Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Since it's Halloween, and I have two pugs, I am deviating from my normal posts to bring you pugs in Halloween costumes! BTW - none of these are mine!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Breast Cancer Fund

Being involved with Team LUNA Chix, I've been working a lot with Breast Cancer Fund (BCF). We raise money for them through our triathlon clinics, end of season auction, LUNAFEST and donations.

What I love about Breast Cancer Fund is that they support eliminating the environmental causes of breast cancer, rather than just looking for a cure. Duh, let's prevent it from even happening!

Their mission statement:

No more than 10 percent of breast cancers are genetic, and science points to toxic chemicals and radiation as factors in the sharp rise of breast cancer incidence. Through public education, policy initiatives, outdoor challenges and other innovative campaigns, the Breast Cancer Fund mobilizes the public to secure the changes needed to stop this disease before it starts

This is even more important to me because my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 10 years ago. Luckily, after having it removed and going through radiation, she has been cancer free since then. I started having mammograms at 38 years old because of this. But more importantly I have made a lot of changes to my lifestyle, because of the knowledge I've gained from BCF's research, to eliminate some of the known and suspected carcinogens from my daily routines. For example I don't use cosmetics with phthalates in them and I've started using glass food storage containers rather than plastic.

There is so much great information on their site, too much to list here. Please check out I'll also be posting about some of the information I think it relevant to female athletes throughout the year as well.

Here are some highlights from their site:
Prevention Matters

Who among us doesn't know someone who has faced breast cancer? It's time to move beyond awareness and focus on preventing breast cancer for our daughters and their daughters.

Get tips, sign our platform and spread the word that prevention matters »

[I've signed up to get their tips through my Facebook account and they are really interesting. I would suggest doing this!]

Demand a Refund from SIGG

SIGG has admitted it used BPA in its metal water bottles. Ask SIGG's CEO for a refund – not just a replacement – on your old SIGG bottles, and press the company to tell you what's in its new liner.

Write to SIGG's CEO »

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Quote for the Day

Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammeled womanhood.
- Susan B. Anthony, 1896

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sad news about LUNA Sport Drinks

This totally bums me out! I loved the LUNA Sport product! Less calories than the Clif products and great flavors! I suggest going out and buying a supply of the Pink Grapefruit Electrolyte Drink and the Chocolate Recovery Smoothie now!!!

LUNA Sport Drinks

WHAT: LUNA Sport Drinks – Electrolyte Splash and Recovery Smoothie – will both be discontinued at the end of the month.

WHY: Unfortunately, the excitement we all had for the product did not translate into sales at retail. This meant that we were not able to move through the drink inventory and consistently faced a supply-demand issue, where there was too much supply vs. the demand. In the end we had to make the tough call that the business was not sustainable long term.

WHEN: The product will be in select stores until December/January, whenever the final inventory all runs out. As of the end of this month, we are no longer shipping product to stores.
REI is your best bet, as is,,

WHAT NEXT: Once you are unable find LUNA Sport drinks anymore, please give Clif Shot Electrolyte Drinks a try. They come in 2 flavors: Lemonade and Cran-Razz, and are in canisters and packets. Use ½ the serving amount as directed and it will be a very similar product to LUNA Sport.

THANK YOU for your support and excitment behind this great product line. We at LUNA are also saddened to see it go away – many of us used this product during our training and racing and came to love and rely on it just as you did. We will continually look for ways we can meet the needs of women athletes and welcome any feedback you would like to share with us.

Thanks again,
Alyssa Berman
Brand Manager – LUNA Sport™

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Joe Freil - Seasonal Summary

I think Joe Friel is the greatest. He is the author of "The Triathlon Training Bible". He also writes a blog, and his posts are very interesting for a results-motivated triathlete. I saved this blog post which asks you to summarize your season in order to prepare for the next. I think it is a good exercise to answer the questions. The post is below...

Seasonal Summary

Posted: 27 Sep 2009 05:32 PM PDT

Success in sport is just like success in any other aspect of your life. One of the requirements is careful planning. Deciding where you want to go in the future begins with knowing where you have been in the past. Recognizing trends and evaluating what you’ve been doing are both important steps on the path to racing better next year. This process can be accomplished in several ways. Talking with your coach or a trusted training partner is probably the best way. But lacking such people in your sporting life you can still accomplish the same end by answering some key questions. Here are some I often use. Your answers can lead in many different directions. Ultimately, the reason for such an exercise is to give you more focus when it comes to training and racing. It may even help you to decide why it is you devote so much of your life to training.

Here are five questions to answer at the end of your race season and before starting to prepare for the coming season:

1. What was the high point of your season? Why does this stand out for you? Was it what you thought it would be at the start of the season?

2. What was your greatest disappointment? Why did this happen? Is there anything you could have done to have avoided it?

3. Looking back, do you think you trained as wisely and as hard as you could have trained?

4. What is the one thing you most need to work on for next season in order to perform better?

5. What would you most like to accomplish next season? Is it a good stretch and yet within your reach if you do things right?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Bondi Band

Looking for cute stuff for your hair? Check out Bondi Band!

They have headbands, hats and other fun accessories. They come in solids, patterns, and wicking with fun sayings. Wear them for fun, wear them keep your hair out of your face, wear them to absorb sweat, wear them to keep warm or to make a statement! They have products for women, men and babies! You can save 20% on your order by entering coupon code "TWEN" during checkout.

Here is some of their fun stuff! I have one of their hats, a wicking headband and some of printed headbands. I found the hat and the wicking headbands to be great at wicking sweat. The fashion prints are more to keep your hair out of your eyes or to look cute, not so great on wicking. I own the pink sparkle in a headband - makes quite a statement!

The Bondi Band Story

The Idea

The simple premise of Bondi Bands is to offer comfy, colorful, and creative headbands to fit every lifestyle and personality.

By using stretchy and breathable material, we allow Bondi Bands to fit virtually every head size comfortably and fashionably.

Our buyers constantly search for the newest and trendiest fabric designs and complement them with traditional craftsmanship to bring our customers the best product available on the market.

Our Charity
We are a simple company with a dedication and belief in our product. Our philosophy is to make a great product at a great price and to build relationships one at a time. And as much as we believe in making a tidy profit we also believe in giving back. Each year we donate 10% of our pretax profits to charity. For 2009 we have chosen the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI) is a Comprehensive Cancer Center designated by the National Cancer Institute. It is a major affiliate of Harvard Medical School and is located in Boston, Massachusetts.

The origins of DFCI date back to 1947. DFCI employs about 3,000 people. Most importantly, there are more than 150,000 patient visits a year, and it is involved in some 200 clinical trials. It is internationally known for its research and clinical excellence.

We figured if we were going to give away some money, this should be where it goes to.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

LUNA Pro Athlete Shonny Vanlandingham

Today is XTERRA World Championship on Maui! Two of the LUNA Chix Pro's - Shonny Vanlandingham and Danelle Kabush will be racing. Plus, my teammate from the Seattle Triathlon Team, Carrie, will be racing as well! Good luck! You can follow the race on the XTERRA link above.

Below is an interview with Shonny from Slowtwitch, from two months ago. Last year Shonny switched from mountain biking to XTERRA racing, and has been very successful, winning races. And she's 40 years old! An inspiration and goddess!

All about Shonny Vanlandingham

Written by: Herbert Krabel
Date: Sun Aug 09 2009

Former pro mountain biker Shonny Vanlandingham is now focused on XTERRA racing and will be one of the women to watch at the XTERRA World Championships in Maui this year. Slowtwitch talked to this 40-year old energizer bunny.

Slowtwitch: Shonny, 2 big XTERRA CUP wins this season in the USA and that must feel pretty good.

Shonny: Yes it does. Being in only my second year of full time XTERRA racing, I am really pleased with my progression. Along with the wins I have had a few second places in the XTERRA Cup races that were very close so that’s encouraging for my future in the sport.

ST: What will it take for you to take the overall XTERRA Cup series title?

Shonny: I will need to win the last race, the XTERRA National Championship, in Ogden, UT. And the current series leader, Melanie McQuaid, would have to be well out of the top 5. Melanie has had an impressive year and has raced consistently, so I’m guessing the likelihood of that happening is slim.

ST: Well, I should have said 3 XTERRA wins because you just came away with a win at XTERRA Mexico. Talk about that race

Shonny: Well, the swim wasn't my best performance. The start was very aggressive and I got kick and pummeled in the first 50 meters. I spent the next minute composing myself, catching my breath and adjusting my goggles. But this made for an exciting chase during the bike. I was able to catch the leader just before T2 and managed to hold her off in the run by a mere 26 seconds. The race venue in Valle de Bravo was stunningly beautiful. I recommend the race to anyone wanting an adventure.

ST: Does that mean that you have walked away from mountain bike racing and you are now a fulltime XTERRA triathlete?

Shonny: Yes, I started XTERRA full time last year. I had done a few XTERRA races before that but without any swim and run training. It’s exciting to be a beginner again - in the swim and run disciplines. I am learning a lot and can see steady improvements.
ST: What is left for you remainder of the season other than the XTERRA Cup Final?

Shonny: The most important races are still to come, the XTERRA National Championship in Ogden, UT, and the XTERRA World Championships in Maui, HI. I will also do a few regional XTERRA events in Texas, XTERRA Camp Eagle and XTERRA Austin. I’ve also got the Single Speed Mountain Bike World Championships on my schedule in September. I couldn’t resist doing it since it’s in my hometown of Durango, CO.

ST: How often do you ride your single speed?

Shonny: I try to ride my Orbea Alma single speed a couple times per month. It's hard when I'm traveling and racing. When I get home I usually need a couple of recovery rides. The single speed isn't the best choice for recovery unless you're riding on the road. I love my SS rides, makes me feel like a kid riding with the boys around the neighborhood and jumping curbs. Riding SS on trails is good for your skills, makes you commit and go for it!

ST: Some folks are very passionate about single speed bikes, but others have called it a fad. What do you say?

Shonny: It's here to stay. Try riding one and you'll see why.

ST: Can you describe your athletic background and who or what inspired you to race mountain bikes in the first place?

Shonny: I played volleyball, soccer, basketball and ran track in high school. I attended college on a full basketball scholarship. I’ve played basketball internationally in Brazil. I also played with the National Team Handball team. So I have a vast history of sport and have enjoyed each of them. After college I move to Hawaii and became a bike tour guide just for fun before I would start my real career of being a Dietician. I became hooked on biking and thought, “hmm, people are doing this for a living? Maybe I can do that.” I spent the next summer in Colorado and started racing at the mature age of 28. At the age of 29 I started on the pro NORBA race circuit.
ST: Where did you go to college?

Shonny: East Texas State University

ST: Are some guys surprised when you school them on the basketball court or do you not play much anymore?

Shonny: Haha, I used to school some dudes on the court (after betting some cash of course) but I don't play much anymore, just an occasional game of HORSE.

ST: What gave you the idea to race off-road triathlons?

Shonny: Since my winter home is on the Big Island of Hawaii I decided to try the XTERRA World Championships on Maui ‘for fun’ at the end of my mountain bike season. I liked the organization of XTERRA and adventure so much that I decided that one day I would like to do more XTERRAs with some proper preparation.

ST: Are you slowly getting ill of all the traveling or are you still enjoying seeing new places or revisiting places you haven't seen in a while?

Shonny: I am fully enjoying racing a new circuit. XTERRA racing last year and this year has taken me to many new venues. Loving it.

ST: Tell us how you deal with a not so good race.

Shonny: I’ve been racing for 10 years as a pro and have had many great races and some disappointing ones too. People say you learn more from the disappointing ones and I would have to agree with that. I guess it’s easier to deal with when you have another race the next week. I just don’t have time to dwell on it. I take the lessons I can from it and move on.

ST: Is training different now than it was?

Shonny: At my age, 40, I don’t train as many hours as I used to. Quality is better than quantity at this point in my career. My coach, Rick Crawford, and I sit down and map out two weeks of hard training and one week of active recovery. The hard weeks may be something like 3 swims (2.5K to 4K with varying intervals), 4 bikes (2 hard rides, 1 tempo ride and brick to run, and one recovery ride), and 3 runs (1 tempo, 1 track w/out and one recovery).

ST: What is going on with you in terms of sponsorship?

Shonny: My long time sponsor, LUNA Women’s Pro Team, was on board to back me in my switch to XTERRA after many years of pro mountain biking promoting the LUNA brand. They have been happy with the exposure in the still growing sport of triathlon. LUNA team sponsors include: Breast Cancer Fund, Orbea, Fox, Maxxis, AVIA, Giro, LUNA Sport, Clif Bar, Mavic, Shimano, Pedros, Easton, High Sierra, Blackburn, Neve, Vetta.
I also have personal sponsorships with Kona Brewing Company, AVIA, Blue Seventy, Rudy Project, Xtenex, HALO, Inside Ride, Land Roller, HealthFx, Bike Works, and Pacific Island Fitness.

ST: Rumor has it that you are sponsored by Wahine Farms, a coffee farm in Hawaii. Any truth to that?

Shonny: Why yes. Haha Wahine Farms is actually my 100% Kona coffee farm on the Big Island of Hawaii. My partner and I bought the house and ‘gentleman’s farm’ a few years ago and launched our brand at the beginning of this year. You can order online at If you’ve never had 100% Kona coffee I can guarantee you will love the smooth rich flavor.

ST: How do you typically spend the off-season?

Shonny: I live at my house on the Big Island in Captain Cook during the off season. The fall and early winter are harvest time for coffee. So I spend a lot of time picking coffee beans and taking care of the coffee trees. Besides that, I am putting in the base miles to get ready for the next race season.

ST: Do you follow any other sports?

Shonny: I love March Madness. Basketball was my first love and I still have a lot of passion for the sport.

ST: What foods do you like and dislike?

Shonny: I love potato chips, sushi and cinnamon candy. I don’t like creamy foods like gulosh, mashed potatoes or casseroles.

ST: Can you share your music taste with us?

Shonny: Love it all! I especially like Country. Must be that I grew up in Texas. I like shooting guns too. ;-)

ST: What was the last book you read?

Shonny: Confederates in the Attic.

ST: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Shonny: Probably retired from full time racing, I will be 45. But I will still show up now then to line up with the youngsters to see what I’ve got. I may be involved in some aspect of the new LUNA Sport clothing line.
Most likely I will still live part time in my home in Durango, CO, and spend the winters on my small coffee farm in Hawaii.

ST: Is there anything else we should know about you?

Shonny: I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m still racing professionally in 5 years, I’ll be 45 yrs old. Passion has a funny way of trumping logic.

Image 1 courtesy of Nils Nilsen of
Images 2 and 3 courtesy of Rich Cruse of
Images 4 and 5 are courtesy Shonny Vanlandingham

Saturday, October 24, 2009

LUNA Chix Pro Athlete Tyler Stewart's Ironman Hawaii Race Report

Ironman Hawaii

I think there are a lot of people out there who have some sort of athletic goal that they want to accomplish before they “kick the bucket”. I didn’t sign up for Ironman as a lifelong goal but rather a lifelong lesson. I had things to teach myself, lessons to learn before I “kick the bucket”. After my fifth time racing at the Ironman World Championships I can say that I have achieved my goal of teaching myself some lifelong lessons.

What are these lessons? Well, they aren’t about to stop wars, cure AIDS or eliminate cancer but they are my little goals. When I started doing triathlon 6 years ago I did it as a way to teach myself to face fear. As a child growing up I had ridden horses and played a number of team sports including lacrosse and field hockey. I was quite good at all of them. In fact, I was one of the best at both field hockey and lacrosse up until the 8th grade. But when I went to high school I gave up team sports. There would be a bunch of kids coming from all different schools and what happened if I wasn’t one of the best anymore. Instead of find out, I just quit! What a loser!

When a dare got me into triathlon I couldn’t turn it down. This was a way for me to play sports after a 12-year hiatus. This was my chance to nip fear of failure in the butt. So what if I wasn’t the best, so what if I didn’t finish, so what! People weren’t going to think any differently of me whether I won or whether I lost.

I’m now 8 Ironman deep, 5 Ironman world championships in and I am confidently going to say I have faced my fear of failure! I have raced as an amateur, I have raced as a professional, I have been 6th in my age group, I have won my age group, I have been the last professional to finish, I’ve won an Ironman and now the 10th best in the world. As a kid 10th in sports would have made me quit. Today 10th feels like a huge victory to me!

About my race:
Every morning of a race I wake up and say to myself, “Why do I do this?” When you are about to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles and run 26.2 miles you better have a good answer to that question. I recently read an article asking the same question. Many people said things like, “so I can eat what I want” or “it keeps me fit”….let me tell you when you are out on the Queen K running towards the energy lab with the wind in your face, 100 degree heat, blisters on your feet, you better have a better answer than that!

I had thought about why I do this a lot before I came here to Kona this time around. In the last year I’ve had some seriously bad luck and unfortunate events and I didn’t even think I would be racing this year. I came here strong, healthy and ready to race. I came here to race for my friend and training partner Monique Petrov, who was suppose to race with me but 3 weeks ago was hit on her bike by a car going 45 mph. She’s alive but with 8 broken vertebrae, a shattered patella, a punctured lung, the list goes on and on she couldn’t be here. I came here to race for my step-dad Don that was suppose to be dead 3 years ago from lung cancer but is still here stomping around my races and giving me splits as I bike and run by. I came here to race because last November I came dangerously close to heart attack during IM Arizona after an ignorant doctor incorrectly – and dangerously—medicated me for a thyroid disorder. I came to Hawaii to race because I could and a lot of people would kill to be racing this race. I am now healthy, I am now strong and I am fortunate, so I toed the line at 6:45 am on October 10th and the cannon went off.

For the first time in my triathlon career I spent the entire swim with a pack. I have been working a lot on my swimming and it has been getting a lot better. I felt like the swim was easy, I sat on feet and just got pulled along. I was a little disappointed in my swim time cause I know I could have done better had I found some faster feet! But I was still 2 minutes faster than last year so at least I’m improving.

The bike is always the fun part. Every time I get on my trusty Orbea I feel at home. My coach, Matt Dixon, and I had decided that this year we were going to go about the bike course in a different way. I took the entire ride up to Hawi easy. I felt awesome. On my way back down from Hawi I planned to pick up the pace a little bit and own the back half of the bike course. I was flying. I am pretty sure I passed at least 35 girls on the bike. By the time I hit mile 80 I had not been drinking enough and the damage started to set in. For the first time in a race I had not peed on my bike which had me a little worried and in the last 30 miles I felt terrible. A wretched head wind coming back on the Queen K, dehydration and a left foot that was bugging me, I think I lost about 10 minutes in that last 30 miles. But hey, its all part of the race and all part of the day. I had very negative thoughts in my head as I was getting off the bike.

Onto the run and immediately I was in trouble. I have never been passed by that many girls right off the bat. I’m pretty sure in the first 8 miles 6 girls passed me that I had passed on the bike. I was running like a slug just doing anything I could to get through mile by mile. I still had not peed and for a girl that usually pees 5 times on the bike, I knew I was in trouble. There’s not a whole lot that I can say about the run except that I ran from aid station to aid station, ice cups to ice cups, cold water to cold water, hose to hose. There was nothing I could do about my pace as much as I tried to motivate myself by thinking about all the reasons I was here to race, my legs just wouldn’t move. It was hot out there! There seemed to be no wind at times, no mercy and all just survival mode. As awful as I felt some of the girls that passed me in the beginning had slowed down and I was able to pass them back and hold them off until the end of the race. (picture from

I learned a lot out there last Saturday. Often times when you don’t feel well its easy to give up, but if you just keep putting one foot in front of the other its amazing what forward motion will bring you. When I talk to my friend Meredith about this race I often find myself describing it as a race of attrition. Sometimes if you can just hang on, just keep moving, you will do better than you think. I ended up in 10th place last Saturday. Am I happy? I am happy to be 10th in the World. Does it make me wonder what I could have done had I had the race I wanted, sure does! But that is part of this sport. Aside from Chrissie Wellington, the athletes that finished in the top 5 last year either DNF’ed or placed way below where they did last year. It’s not because they are not as fit as last year, it’s just that this sport has such a huge x-factor that we cannot control. At the same time I think that is also what makes it so much fun!

Now my season is over and I couldn’t be happier to get back to the more normal part of my life. Back to hanging out with all my friends who I have neglected over the past 2 months, back to hosting our annual costume party, and of course our annual mechanical bull riding night.

As much as I love this sport I will never give my life to it. There are so many great things to do in this world and for me I now have the wings to explore all those other things. I can’t wait to go skiing, run the Dipsea Trail, do my first 50k, go snowshoeing, have another Saturday at work where we wash 35 dogs and to sleep in on a Sunday with my husband and not get out of bed until noon!

If you do this crazy sport of Ironman make sure you thank all of those that support you. It may look like a one-man sport but it is a team sport and couldn’t be done any other way.

I was 4th at Wildflower this year, won my first Ironman at Coeur d’Alene, was second at Vineman and was just 10th in the World at the Ironman World Championships, I think I will call that a good year. Accomplishing my life long goal of “no more fear of failure”, I’d call that a great year!


Check her out on!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Exclusive Cycling and Triathlon Jewelry at Terry

Terry not only has great cycling clothes, but has really cool jewelry! Reward yourself for a great season! Buy a holiday present for your favorite triathlon goddess! I must confess that I just ordered the middle one at the bottom for myself - I could not resist!

Two Wheels, One Love...

We may not have the little blue box, but what we do have is sure to capture the heart of any cyclist. Our designer and the jewelry artists that we work with have delivered an exclusive line that lets the beauty of the bicycle shine. Each piece sums up the joy and spirit of cycling and tri. And each makes a great gift, too. So whether you say it in silver or gold, make bike love a part of your accessory vocabulary.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Weight Loss in the Off Season: Don't Do It!

Interesting article that appeared in the USAT online magazine on Tuesday. Not sure I agree with it, because you don't want to loose weight during the season and compromise you're performance, but it's worth thinking about and seeing if it works for you. I like what he says here: "What I am conveying is the idea of energy control and learning more about your emotions and how they are related to your eating patterns during the offseason." What I do is track my calories during the week, making sure I'm getting what I feel are the right calories and right proportions of carbs, protein and for for me. Then on the weekends I don't stress about tracking, try to read my body's hunger signals, and learn to eat right on my own. But everyone needs to find out what works for them. Read on for the complete article.

By Bob Seebohar

Maybe your goal is to try to shed a few pounds. Or maybe weight loss is not a concern for you. The offseason is one of the worst times of the year to try to actively lose weight. Of course, it sounds funny because everyone you talk to plants the idea in your head that you should put off your weight loss goals until this time of the year when you get a break. That is the farthest thing from the truth!

Offseason Logistics
That heading itself is quite the oxymoron. Logistics in the offseason? Isn’t the offseason a time to relax, enjoy your accomplishments from the race season and let your body heal both mentally and physically? Absolutely! That is why logistics is the wrong term to describe your nutrition goals for the offseason.

Any coach will tell you, as long as you are not competing in a different sport, that you should take a break during the offseason. In fact, the term training should be replaced by fitness. Following a training program during the off-season is like oil and water, they just don’t mix.

Rejuvenate, Recover and Relax
The main goal of the off-season is to allow your body to recover from the intense training and racing season. It is a time when your body wants and needs a physical and mental reprieve. Think about it. Do you really follow a training program during the off-season or do you simply exercise for fun to maintain some fitness?

If you do not follow a structured training program during this time, how can you expect your body to follow a structured nutrition program? Herein lies one of the main reasons why some athletes gain unnecessary weight during the offseason. They are simply not allowing their body to relax-nutritionally. Don’t get me wrong, I am not supporting the idea of letting your nutrition guard down. What I am conveying is the idea of energy control and learning more about your emotions and how they are related to your eating patterns during the offseason.

Most athletes with whom I have worked do not fair well by taking a planned rest cycle while attempting to lose weight. Does it sound all too familiar? Training volume and intensity decrease significantly and you tell yourself that you are really going to focus on decreasing the amount of calories you eat so you can lose weight. Nine times out of ten you start off with a bang. Everything is going according to the “plan.” Then in about two weeks, or about the same time that first holiday pops up, gone are your ambitions of losing weight and you fall into survival mode.

Dump the Plan
Forget about counting calories. By setting a calorie-counting weight-loss plan for your offseason, you will increase your chances of failing because you do not allow yourself to enjoy food for fear of deviating from your plan.

Forget the plan. There shouldn’t be one. There, I said it. I just gave you permission to not have a plan. However, I should note that this is not permission to roam freely among dessert trays at holiday gatherings. Here are some tips you can use during the off-season without become fixated on nutrition facts labels.

Tip #1
Learn what habitual vs. physical hunger is. You will significantly decrease the amount of food that you put in your body by realizing the incidences that contribute to habitual hunger. That is, those times when your emotions (stress, boredom, fatigue, etc.) take control and send that signal to your brain that it needs comforting and the only way to accomplish that is through food, usually higher fat and sugary options.

You will know when you do this by simply asking yourself “why am I eating this” before you introduce any calorie into your body. If your answer does not include “because my stomach is grumbling or my blood sugar is low because I cannot focus” then stop and get yourself out of the situation. Your brain needs a diversion so go take a walk or give a friend a call.

Tip #2
Allow yourself to enjoy food in your offseason. It’s okay to eat the foods that you may not normally eat. If you truly want something, do not justify if you are worthy of having it or what you will have to do later to burn off those calories. That behavior is sabotaging and will fuel the circle of failure. Eat the pumpkin pie, or whatever you wish. Let down your guard and enjoy it without guilt. Oh, and if you are that person who hasn’t done that before or has a hard time letting go of that particular emotion, you will overeat at first. But guess what? It’s okay because that is a positive step in learning about your body, the cues it sends to your brain and most importantly, why you choose certain foods when you do.

Tip #3
Most importantly, don’t try to lose weight. Counting calories, following a structured meal plan and being obsessive with every little morsel you put in your mouth will lead you down the wrong path. Even if you say that you are going to try harder this time, trust me, it won’t work. Food is not your enemy but when you set a goal of losing weight, food becomes your competitor. You want to beat it and you will do everything possible to do so. But as I said previously, if you do not take control of your emotional eating cues, you will always lose the top podium spot to food. This has nothing to do with will power. It’s about getting to know your body, supporting the role that emotions play in eating and allowing yourself permission to eat according to what your body is telling you.

As you may be able to gleam from this information, this is where the saying, “easy to say, hard to do” shows its true colors. Give it about 5-7 days in the beginning of your off-season then about another 14 days to work out the bugs. You may not be 100% successful at first but every little step counts. Every step builds upon another, just like fitness, so that you continually improve throughout your triathlon journey.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CLIF Bar 2 Mile Challenge

In the U.S., 40% of all urban travel happens within 2 miles of where people live.

And yet 90% of all that travel is by car! Think about the amount of carbon emitted from people firing up the car just to run out for a loaf of bread or a cup of coffee.

At Clif Bar, we’re all about protecting the places where we love to play so we asked the question: what if once a week people replaced a trip under 2 miles with a bike instead? Once a week - pretty simple, right? Get out of your car, get some fresh air, use your natural energy and save some cash on gas. We call it the 2 Mile Challenge. BIKE once a week; FIGHT climate change.

Are you ready to roll?

LaVonne's note:
As triathletes we're ahead of the game! We have bikes and are used to riding them in traffic. No Excuses! Use Map My Ride or Google Maps to find the best and safest route! Also, many cities and counties have maps available of the best bike routes. Check out your local Department of Transportation website.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Quote for the Day

Never eat more than you can lift.
- Miss Piggy

Did you know she also has a fan site?

Monday, October 19, 2009

SkirtChaser Coming To A City Near You!?

From Skirt Sports - a great source for cute, cute, cute running skirts! And other great clothing and accessories. Made by triathlete Nicole DeBoom.

Help bring SkirtChaser5k to YOUR favorite city. Vote on ONE of the 23 (hmm…it is about the party right?) cities listed below. The first 12 cities to reach 1,000 nominations will be given first dibs.

You may only vote once so if you really want your city to win the honors of hosting the most fun 5k ever, you need to tell all your friends! On your mark, get set, NOMINATE!!

Click here to nominate your city!

The SkirtChaser Race Series is an experience unlike any race you've run and any block party you've attended. Not only is it a brand new running race format, giving women a head-start on the men in a fun atmosphere, the entire event is innovative, from packet-pickup to the Block Party and all of its sponsors. From walkers to pro-runners, the SkirtChaser Race Series invites you to experience the most fun you've ever had while working out!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Queen Bee Creations

Queen Bee is a company in Portland, Oregon that makes unique handmade bags and accessories. Also, they are made by people that ride bikes! Made with faux leather, they're animal friendly, and of really nice quality.

All their products are really cute. Check out their bike panniers - you will be riding in style!

Queen Bee Panniers Feature:
  • Waterproof materials:
  • : : : PVC-Free faux leather
  • : : : Cordura Ripstop Nylon
  • : : : Fully reflective side panels
  • Water-resistant nylon interior lining
  • Velcro flap closure
  • Snaps at upper side corners to create more / less room
  • Roomy front pocket beneath flap, patch pocket on interior divider
  • Mounts at base of rack with steel o-ring, clips to top of rack with J-hooks
  • Side loops for clip-on lights, etc.
  • Removable, adjustable shoulder strap included
  • Handle for mounting, removing, and carrying bag
  • Works on left or right side of rack
  • Cutaway at lower sides for heel clearance
  • Back of bag reinforced with rigid plastic insert
I don't have their panniers, but I have one of their bags and I love it, use it every day.
Plus, I just ordered one of their wallets. OK, I actually ordered two, but was too embarrassed to admit it at first!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fall and Winter Riding Gear

I have to face the fact that summer is over. It's been nice, but with our typical rainy fall here, I can't avoid riding in the rain any longer. Do you have everything you need to keep riding all winter long? Besides a trainer? :-) This list is geared towards the northwest, so modify it if you climate calls for it.

They key to fall and winter riding is to keep warm and dry by dressing in layers and wearing adequate protection. A long-sleeve wicking base layer is key, whether under a short sleeve jersey, long sleeve jersey or jacket. Wool is great for this, since it retains heat even when wet. Having layers you can strip off as you warm up will also keep you comfortable. For example arm warmers and vests are things that are easy to take off and stuff in the back pocket of your jersey. Having a cheap, clear plastic rain jacket is excellent to start out with rolled up in the back jersey pocket in case you encounter rain. Also make sure you have enough food with you, as you'll burn more calories in the winter, trying to keep your body warm!

Here are some things that are essential, and some things that are extravagant!

Arm warmers - great to strip off if the sun comes out on a beautiful fall day!
Knee warmers - you really should have your knees covered if it's below 60 degrees out. Keep those joints and legs warm and happy!
Nylon vest (with mesh back for ventilation or solid)
Ear band
Toe covers
Anti-fog wipes for glasses - great for keeping your glasses from fogging up when you stop. Can usually get them in ski shops.


Wind front tights
Neoprene booties
Warm Jacket - I would recommend something wind resistant, but not necessarily a nylon jacket, as they tend to be billowy.
Skull cap - has to be pretty cold to warrant this, I usually wear an earband.
Long fingered gloves (duh!)
Lobster gloves - these are like mittens, but keep two fingers together, like lobster claws. They are very warm, and are great for 30-40 degrees.

Gore-Tex Jacket (pit zips are important to prevent overheating)
Gore-Tex Pants (a little overkill, except in torrential rain!)
Plastic rain jacket - these are clear and available at all bike shops
Gore-Tex gloves - it's great if you can find these in a shell to wear over your regular gloves.
Gore-Tex oversocks - these go over socks, but inside shoes. Can be a little overkill on anything but torrential rains.
Bike hat with small bill - you've seen people on the street wear these, but they're great for keeping the rain out of your face.
Wool socks - keep you feet warm(er) and retain heat when wet.

Fenders over front and back wheel with a mud flap in back!
Puncture resistant tires
Flashing red light for back of bike
Light for front - if you're doing a lot of riding in the dark (esp. commuting), investing in a rechargeable battery headlight, like Night Rider or Light 'N Motion is key.

*** Be sure and take care of your bike when you're riding in the rain. Nothing wears the parts out faster than the grit on the road. If your bike gets wet on a ride, it's best to gently hose it off after the ride. Wipe off the chain as well, and remember it will need to be re-lubed after it gets wet. Always plan on lubing it after every 3 - 5 rides regardless.

Good luck! I'll also post a list of my favorite on-line shopping places later, to help you get ready.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nike Women's Marathon

This weekend is the Nike Woman's Marathon and Half Marathon in San Francisco. This is a really fun race to do, if you have not done it before. They really take care of you! "We’ve taken it upon ourselves to make sure our runners are entertained and comfortable for the entire distance of the race course." (from

The best part of all? Besides the chocolate mile and the race start at Union Square (meaning you have to stay in SF's shopping district!). Tiffany necklace at the finish!!! Handed to you by firefighters in tuxedos!

I've done the half marathon twice and had a blast! But I have never been so sore after a half. The hills are long! Uphill a mile, dowhill a mile, uphill a mile, downhill a mile. The downhill is what made me so sore the next day, I could barely walk! And the views are amazing! That is, if it's not fogged in. The first year I did it it was really foggy, no view. The second year it was clear and beautiful! People stopped running on the course to take pictures!

This is a fun read, Kristen Armstrong blogged about last year's race on Runner's World. "Going to San Francisco for Nike Women's Marathon weekend is like a regular girl's trip on caffeine. Think of 20,000 fit, fabulous, and likeminded women gathered in one spot..." Read the whole article.

Course Highlights - here is a sampling from the Nike site of all the fun stuff on the course to keep you going!

Oakland Interfaith Choir: A 20-member gospel choir in full robes (with Nike sneakers underneath) is the first act to greet the runners. With a dramatic view of the bay right behind them, this starts the event with a great a Sunday-morning-go-to-meeting feel.

Stewart Tartan Bagpipe Band: Always a hit, these bagpipers wear Scottish kilts and tartans – with Nikes, of course. The sound of the Scottish heath brought to the middle of San Francisco.

Safeway Cheer Station: Cheer on your runner at Safeway’s Cheer Station and enjoy music provided by WiLD 94.9 and steak sandwiches provided by Rancher’s Reserve.
Cheer SF (Marina Green): Cheer SF is a San Francisco institution. They execute extreme stunts and powerful dance routines as a means to entertain, inspire and motivate audiences to strive for personal excellence. High-energy and a great motivator!

Nike+ PowerSong DJ: Underneath a Nike+ banner, a DJ will be spinning a mix of Nike+ PowerSongs, hand-chosen from over 2,500 songs that runners have picked as their personal favorites.
Rock Force Dance Crew: Break dancers and a live DJ will show the runners some moves as they pass through Crissy Field.

Nike+ PowerSong DJ: Underneath a Nike Plus banner, a DJ will be spinning a mix of Nike+ PowerSongs, hand-chosen from over 2,500 songs that runners have picked as their personal favorites.
Run Like a Girl: Don’t miss these inspirational and amusing thoughts that celebrates being a girl!

Creole Belles: This California based all-women band is well known in the Cajun music scene for bringing the raw, driving authenticity of southwest Louisiana dancehalls to their shows. A Zydeco sound that’ll keep you moving!

Los Mex Pistols Del Norte: These guys combine traditional Mexican music with spaghetti-western soundtracks and straight-up rock ‘n’ roll – they’re like nothing else!

Dolorata: All-woman straight-ahead kick-butt rock’n’roll. This is a local band that’s going places – you’ll be hearing their name a lot in the future, but we’ve got ‘em before they’re rock stars!

Safeway PowerSurge: As you run throughout Safeway’s PowerSurge, we’ll be using the biggest turnout we’ve ever had from SF Cheer! Eighty cheerleaders will be split into twenty different groups of four and spread out through the park. Every few hundred feet runners will pass another pod of cheerleaders urging them on.
Chocolate Stations for Half Marathon: Volunteers hand out squares of Ghiradelli chocolate to keep that sugar level up!

Sha-Bang: A Caribbean island experience – lots of rhythm delivered by a steel drum troupe.

Safeway PowerSurge: As you run throughout Safeway’s PowerSurge, we’ll be using the biggest turnout we’ve ever had from SF Cheer! Eighty cheerleaders will be split into twenty different groups of four and spread out through the park. Every few hundred feet runners will pass another pod of cheerleaders urging them on.
Fogo Na Roupa: The Samba sounds of Brazil, with colorful costumes and a lot of energy!

DJ Arielle: This Safeway-sponsored DJ will spin in front of Safeway branding at the end of the Safeway PowerSurge

Groovy Judy: Groovy Judy takes the spirit of the late 60s and early 70s and put it into her music, colorful dress, and upbeat personality. Fun outfits, a positive message, and a touch of silliness will mark the full-marathon halfway point.

Sha-Bang: A Caribbean island experience – lots of rhythm delivered by a steel drum troupe.

Nike+ PowerSong DJ: Underneath a Nike+ banner, a DJ will be spinning a mix of Nike+ PowerSongs, hand-chosen from over 2,500 songs that runners have picked as their personal favorites.

Nike+ PowerSong DJ: Underneath a Nike+ banner, a DJ will be spinning a mix of Nike+ PowerSongs, hand-chosen from over 2,500 songs that runners have picked as their personal favorites.

Notorious: San Francisco’s top party/cover band will keep runners going with all their ‘80s, ‘90s, and contemporary favorites. Lots of energy and fun!

Hip-Hop Drum Line: This combination of a New Orleans Brass Band and a "Drum Line" band incorporates lots of heavy hip-hop drum beats with all styles of music.

Rising Phoenix Brass Band: This brass band uses the cream of the crop from Berkeley High School’s rising jazz musicians.

Nike+ PowerSong DJ: Underneath a Nike+ banner, a DJ will be spinning a mix of Nike+ PowerSongs, hand-chosen from over 2,500 songs that runners have picked as their personal favorites.
Chocolate Stations for Full Marathon: Volunteers hand out squares of Ghiradelli chocolate to keep that sugar level up!

Run Like a Girl: Don’t miss these inspirational and amusing thoughts that celebrates being a girl!

Yeh De De: An all-woman world music fusion ensemble whose Afro-Latin percussion nurtures their listeners’ global consciousness and instills in them an overwhelming urge to put their body to the dance. Inspiration to get through the last two miles!
Nike+ PowerSong DJ: Underneath a Nike+ banner, a DJ will be spinning a mix of Nike+ PowerSongs, hand-chosen from over 2,500 songs that runners have picked as their personal favorites.

Nike+ PowerSong DJ: Underneath a Nike+ banner, a DJ will be spinning a mix of Nike+ PowerSongs, hand-chosen from over 2,500 songs that runners have picked as their personal favorites.
George Washington High School Cheerleaders: These high-school cheerleaders squad provides enthusiasm and routines to inspire the runners and keep them going.

Union Square - this is where you have to stay!
All the action is here. Shopping, expo, Niketown, and great food!

I highly recommend this race. Except now it's hard to get into because it's so popular. Now you have to enter by lottery. It's been a few years since I've done the race, so I think I'm going to try to get in next year!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Fun Blog: Incredible Jane!

Here is a fun blog that I've been reading. She's funny, insightful, and you can feel her pain!

About Jane, from her website:

Hi I’m Incredible Jane and I absolutely want to change my life regarding health and fitness.

It’s been 10 years since I’ve even attempted any routine exercise. I have put all of my focus into my family and I wanted to be the best mom possible, but there was something missing, I completely forgot to take care of myself while I was taking care of others. I put on 35lbs and became extremely out of shape. I couldn’t even run to the corner without gasping for breath. I remember one time we decided to do the Terry Fox Run one year as a family. My husband and daughter were running very well, having an amazing time and I was struggling to keep up. In the pictures they are so much ahead of me I feel like I missed out on the full experience.

After several weak attempts trying to get back into an exercise routine I simply gave up, made every excuse in the book. I was too tired, I had to run too many errands, there was too much to do, I didn’t get enough sleep last night. This went on for quite a while, I was stuck in the frame of mind where I really didn’t see how much damage I was doing to myself until my mother went in for a quadruple bypass this year. This really shook me, absolutely shook me to the core. My mother has battled with weight her entire life, she is an extremely strong person, she looked after her family first, all 5 of us. I see that she didn’t have time for herself. I do not want to follow the same path, I want to make change, this is my year to do it.

I want to be a great role model for my daughter, I want her to be proud of me, I want to inspire her as she inspires me every single day. I want to take time for myself and have some fun and get fit. The more fulfilled that I feel the more my family will benefit. It’s hard when you work for such an athletic company and you are overweight. Especially when you used to be very fit however many years ago working at the same place so people remember how you used to look and how much you have changed. It sometimes takes me four changes of an outfit to wear in the morning to try to hide areas that I don’t feel comfortable with. I know what it’s like when it’s hot out and all you want to wear is a tank top or a t-shirt but your stomach just doesn’t fit into the largest size, and you tug at the fabric all day as it shifts, clings and becomes uncomfortable. I believe that everyone should love themselves and how they look no matter what size that they are, as long as they are comfortable with who they are. I am not comfortable being this size. I miss those days of seeing how ripped my legs and arms used to be. I miss feeling strong.

Come and join me, train with me, talk training with me, let’s all get fit, set goals, and most importantly have fun!