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MuD PhuD on the Run |
  1. Tri the Lake Triathlon

    October 17, 2013 by LMR

    I’m a triathlete!! This triathlon was so fun. I think I was smiling the whole time!!! I’ve heard people say this about running races they have done, but I never understood. I think I have found my non-equestrian sport – I’m addicted! …and may still be on an endorphin high 4 days later.

    The Recap:

    Week 8 of training: I took it super easy. Not because I really felt the need to taper, but because school was getting hectic and stressful and I was trying to mentally get in the right place for this thing.

    Monday: Nothin’

    Tuesday: Swim | 500 yds + drills | 11:13 +

    Wednesday: Nothin’

    Thursday: Run | 3.4 mi | 34:47

    Friday: Nothin’

    Saturday: Nothin’

    Sunday: Triathlon | 500 yd swim + 13 mi bike + 3.4 mi run | 1:49:06


    The Triathlon:

    The hubs and I got up at 4:00 am on Sunday and were out of the house by 4:20. That has to be a record! I drank a whole starbucks via on the way, which I believe to be the equivalent of 8 cups of coffee for the non-coffee naive, so I was wired with adrenaline and caffeine by the time we got to the sandy beach at Heber Springs around 5:45. I was super paranoid about getting there late and being rushed to set up my stuff in transition because I had never done it. However, we were the 3rd car there so we probably could have snoozed a little longer. It was pretty chilly (OK, it was like 62*, but it’s Arkansas. I was 70* on Christmas last year). I was really worried about the water temperature because I didn’t have a wet suit. We set up our gear in transition (which was super relaxed, thank goodness – my only exposure before this was at the US Triathlon Nationals and the World Tri Championships), then wandered down to the lake to look at the course. I reluctantly stuck my toes in the water to test it out and realized it really wasn’t that cold – it was way warmer than the air! Good thing I checked because I thought about just waiting until the start so I wouldn’t be freaking out until then if it was cold. The race director gave a little speech about the course and where to exit/enter transition, and then we were ready to head to the lake and start!

    The Swim:

    I was in wave 3, so I got to see the hubs and the older men go in waves 1 and 2 first. As we were standing around on the beach, I noticed about half the women had wetsuits on, but some were racing to take them off and hand them off to family members, so this was reassuring. I started talking to one woman and told her it was my first time to race in open water. She told me how her first time was kinda scary because she was used to looking at the line at the bottom of the pool, but I felt pretty confident in my swimming skills. I may be slow, but I’m comfortable in the water. The bike on the other hand…

    Six minutes after the first wave it was our turn. Right before we took off, the race director asked how many of us were doing our first triathlon, and 5 or 6 girls raised their hands. Also reassuring!! The whistle blew and I dove under water. It was a little bit of a shock because I was expecting to be able to see something, but all I saw was murky water. It took a few strokes, but I got used to it. You couldn’t see the feet of a person in front of you until they were practically kicking your face, but luckily there were only like 25 of us so we spread out quick. The course was shaped like a giant “U,” so we had to go around 2 buoys. Getting to the first one was all about getting used to swimming around people. I found myself breathing every other stroke, when usually I do every third, because that seemed more natural. But then I settled in and kinda flip-flopped between every other and every third. It was hard to focus on form because there was always a person to go around or a buoy to sight, so I definitely see the importance in creating muscle memory for the swim. Between Buoy 1 and 2 I felt like I was settling in, and even started passing some people. When I came around buoy 2 I tried to sight the finish, but the sun was straight in my face! I tried to just follow people in front of me, but they were getting really spread out. Finally I looked back real fast to sight buoy 2, and that seemed to help since I knew where land was. I feel like this leg took FOREVER. I am not sure if it was actually longer, or it was because I couldn’t see the finish, or because I was tired. Or all three. I did notice I passed some of the yellow and grey swim caps (wave 1 and 2), so I was feeling pretty good about myself. When we finally got to shallow water, I stood up a little too fast so I got back in the water and swam a few more strokes. When I did stand up and try to run out of the water, I was in for a shock. It’s hard! Your body is screaming “what? gravity??” As I was thinking this, the camera man snapped a picture – so I was also fuming about how bad that was going to be! We ran up the beach, I grabbed some water, and ran on into transition. A lot of people were walking to transition, but I made myself keep up the pace. 500 yd swim time: 13:40, definitely slower than the pool but I’ll take it!

    Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 10.45.31 PM


    The hub’s and my bike were racked next to each other, and when I came up I saw his bike still there which made me a little worried (he was in wave 1, and was worried about the swim). However, as I sat down to put my socks on he came up behind me. I slipped on my shoes and sunglasses and helmet, grabbed my bike, and took off. Out in 1:59.


    The course started out little rollers, but I knew there was a big hill just before the turn around so I tried to hold back a little. In hindsight I think I could have pushed harder. I think I passed 1 or 2 people and was passed by 1 or 2 people before the hill, so it was pretty even. We went across 2 dikes that had awesome views of the lake. At the end of the second dike I could make out a sharp turn that went straight uphill. I got a little worried here because I knew people were saying the hill was big and people walked up it, but I was foo-fooing them. Luckily, the worst part was the first quarter mile or less, and then it was a little more reasonable. I did not walk, but I did granny gear it. Two or three people that were riding passed me, but I passed a lot of people walking including some guys I had caught up to. When I was almost to the top, the hubs caught up to me and said hi before moving on. Going back down that hill after the turn around may have been worse than uphill!! I still feel pretty uncomfortable on the bike and constantly feel like I’m on the brink of crashing, so I pretty much rode my brakes down the whole way. Once I was at the bottom, the rest of the course I pushed a little on and tried to pick up the pace. I got back to transition in 56:50 after 13.5 mi, also slower than I had hoped, but that hill was bigger than I had hoped!

    Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 10.46.37 PM^cheesin’^


    Racked the bike, said hi to the hubs who was swapping shoes, remembered to take off the helmet, slipped on the Newtons and a baseball hat and took off. In and out in 1:12.


    Ouch!!! The first few steps were awful. Jumping off the bike and running is a bizarre feeling – your legs are jelly and stiff and my calves were super tight. The first quarter mile I thought I might actually have to walk. The hubs ran with me for a few minutes before leaving me in the dust again. Fortunately, after about a half a mile I started loosening up and I felt like I could run naturally. Each mile got a little faster after the first. The course was slightly hilly, but nothing too bad. As I turned the corner to finish the last mile or so, I felt really good. I didn’t want the race to be over!! I’ve never felt that before, even in a 5k. There was some super fast 27 year old that passed me that I tried to keep up with, but she was way above my pace. Maybe next year. Seeing the finish line and running to it was the. best. feeling. I am addicted. Hooked. I want to do all the triathlons! And, as I crossed, they gave me a finisher’s medal, which I wasn’t expecting with such a small race. 3.4 miles in 35.24 (although garmin said it was over 3.5).

    Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 10.46.59 PM^Still Cheesin’^

    To top it all off… somehow I won my age group! The girl that really won the age group won first overall female, and there were only 7 of us, but I’ll take it! :)

    Screen Shot 2013-10-17 at 10.47.23 PM

    While on this endorphin high, I signed up for a 10 mile trail race this Sunday. That’s what you do when you finish a race, right? Sign up for another one?

    Screen Shot 2012-11-05 at 11.31.27 PM

  2. Triathlon Training – Weeks 5, 6, and 7

    October 8, 2013 by LMR

    Notice my posts are getting farther and farther apart? It hard to stick to this blogging thing. Good thing I do manage to stick to other things in life. School is less stressful in a there’s-no-more-tests way, but more stressful in that interviews for residency positions are starting to come in. Most of them are in November, so it’s super convenient that I scheduled a Half Marathon smack dab in the middle of November…. oops!!! It may not be a PR, but I’ll get it done :)

    Week 5: I was struggling with a case of the running ruts this week. As in, running is hard and I didn’t want to do it. Does this happen to other people? I literally have weeks at a time where I wouldn’t run at all if I wouldn’t feel guilty as a result, but other weeks where I feel like I could run 100 miles!! I paid for it at Sunday’s Hash though. We basically went straight up Shinall Mountain, the highest point in Pulaski County. When I say straight up, I mean the shortest possible path straight up the mountain! Fittingly, someone brought a goat. Don’t ask questions – this is Arkansas. We do what we want.

    Monday: Swim | 8:50 yds | 21:32 // Stationary Bike | 42 minutes

    Tuesday: Rest

    Wednesday: Rest (I have a Wednesday night class that is killin’ my schedule!)

    Thursday: Swim | 1375 yds | 35:38

    Friday: Run | 4 miles | 40:02

    Saturday: Cycling | 17.11 miles | 1:10:30

    Sunday: Hash | 5.84 miles

    Screen Shot 2013-10-08 at 9.54.14 PM^Shinall Mountain there around mile 1^

    hash goat^The Goat (duh)^

     Week 6: I spent the last half of this week in Milwaukee visiting Mom and helping her move into her new apartment. Literally we moved her next door. Not like out the door onto the street to the next building, but to the apartment next door in the hall. Loads of trouble for nothin! Just kidding, this apartment is much bigger and has a sweet view of Lake Michigan on THREE sides. She worked me to death up there. Not so much with the moving, but the bike ride Saturday nearly killed me. “Its like 20 miles” she said. Try 35 miles of HILL AFTER HILL AFTER HILL until we finally got to a hill called “the church hill” which is apparently where we were all riding to, just to get a good hill in. OW! Mom’s trainer was with us, who is AWESOME, but I’m a little mad he can ride up the hills next to you and put one arm out, pushing you up the hill. OK not mad. Jealous? In Awe? Is he human??

    Monday: Rest

    Tuesday: Swim | 1525 yds | 38:50

    Wednesday: Hash | 2 miles

    Thursday: Rest (flew to Milwaukee!)

    Friday: Run | 6.05 | 1:04:27 with Mom

    Saturday: Bike | 32.5 miles | 2:14:03 (with the JDRF training folks)

    JDRF Milwaukee ride

    Sunday: Swim | pointers from Mom

    Week 7: This week I was feeling seriously off my game, so I took more rest days. This was the last real week of training for this tri, and while I initially started freaking about missing days, I’ve since used the neurotic defense mechanism of rationalization to convince myself I NEEDED the rest.

    Monday: Rest

    Tuesday: Run | 3 miles | 31:00

    Wednesday: Rest

    Thursday: Rest (ugh!)

    Friday: Swim | 500 yds | 11:21 + drills

    Saturday: Treadmill | 9 miles | 1:38ish + Game of Thrones watching :)

    Sunday: Hash | 3.5 miles


    One more week!!

    Screen Shot 2012-11-05 at 11.31.27 PM

  3. Triathlon Training – Weeks 3 and 4

    September 16, 2013 by LMR

    I had a lot of ups and downs as far as training went over the last 2 weeks. One minute I would feel like I was really getting the hang of everything, the next I’d feel like this training was killing me. At one point I felt like I had really worked out a schedule that was working for me fitness wise and school wise, only to feel like I was massively out of shape and taking on too much THE NEXT DAY. All I can do it keep on keeping on…. right??


    WEEK 3:


    Swim | 750 yds | 20:11

    Stationary Bike | 37:00

    Really working on relaxing in the pool. I might be making this up, but I feel faster when I am relaxed. I can’t find a stationary bike at the Club that I like – they all seem like they make you sit way back and pedal in front of your butt instead of directly below it, like a real bike. Is this normal? I’ve adjusted the seat as much as I can. There’s a spin class room, but I am not sure I can use it when its empty and I get scared of getting yelled at, haha. Also, stationary bikes are BORING. How do people do this all winter in colder climates?



    Run | 4.53 | 52:32

    It was really hot, so I went to my trusty trails. I always end up in random places when I come out of the woods. WLR folks like to fence the front of their property, but not the back, so I end up trapped in their yards! So far, no one has caught me. Although I did find a back way into the fenced neighborhood I mentioned in a previous post, and even had a supposedly working code to get OUT of the neighborhood, but it didn’t work so I had to sit there waiting for a car to come save me. This was a pretty slow run on paper, but it was really stop-and-go and felt a lot faster.






    More rest. This is when I started questioning my ability to do this. I was so tired I just couldn’t make myself do it.



    Swim | 1350 yds | 35:32

    Still tired. Took a nap after school then DRUG myself to the gym. When I got there, they were having some kind of tailgating party (even though the game was the next day…) in the pool area, and I was initially told the pool was closed. Being tired, I almost used that as an excuse to go home and plant myself on the couch, but after getting back to my car I convinced myself to buck up and ask someone else if the pool was actually closed. Turns out it wasn’t, so I did laps while everyone else ate delicious smelling burgers and drank wine.

    LRAC Party

    Seriously though, every breath out of the water I could smell these burgers. It was torture, but I probably deserve it for Wednesday and Thursday’s laziness.


    Run | 7 miles | 1:26:39

    I knew it was going to be a scorcher, so I planned to get up early and do this. Didn’t happen. I told myself it was cool, I’d go around 7 pm as it was cooling off. Sometime around noon I decided that I would bail if I waited, and that I should go RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE. I did strap on my CamelBak and and take my phone because that is the responsible thing to do when the high is predicted to be 98*. I also decided to do some trails to stay in the shade. All rational decisions. I started out on a trail like this:

    Clear trail - Courts Drive

    But quickly turned to this:

    not clear trail - courts drive

    So there was some walking/bushwhacking/climbing that occurred and slowed me down a bunch. Unfortunately, the second half of the run was not in the shade and was HOT HOT HOT – like I made myself stop and gulp water every mile and sometimes more. I’ve been running in the heat all summer, so I was a little surprised I was having such a hard time until I got home and saw this:

    7 mile temp

    For the record, the record (haha) temp for this day EVER is 103. The weather gods are making us pay now for the mild summer we had.



    Cycle | 15.52 miles | 1:06:17

    Run | 4.23 | Hash

    I’m trying to make my easy run days on Sunday so I can rationalize going to hash! haha. Izzy came this time too. Still hot and lots of hills, so I was tired. I still get bored cycling – its not and never will be running. I think you get less endorphin release with cycling.


    WEEK 4:





    Swim | 850 yds | 22:21

    Stationary Bike | 42:05

    Kind drug myself through this one. Not feeling 100% by any means, but got it done, and then we made this:

    Mango avo salad

    Mango, Avocado, and Macadamia Arugula salad. Recipe here. I am completely obsessed with this salad now. I have made it 4 times in 6 days.





    Tempo Run | 3.0 miles | 30:21

    Finally felt really good during this run. I was actually not feeling like I was going to have a good run at the beginning, but I forced it and ended up being really glad I did. And I was super happy I was able to be faster in the last half mile of the tempo. 1 mile warm up | 1 mi @ 9:07 | 0.5 mile @ 8:49 | 0.5 mi cool down.



    Swim | 875 yds | 22:07

    I really felt good on this swim. I felt like I was gliding in the water better and I think I was even a little faster. I am actually looking forward to the next swim now!



    Run | 7 miles | 1:15:41

    Legs felt really heavy, but otherwise a solid run. Afterward, I was having a lot of hip pain (Gluteus medius maybe??), but it was helped by a heating pad. I think I am still getting used to all this extra swimming and running – I am body exhausted like I was back when I first started running!



    Run | 3.44 miles | hash

    I skipped the bike because of the hip pain, and was expecting to walk some of this run because of it, but I ended up having a great run! I loved the trail this was on – I’ll have to go back by myself sometime.


    This post is a little bit of a rushed type-vomit of my training, but med school is sucking up my time!I’ll try to make things more interesting for my next post. Overall I am just really happy that I have been able to stick to a schedule (sort of) all while being in school, working on a paper (hopefully that thing will be submitted soon – I’m tired of it!!), and turning in all of my residency applications. Winning.


  4. Funny Sits – Ella Edition

    September 8, 2013 by LMR

    If you know me, you know I love animals. And that I live in a zoo. The permanent residents include 2 dogs (Izzy and Sampson), 1 cat (Ella), and 3 horses (Brio, Baki, and Ziggy). OK, the horses don’t live in the house. We have also had birds, 2 other cats, and several other dogs at times. My camera is usually filled with pictures of these goobers doing funny (to me) stuff, and now you lucky ducks are going to get to see the best ones. You met Ella here, and she was already doing some funny sits, but here are some of her other favorite sit types:


    In Shoes:

    Ella Chacos





    Ella Newtons

    On Laundry:




    Ella sock drawer

    Ella Suitcase 1

    Ella Towels


    In Things:







    On Things:IMG_4599


    Back Camera

    IMG_4290  IMG_5121


    With the Dogs (or with their hair):





    What a wierdo.

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  5. Triathlon Training – Week 2

    September 3, 2013 by LMR

    Going from running 3 days a week to adding in 2 bikes and 2 swims is KILLING my legs!! And making me dread my long runs, which is worrying me… I am still scared of the 13.1 I am singed up for at RnR Vegas in November!


    I was still exhausted after the Bike and Hike on Saturday and the Hash run on Sunday, so I bailed on my Swim/Bike Brick and took the day off. Way to start the week, eh?? They say you have to know when to take a day off…



    Run | 3 miles | easy (32:06)

    I felt pretty good on this run, but I am super tired of all my usual running routes. I tried to break into a gated neighborhood so I could at least look at some pretty houses, but apparently the code has changed since last time I was invited in! Coincidence? Also: Happy Birthday to brother, Eric!!



    Swim | 1200 yd | 32:40

    I feel like a beginner thrashing around in the pool, and I have serious thoughts that everyone sitting around the pool is laughing/cringing at me. Maybe I should break down and take a lesson? This was a critical swim though, to get my mind off taking Step 2 the next day!



    Run | 7 x 400 m (4.4 miles total)

    Took Step 2 (Whew, that 9 hour beast is OVER)! I did this run at 6 pm in the heat. It just keeps getting hotter down here, like the weather is paying us back for all this mild weather we have had this summer. I did a 1 mile warm up, and by the second interval I wasn’t sure I’d make it. I did have to relent and walk the recoveries. And I cut the cool down down to 0.5 miles because I was D.O.N.E. I think I may be trying to run these things too fast. I do the little online calculators, but the paces always seem too slow. Maybe I should believe the people that do this for a living, but its also hard to feel like I am not doing my best.

    Splits: 1 mi wu | 2:00 | 2:06 | 2:03 | 2:05 | 2:02 | 2:05 | 1:58 | 0.5 mi cd.



    Cycle | 13.3 mi | 56:37

    Biked from my house, which meant I had to go less than 2 miles on the road with no bike lane, and that always freaks me out. I really should just put the bike on the rack and drive out there!

    bike two rivers


    from two rivers bridge





    Run | 3.65 + 3.0 mi

    This was supposed to be a 6 mile run, but I got started late and it was HOT. Like, scorching. And super muggy. And I gave my best, but I think the only responsible thing to do was to call it quits at 3.65 before heat exhaustion set in.  Later in the day I hashed, where it was still super hot, and did another 3. So it was kinda 6! I do need to get some quality long runs in though, and I feel like they have been derailed the last few weeks.


    This week I start my Radiology rotation, which I am beyond excited about! Finally, I get to do a rotation in what I have chosen to do for the rest of my life! Sure hope I still like it at the end of the month! I am also anxious to see if I can keep up the training while working full time, since I have been off the last few weeks. It’s so much easier to stick to a training plan when that is the only rigid thing in your schedule.

    Screen Shot 2012-11-05 at 11.31.27 PM