Iron Girl Triathlon Recap: Cleremont 2013

I am not sure how in the world I forgot to recap this race, but I did! Bad Jenny. BAD BAD BAD!!

The race was held the last weekend in September so I'm going to do the best that I can to remember what happened oh 4 months ago. Surprised

I was excited to do this race. I had several buddies from CrossFit doing it (and for two of them it was their FIRST tri ever) and I had Denise, Chrissy, Megan, there as well.

This wasn't my first triathlon, but it was my first one of 2013!

Denise, Chrissy and I went up the day before the tri so we wouldn't have to worry about driving up in the wee hours of the morning. We wanted to make sure we were well rested!

The Cleremont course also promised hills, so we wanted to drive the course and see what we were up against.

After packet pick-up and the "expo" (which really for expo standards, was quite lame) we grabbed the map and off we went.

Yes there were hills. The largest hill was up Jalarmy Road. It looked steep but I had no idea how steep until I actually tried to ride up it on my Trek!

Photos courtesy of Denise is Run DMT

We also got a peek at Lake Minneola. I wasn't concerned about the lake swim at all, and thought that it looked like a pretty decent swim course.

It was the run that I was most worried about, so I knew the swim and the bike would have to be my saving grace for this race.

As we were walking to put our bikes in transition, I was checking out the swim! 

Throughout the course of the summer I had been cycling and rowing. I swam twice, and ran a handful of times. But cycling was really the only activity I had been doing in addition to my normal CrossFit workouts.

We had a carb loading dinner at the Olive Garden, and went to bed at a decent hour!

Our alarm went off, we changed, grabbed breakfast and headed down to the course which was only a few miles from our hotel.

We were there before the sun went up! Thankfully I had an extra Polar shirt to keep on over my tri suit!

My age group was set to be the second group in the water at 7:33am. I was ready. Again, I knew I'd have to do well on the swim and the bike to feel like I had accomplished what I set out to do.

The swim was GREAT. I went in the front to the far right side and when we were ready to go, off I went. I veered off course just a tad, but overall it didn't impact me at all. I finished the 1/2 mile swim in 18:26, made it through transition in 3:09, changed into my shoes, put on my helmet, and off I went.

The bike course was GREAT. This is where I made up a lot of time. I was passing riders and feeling really strong. I even managed to tackle those hills. I also realized that I need to have my bike adjusted. I mean, I already KNEW that I needed a tune-up and had mentioned it to Denise on several of our rides, but did I do it. No. I could have done better on the bike course if my bike had been properly tuned.

It was a beautiful course (no photos...I forgot my phone charger, so it died very early on) and I finished in 48:52. Again through the transition and dreading the run. I got off the bike feeling strong. Changed shoes, took off my helmet, put on my visor and I started off.

I didn't make it far before that dang right piriformis muscle started bothering me. I wogged for as long as I could, and I knew I'd be getting passed soon by Denise. That girl can run. And yup, right near mile 1 she came up behind me! I hollered to her "I knew you'd pass me on the run" and off she went. When I got to the mile 1 water station, I asked if I could shorten my planned 3 mile to the shorter 2 mile without being disqualified and they said yes. So I turned around and finished with the 2 mile distance.

Overall the event took me 1:41:18 and I really did love every second of it.


And I'm glad I got done first because it meant I could cheer Denise, Chrissy, Megan, Jen, Amanda, Renee, and Chris through the finish line! Watching them finish was inspiring.

This was a great race, well organized and super fun.

I even had people cheering me on that I didn't know!

Too bad it won't be coming back to this location in 2014. The closest race will be in Atlanta. Maybe I can go? We'll see! I know that there are several Tri's I want to do in 2014, and I really need to train the run, but it HURTS. And not the good kind of hurt. Ugh.


I was happy to be able to participate in this race on behalf of Polar Heart Rate monitors.

#MoveNourishBelieve Blogger Challenge!!

This post in sponsored by Fit Approach LLC on behalf of Lorna Jane.

Today is January 28th!!  The first month of 2014 is almost over, and that’s a month since you made those 2014 goals to live a more healthy lifestyle!!  So how are you doing? I'm doing fantastic with my fitness goals. My nighttime snacking still needs to be more tightly controlled and I'm so happy to be able to partner with Lorna Jane, and Sweat Pink for that kick in the butt that it appears I need!

Throughout the month of February there will be fantastic challenges headed your way (see the image at the bottom of the post!!) Be sure to follow them on Twitter here and here. Also check out and for daily inspiration.

Lorna Jane sent me an outfit this week to help me to power through the upcoming challenge.

And I promptly wore it to CrossFit where I'm sure it helped me in my chest press.

Stay tuned for updates from Lorna Jane, Sweat Pink, and me!! You can follow along on twitter with the hashtag #mnbchallenge and visit these other amazing fitness and health bloggers for further inspiration!

Angela from Happy Fit Mama (

Jill from Fitness, Health, and Happiness (

Laura from Fit Running Mama (

Astrid from Better Believe Fit (

Katie from Healthy Heddleston (

Maddie from Fit Approach (

Debbie from Live from La Quinta (

Shannon from Badass Fitness (

Jenny from MetaMorFit ( (that's ME!!)

Danielle from It’s a Harleyyy Life (

Kalee from Sorey Fitness (

Lynda from Fitnessmomwinecountry (

Lindsay from Fit and Awesome (

Marcia from Marcia’s Healthy Slice (

Giselle from My Healthy Happy Home (

Presley from Run Pretty (

I also recommend that you join the Move Nourish Believe Challenge Facebook Event! And don't forget to RSVP as most updates will be there and on Twitter / Instagram

Check out the Facebook Event to RSVP. Then share you pics and posts on Twitter and InstaGram all month long tagging with #MNBChallenge. To sweeten the deal, you could be the lucky winner of a $1000 shopping spree to Lorna Jane!

CrossFit Chronicles: Edition 13, the day of PR's

It's been a long time since I had an edition of the CrossFit Chronicles.

Believe me, not for lack of anything going on, because PLENTY has been going on, I just didn't want all of you to get bored reading about how amazing CrossFit is, how it changed my life, how I think everyone should do it, etc, etc, etc. Wink

But today, today I feel the need to share.

Last night our head coach, lead programmer, master of all things CrossFit, posted something very important, reminding all of us of the reasons he programs the way he does. I'll share it with you all here:

Your En Fuego Coaching Team believes in and follows, slow/smart progressions. I know there are some of you that feel you need to be left flat on your back gasping for air after every workout or that you should go after a new 1 rep max at every opportunity on a strength lift (even if the programming states "moderately heavy"), but there's a huge problem with that. It usually leads to a stagnant plateau or worse yet an injury. My goals with our programming is to provide a progressive training stimulus, to expose you to many strength and conditioning variables at varying intensities/loads/time domains, to make sure you all are safe and recover appropriately, and lastly (but just as important I believe) keeping our training fun and interesting. Responsible and intelligent programming isn't always "sexy" to us CrossFitters. We enjoy the challenge of tackling "Murph", trying to PR our "Fran" time, or attempting to Deadlift a certain goal weight. Trust me I enjoy all of these things too! There's a time and place for WODs like that though (tomorrow maybe?!?! hint, hint... Total #2). Don't be fooled into thinking that you always have to "go big or go home". Embrace the small steps and the ability to continue moving steadily and safely forward.

That was his prologue to this article here, and please READ IT!!

Nobody Says It, But This Is the Greatest Weightlifting Lesson I've Learned
- James Clear

You'll never walk into the gym and hear someone say, "You should do something easy today."

But after 10 years of training, I think embracing slow and easy gains is one of the most important lessons I've learned.

In fact, this lesson applies to most things in life. And it comes down to the difference between progress and achievement.

Let me explain...

The Difference Between Progress and Achievement

Our society is obsessed with achievement. This is especially true in the gym.

I'm just as guilty of this as anyone else. Last week, a guy at my gym clean and jerked 325 pounds and made it look easy. My first question to him was, "What's your max?"

I didn't say, "How is your training going?" or "Have you been making progress recently?" but rather, "What is the absolute maximum weight you can do?"

My question was all about what he could achieve, not how he has progressed.

And you'll find that mentality everywhere. Nobody is going to celebrate you for going up 1 pound per week. Everybody wants you to try for 10 more pounds right now.

Here's the problem: A focus on achievement in the here and now usually comes at the expense of slower, more consistent progress. Achievement is so ingrained in our culture that we often ignore progress. (Of course, focusing on progress would ultimately lead to higher achievement, but it's easy to dismiss that fact when you want to set a new PR today.)

I'm still learning to embrace this principle myself, but I'm getting better at it. And here's what I've learned about training for slow progress rather than immediate achievement.

1. Slow Gains Add Up Really Fast

Here's the thing about taking it slow: It adds up really fast.

Here's an example...

I want you to go into the gym this week, pick your favorite lift (squats for example), and lift 1 pound more than you did last week. You are not allowed to do 2 pounds more. Only 1 pound.

Do you think you could do that? Most people would be like, "Of course. That's easy." And they're right.

But here's the funny thing: If you do that every week, then you're going to add 50 pounds to your lifts in the next year. Stick with that for two years and you're lifting 100 pounds more.

How many people do you know who are lifting 100 pounds more than they were two years ago? I don't know many. Most people are so obsessed with squeaking out an extra 10 pounds this week that they never find the patience to make slower (but greater) long-term gains.

It all comes down to the power of average speed. The next two years are going to come and go. The time will pass anyway. Might as well be climbing the whole time.

2. Slow Gains Help You Handle Intensity Later On

For some reason, we think that starting easy and going up slowly is a waste of our time. It's not.

When you start with easy weights (and I think this is especially important in the beginning), you build the capacity to do work. If you're getting back in the gym after a long layoff, then I think that at least the first month of lifting should be easy.

For some reason, society has convinced us that if your heart rate isn't above 150 beats per minute and you don't feel gassed at the end of your workout, then you haven't done yourself any good. I disagree. If you actually add a little weight each week and don't miss workouts, then it will get hard enough, fast enough. Trust me.

Build a foundation of strength with easy workouts and a lot of volume. Do 1,000 reps over the next few months and let your body learn how to move through space. Slowly go up each week. By this time next year, you'll be able to handle the heavy weights with ease.

3. Slow Gains Foster Recovery

The body has an amazing ability to adapt -- if you give it time to do so.

When you place a stimulus on the body, it will either find a way to handle it or die. In the case of weightlifting, your body will build muscle and bone tissue, and you'll gradually become stronger. Small, consistent gains give the body just enough stress to grow and just enough time to recover.

But if you try to push the body too far, too fast, then it will find a different way to adapt. Namely, inflammation, injury, and stress. You might be able to add 10 pounds per week for a few weeks, but pretty soon it will catch up to you and you'll be sitting on the couch trying to get healthy.

Hard, Hard, Hurt vs. Slow, Slow, Never Stop

If you want to get in shape, to get stronger, and to reach your full potential, then what is the most important thing of all?

Answer: not missing workouts.

There is nothing more important than building the habit of getting in the gym and not missing workouts. Stop trying to make up for the fact that you're inconsistent by going harder when you're there. Long-term progress doesn't work that way. Instead, train yourself to not miss workouts and slowly add weight.

At the end of the day, it comes down to this: Are you just trying to put up a big number right now? Or are you really in this for the long haul?

Most people train in this cycle: hard, hard, hard, hurt.

I'd rather go slow, slow, slow, never stop.


I read that and it immediately hit home for me. My philosophy since beginning this fitness lifestyle has been to go slow, slow, slow, never stop! Fitness (for me) needs to be something that I can do FOR LIFE. If I go hard, hard, hard, I am going to get hurt.

And to quote Sweet Brown,

Walking into CrossFit En Fuego this morning I knew we would have on our white board something related to a PR. Coach Pete left clues in the post, Coach Jen posted this

So I was pretty excited. 

Then I saw the whiteboard.

And my heart jumped a little bit! 3 different PR's could be set today! Wow! Exciting!!!

Coach Pete explained how the workout would go. If we already knew what our previous PR was, then as soon as we hit a new PR we were to STOP, unless we had permission from him and he was watching to make sure that proper form, etc., was kept! This was not a hard, hard, hard, hurt workout. So maybe the PR was only by 5 pounds, it's still a PR.

We divided up into groups of 3-4 and I worked with my gals Joan, Karin, and Jen. We all thought we might be around the same PR weight, so there wouldn't need to be too much shifting of adding/taking away weights. We warmed up and off we went.

First up was the clean.

And I PR'd, as did all my girls. So proud of them! And as you can see, we are all very similar in strength for this lift. My previous PR was 80#, so an increase of 10#

Next up was the bench press. If you watch that video link (and it's not from my gym) you will notice that there is some improper form going on. The hips should not be lifting up off the bench. Undecided

And yes, we all hit new PR's. I tried 90# and failed. I got it up about 3/4 of the way but just didn't have any drive left in me to get it up all the way. That's okay. I still PR'd by 10#

And lastly we had the overhead squat. All 4 of us went into this lift thinking we'd "be lucky" if we did 45#

I think you can see that we ALL exceeded that by a pretty significant margin. Surprised GO US!! I attempted 75# but had to bail out at the bottom. First time I ever had to bail out of a lift like that. Fell on my butt. LOL.

After all 3 PR's were completed, we totaled them up and shared them on the backside of the whiteboard. These scores will remain on the board until we do this again, which might be in a year or so.

This WOD took us a long time, but all of us had the time, so there was no pressure to hurry through, we just cheered each other on, gave support and encouragement. laughed, and had a great time seeing how strong we had all become!

Including warmup (which included a 400m run that I RAN!!) this WOD took us 1:41!! But in that time I burned 566 calories and I was very happy. Happy to see all the progress I have made, happy to see all the progress my friends have made, and happy that I have such amazing coaches that truly care about us.

Life is good.

And all this strength training should surely have me prepared to compete with my girls in the Spartan Sprint which is coming to Tampa on February 15th!!

What's something you've done recently that has made you proud?? Have you ever done a Spartan race??