Ironman Florida Haines City

Did you know that Lance Armstrong came to my town to race?

Lance Armstrong Wins Ironman Florida Haines City


Ironman Florida moved to Haines City for the next five years because of construction at Disney. This means for the next four years, endurance athletes (and enthusiasts) descend on my favorite park for one week-end in May.

These have popped up all over town for the weeks leading up to Ironman Florida.

J and I decided to check out the race expo. It was the first one I ever attended that was held outside. There was a decent mix of vendors but the amount of food vendors was exciting.

Newton was represented by the FITniche crew.

The walkway which is a part of my regular running route.

It’s hard to make out but one of the swimming cutouts was actually in Lake Eva. One of the complaints by racers was that the water of Lake Eva was only eight feet deep. We have not had much in the way of rain in the past few months.

Another walkway shot and one of the amazing food vendors at the expo.

The results board.

Swim map.

The running route must have been boring. To fit in 13.1 miles, the route needed to be repeated three times. Not sure I would like to run a half that way.

Bike route (much more interesting than the running route.)

Bike area with one bike.

The expo had a great turnout and I am so happy for other people to see the beauty that is Lake Eva. I feel privileged that I live in a community that has such a beautiful park.

I Tried Suspension Training And It Almost Killed Me

My gym is offering a new class called Gravity. It is their version of Suspension Training. Basically, you have a system of ropes and webbing that is hooked to a fixed point above your head and preform body weight exercises while suspended by your arms or legs.

Suspension TRX Training Class


I enjoyed most of the exercises especially the push-ups. A very fit woman in my class mentioned that she did push-ups all the time (and she looked like that was true) and doing them in a suspended way felt much more difficult. The trainer leading the class pointed out that losing the floor can make a big difference in the feel plus you are targeting some different muscles being suspended. (The following video does a really great job demonstrating what a suspension trainer push-up looks like and why it can be more difficult than a standard push-up.)

This may be an indication that I need to cross train more but my entire body (including my armpits) hurt for days after this workout. Luckily my new job requires me to put away files in a floor-to-ceiling file wall, so my co-workers were treated to moans and groans at every arm lift. Plus some silent cursing.

Unmitigated pain aside, I would definitely attend this class regularly if it wasn’t an extra $15 dollars a class on top of my gym membership. If I could ever work up to two or three times a week, I might actually have a reasonably strong upper body and a stronger core.

Week Two To A Sub-30 Minute 5K

Week Two To A Sub-30 5K

Week Two’s workouts were similar to the first week but a little bit faster and farther.

Speed Work: 8 x 400 at 2:15 to 2:20 with 1:30 jogs in between.

Easy Run: 4 to 5 miles (I did 4 at a 12 minute mile.)

Tempo: 2 miles at 10 minutes per mile.

Long Run: 7 Miles

I did manage to do one weights workout on Thursday.

I feel faster but I am finding how much I hate running on the treadmill. The speed work, because I do not have easy access to a track, is easier at the gym rather than outside but the long run was pushing my limits. I need to remember that the weather is in Florida is not conducive to fast running and being inside will have to work for now.

I did deviate from the plan on Saturday when instead of doing the second Easy Run of 2 to 3 miles I sat in PJ’s all day. J went to Disney with a friend and left me the house to myself. I caught up on TV and enjoyed not doing anything productive.

To sum it all up, I think this plan is working and I cannot wait for my first post-plan race.

Born Wicked By Jessica Spotwood A Review

I recently won a book from goodreads. I love this site (not only because they gave me a free book) but because their app lets me scan books I want when I am out and add them to my to-read list. That way I never forget the name of a book or a new author.  It has grown my to-read list to ridiculous proportions (178) but has helped me discover (and remember to read) books that I know I would forget about.

The book I won is Born Wicked by Jessica Spostwood .

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood


Synopsis from goodreads:

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they’re witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship—or an early grave.

Before her mother died, Cate promised to protect her sisters. But with only six months left to choose between marriage and the Sisterhood, she might not be able to keep her word… especially after she finds her mother’s diary, uncovering a secret that could spell her family’s destruction. Desperate to find alternatives to their fate, Cate starts scouring banned books and questioning rebellious new friends, all while juggling tea parties, shocking marriage proposals, and a forbidden romance with the completely unsuitable Finn Belastra.

If what her mother wrote is true, the Cahill girls aren’t safe. Not from the Brotherhood, the Sisterhood—not even from each other.

The cover is my favorite so far this year. Besides the obvious beauty, it captures the freedom that Cate feels when she can be herself. Carrying this book around, countless people asked me about it solely based on the cover.

I loved this book and could not put it down. Jessica Spotswood creates this world where women are forced to keep quiet about anything that makes them special or calls too much attention. They must obey the men in their lives. Any deviation from the accepted protocol and they are likely to be accused of witchcraft. Women are routinely rounded up and sent away.

Cate, being the oldest of three, is the mother figure to her sisters after the death of their mother. Their father is mostly absent. Before she dies, Cate’s mother asks her to promise to watch out for her sisters. As the story unfolds, Cate finds out why her mother was so protective of the girls magic and warned Cate to be careful.

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood is an excellent mix of an interesting world, strong protagonist, and a love story. I am eagerly awaiting book two in this trilogy.

Running A Sub-30 5K Week One

Last week was a solid week.

Run A Sub-30 Minute 5K Training Plan

My new training plan (from the June 2012 issue of Runner’s World) is a five-week plan to run a sub-30 minute 5K. This is a big running goal for me in 2012. Week One consisted of speed work, tempo, two easy, and one long run. I was also able to fit two days of double workouts to fit in my new weights routine. I am even starting to feel comfortable and confident moving around the weights area.

It could be in my head, but I am already starting to feel faster. One reason why I have not seen as many gains in my speed is that I find it more comfortable to run at an easy pace. Never wanting to push myself too hard, I relied on the same pace for too long. It seems obvious, but having to push yourself is a concept I am just starting to learn.

The plan is much lower mileage than I am used to being in half-marathon training mode for the past eight months. This is a good thing. I needed a mental break from running long (to me) distances. Focusing on shorter distances is great for Florida this time of year. As I found out on my run on Saturday (which was going to be my six-mile long run) which I totally blew up. The heat just got to me and I had to call it. Luckily, I had time to fit in the run on Sunday (on a treadmill in air-conditioning at the gym).

Even though my run was much less than stellar, I ran at the future site of Ironman Florida and the triathletes were out in full force. Tons of runners and cyclists practicing the route for May 20th. It is so exciting to see other people discover the beauty of Lake Eva and the surrounding area.

Lake Eva

What is the most effective way you have found to get faster?

Ambitious Is My Middle Name

I may be trying to make up for a little of the sloth like behavior from when I was unemployed. I wrote about my plan to run a sub-30 5K in the next few months. I neglected to mention another goal.

Motivational Toned Woman


I want to be toned and stronger. I struggle to balance strength training with running and my fitness is worse off because of it. Joining a gym for the first time in years, is a great opportunity to do something about it.

I know so little about strength training that I wanted to go with a set program to make sure I was hitting all the right muscle groups.

Jamie Eason’s LiveFit seemed like the perfect fit. It is free and contains an amazing amount of information from nutrition to motivation. The videos and detailed exercise descriptions have really helped me to feel confident that this is a program that I can do.

There are only two parts of the program I am ignoring, which I understand will modify my results, the eating plan and the lack of cardio for the first month. With my 5K plan, losing the cardio for any extended amount of time is impossible. I am putting my two plans together by strength training in the gym in the morning before work and running after work. The two a day schedule may be ambitious but having the significantly reduced commute has given me so much extra time. I want to spend this time going after my goals.

So here’s to being faster and stronger in the coming months.