When You Miss A Goal

Today is the day!

At approximately 8:20am the 25-29 women’s age group began the swim in Jordan Lake for Ironman Raleigh 70.3.

And I wasn’t there.

And it sucks.

It sucks because I set a goal for myself and didn’t reach it. It sucks because I spent months training for it. It sucks because I spent what little extra money I have on it. It sucks because I won’t get that awesome race high/bling/post race euphoria.

But it’s ok.

It’s ok because I chose grad school over this one race. It’s ok because I can enjoy my vacation without feeling exhausted. It’s ok because I’m not going to injure myself by racing hard.

But most importantly it’s ok because this was just one race. There are so many more races I can do that will fit my schedule better right now. So, for the time being, I am putting my long distance triathlon dreams on hold. I can’t spend 8 hrs on a bike every Saturday because I have to spend those 8 hrs rebuilding a 3D printer. I can however, work on a new 5k PR, training for the USA Nationals Half Marathon in November, and improving my olympic distance triathlon PR.



Not to mention I got a brag-worthy shirt and awesome backpack out of it too.

Confessions of a Triathlete

Hi guys! I woke up pretty convinced that today was Thursday and am now wondering why there are two days of the week that start with the letter ‘T’. Waaaay too confusing.

Anyways, here’s my latest training update for Raleigh 70.3!












Wait for it….










yep! That just about covers it!

May is hell. I hate May. It’s the month of EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW AND PERFORM AND RECITAL AND EXAMS AND RACE AND HOLIDAYS AND PROJECT DEADLINES AND…..ok so I’ve run out of things. But seriously, it’s the month that our ERC has our annual site visit where NSF (the National Science Foundation) visits and lets us know if they’ll continue sending exorbitant amounts of money our way to fund our super cool research, aka let’s sit in a windowless room for 2 days and listen to people with no sense of humor talk about things you know nothing about.

This means that even though Raleigh 70.3 is in 26 days, I did not work out once last week. Thanks to the grad school hullabaloo and the fact that we are getting ready to move and getting ready to go to Europe for 2 weeks, I have not had any remaining energy to spend on training.

And that’s ok.

It’s not ideal. Sometimes you read articles about how triathletes are super dedicated to their sport and wake up at 4am to get a swim in. It’s inspiring and all, but it’s not reasonable. I will almost always choose sleep over a workout because I need that mental energy to stay on top of my game at school and that physical energy to keep up with the professor walk. So in some ways, I don’t feel like a ‘real’ triathlete.

<–Total side note here. Professors and people in academia walk SUPER fast everywhere. Not sure why. Maybe they’re always late. IDK. But I usually have to jog to keep up with the brisk pace that is the standard here. Also also, hallways are dangerous places and collisions are highly likely —>

Real triathlete or not, it’s ok. I’m not shooting to be an elite athlete and qualify for the World Championship. I’m going out there to push my physical and mental limits and I can accomplish that with the amount of training I currently have.  So even though my training looks like this….


I will finish the race and maybe even beat my time from last year. Who knows.

Gotta be baller at the grad school thing first!


Just Keep Swimming

If you’re anything like me and quote movies (specifically Pixar and Disney) all the time, then this probably popped into your head.

Did you have a good week? This one was another bit of a struggle in grad school terms. Had to actually leave campus on Wednesday because the armband I spent 2.5 weeks building from scratch worked…..aaaaaaaand then magically after lunch, it didn’t. So pissed/upset/dejected that I skipped our social hour (I skipped beer I know) and went home early.

On the bright side, that was a pretty quick 10 miles I ran afterwards! Even with all the hills around the art museum I managed to keep an 8:40 min/mile pace and pulled a negative split.

Steve and I went to try a new-to-Steve restaurant called Humble Pie since we didn’t get hungry until around 9pm and it was open and looked good. They did have surprise live jazz music <–my fave! And we left in much better moods.


Yesterday though I was able to get back in the pool!

Swimming is definitely my weakest sport. Probably due to the whole breathing underwater thing. Since I kinda gave up on being super fast a while ago, I try to have fun with it! Sometimes it’s really nice to just check out and follow the black line back and forth for an hour. I love mindless activities like that.

Here is what I look like before I hop in! (I do try to color coordinate but sometimes I feel like being that obnoxious person)



And this is my sexy face….


I was the only bug-eyed alien in the pool for almost 30 min! At first it was weird and then I remembered that classes were canceled for ‘Spring Holiday’.

I always have super attractive raccoon eyes after the goggles are removed. This leads to some pretty weird looks from undergrads as I leave the gym.


Although, my swim-hat hair probably doesn’t help me much either…


Gotta keep it classy y’all.

What are your plans for the Easter holiday? (if you celebrate Easter that is)

Training Update 3: Oops

Hi friends! How’s your Monday so far?

I’m back in the lab working on sewing and building prototypes and the like. Super fun. The effervescent Patrick is keeping me company 🙂


So stylish!!

So here’s my update for all the training I’ve done over the last 2 weeks……aaaaand yeah. It’s not a lot. Shit happens ya know? The first week, grad school was difficult to keep up with and I was constantly exhausted. Last week, little bro was in town and since I never get to see him, I prioritized.

  • Miles run: probably 8? idk
  • Miles walked: a lot
  • Campuses Toured: 3
  • Miles biked: yeaaaaaaahhhhh about that….20? maybe?
  • Yards swum: over 3000!
  • Flip turns mastered: like 1/4 of them
  • Times where I’ve only started running because someone else was on the greenway and I needed to look cool: all the time….16? more?
  • Signs high-fived: 6 (I have to high-five a sign before I can turn around on a run….it’s the little things ya’ll)
  • Bugs accidentally eaten: stupid gnats
  • Bugs purposefully eaten: none, I’m not that gross. yet.

I’m not going to go into much detail like the usual posts about what I did for each workout because I skipped approximately 80% of them. Oops.

I will take the time to remind myself you guys that it’s ok to let life take over. Seriously. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN. Unless you are a pro, training isn’t your job. It’s a hobby and you need to prioritize. There’s no use beating yourself up over skipping a week, or two, of training because you needed to focus on other aspects of your life.

Balance is more important than training. Balance your job, family, friends, training, etc. It’s harder than it looks, and I most definitely don’t have it together. Could I have probably made time for training? Sure. But I decided that sleeping and spending time on work/and family was more important. And I definitely don’t regret that decision.

I still feel slightly guilty about missing so much of my workouts, but I’m trying not to let it get me down. I just pick up the training again this week. NBD.

Whelp! Gotta get back to work, so today’s a bit of a short post. Hope you have a great Monday!

Keeping it Cool – Training Week 3

Hi friends! How was your weekend?

It’s a semi-slow start to my Monday, so I’ve taken advantage of it and tried to plan out my week in my bullet journal. But! Since it’s rest day, here’s my recap of all the training I did last week for Raleigh 70.3!

  • Miles run – a lot
  • Miles walked – some
  • Miles biked – like 50? 60?
  • Yards swum – too little
  • Goggles broken – F*$@ing pieces of $&^!
  • Times I have grossed myself out because I am covered in dried sweat, bug carcasses, and grime – Ewwwwwwww
  • Bugs eaten – none accidentally! or on purpose for that matter
  • Roadkill seen – squirrels, raccoons, ummmm some unidentifiable creature that could have possibly been an alien
  • Time spent training – 7:40 ish





Here’s the illegible training summary for my week. There are only 3 red blocks this time!! I didn’t post last weeks’ because yeah…..that was a lot of red. Now let’s break it down!

Monday – As usual rest day! Aka Amanda drinks an extra beer day! Aka Amanda binge watches Game of Thrones or Dr. Who or Downton Abbey day! The best.

Tuesday – Aaaaaand here’s where we started to go downhill (mentally anyways). I got a good 12.7 miles in on the trainer in about 50 min which breaks down to around 15 mph. It’s always hard to wake my legs up and get them moving at a decent pace at the ungodly hour of 6am. I had my 2500 yd swim scheduled for that afternoon, but instead I found that my goggles refused to gogg and instead flooded any time I stuck my head under water. Sooooo the angry Amanda stopped by the store and got 2 pairs of goggles AND a cute running top just because.

Wednesday – Another shit day at work so I left early and went on my long run at home. Usually the hills I tackle on my long run by the NC Art Museum and Meredith College kick my ass. Luckily I was a little out of my head (reminder that running is 80% mental sport) so I did 10.0 miles in 1.5 hrs. A 9:11 min/mile pace. Btw these hills are what tore my IT band back in November so I have a bit of a vendetta against them. Curse you 15% grades!! This really wore my legs out, cause yeah, my head wasn’t actively managing my pace so I went a bit faster than I like to for 9+ mile runs. Oh well. At least it was a good challenge!

Thursday – The weekthatshallnotbenamed continues. I felt pretty good on the swim and even attempted a few flip turns. Although one time I totally missed the wall, I got water up my nose like 5 times, and I thoroughly embarrassed myself in front of the men’s swim team. Yes I know I looked like a fish out of water attempting those flip turns. No need to judge dudes-in-spandex. I did 1800 yds in 38 min (including all my rest breaks) so I’m pretty happy that I did the whole workout and finished 2 min early. It’s the little things ya’ll. The trainer ride ended up being kinda late at night and I watched Game of Thrones for my easy spin. Did 9.9 miles in 50 min. Nice and easy.

Friday – I woke up early to get a morning run in. I regret not taking my phone because those pink clouds/sunrise were gorgeous. Seriously. Vibrant blue sky, pink clouds, and green grass. Love it! Did 4.5 miles in about 42 min and took it pretty easy. I walked a bit during this run since it was supposed to be an easy run. I also walked a bit cause I’m lazy. I also also walked a bit because it was pretty and I like looking at the pretty sky. The work day was pretty rough so I skipped my swim…..sad trombone.

Saturday – Totes did nothing. I drank green beer and grocery shopped like a champ!

Sunday – Brick day! Since it was a lovely day out, I went on my long bike ride outside! The second half of the bike course for Raleigh 70.3 is a LOT of short, steep, rolling hills. Which I knew about, but was completely unprepared for, last year. So, I’ve been riding the course backwards for all my training. I start close to the finish, bike out towards Jordan Lake, and that way, on my way back, I’m a little tired and it kinda simulates race conditions. Brilliant right?!? -looks proud of self- I was gonna take a picture of all my gear that I pack in my car for a brick, but the goldfish memory struck again and I forgot. Anywho, I biked out to a Sonic in Holly Springs where a bunch of teens were hanging out. And OMG I was so uncool. I overheard one girl asking her friends what was wrong with my shoes! 😀 But I hung out for a bit while eating my granola bar and then hopped back on the bike to head home. I kinda regret not getting any fries or tater tots.



All in all, I did about 39 miles in 2.5 hrs. Which is roughly 16 mph. I felt really good the whole time and only started struggling on the last hill up to my car. I then hopped off my bike and put my running shoes on for an easy 20 min run after with some not so awesome jelly legs. It did feel great to finish though!



My main mistake on the whole day was not eating enough before working out for 3 hrs. Oops. I was a little hungry when I got home and may have tried to eat Steve -sorry Steve-.

This is my first ‘rest’ week of the training session so things will be a bit lower intensity this week. Luckily, the weather is supposed to be great so I should be able to get outside for most of it!

See ya tomorrow!