swim course; we tend to take the leadership roles haha:
So crowded in the middle of nowhere on a Saturday morning at 6 a.m. Only triathletes :)

I remember the race courses from the shorter events being really fun and fairly challenging at points, sort of like a mini Vineman. I had never done the Oly distance, but I expected it to be a solid course too. It was. As Mike said after the race today, "That race has teeth."

Doing a few pre-race routines (complete with texts as evidenced below), then it was time to get going! Note the bathroom pic -- no line for the girls, but major line for the dudes. wtf? Also, sorry that there are only pics of me, I was not in charge of the camera ;)

1.5 k is not too far from a 70.3 swim, so I wanted to test a new anti-cramping strategy: compression socks DURING the swim. I wore them under my new Zoot Prophet. My goal for the swim was about 27 minutes or faster. I know, that is slow for that distance, but remember, I'm a slow swimmer and I know that's what I'm capable of doing without wasting too much energy. I got in for a warmup, and the water was warm and gross. Lots of disgusting sediment and pretty much no visibility. Not that big of deal. When we started, I got going at my comfortable pace as to not overdo it right away. The Prophet felt amazing. I had a few run-ins with others, etc., but didn't get too knocked around. Actually, I was all alone for the most part so no drafting potential :( The big issue this time was sighting. Not getting off track, I actually sighted the course just fine, but when I lifted my head to sight it was causing weird sensations down my back into my legs... as if that was going to set off cramping. And sure enough, after enough sighting and time in the water, calf cramps began with roughly 300-400 to go. The last chunk I was swimming with feet dorsiflexed to offset the cramps. No fun. So, compression socks were arguably ineffective at preventing cramping, although, they might have helped from making the cramping worse. I'd wear the socks again in the water. My watch said 28 something coming out of the water. Pissed. Blah. I'm not going to be negative nancy about it, nor will I dwell. Moving on.

After a rookie T1 (need to practice that more I guess), I was hammerin on the bike with a smile from ear to ear. As always, the goal was to pass as many girls as possible and rock on. The bike course was fun and a lot hillier than I expected -- both in climbs and decents. Unfortunately I didn't have my magnet on my Zipp to get speed/distance, but I at least got power, and overall I averaged 175 watts. I'll take that. I'd say there was about three good hills on each lap (three laps) where I was climbing at 250-300+ watts and passing lots of girls and guys all along. HILL WORK IS PAYING OFF. Even on the downhills I was passing people, including bigger dudes who had weight/momentum on their side. Part of my ability to pass on downhills may be the "no fear" side of me... I can comfortably go in the 40-45+ mph range even on foreign terrain.

Like I said, the whole bike course was three loops, and besides the fun hills and descents, there were several flat and fast sections. Those are a blast too. The were only a couple crappy parts. One was where it got real tight and passing was hard, some people looked like they were even drafting. No thanks, I knew it'd be a long shot to pass the big line of guys, so I chose to back off and suck it up going a little slower for a bit even though I knew I could hammer just fine. I play by the rules and would never want to do anything sketchy. I'd never draft, duh, but I wouldn't even want it to look like I was drafting so better safe than sorry. I found it funny that that was the only spot where I saw a race official moto. Apparently they get cheaters there. The other crappy section is one stretch of road that's torn up as if jack hammers were having a party. What could be a 19-20+ mph section is a 12 mph section, or so it feels. All in all, those crappy parts are minor in comparison to what I thought was a super fun, challenging and diverse bike course. Loved it! I got off the bike around 1:12, not sure on the exact time yet. My PR for the Oly distance is 1:11 (at OC Tri). Both courses are about the same difficulty, this Bonelli course might be even harder. Who knows.

T2 went smooth, well under a minute. Got onto the run and Garmin was having issues "locating satellites" so it didn't start until about .5 miles in. No biggie. The run course is AWESOME! The first mile or so is totally offroad Xterra style in a jungly forest. Heck ya! Fairly hilly and rocky terrain, which I love. Then that unfortunately ends and it's all rolling hills on asphalt for pretty much the rest of the run. You go around the lake roads, and like I said, there are good hills of all sizes, but nothing too daunting. After you run El Moro, everything seems doable haha. Plus, I've been running well on hills lately, and I felt good on this course as a result. My miles were around a 7:00 pace +/- for the whole 10k. And I felt even better than on the half-mary a couple weeks ago. I swear, I run better off the bike sometimes. It's weird.

As far as my placing in the race, by the time I had gotten off the bike, I had passed tons of girls. No girl ever passed me. I'm not trying to brag by saying that because the truth is all those girls I passed are obviously better swimmers than me, so hats off to them! But it felt good to knock off girl after girl on the bike :) But back to the run. By mile 2ish I had no idea how many more fast ladies were ahead of me. Thankfully, we had a couple out and backs, so I could start counting. I saw one. OK, good. Then I saw two right in front of me. I could tell I was easily going to pass them, and I did. So by that point, I was certain at least one girl was ahead, then possibly more fast girls that were out of my league? Whatever, I was running my race and feeling great (great as in hurting in that sadistically fun way lol). I could have probably dipped into the high 6's for more of the run looking back, but that 7ish pace felt perfect for the task at hand. I have no idea what my official run time was, but I'm guessing around 44-45 min.

As I approached the finish line I heard the guy say "1st place female" which meant I was in position for 2nd or 3rd. I was sure it was 2nd. But then I crossed the line and he marked me down as 3rd. Later on that mistake was cleared, and it was in fact 2nd place overall, 1st AG :)

Now that all said, I didn't pull of the fastest time so don't get your panties in a bunch thinking that Tawnee has arrived. No, not yet folks lol. I did a 2:30, which is very decent but not jaw-dropping stellar. It's a hard course to some extent, similar to the OC Tri in some respects, and, shoot, for me it's an Oly PR, so I'll take it. The night prior to the race I was thinking I'd finish closer to 2:25 or faster, but I guess I overestimated my abilities. It's better than underestimating myself though, right?! Overall, I'm very happy with the result mostly because I gave it a solid effort but it didn't feel like I was completely dying and holding on for dear life.

This race was so fun (how many times have I said fun in this post lol) and it was yet another learning experience that gave me more insight into "Tawnee on Ironman training." Conclusion: Ironman training is doing a few things. 1) It's making me more confident in SBR at any distance (i.e. I said to myself, "oh only a 6.2 mile run after 40k on the bike? That's cakewalk distance-wise!") 2) It's making me a little slower than I'd like to be at this point (just can't shake off that lingering fatigue as quickly as I used to, plus not doing as much speed work overall these days). 3) It makes me hungry for more -- I want to keep challening myself to have some speed but still be able to do long stuff. I have many years ahead in this sport, and I want to continue testing my abilities in years to come at all race distances!!!

Last but not least, as I was racing today, I was thinking about all the people who help make it possible for me to do this sport that I love so much. There are so many people in my life who I want to thank, but instead of pretending I'm all pro status and naming them off, I'll try to do a special blog soon to give a little more insight into my life and the people who make me tick. Let's just say I'm a lucky girl :) For example, today I felt extra lucky having a pretty darn good sherpa taking care of me, but I'll hold off on that story for now...

One special mention I will make now is about my athlete Ray who's beyond a pleasure to work with. He killed it on this course today, PR'ing by about 40 min! He first contacted after this race last year, and so this month it's been a year as coach/athlete! Let's just say it looks like having a coach is paying off :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Saturday Race Day!

Time is flying by! I'm doing REv3 Portland in one month from today then after that it's all about Canada. Well it's all about Canada now, but still some fun stuff mixed in, like Saturday's race. I'm doing the Bonelli Olympic, race #3 in the LA Tri Series. Missed the first two races this year due to the hectic life as of late, but I've done these races before and I love them so I'm excited to get out and redline for 2+ hours and have some fun -- that sadistic painful sort of fun ;)

It's been a weird week leading up to the race. It's a recovery week coming off my biggest week of training to date that wrapped up Sunday. I was smashed and happy :) Monday was off, then Tuesday I somehow "trained" for 3.5 hours. It happened by mistake, I swear. That's what happens when you actually see training time as fun time :) I did a strength class at my gym followed by a swim. Then later that afternoon I took a dude friend out for his first spin through Camp Pendleton. It was my first time riding with this guy, and I ended going harder than anticipated considering the theme of the week was recovery, but I guess that's just me -- I let me competitive nature take hold and hammer lol. I was expecting Wednesday to be a mellow day, but I was wrong.

I had a photo shoot with John Segesta and Profile Design down in SD on tap for Wednesday (I love working with Segesta), so like I said, I figured it'd be mellow studio stuff. Good because I actually woke up Wednesday feeling under the weather. Turns out the shoot was "outdoor action" day on bikes. Crap. There went that recovery day. It wasn't super crazy exercise, but among all the driving (we ventured into East County and the day's total car time was close to 5-6 hours), riding bikes, changing outfits/locations, being peppy, etc., I was wiped at the end. Still had fun during though, of course. Great people to work with :)Roughly 13 or 14 hours later when I got home my body just gave out and I crashed. I felt like poo on a stick times 10. For all I know I had a touch of the flu, and perhaps eating gluten-filled food all day didn't help the matter. Who knows, but it was bad, like fetal-position-moaning-in-pain bad. I canceled some of my Thursday stuff so I could keep it to a mellow work day at home with minimal physical exertion. And thankfully that was all I needed... I woke up Friday feeling refreshed and good again! Not that I'm "fresh" and expecting to get a PR at the Oly distance, but I'm to the point where I know I'm as good as I'm going to be and am excited. Again, like with the LH Half-Mary, this ain't an A race, it's just a chance to work my butt off, hurt and have fun. Gonna go out there and give it my all! Raaaarrr ;)

Oh yea, maybe Thursday's dinner of homemade from scratch gluten-free pancakes and bacon made the difference. I asked around for some pancake recipes and ended up combining all the ideas into my own unique concoction... several different GF flours, greek yogurt, eggs, agave, among many other things... if I remember the recipe correctly, I'll try to share. They were really good. And that's not just me talking. I had a guinea pig over for din, and he loved them.

Sorry, only took a couple really crappy pics. Next time I'll get better ones that do the food justice. This time it was all about the eating, and we ate the whole [big] batch haha :)

Last but not least, I got some [amateur] pics from the photo shoot with Segesta (amateur meaning on my point and shoot, not by John lol)...

Somewhere in East County "on top of a mountain" lol...
My male counterpart (apparently a legit cyclist)...
Gettin into it and havin fun!

Somewhere even more deep into East County...Blue Steel?
Segesta planning his magic...Can still see fire damage, crazy...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I'm all about making hand-written lists and having an old-school pen-and-paper day planner to keep me organized, I don't do electronics when it comes to that stuff. When I write a list or have hand-written plans in my calendar, I stick to it and remember better! And there's that satisfaction of "checking off" things once they're complete.... ahhh. Maybe I'll start scheduling a "blog hour" once or twice a week because I feel like I'm falling off the blog bandwagon, and that's just not cool.

One of the only areas where I'm very dialed in with electronic/online planning is with my training plans for my clients and for myself. I did some research a while back to look for good, simple training plan software at a low cost. Ii wasn't impressed with a lot that's out there. For example, I feel that Training Peaks is just too much "stuff" and information overload for what I want and need. Don't get me wrong, I'm a data geek, and my workouts are detailed down to the minute, but I know my clients need something that's easy to understand and manage. Thus, with a training plan, I wanted something simple! Enough to get in all the necessary details (what I input, and the feedback they provide) but not overwhelming. I'd rather put more emphasis on real communication than have a fancy, technical, intricate program do that job. Plus, I find that the easier I make it for my clients to provide feedback, etc., the more likely they are to actually do just that rather than see it as a "hassle" of a job ;)

Anyways, long story short, I use this training log software. I love it. It covers all the basics and has many features that save me time. It's simple to use on both ends for coach/client (powered by Google Docs so easy access for both parties to get in and input info), and it's inexpensive. Not to mention, the creator, Doug, is a bad ass triathlete, super nice and really great at setting people up with plans. If I need troubleshooting, which is rare, he's on top of it.

Doug has no idea I'm writing this, and he didn't ask me to do so -- i.e. I'm not trying to "sell" something for him. I just think it's important for triathletes to have a quality, comprehensive training plan to keep track of what's going in training and in life. Look into it if you're in the market for something simple but effective.

Truth be told, writing about the training log wasn't really the plan for this blog, but I guess that was meant to be :)

OK, now it's time to head to the happiest place on Earth... San Diego, haha ;) Is it? I don't know, but I always have good times in SD. Today is a photo shoot with John Segesta and some cycling companies, and all I know is I have to bring my gear and we're going out to East county for action shots... so much for a complete recovery day, oops :/