May! BOOM!

WOW! This is what real triathlon training looks like. I’m going to admit the last two years I’ve been phoning it in. For reference, I swam 4.54 miles TOTAL in all of 2016. 1.04 miles in 2015…marathon training, what? And in 2014 when I was learning how to be a triathlete, I only swam 6.31 miles total.

I was sick last week too. I skipped two workouts, including my long run. And I’m surprisingly ok with that. I woke up Friday with a sore throat and ear pain. I headed to urgent care and got a z-pack. I never had ear infections as a child, but since I turned 30, I get one or two a year. Not fun. My doctor just thinks it’s allergy related.

The next two weeks will be interesting. I guess it’s going to be a forced taper. The boys have a big race on Saturday, so I’m not sure when I will be able to get my last long bike/brick workout in. And then next week we are headed up to NYC to see the nephews and their parents.

I mean…let’s get serious…the nephews are the reason we are going. BIL and SIL…I love you too, but you are not adorable and cute, and you don’t call me Aunt Hannah in a sweet little boy voice.

Our NYC trip this year will include a run in Central Park! We fly out on National Running Day, so maybe we’ll also do an airport run…ha!

Stay neon!

79.2

Seriously?! 79.2 was last week’s mileage. POINT EIGHT away from 80.

Good news…I have two weeks of virtually the same level of training. You can bet I won’t be making the same mistake twice.

Look at this month!! The blues are runs. The pink are bikes. And the yellows are swims. There’s another swim on the 14th that’s hiding.

My total mileage for May is already 230. I’ve never broke 200 and by the end of the month I will easily break 300. I used to get so hung up on mileage when I was just running. 1000 miles run in a year sounds completely doable, but I have yet to hit that mark.

I’m really enjoying tracking my triathlon mileage. Not because the numbers are bigger, but because I feel SO GOOD doing all three disciplines. Less injury. Less nagging pains. I rarely do the same thing two days in a row, so my muscles have more time to recover. My swim on Sunday was so awesome that I can’t wait to swim again. I used to despise swimming and would look forward to the minute it was over during races.

And I’m totally on track to swim, bike, run the year. I figured out that if I set my Garmin goal to “any activity” that it will count all my swims, bikes, and runs.

So what’s the point of all this? Tracking my workouts like this gives me confidence. I can do this! I LOVE living the tri life…especially when it’s shared with my husband and my boys.

Stay neon!

When two triathletes are married…

…and in the middle of heavy training cycles certain things happen, like…

  • The kitchen counter is always sticky. BASE aminos are sticky when you spill them on the counter.
  • Laundry Laundry Everywhere! It’s clean, because you only have so many pairs of running shorts and tri shorts. It’s clean, but it’s not put away. Instead of putting it away, you pretend it’s college all over again and you live out of the laundry basket.
  • The dishes are never caught up. You only load and run the dishwasher because you only have three big Blender Bottles. Note to self: Buy more big Blender Bottles.
  • The dogs are happy, because recovery naps happen often.
  • The amount of physical intimacy takes a nosedive. When our bodies hit the bed, we want sleep.
  • Who needs sexy lingerie to wear under your clothes when you have calf sleeves!
  • The DVR is full of ridiculous TV for watching while on the trainer. (Married at First Sight, anyone?) Netflix downloads are your friend when your WiFi is spotty and you are out of data on your phone.
  • You don’t compete with each other, except when it comes to who has the better Garmin tan line.
  • Donuts are ALWAYS on the grocery list.

I love you, Mr. Neon!

National Foam Rolling Day!

#NationalFoamRollingDay

Three years ago, I had no idea what a foam roller was. The naivete of a new runner.

So what is a foam roller?

“A foam roller is a piece of exercise equipment used for self-massage. When used correctly, they can sooth tight, sore parts of the body. This can speed up muscle recovery. This process is also called myofascial release.”

This sounds like something all runners and triathletes should do!


The Neon Runner house has a plethora of myofascial release products. We boast three foam rollers. I keep the mini Trigger Point one at work, so it’s missing from this picture. We also have two Omni ball massagers, which I recommend EVERY runner to get. We often carry them around in our gym bags, so who knows where they are!

My favorite is the Trigger Point massage ball. It’s great for shin splints, sore glutes, and knots in the calves. The Stick gets used on the boys quite a bit. The big black one (a cheapo Amazon find!) is good for rolling both legs out at once, but I also use it for some back stretches that I learned in yoga class.

I try to get 2-3 good foam rolling sessions in a week, in addition to my every other week massage therapy appointments. Mr. Neon and I usually foam roll while we watch television. Sometimes we have to turn the volume up though to drown out the groaning.

Do you have a foam roller? How often do you use it?

Prairie Fire: A Pacer’s Story

Do you ever have something on your bucket list that you accomplish and cross off, but you loved the experience so much that you immediately add it back to the list?

Pace Prairie Fire Half Marathon.
Pace Prairie Fire Half Marathon AGAIN!

I do not race well in the spring. My body isn’t acclimated to the heat that often surprises Kansas the first week of May. So Mr. Neon and I begged Lacy to let us pace.

The 2:30 group was already taken, so we opted for the 3:00 group. 13:44 pace. I’m going to admit that I was concerned about going that “slow.” I use quotes because I have respect for all runners…the speedsters and the back of the pack. But honestly…13:44 is slow for me. My training has really picked up lately, and my usual training pace for long runs is right under 10:00. I was worried about keeping a nice even jog. I didn’t want to mess up anyone else’s race plans!

The morning routine was the same. Breakfast: coffee and bagel with PB. No decision on what tank to wear.

Mr. Neon called me Friday at work. “I’m going to send you a picture, but you have to promise not to cry.” He sent me this picture. The tanks were purple and pink for my mom and her fight against pancreatic cancer and another pacer’s wife who is fighting breast cancer. I didn’t fulfill my promise. Big tears. My mom felt loved. VERY loved.

Dream team…eat your heart out! We wore party hats because it was Fernando’s birthday. Mr. Neon wore his the entire race.

And we’re off. Right before the gun went off, I told Mr. Neon that I needed to pee. He said, “You’ll have plenty of time.”

We shuffled our way through the first two miles around Friends University. The stories started flowing. I ran with a retired Sargent Major in the Army. He is 65 and has done 58 marathons. He told me he’d quit when he does 100. Mr. Neon ran with a man from Germany. He was in Wichita visiting friends and signed up for the race the day before. His accent was fun. I ran with a library patron who brings her children to my storytime. We spent the first four miles staring at each other trying to figure out where we knew each other from.

I took a potty break at mile 2. We walked through aid stations. We ran with several first time half marathoners. They didn’t know about salt tabs or gels. We talked about race strategy, training plans, and Galloway. One of our runners had a blister. Note to self: next time pack the extra sticky big bandaids in my spibelt. One of our runners needed her blood sugar checked. We flagged down the EMTs.

We enjoyed the out and back and cheered for the speedsters and had sword fights with our other pacers. I got scolded for not staying with my pace group. I hollered for a sharpie. I’d change my goal time to 2:55.

We cruised through the first five aid stations and then the heat hit. The breeze stopped. The runners around us stopped talking. I could tell the struggle bus had arrived for passengers. I kept my nutrition and BASE salt plan the same as my faster paces. But at mile 10 my stomach wobbled. Seriously? I’m running the easiest pace I could run and my stomach is cramping?! I sipped water at the next aid station and took an extra hit of BASE salt. Crisis averted. Mr. Neon passed his third GU off to another runner. Note to self: pack two extra GUs next time.

More than once, I’d come up behind someone, only to see them turn, groan at me, and dash ahead. Mr. Neon and I were not a welcome sight with our 3:00 flags, but at the same time, I could tell they were glad we were there.

Mile 11 through 12 were long. We passed people whose race days had fallen apart. Sore feet, bad knees, cramping calves…we encouraged them all. The end was in sight. There was pizza and beer waiting. And a big shiny medal.

The smile says it all. I had the time of my life out there!

We rounded the corner and all that was left was the Lewis St. bridge. Mr. NeonĀ and I kept hollering at people. We waved our sticks. Up and over and there’s the finish. I looked down at my watch and saw the 3:00 tick over. I grabbed Mr. Neon’s hand and we rushed for the finish line. We had pulled everyone with us that we could.

Lacy met us at the finish line and asked us how we felt. I think I said, “That was the best half I’ve ever run!”

And it was. Of course, my quads are sore. They feel like I ran downhill for 13.1 miles. The slow cadence on my Garmin data tells me that’s accurate. My left shin is cranky. Pacing is not without it’s aches and pains. My Trigger Point massage ball is doing its job.

My body is sore, but my heart is happy. Running is good…no matter what the pace. 3:00 half marathoners…you all are my heroes. It was a tough day. That last hour was hot, but you did it! And I’m glad I was there to witness it!

Stay neon!

Brick Wednesday

Late start Wednesday = Brick Wednesday. 45 minutes on the bike on the trainer, followed my 15 minutes on the treadmill. Such a great way to start the day!

I might need to get a rack for my trucker hats. (Cute photo bomber in the background!) I’ve started getting them every time I order something from a company. Check out my IG to see my sweet new Rudy helmet. I FINALLY got a helmet with a visor. No more fighting with my sunglasses on the bike during races. I bet it’ll make me at least a minute or two faster, which in a sprint is worth it!

Oiselle! I ordered a new Flyte tank and another pair of Roga shorts with their Nee (Birthday) sale. I couldn’t resist one of their anniversary tanks. Very work friendly with my black skinny jeans. I LOVE LOVE LOVE their Roga shorts. They are the only running shorts with a liner that don’t immediately go up my butt with my first running stride. My Flyte tank arrived with a snag hole in the armpit. I emailed them and I hope I can exchange it. My Flyte long sleeve tee is my favorite!

These little fig bars are saving my sanity right now. Our new Sprouts grocery storeĀ carries them in their bulk section. They come in little plastic boxes and are priced by the pound. They are 100 calories and individually wrapped. I eat one almost every day. This one is mango flavored, and I ate it in the car on the way to work. I also like the plain fig and the lemon fig flavors. PB toast before my brick was not enough breakfast.

Mr. Neon and I are pacing the Prairie Fire half marathon on Sunday, so I’ve got to figure out how to squeeze in both of my swims between now and Sunday night. I swam twice last week and I’m noticing a huge difference in my confidence and stamina. My massage therapist said my lats were really tight, so I’m definitely making progress in my swim stroke. Drills work…who knew?!

Stay neon!