Thursday, January 29, 2015

MAF Test - I Did One.

I had a long chat with Dr. Phil Maffetone today on Skype (he has a beard!), and that motivated me to collect some of my own data by doing a legit MAF test. Well, talking to him motivated me, not his beard lol ;) I don't do a lot of testing for myself anymore because, to be honest, it's really the last thing I want to think about after doing all that for my clients very regularly. But I'll admit, it is fun to get in some useable data and to see where my aerobic fitness is at currently!

That said, I do a lot of MAF running already, and have an idea of my normal MAF pace on my regular routes, but they're not really tests in the sense that the variables aren't usually controlled for and most my routes are hilly and involve random stops or whatever. So by legit test, I did a proper warmup, and landed myself at the high school track for 5 nonstop miles on a controlled, flat loop, no hills, holding my target MAF HR, and if it spiked or dropped I got it back to MAF within seconds. Running 5 miles on the track really wasn't boring, and I actually really enjoyed it. I did have to dodge all the high schoolers at track practice and whatnot, but oddly we're not allowed to run on the track when school's in session so I had no choice but to do it at this time (or wait till weekend, but I didn't want to do that). Anywho...

Test Variables

Location: Laguna Beach High School Track

Time of Day: 2:53 pm start (not normally my ideal running time, but I felt great and decided to go for it. Normally I'm a morning runner)

Temp: 73 degrees F and overcast (perfect!)

Playlist: Girl Talk (All Day album)

Shoes: Pearl Izumi Em Road M3s, they're old but one of my fave pairs

Target HR: 151 (MAF = 180-age, thus 180-29)... that is close to being 180-30 = 150 ;)

Previous Test Data: n/a. Couldn't find, and it's been ages anyway, but right now normally on rolling hills I'm running 8:20ish avg.

Warmup: Non-run dynamic exercises at home followed by running to the track - 13:51, 1.48 miles, 9:22 avg pace, 139 avg HR, which included walking up a steep flight of stairs to get to the high school and trying not to spike HR. My HR was comfortably at MAF when I started.

MAF Test Results

Avg pace: 8:06

Avg HR: 151

Miles: 5.00

Time: 40:30

(lap, avg pace, avg hr):

1 - 7:51 // 151

2 - 8:02 // 152

3 - 7:56* // 152 

4 - 8:16 // 151

5 - 8:23 // 151

RPE: Very easy and relaxed.
~3-4 on scale of 1-10.

I'm pretty happy with those numbers. The pace dropped off more than I would have liked to see, but some dropoff is expected. In fact Maffeone wants the first mile the fastest and the last mile the slowest, otherwise, he says, you didn't warmup well enough.

I ended with another 1.7 miles of cooldown, running home, averaging 144 HR for that (didn't go too hard lol). Honestly, the whole thing went by very fast and I felt incredibly relaxed, loose and at ease during the test. Thanks to all my MAF practice, holding that effort was very comfortable and natural, nearly a conversational pace.

I think the next 16 weeks of marathon training are just going to get better...

For more on MAF HR and the MAF Test:

*During this lap I stopped for 20 seconds, literally, do grab a drink from the drinking fountain. I was kicking myself for not bringing water and was feeling thirsty, so I had some out of the public fountain and it tasted like butt, and it didn't settle well (I'm a water snob!). Wondering if it would have been smarter to skip it lol. But I think that contributed to slightly faster split due to the very quick rest. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Training Love, Detox Update

Sometimes I get turned off to blogging because I want and feel the need to add pictures, but pictures take forever to upload/format on blogger so I'm going to skip 'em when I feel like it, and instead you can get all the latest on my Instagram account if you wish (pretty much the same photos I would end up posting on here anyway lol)... Cool?

Ok, January update.

I'm kinda loving this running stuff. I love working toward a new goal in a new way with the run. And before I say what I'm about to say, just know that I'm still 100% dedicated on the marathon/run focus so far this season. But, just as I get in a groove of running, all of a sudden I'm loving my bike again, in moderation. I've been on just three outdoor rides this year (and a bunch of random trainer sessions), but even in that limited quantity each ride has given me a level of happiness that I haven't felt in a while. For a while when I was burnt out and still not back to ideal health, at times I was sorta kinda forcing it. All those years, you just get so used to the routine of training, the data, and all that being part of you and it's hard to think of doing anything but all that, ya know?

But if you've been following you know I wised up. Let go a bit, took time to heal, and man it did wonders. Now that my body/mind are thriving again, it's all just fun again. It helps that I'm not even concerning myself with "performance" on the bike nor is there a looming race. Although, for the record I felt dang strong these past two weekends -- whether the numbers showed that is another story, but I don't care. I don't want to "train" on the bike, I just want to ride it when I feel like it. Go hard when I want to. Cruise when I want.

It works well with my run schedule of 2 days on, 1 day off running; the bike can fit in nicely to add volume for my lower mileage run training (I have yet to run over 31 miles in a week). I actually did kinda cheat on "no the more more than 2 days in a row" of running, ah! Last week I fit in 2 miles easy on Thursday, 6 miles on Friday, 12 miles Saturday... that 2-miler was the unplanned one that got squeezed in around a gig I had down in SD. Oops.

So, ya, run training = love. I feel great most the time, and there's just one little hiccup, but that's my next post....

Switching gears.

The team 22-day clean-eating/detox challenge. It is still going on and almost done! In doing this with my clients, I've noticed some interesting things about myself. First off all, let me reiterate that I am not doing anything hardcore in terms of a limited restricted deprived diet, and I don't think I even pulled out the juicer until yesterday when I made a potent ginger/turmeric tonic concentrate. (However, I am using my new crockpot a lot -- how is it that it took my nearly 30 years of life to own one of these especially as a busy gal.) This challenge was flexible for each of us, and for me personally it was simply to get back on track after having "too much fun" over the holidays while also helping to provide support and be a good example for my coached athletes who are all working very hard with their own respective detoxes -- there's power in numbers. I'm helping some of my athletes make BIG changes and adopt new healthy habits -- I gotta give it to them, this can be hard to do -- and I'm proud to witness their progress. Especially those who have BIG goals for themselves this year, which is pretty much all of them :) I'll share some success stories once we're done (next week).

For now, what I observed personally on this "detox":

Mood/energy: Almost immediately I saw an improvement in my energy and mood when I got back to my healthy ways. You don't really understand this shift until you start living healthy and feeling vibrant, and then you ask yourself, "Why do I ever slip up and not live this way all the time?!" My energy stays high and stable through the day, no fatigue in the late afternoon, and into the evening I'd still have good energy up until I entered our dark bedroom and hit the sack, then out cold. I don't even recall craving a nap at any time (except the day I started my period and went for a long run, ouch; sorry if TMI). Meanwhile, I am working out/training 10-12hrs a week these days, so I am putting my body under some training stress -- but not trashing myself, #MAF. The takeaway? 1) I'm pleased I didn't go through that "withdrawal" phase you sometimes hear about when having to break a bunch of addictions to sugar, carbs, caffeine, alcohol. It was a fairly smooth transition for me. 2) With that extra energy, came more focus, and more work productivity, more quality... and that makes me happy knowing I'm giving it my best.

Sugar/Sweets: I'm not a sugar addict and I can easily say no to anything with sugar sources of which I don't approve. I just have no desire to partake in such things in excess or it all in most cases. But my body still likes something sweet-style every now and then, I am human, so I just make sure to include meals or snacks that satisfy those desires and this month stevia as my sweetener 9/10 times. Sometimes raw honey, like in these "cornbread" paleo muffins. With the things I include regularly I avoid crazy cravings for sugary sweets, ice cream or whatever. Instead, I regularly make a mean chocolate pudding with raw cacao (instant), plus breakfasts of sweet potato or kabocha squash mash, mmmmm. Drink wise, I have a great assortment of cold and hot teas that are killing it when I add a dash of almond or coconut milk and pack of stevia, soooo good, or sparkling water with a drop of liquid stevia. I try not to crack out on stevia...for the record.

Alcohol: It took me about 6-7 days to kick the habit/craving of an evening glass of wine. I didn't realize how much like clockwork that evening wine craving had become, and how easy it is to just give in and pour the glass when you have no reason to say no. I will admit, it was hard to give it up at first and overcome the urge to drink, but at the same time saying no felt empowering. And I got to give myself props because all the while John was enjoying his nightly beer, and we've been in situations where alcohol is somewhat synonymous: a concert, dinners out or with family/friends, Saturday night (need I say more lol)... all that takes willpower for a girl like me to say no! But I just ignored the urge, and pretty quickly the urge disappeared. It really did... one day I thought about it and was like, "Oh I didn't even think about wine the last couple days." Man, substances are scary. I don't even drink a lot, and in fact I wasn't drinking much of anything most of last summer and fall (not even in kona!), so it was just over the holidays that my brain got used to that habit... maybe that's also why it was rather easy to break it; short time frame?

Body comp: I noticed a bit of fat loss in the belly/love handle area. (Like my anatomical references?) No weight loss, and I think some muscle gained. Perfect. I never like being under 130 lbs. I can attribute these results to 1) training (um, ya, it works!), and 2) not having any poor habits -- food, drink or otherwise -- slowing down my metabolism and robbing my precious physiological adaptations to training. I also noticed better skin quality/complexion; however, there are other variables in that because I will admit this year I'm taking steps to take care of my skin above and beyond what I've done in the past and am crazy about sunscreen these days, as well as moisturizing and lots of nice things for my skin.

The Plateau: Now this is what I found most interesting. I felt like I was making progress and feeling better daily on every level for the initial ~12 days, then after that the progress stopped. Don't get me wrong, nothing bad happened, and I didn't feel worse nor regress, I just felt like that after ~12 days I got what I needed out of this cleanse: energetic (and steady energy), feeling clean, firing on all cylinders, mentally sharp, sleeping well,.... Normally you hear full detoxes taking ~21 days, and I'm sure I've still been making subtle progress, but the noticeable stuff seemed to be a quick process for me. I am not saying I'm "perfect" right now.... heeeeck no. But it seems like the "crap" is out of my system, and that's nice.

So, can I have that glass of wine now?

Lol... jk ;)

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 - Doing it (Slightly) Different

Hey, hey! Happy new year! Hope everyone survived the holiday season and is ready to crush it this year. I am! 2014 was a year of change and growth, 2015 is going to be a year of putting new ways into practice!

In a nutshell, here's a glimpse of what I'm up to lately, when I'm not in the office working:

SoCal winters! From beautiful crisp clear ocean days #sano #boobs... snowy winter wonderlands just a couple hours away! #bigbear #outback

Resolutions this year? nah. Some years I'm into it, some years not really. This year -- and perhaps this is a result of the success I found in 2014 -- I just want to improve overall, keep learning and do things better. Even the small things. For example, a few small changes I've made: This will be the first year since, well, ever that I did NOT buy a spiral-bound hand-written daily planner. I'm going all digital, which includes getting my sh*t together with finances, accounting and all that -- I have to. I own two businesses now, yes, two!

I also deleted facebook from my phone. God, that feels good and, no, I don't miss it. I still do FB, but solely from the computer -- nothing more is needed.

In its place I added the app, Duo Lingo, so I can get my Spanish back this year. I was never fluent in Spanish, but I was decent. Took it in high school and at SDSU and also made plenty of trips to mexico while in college ;).

Anyway, besides that randomness, I want to catch you up on where I'm at in health, business and training/sport. I have signed up for a race, in fact!


"Cleansing" (So To Speak)
House, body, life. But nothing too aggressive.

My new love! Or is it just more "stuff"? #SUP

1) House/life-wise John and I had this massive urge to do some major housekeeping -- out with the old, and in with the new. That said, the goal is to NOT bring in nor accumulate more sh*t. However, I have a couple new toys (SUP!), but generally I hate clutter, keep it to the minimum. He argues that the new SUP is essentially just more "stuff" but I argue that it's a tool to get away from modern stuff, find freedom, escape the chaos and experience nature and peace. Hm. Interesting debate, where do you stand?

This tiny cabin has inspired us. It's where we've stayed
in Big Bear, and it's small but has everything you'd
need. I. love. it.

One of those nights where I went out with my sister & had fun :)
2) I'm currently "cleaning up" my body too. Don't worry, I am still on track with my newfound health and wellness, as I talked about in my last tell-all post, but *gasp* over the holidays I, like many, enjoyed the indulgences. I didn't overdo it on things like sugar and I stayed away from beer, and even avoided those other mystery holiday-ish foods/drinks. OK, I take that back. I think there were 2 occasions where I had beer, and oddly both were trips to the mountains. For some reason beer just sounded really good! That alone didn't set me back though. However, I overdid in the areas of too much food in general, too much wine, and too many late nights/poor habits -- at least they way define "too much" which, I get it, I hold myself to some high standards so for others it may not appear that bad. It's all good though. I had fun! I enjoyed! But... I feel it. I hear some of my clients screaming the same thing!
Of course, plenty of good eats at our holiday parties
provided by me, including bacon + brussels!

So I decided to do create the inaugural Coach Tawnee Team Detox/Clean Eating Challenge. It's cool because I'm keeping it flexible -- 22 days duration, full support and a private forum for our group to interact, share recipes, experiences, and more. I'm not forcing any "one way" to cleanse/detox because I don't believe in just one way. Thus, in my cleanse, everyone can choose his or her unique program; I provided ideas and resources on which programs, formats I recommend. So far it's a hit. But we're 2 days in (no including the prep phase last week) sooo... I'll get back to you on day 20 lol ;) Who knows, I may grow this and open it up to more than just my personal coaching clients.

Food-wise, they're getting a lot from me because I love taking food pics. I knowww.... ;) For example, recipes on:
Crockpot chili, done clean and fresh.

Can you guess?

A classic Caesar salad dressing! Which, oh my, is so simple!
Why have I not been making this for years already?!


Business is Growing
Last year my friend and colleague Ben Greenfield and I decided that it was time to put the Endurance Planet podcast in my hands, meaning me becoming full owner not just host as I have been. Ben is an incredible guy and I don't know how he does all that he does, and when it came to EP I know he cares tremendously about it, and that's why I think he felt (as I did) that it made sense to make me owner -- the transfer has the podcast's best interest at heart.

It's been an incredible learning experience so far taking over a well-established business, keeping it grooving, and planning its future growth (we have BIG plans). The backend work combined with the regular content I am passionate about putting out -- and everything else I do for the show -- well, it's been busy! Thus, the takeover was actually another reason that I found it easier to lay low on training/racing last year, otherwise I might have dug myself into a hole of trying to do too much. But now that the EP transfer is handled and I have a grasp on what needs to be done, and what's being done, I feel a sense of relief that I can move forward and commit to a bit more training and even some racing. Which brings me to....


2015 Races & Training, So Far...
I've decided 2015 will be the year of the run for me. It's where I will focus my training, but in a bit of a non-conventional way with lots of other crosstraining. Honestly I want to start finding out my running potential, done healthfully on a more limited weekly volume training agenda. I also want to better understand the running culture and what it feels like to run as the main goal, with swim/bike secondary. I still am and always will be a triathlete, and in fact this kind fo focus should help tri in the long run (no pun intended).
SUP'ing on a choppy day! #cor

I've signed up for the Mountains 2 Beach marathon on May 24 (ish?), and it's a flat and fast course. I found out about it through one of my athletes I'm coaching who's looking to BQ there. It looked like fun, and timing was perfect. Man, signing up for running races is CHEAP compared to triathlon!!!

I'll keep you guys updated on my training and how it evolves, especially considering I'm not interesting in running mega mileage. So far it's been 20-35ish mile weeks at most, and generally 8-12hrs of exercise a week including the running, strength training, some biking, no swimming, yoga and/or SUP.

I'm not following a plan, but I am logging my workouts on TP, and also keeping a loose goal of never running more than 2 days in a row. For the marathon, I have some goals in mind and not afraid to share:

Running at 8k altitude in Mammoth, loving it! Had no idea this
road would just keep going steady uphill, cool adventure!
Big goals:
Sub 3:20, because based on my half-mary PR this might be doable. And definitely 3:29 to beat my friend Thorsten's PR ;)

Safe goals:
3:30 to get my "safe" BQ
3:35 to get BQ (but prob not get slot)

So far my MAF is getting pretty decent, I think on a flatter route (which I don't have often) I'm sub 8:30 at ~150 HR, after starting back at it at ~8:45-9:00-ish. But I still have slower days. I'm not overthinking it. What matters is that I can see myself getting more efficient already, and 6-8 miles goes by like a breeze, so if my MAF isn't always "adding up" to the tee, then whatever.

Other races: I also am doing the Ragnar SoCal in April, wanna join? We're forming an Endurance Planet TEAM! Email us at to get involved.

Beyond that, I have about 5 other events on my radar of interest but haven't pulled the trigger. I'm sure a triathlon will squeak its way in.... just gotta get my ass to the pool once or twice first.

But so far, I am loooooving the running and loving being a "runner."
And lots of snow running lately, for me at least! Bundled
up in my #BettyDesigns hat and other good stuff!
The last time I ran this trail it was the heat of summer
(August) and I was training for IM Tahoe 2013.

Thanks for reading!

Oh, one more for ya, this photo makes my heart melt. I love this doggie...

Border collie pic! Our Sydney! Lots of quality family time over
the holidays, and playtime with Syd!