What I Wore {post 41}

Happy Wednesday!  Bam - here are some outfits.

* Chambray Shirt, Navy Pencil Skirt, Brown Leather Boots & Belt, Scarf *

This picture is a little blurry. I know I need to stop using my phone but it's so easy.  I have this scarf and really love it - it is years old and it's made up of scraps of all different types of scarves.  It was a gift from Anthropologie.  I wore it with a pretty blank slate of an outfit: chambray shirt with navy pencil skirt (the bottom to a suit), and brown belts and riding boots.  I like it. 

* Pale Pink Sweater & Blue and White Skirt *

I bought this skirt at Target last Spring and love it.  Love love love. It's a very Spring/Summer print, so I'm thrilled to be able to bring it back into rotation.  I tried something new with it: a pale pink sweater.  I wore with my taupe patent heels.  

* Anthropologie Watercolor Dress *

I wore this old (circa 2004) dress to a wedding recently.  It's comfortable and easy to wear and, I think, has stood the test of time pretty well.  I love the print.  I wore it with my fun bubble necklace from Banana Republic outlet and my Jimmy Choo gold heels from Neiman Marcus (not anything resembling an outlet).  I wore my hair half up/half down with a little curl that fell out after about 5 seconds.  

Funny story with the dress.  During dinner, the waiter slipped and dropped a piece of lettuce on me and a tiny bit of salad dressing got on my silk dress. I was like dude.  Bill was kind enough to grab me a club soda and I tried my best to get the stain out.  Later after dinner and with cake, I got decaf and promptly spilled a huge amount all over my dress.  HA.  It dried quickly and the stain did not show at all thanks to the color and print of the dress.  But that is so my luck. 

Enjoy the rest of your day! 

See you swoon,

IMLP Training Recap: Week 23

Happy Monday!  This weekend was a blur.  I had my son's First Communion, a wedding, my son's birthday party, a 30 minute run, a 60 minute bike and a 60 mile bike.  Yes, miles.  Eek.

This past week was the first time in a long while that a workout was sacrificed to that crazy thing called life.  I was supposed to swim on Tuesday, but I could not fit it in, as I had a huge project at work and then in the afternoon, I had Big's birthday and baseball practice.  So I couldn't do the swim.  Instead, I decided to ride my bike for an hour or so ... and it's a good thing I did because as I set to calibrate my power meter, nothing happened. I realized that the battery was dead.  Luckily, I had a battery on hand but by the time I figured it all out, it was too late to ride.  So I had an accidental rest day.  My coach was cool with it - I had told him that Tuesday was going to be tough.  He said do your best, if you have to rest, no biggie.  I let myself off the hook and figured if he was ok with a rest day, so was I.  But ... ugh.  I hate missing a workout.

I should add that Amy and Bill had a race - their first tri of the season. It was a local sprint tri and they crushed it! Amy came in 1st in her age group and Bill was 2nd in his age group. Woo hooooo!

Onto the workouts.  Long runs on weekdays.  Over 100 miles on the bike.  It's getting real, ya'll.

Week 23: 11:07:09 hours

Swam: 57 minutes (2,650 yards)
Biked:  7:01 hours (101.02 miles)
Ran:  3:08 hours (20.64 miles)


Monday:  endurance bike
Tuesday:  swim with speed <-- didn't happen.  unintended rest day :/
Wednesday:  bike with tempo and 3 mile shake out run
Thursday:  swim: distance
Friday:  long run
Saturday:  endurance bike
Sunday:  long bike [60 miles] + 30 minute run

Monday and Saturday's bikes were just easy - endurance speed on the trainer in front of the TV. I love those bikes because I can watch TV, catch up on email and magazines/blogs.  They were each 60 minutes long.

Tuesday was my unintended rest day as I mentioned above.

Wednesday was a bike with some tempo pace which is harder work.  It took about an hour.  Then in the afternoon I had a "shake out" run for about 3 miles.  That was a gorgeous run!

Thursday was my one and only time in the pool this week, but I made it count.  It was a really good workout.  Coach had me do 200 yards to warm up and then 4 sets of 600s broken down by doing 150 yards easy/50 hard.

Friday!  I was so excited for my Friday run and it did not disappoint.  14 miles!  The only thing ... my coach is having us do a run-walk going forward.  So he wants us to run 9 minutes and then walk 1  minute (edited: thanks maya! I previously had walk 1 mile. No no no.) and repeat.  I was a little upset about this. I love my runs and I've put 20 years of running in so that I don't have to walk.  But his take is on IM race day, we will be doing a combo walk/run.  So let's train now.  It makes sense and it makes me feel better that he makes *all* of his Ironman athletes do this run-walk.  Even with the walking, I had a pretty darn good time.  And it was a gorgeous Spring morning.  Perfect for a run. The temp was about 40 degrees, and here's what I wore.

Here's my watch.  I really like the calories burned data.  1,276.  Woo hoo omg. 

Sunday ... that was my long bike.  I decided to focus on biking in aero position and getting used to the new fit of the bike, so I sought out paved trails near me.  I managed to do all of my miles on the Chester Valley Trail and Schuylkill River Trail and I biked from one to the other.  I was in aero about 95% of the time, which was fantastic.  I had a great ride and it was a shot of confidence in the old arm.  The 60 miles were fine (and granted not a ton of climbing), and later that afternoon, I did a 30 minute run, which again was a walk run: 9 minutes run/1 minute walk x 3.  

I've got my first triathlon of the season this coming Sunday!  Devilman, which is in my hometown and which I did last year.  My coach wants us to treat it like training and focus on the bike and bike hard ... even if it means we have to run/walk the run part.  I just want to beat my time from last year.  You know I will let you know all about it.

Have a great week! May ... May!  It's here!  The Summer is almost in sight.

See you swoon,

Training Report - Lake Placid [Trip #1, April 2014]

Sorry for the double IMLP posts this week.  But as expected, training is beginning to really take over my free time.  This is a very good thing, because it was a rather humbling experience to hop off (ok, to stumble off) of the bike last week having done 85 miles of the Ironman Lake Placid bike course and knowing we would still have 30 to go ... and then run 26.2 more miles.  

On Monday, I posted my weekly recap of training.  I think the trip deserves a bit more detail, along with a conditions report in case anyone who is also training for IMLP happens to stumble upon this blog.   So settle in because this sucker is long.  It may take you as long to read it as it took me to bike the course.  

Amy, Bill and I went up to Lake Placid Tuesday April 15-Friday April 18.  We figured swimming would be a bit out of the question because of the temps and instead we would make this a bike and run focused trip.  Our coach agreed - he wanted us to do a couple of bricks, a long run and a long ride.  Long ride = two loops of the 56 mile bike course but without the out and backs (which shaved about 30 miles off of the ride).  We all were a little surprised by the two loops.  Ultimately, doing the two loops was the absolute best idea possible.

We had to dig our winter coats and winter riding and running gear out of the closets for this trip.  We'd been paying close attention to the weather forecast and it was looking pretty decent overall ... highs of 50s but the lows were in the teens.  And we kept seeing a pesky snowflake predicted for Tuesday.  I assumed it meant flurries.  I was wrong.  But more on that shortly.

Tuesday:  We left first thing in the morning with a very packed rented van and four children under age 8.  It was something.  Note the Hop Devil?  Oh yeah.  

The drive took us around 7 hours.  We had to stop more than usual because we had the kids, but they were so great.  Granted, the iPads helped, but being all together in a big van made the trip a lot more bearable for everyone.  It rained the entire drive up there.  And it rained when we finally arrived in Lake Placid.

All these pictures, by the way, are courtesy of Amy.  I brought my new fancy camera (a gift from my Dad), but like a moron I forgot to charge it and the battery was dead.  Way to go.  In any event, it was pouring and the rivers in the area were absolutely raging.  Rapids everywhere.  High water.  Flooded roads.  Um ... oh no.  When we arrived at our hotel (the Golden Arrow right on Mirror Lake), it was pouring buckets of rain.  We unloaded the van (or I should say Bill unloaded the van and we helped) and got organized in the room.  We ended up staying in a three bedroom suite with a kitchenette, which was absolute money with the kids.  I think all three of us would heartily recommend this hotel.  The hotel also had a pool and game room (kids loved!) and a hot tub (all of us loved!).  

The rain started to let up a bit, but the roads were still completely covered in water and some were flooded.  Amy and I agreed that doing a brick was not safe.  So we decided to switch our long run to that day.  We went into our separate rooms, changed and came out looking like this:

I swear to you: we did not plan to be running twinsies.  But we were.  From our hats to our shirts to our watches to our tights.  Complete and total twins.  #teamawesome.

The long run was supposed to be 13-15 miles, and we thought we could do that.  We decided to run the IMLP run course.  

We saw on the way to the hotel that River Road, which you can see on the map at miles 3-9 (it is an out and back) was closed and had a big sign that said "ROAD FLOODED."  But the road looked clear, so we decided to run as far as we could on it and if/when we hit water, we'd turn around. We figured it was about a 10 mile trip from the hotel and then back, so we planned to run that and then maybe a loop around Mirror Lake, which would give us around 13 miles.  Perfect.  

The run started a little drizzly and chilly, but early on the rain stopped and the conditions were very nice.  The run starts with a big, steep descent down Route 73 on the "IGA Hill" out of town (called that, from what I can tell, because there used to be an IGA supermarket somewhere on the hill).  Our coach told us to walk down that hill because otherwise it will screw up your run. So we did.  As you leave town and head toward the ski jumps there are a few rollers, but it's not bad.  There is a pretty decent hill right before you hit River Road, which we didn't really notice on the way there.  We got to River Road and noticed how high, and how close, the river was to the road.  Hence, River Road.  We kept an eye on it, which was impossible not to since it was really raging.  Parts of the road had some water but nothing crazy.  Until we got to a part where the road was completely flooded and there was no end to the water in sight.  We were about 5 miles in, so we turned around and headed back to the hotel.  We noticed that those "nothing crazy" water spots had taken on a lot more water since our first pass.  Yikes.  [Bill later went out and could not pass those spots - the water really quickly rose.  double yikes].  River Road is almost completely flat with a handful of tiny rollers that aren't too bad but that will undoubtedly hurt on race day.  

We got back to 73 and realized just how steep the hill near the ski jumps is!  Neither of us was prepared for that.  But we made it up and ran back to town.  The rain was starting to pick up again here.  As we got to town, I noticed the rain was actually hurting my face.  Hello sleet!  We got to the hotel and decided to bag the additional loop and were satisfied with a 10 miler for our long run.   As soon as we got back to the hotel, we ran to the pool, where Bill was swimming with the kids.  He went for his long run while Amy and I stayed with the kids and enjoyed the hot tub and pool.  The sleet, at this point, turned completely to snow.  While Amy and I were pelted with sleet, Bill ran in the falling snow.  That's a future Ironman right there. 

Amy snapped these shots of Mirror Lake after our swim.  Yes.  Snow.  Snow on ice.  It's a good thing we did not plan to swim! 

a frozen Mirror Lake with snow falling on top

more Mirror Lake
 The snow continued to fall and it was accumulating.  We went to dinner (Lake Placid Brewery ... food was super good, beer was also very good and BOGO free [omg] but the wait, especially with four hungry, tired kids, was a little long. That said, I'd go back here in a heartbeat) and on the way home, it was still snowing.  We were supposed to do a long bike ride the next day ... but it was looking doubtful. 

Snow covered Mirror Lake Drive :/
 Wednesday:  We woke up and sure enough, there was snow all over the roads. Snow and ice.  Eek. After talking to our coach, we decided to move things around.  Amy and I would do a short bike ride or brick on Wednesday and push our long bike to Thursday.  The forecast for Thursday looked pretty good.  So we would do our two loops on Thursday early and then Bill would do his as soon as we got back.  Because we couldn't do anything at all on Wednesday morning with snow on the roads, we took the kids to Whiteface Mountain.  We took a glass gondola to the top of Little Whiteface, which the kids loved.  In fact, I am pretty sure that everyone but me loved the gondola.  It was ok, but I get a little afraid of heights and this was very very high.  We got some stunning views of the area and the kids got in a snowball fight.  In April.  

Whiteface Mountain 
From the top of Little Whiteface - that's Lake Placid (the lake!) in the distance

From the gondola. I *so* did not take this picture. 

The fearless foursome watching our descent down Little Whiteface
Snowball fight! On top of a mountain! 
We got back to the hotel and let Bill do the first bike.  Don't mistake this for kindness - selfishly, I wanted to know the conditions out there before I got on the bike.   Bill came back and said the roads were fine - it was cold but not unbearable and the roads were very clear.  So Amy and I got on our gear and took off for an hour's bike ride.  We decided to go on Rt. 86, which is the last portion of the IMLP bike course.  We would bike down it and then come back up the famous last climbs: little Cherry, big Cherry, Mama Bear, Baby Bear, and Papa Bear (more on those in a second).  Bill was right: the ride was fine, the conditions were fine, the roads were great.  And both Amy and I agreed that that hour in the saddle was a really good idea in preparation for our long ride the next day.  

That night we went to dinner at Jimmy's 21 (on Mirror Lake Drive).  Amy, Bill and I needed a big pasta dinner and they had gluten free pasta, which was a must.  The kids loved this place - they all begged to go back all week!  The waitresses were really great and were super vigilant and helpful about allergies (we happen to have a lot at our table).  The food was very good, but the portions were not quite large enough for people biking 85 miles the following day.  I will go back, but I will probably ask for a double portion or a portion and a half of pasta next time.  The waitresses also told us that Mirror Lake froze really early this year and at one point was frozen 3 feet deep!  They were driving a zambone and pick up trucks on the ice.  So, in her experience, Mirror Lake would be really freaking cold for a good long while.  Yikes.  

Thursday:  Thursday was bike day!  Amy and I were to take the morning shift and Bill would do his loops when we finished.  It was an aggressive plan for all of us to get in our respective two loops in while we still had daylight. But we were pretty confident we could make it happen. Amy and I got on the bikes around 7:15 am.  The temperature was in the 20s.  But the roads were clear of ice and snow, so we just made the best of it.  

Our plan was to ride the IMLP bike course but without the out and backs on route 9N or on Hasleton Road.  For a really incredibly detailed and, frankly, the best overview I've seen of the IMLP bike course, check out my bloggie friend Maria's summary here.  This would amount to about 85 miles total.  Here's the course:  

I will note that I wore the following on the bike: thick wool socks, neoprene booties over bike shoes, running tights with fleece-lined biking tights overtop, SOAS tri bra/tank, Under Armor winter base layer, Under Armor winter running top, wind-breaker type biking jacket, winter biking gloves, skull cap under bike helmet.  I regret not wearing my hand warmers inside my gloves on the first loop -- Amy and I put them in before we went out for our second loop.  I was completely comfortable in those clothes, except a handful of times on the first loop when I was freezing my butt off.  

Now for the course:

Route 73 out of town to the top of the Keene descent:  

This is one of the hardest sections of the course for me.  In fact, I find the entire stretch on 73 to be really challenging for different reasons.  But the climb out of town on 73 is a tough one!  It's a long, sustained climb and even though it's not particularly steep, it is a lot of climbing right off the bat.  I spun in the small ring for almost all of this climb, knowing I needed to save my legs for the two loops.  The road here is atrocious.  There are tons of pot holes, bumps, lumps and dips in the pavement.  The shoulder was covered in mud, dirt, silt, snow and debris.  So we had to hug the shoulder and not actually ride in it.  The climbing alone is tough, but add to that the stress of having to pay super close attention to the road in front of you ... it made this part of the ride really hard.  There were several sections of the road where we had to actually ride in the middle of the lane because the potholes were so big.  But, there was very little traffic and those drivers that we encountered gave us plenty of room. Thank you Rte. 73 drivers!  

Route 73 descent to Keene:

Oy.  I am the first to admit that I am a wimp on descents.  I do not enjoy careening down a hill on my bike.  I'm trying to be brave and to get all Frozen on the downhills and lay off the brake and "let it go", but actually doing that is much harder in practice.  I *must* and *will* practice descents in these last months leading up to IMLP.  There is no reason for me to lose precious time on the descents by riding my brake.  

The descent was particularly tough because of wind and cold.  On the first loop, it was still (literally) freezing, and my hands were like blocks of ice.  I could not feel them on the downhill because I was going so fast and the wind was blowing so hard.  It was more terrifying than usual because I really did feel like at any moment, I would fall right off the bike or that my hands would fall off or fail to be able to brake.  I was thankful for my experience with natural childbirth because I completely put into practice my breathing exercises during this descent.  I tried my best to calm myself down, center myself and just get down that hill.  When I got to the bottom of the hill, Amy was waiting for me and we both needed a minute to warm up and get geared up for the rest of the ride.  We both realized that our food (sandwiches and Bonk Breakers/Lara Bars) was completely frozen too.  Awesome! 

The pavement was also pretty bad on the descent, though not as bad as the climb out of town.  Still, we took the advice of our coach to "be a car" and took up the lane of traffic.  I think my top speed down these descents was about 27 mph, which is still pretty darn slow.  

Route 9N flats from Keene to Jay:

Not surprisingly, this is my absolute favorite part of the course.  After the screaming descent to Keene, you get on Route 9 North heading toward the town of Jay, and it is mostly flat with a couple of rollers.  I was able to eat, but not without some difficulty.  I found it really hard to get my food because my hands were cold, I was wearing gloves and the food was blocks of ice.  I managed to do it, but it was a struggle.  I also had a hard time in the aero position.  My bike is now designed to be ridden in the aero position versus the road bike position (comparison below - aero is on the right)

image via
As you can see, when you're in aero, you are higher and more forward on the bike.  I've been training on the bike in aero all Winter but it's a different feel on the road.  I just need more time in the saddle to feel a little more secure in the new position.  I spent far less time than I should have in aero, which I think compromised my speed and power on the bike.  Still ... trying to go a little easy on myself here, since this was my first ride outside since November, my second ride outside with my new bike position and the longest (and most difficult because of the mountains) bike ride I've ever done in my life.  

The road on 9N is perfect - nice wide shoulder, nice clear road, very little traffic.  I also like the scenery a lot.  

Climb up Route 86 - Jay to Wilmington

This climb is pretty tough.  You go from completely flat to a very steep climb out of the town of Jay up Route 86.  What keeps me going here is knowing I am going home - just a handful of miles until I hit the end (or, as the case may be, the second loop).  Maria described these climbs as stairstep rollers where no particular climb is that bad, but the cumulative effect is difficult.  Truth.  I have a handful of landmarks on this section but mostly just muddle through.  I know that there are a bunch of easy descents peppered in, so that's something to look forward to.  

one of the many gorgeous views from the IMLP bike course.  
The road on 86 is in superb condition.  The shoulder was a little rough in spots (just silt or ice) and the road can be narrow, but still very comfortable.  

Climb up 86 - Wilmington back to town

Once you hit the "North Pole", which I thought was just a tourist attraction (and it is and OMG apparently is has freaking clowns), but is apparently also a town, you are almost there.  It's a slow climb to Whiteface and then a few little rollers until you hit River Road (the other end of the road where the run course is).  My landmarks are Whiteface, Owen Pond (for obvious reasons) and then River Road.  When you hit River Road, you know you're just like 2 miles from the end!  Woo hoo!!  The only thing is you have the five famed hills left to go - they're all concentrated in that last mile of the race, so it can be tough.  Even though the hills are not easy, I kind of like them.  I like the landmarks and knowing that I can check them each off my list.

The hills are Little Cherry and Big Cherry, which are right around the Cherrypatch Pond  They're basically just rollers, though Big Cherry is kind of a bear.  And speaking of bears, once you finish Big Cherry, you turn a bend and you approach the three bears: Mama, Baby and Papa.  I find Mama the hardest.  She is first and she is long ... it is a long climb with a curve at the top.  You think you're at the top and LOL! no, you're not.  Once you crest Mama, you go down a little and go over Baby, which is really just a bump in the road and, as Amy said, a way to get momentum.  Papa is last and he is pretty steep but short. You can see the top so it's a little more manageable than Mama in my view.  And you also know once you are at the top of Papa, you are D-O-N-E done.  Someone sprayed "MAMA BEAR", "BABY BEAR", and "PAPA BEAR" on the shoulder of each bear, which was really fun and yet another landmark to look forward to.  

The roads here are likewise great.  Lots of room, nice smooth pavement, great conditions.  

After the first loop, I felt good.  The second loop was very very humbling: I realized how fatigued my legs got on that first loop and due to all that climbing.  And while I certainly did not feel spent or exhausted or gassed, I was reminded of how much work I still have to do to be ready to tackle this race.  
We finished the ride, let Bill go do his and chilled out with the kids for the rest of the day.  My ride took a little over 6 1/2 hours.  I am confident I can improve this.  

Friday:  Friday morning, Amy and I had a brick. We decided to do the same ride as Wednesday (down 86 and back up again) because the conditions there were the best and we could just focus on riding vs. surviving the conditions.  We figured we'd ride about 40 minutes and then do a 2-3 mile run around Mirror Lake.  The bike was uneventful except when some jerk in a tan pickup truck purposefully swerved close to both of us.  He came super close to me and then I saw him do the same to Amy, who promptly flipped him off.  LOL.  The bike was fine and our run was great.  We had a fast endurance pace run around Mirror Lake with an average speed of 8:51/mile.  We passed everyone on the loop which was also a nice boost.  The loop was about 2 3/4 miles for us, which was perfect.  

Mirror Lake Drive was covered in silt and dirt and mud.  We stuck to the brick path around the lake.  The road itself would not be good for biking.  

And that's that!  The longest recap ever.  I should note: I burned 2300 calories on that long bike ride.  Eating for free!  Eating for free!  Yay! 

We are heading up to Lake Placid twice more before the race.  We all agreed that doing those two loops was the best possible plan ever, and we all want to do that one more time.  So we're planning to go up in May just to bike.  Then we are headed back in June for a four-day training camp.  And after that - gulp - we head up for race weekend. 

In the meantime, I will be training a ton.  The bikes will change from 2 hours on the trainer to 3.5-7 hours outside.  I'm glad.  Yes, the time is a lot, but obviously, I need all the time I can get in the saddle and outdoors.  If anyone knows of any really long bike routes in the Philadelphia area, please leave a comment or shoot me an email at shanna (at) swoonstylehome.com.  

Thanks for reading!  

See you swoon,

IMLP Training Recap: Week 22 [Lake Placid!]

Happy Monday!

I am back from a little Spring Break training up in Lake Placid.  Amy, Bill and I went up with our kids (who were off from school) and decided to make a little training stint out of it.  Recall what I said at the end of last week's IMLP Training Recap:

Stay tuned for next week's Placid recap.  I can handle wind, rain, and cold.  Just please.  For the love of God: no snow.

That was a bit of foreshadowing, I suppose.  We ended up dealing with all of those things: wind, rain, cold, snow and one extra: ice!  Woo hoo!!!!  We had to shift the schedule around and roll with things on the fly (which you know is very difficult for me to do).  But ultimately, it was a really good trip.  We got in all of our workouts and we really, really, biked that course.  I'll do a separate, longer post on the Placid trip later this week.

But for now, here's the recap ... with just 96 days until the race:

Week 22: 12:21:34 hours

Swam: 1:54 hours (5200 yards)
Biked:  8:26 hours (111 miles -- all outside!)
Ran:  1:57 hours (12.8 miles)

Workouts (workouts in Lake Placid bolded):

Monday:  swim
Tuesday: long run
Wednesday: bike
Thursday: long bike
Friday:  brick
Saturday: long swim
Sunday: REST DAY!!

My Monday swim was pretty standard: a mix of endurance and some speedwork, which took about an hour to complete.

Tuesday morning we headed up to Lake Placid.  Our coach had Amy and I doing our workouts together and Bill doing his solo. This was per our request so we would take turns with the kids.  Initially, Amy and I were supposed to do a brick on Tuesday, a long bike (two loops of the bike course) on Wednesday, a brick on Thursday and a long run on Friday.  It was pouring and cold when we got up there on Tuesday, and we knew a brick wasn't safe.  So we decided to do our long run instead.  We ran the Ironman run course, but had to turn around a bit earlier than planned because the road was flooded out from all the heavy rain.  We considered tacking on another 2-3 in town, but it started sleeting (?!!?) and we called it a day.  Here's what greeted us when we arrived in Lake Placid:


Wednesday.  Wednesday was to be our long bike ride, but once again, the weather threw a wrench into the plans with snow on Tuesday night and very cold (i.e., freezing) temps on Wednesday morning.  Snow and ice covered roads = no bike. So we moved things around. By the afternoon, the roads had cleared so Amy and I did an hour on the bike.  We knew the road conditions at the end of the bike course were the best, so we biked there.  It was a great idea to get on the bike, since this was our first time biking outside since the Fall!  We were planning to do two loops of the bike course (without the out and backs) on Thursday.  Wednesday ended up being a gorgeous, if cold, clear day.

From the top of Little Whiteface Mountain - that is Lake Placid (photo courtesy of Amy)
Thursday was the big long bike.  It was, again, freezing.  Literally.  But we came to bike this course and that's what we did.  It took over 6 hours, but we biked 85 miles of the course.  It was a challenge (honestly, equal parts mental and physical for me) but I also walked away feeling like with some more time in the saddle, I can overcome those challenges.

On Friday Amy and I did a brick: we biked the same route as on Tuesday and then went back to the hotel and quickly changed gear and went out for a run around (a very frozen) Mirror Lake.  The brick felt great and was what I needed to bump my kind of shaken confidence from the ride the day before.

Saturday I had an easy, long swim! It was 3200 yards - 500 yard warm up and then 4x600 for the main set -- all easy pace.  I loved this.  I could just swim and not pay attention to my watch at all.  It felt so good to be in the water.  I worked a little on sighting, as my first tri of the season is coming up in just two weeks!

Sunday - rest day!!!!  I rested.  I am good at resting.

Stay tuned for a fuller recap on Wednesday.  Have a great week!

See you swoon,

More Progress in the Playroom: art table, pillows and art on walls

Ah good morning! I hope you're having a great day so far.  

I'm making even more progress in the downstairs playroom!  It's almost ... almost ... done.  I've already blogged about the first few steps of this room: cleaning it up and then organizing and decorating it.  The hard part of this space is done!  Now it's just a few loose ends.

1.  Little's New Art Table.

I bought Little the Sansad table from Ikea.  It was about $50 and what sold me on it was the adjustable legs as well as the nice large size.  What I didn't like was the table came with red and blue plastic feet.  

I tried to spray paint them but did not have luck: the paint scraped right off with a fingernail. I think it's because I did not use spray paint primer before I painted.  So I grabbed my regular Zinsser oil based primer and used a coat of that, followed by a coat of my Sherwin Williams Dover White and a quick swipe of poly on top.  Now look at those legs!

Here's the space now, which needs a rug under the table so Little can let her creative spirit soar and not have to worry about getting paint, marker, or whatever other medium on the carpet.  

2.  Pillows in the TV area.

I went to Home Goods over a few Saturdays recently without a shopping list.  Danger!  But those are the days that I tend to stumble upon good deals.  I found all of the new pillows and love them.  I'm really happy with how they lighten up the space.  And pillows are so crazy cheap at Home Goods! Way cheaper than Target.  

I thought working with pretty shades of green and blue would look good in this space.  I liked how all of the prints worked together too.  

3.  Art on the walls.

I still have a lot more art to hang, but I got started.  I had this modern print hanging in the kids' bathroom before I changed it up.  I bought a big frame at Ikea and hung it up.  I thought it looked nice over the sofa table.

4.  Clean Up Craft Area.

My little craft area became a big dumping ground for frames (for the stairwell project and the playroom), my triathlon gear, extra furniture, bags for Goodwill and stuff to store.  Here it is before.  

This was just a matter of moving things around and putting them in the right spot.  A lot of the "stuff" is now in my storage room, which I absolutely need to organize ASAP and I won't show you because it kind of looks like an episode of Hoarders.  But this space looks fantastic now: nice and neat.  All that is left here are the frames that are going in the stairwell and around the playroom. 

5.  Baskets for Big's Trains & the Big Red Bricks.

This was more of a "wanna" versus a "haveta" project in the playroom: I wanted new storage bins for Big's trains and the big red bricks.  Big's trains were a gift from my family a few years ago and he loves them.  They're a really nice train set.  I've stored them in a big open plastic bin from Target:

I bought a fabric bin  from Home Goods and the trains live in it now.  I'll find a new space for them but for now they're good here. 

The big bricks are a total throw-back to my own childhood. My sister and I had bricks just like these when we were kids, and I remember playing with them all the time, making forts and houses, and having a ball.  So when I saw them when Big was a baby, I put them on his Christmas list.  My kids adore them too, which is fun to see.

I am not crazy about the storage bins for them.  They're laundry hampers from Ikea and have worked pretty well, but they aren't that attractive and take up a lot of space.  I'm on the hunt for a large basket or maybe trunk to hide these in.  

6.  What's Left?

Whew!  I really don't have much more to do in here.  The biggest project left to tackle is to paint the furniture and pegboard: I have to paint the dresser that holds the TV, the sofa table, a big wall shelf, and the piece of peg board for behind Little's kitchen.  I'm going to do all of this at once very soon - probably Easter weekend, when I'm hopeful it will finally be warm enough to open up the sliders while I paint.

Once the furniture it painted, I need to hang the pegboard, hang the wall shelf and hang the last pieces of art around the space.  I also need to hang a smaller shelf and some hooks near Little's baby section.

I also need to update that lamp on the sofa table.  I need to spray paint it (and figure out what color to use) and buy a new harp and shade for it.  I'm waiting until the weather turns to do that, since I'll need to paint it outside.

Finally, I'll have to decorate a little: the sofa table, the big wall shelf near my bike and any other remaining spots. I need to get something to hold the bricks and pick up a blanket or two as well but that can wait.   

So close!  It's my goal to have this space completely done by the end of April.  

See you swoon,

What I Wore {post 40}

Spring is finally in the air!  Even if the air is still not quite as warm as I'd like.  Here are some recent outfits.  

* Green & White Wrap Dress *

This dress was a great investment.  I bought it in 2006 when I was going back to work after having my son.  It was from BCBG and I have no idea what I paid but I know it was full price, which is something I don't like to do, but absolutely will if it seems like an investment piece.  This dress was.  I have worn it so many times and I can't see it ever going out of style.  The only thing I have to do is text Amy when I wear it because she has a very similar green wrap dress.  These pictures are really fuzzy.  I'm sorry.  I need a new iPhone.  

* Chambray Blouse, Navy Pencil Skirt, Anthropologie Scarf *

The scarf is the star of this outfit.  It's from Anthropologie from a few years back and is made up of smaller pieces of all different patterns of scarves.  I wore it with my chambray blouse and navy pencil skirt.  I thought brown boots and belt dressed down the outfit a bit.  

* Green Sweater, Gingham Blouse, Skinny Jeans *

This was a casual Friday at work.  It was a beautiful day but chilly.  I really wanted to wear my gingham blouse but topped it with the sweater so I didn't freeze.  The outfit needed something, so I wore my turquoise bubble necklace.  

See you swoon,

IMLP Training Recap: Week 21

21 weeks in and things are OK.  Not great, not awful.  I'm just feeling a little ... I'm not sure what the right word is.  Uninspired? Tired? Simultaneously over and underwhelmed?  I'm looking forward to heading up to Lake Placid this week with Amy and Bill and all the kids.  The weather is looking very unpredictable, but I'll be glad to see the race site and bike and run those courses.  No way no how am I setting so much as one toe in Mirror Lake right now!  

In any event, here's hoping the week away gives me a little shot in the arm.

Week 21:  10:19:56 hours

Swam: 1:41 hours (4,950 yards)
Biked:  5:06 hours (all on trainer - watch says 73.7 miles)
Ran:  3:32 hours (23.7 miles)


Monday and Thursday were both swims.  Same swims that I've been doing for awhile - Monday was a bunch of 500s with some speed work.  Thursday was 4x600 as the main set.

Tuesday was an easy 50 minute endurance bike.  Gotta love that.

Wednesday was my favorite day: a 1:45 run.  Yes, one hour and forty five minutes on a Wednesday workday.  I started running around 6:20.  It was a beautiful day outside - sunny and cool.  I hit a nice easy pace and just enjoyed.

Friday was a tough bike with some tough intervals.  I tried to take a pic after - this picture does not remotely convey just how sweaty I was.

I also had a 3 mile "shake out" run on Friday, which I did after work (and about 12 hours after my bike).  It was supposed to be endurance pace but I ran it at an average speed of 8:08/mile. That ... is not endurance pace.  I had a tough day and when that happens, I take it out on the run.  It felt good at the time, but I need to be careful not to do that.

Saturday I had a 50 minute endurance bike and a 50 minute endurance run.  Both were fine.  I did the run at home in NJ, which was great.

Sunday.  Aie.  Sunday I had a pretty easy run: run 9 minutes at endurance pace; walk 1 minute and repeat a total of three times.  Then I had a 2 hour and 20 minute bike, which unfortunately I had to do in the evening.  I got it done, but man.  I was done. D-O-N-E done.

Stay tuned for next week's Placid recap.  I can handle wind, rain, and cold.  Just please.  For the love of God: no snow.

See you swoon,

Master Bedroom: Filling the Blank Space over the TV

Hello and good morning!  If the devil is in the details, as they say, then this post is all about the devil.  muuuu hahahahahaha.    I found some great prints for my bedroom TV wall and hung them up.  woo hoo.

I pretty much finished up my bedroom earlier this year, and I blogged about it here and also in my new years resolution update post.  All that was left was to (1) paint my jewelry box and (2) hang something above the TV.  I tackled the latter.

Here's a shot of the wall when I started:

I wanted something simple up there, and I even debated whether it was necessary to put anything up at all.  The more I lived with it, the more I thought, yes, something needs to go up on that wall.  I went through a few options in my head:

Option A: framed prints - this seemed to make the most sense, but the hard part would be finding exactly what I wanted.  I didn't want photos. I wanted some kind of art or print.  Something like this look:

* via
Option B: magnetic flowers - I've seen these magnetic flower things on blogs and Pinterest, and I thought they might work (without the inspirational saying as pictured below). In the end I think they're a little too juvenile for me.  Little, on the other hand, would love them:

* image via Amazon.com *
Option C: vintage looking oar - Jamie and I saw some oars at a cute little shop down the shore a few years ago and loved them.  I thought one of those would fill the space nicely, but ultimately, I ruled it out.  I didn't think an oar made sense in my bedroom.

* image via Pottery Barn Kids *
Option D: mirror - I love this look but I already have mirrors over my bed.  And a mirror on the wall next to my jewelry box and little light blue chest.  I thought that was mirror overkill.  But this looks nice:

* Image via Thrifty Decor Chick *
So Option A it was.  I thought 8x10 prints would be the best size, so when I was recently at Ikea, I picked up a couple of frames that would hold them.  Then came the hard part: deciding what prints to put in the frames. I trolled Etsy and went back to a seller that I love and from whom I've purchased art in the past: Judy Stalus.  I love her ethereal floral prints and thought two of them would look great in this space. She has so many that would work and in the end I decided on the close-ups of some pink peonies on blue background:

There were a few sepia or black and white prints that I liked too, but I thought that wall needed a little something, and pink was it.  My room is very feminine, so I wanted to go "all in" with that.  What's more feminine than pink peonies?  Here are the prints on the wall:

I love it!  And a particular shout out to Judy Stalus: I ordered the two 8x10 prints and did not realize that if you purchase two prints, she has a special price for those and it's less money.  She promptly contacted me after I paid and told me I overpaid and she was refunding some of my money.  So nice!  

So all that's left is that jewelry box.  I bought new knobs for the drawers (from Etsy of course!) and now I just have to paint it.  I need to get myself over to Home Depot so I can try their own brand of chalk paint that I'm seeing all over blog land, including on the Home Depot's own blog.  Once I do that, my bedroom will be done for awhile.  

See you swoon,