Thursday, February 21, 2013

Week 4: Rockstar Motivation

It's definitely a bad sign when I don't have time to post my weekly recap. I did, however, get most of my workouts in. While the rest of the country was freezing their asses off, temperatures here reached 80 degrees on Friday and Saturday. Add to that the fact I saw a killer concert from a VIP table in the "suites" at the Staples Center and my honey was here visiting, I had a pretty darn good week.

What I was supposed to do:        What I did: 
Rest Day

I really wanted to swim on Monday but I was so tired. My pool
is open for lap swimming from 6:00 am until 2:00 pm and every
hour I said to myself I'd go the next hour. Like an exercise snooze
button, I did this until the pool closed. When it opened up again in
the evening I was definitely out for the count. Ultimately I did
what I was allowed to do and rested. 

Bright and early I went to the pool for SCAQ's 90 minute
Beginner Triathlon workout. Beginner my ass! It was a 90 minute
endurance swim. Clearly out of my league, I moved into the
slow lane to practice my stroke with the "Dave's Drills" video Jen
had sent me. It was 6:00 am and 43 degrees. Too fucking early
and too fucking cold, even for Southern California. 

My ankle has been bothering me and is visibly swollen. I had a
doctor's appointment Thursday so I decided to swap my run until
I got it looked at.

My ankle the night before the
Surf City Half Marathon

I went back to the pool Wednesday evening to the SCAQ swim
clinic with Clay Evans again. He wanted to work on extending
my stroke and taking less of them across the pool. I went right
to Dave's "slow arm recovery with hesitation" and voila! I cut
strokes from 22 to 10 (although I think ideally I'll end up
around 14)

Bike - Trainer only

This was my first workout that seemed like a chore. I don't love
the trainer. It's freaking boring! Jen suggests watching a movie.
I'm looking forward to the new season of Game of Thrones. 
That's when I'll look forward to trainer sessions. 
Endurance Swim

It was 80 degrees out!!! Sara, her husband Tim and I jumped on
the bike path and headed for the beach. I rode the old beater again
(I need to come up with a good name for her) in high gear. It's a
real quad burner. Sara brought watermelon for the halfway point.

My favorite bike jersey shrank!
Now I need to so it fits better. 

Swim was on the plan so at 6:00 pm I went back to the pool.
It was still 77 degrees out! Last Wednesday it was taking 
2:20+/100 but changing my stroke and learning to kick without 
bending my knees got my average time per 100 down. I really
need to work on the core exercises Jen sent me. It's definitely
my weak spot in swimming. 

Long Bike w/hills

I was bad on Saturday and skipped my workout. Dave was
coming in and I wanted to tidy up before he got here. Jen will be
happy to hear that I found the heart rate monitor strap for my
Garmin exactly the same time Dave arrived with his. Now I
have 2 and no excuse to not have one at the ready.

Hanging in the VIP suite at the Pink concert. 

That night my friend Penny (hot chick in pink wig above) hooked
us up with a table in the Staples Center suites to see Pink. It was
AWESOME! Also, I only had one drink. Yay me!
Long Run w/Drill Work

Dave had a conference call in the morning so I got up and
took to the streets. The doc's diagnosis of my ankle was
inconclusive. An xray showed no fracture and since it doesn't
really hurt she said I could either get an MRI (the price of a car)
or keep an eye on it and take it easy. Basically she said don't run
on it if it hurts. It's more of a twinge than pain. I went out for a
slow hour run.

Then we went to the beach to watch Sara play volleyball, people
watch and pet snakes.

Lot's of people showing off at the beach.

For 25¢ you can pet a python.

Then we went back home and jumped on our bikes and
headed back to the beach. I saw the position of the sun
when we got there I was a little worried whether we'd
make it home in time but we did. Just barely.

7 miles back to the car and no lights on our bikes. 

Even though I basically put the hours in I might not have effectively got my training in. Coach Jen explained that there's a fine balance to building fitness. Workout levels and order are as important as getting the workouts in. Now that I have a heart rate strap I can really start working on it properly (provided I can figure out how to get it to connect to my Garmin).

I'll leave you with a badass example of my Grandmother's favorite piece of advice. When I'd get down about something she used to always tell me to "Accentuate the positive." Looking on the bright side is often hard to do in this complicated world. Along with most of those I care about, I'm extremely stressed and buried in work lately. The few days off I took while Dave was here put me way behind. But, I'm focusing on the great things and soldering forward.

A couple years back Pink and her husband separated. Even in despair, with her life falling apart, she looked on the bright side and wrote one of my favorite running songs. What's more badass than singing your revenge every night while flying over 20,000 people!?!

Her bright side?

So What, I'm still a rock star! 

I'm happy to report that they have since reconciled and she continues to write awesome angsty running songs about their tumultuous relationship.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

10 Things I Should Know

As I've begun training and reading Tri blogs and magazines I've seen and heard a lot of things and I have no clue what they mean. I asked the swim coach the other night what he meant by negative splits and he laughed at me. So, instead of spending a day Googling I thought I'd throw the questions out to my Tri Buddies.

1. What does "Masters Swimming" mean? I just joined SCAQ which is the largest Masters swimming program in the US but if there's one thing I know for sure, I'm no master at swimming.

2. What do you do to get rid of that itchy chlorine feeling? (Okay, I realize this isn't a Tri term but this blog is taking a lot longer to write because I keep scratching.)

3. While I'm asking for advice does anyone know of an anti-fog solution that actually works?

4. What are the purpose of Tri bars and do I need them?

5. What are Pirate Ships!?!

6. What's an Anaerobic Threshold?

7. Who's Fred?

8. Who's Mary?

9. Where does the term "Brick" come from? (I do know what it means :-)

10. And finally, for the love of Pete, WTF are cheese curds?


As of this morning there are 77 days left until the Olympic Rev3 in Knoxville. Right now the plan is to just finish. Even if I'm twice as slow as the slowest person doing the Half Rev I should be okay. Rev3 puts on quite a party for the last finishers. So far I have not come in DFL but I definitely am a BOP(er). Two terms I'm very familiar with.

Also, I've been feeling really short of breath lately so I went to the doctor and she diagnosed me with adult onset asthma. I guess it's one of the disadvantages of growing up in the 70s in Los Angeles. This little puppy cost me $180 AFTER my insurance paid for part of it!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Week 3: I'm Out of Shape!

Last week was a disaster so I really needed a win this week. I was back home but Jennifer was in town for the premier of our documentary and the week was packed with events and meetings. Coach Jen from Trilogy Multisport Training sent me a plan and I was pretty sure I could fit everything in with a little shuffling. Here's how things panned out:

What I was supposed to do:        What I did: 
Rest Day

Yay! I did what I was supposed to do.
Easy Run

This was our craziest day but I did it. I got up at 5:30 did my
emails and got out for my run. I was back home and made coffee
and oatmeal for everyone before they even woke up. Win!

Coach Jen had 1150 yards planned in the form of drills and
kicking practice. I think I covered that distance but more
importantly I learned that I REALLY need to focus on swimming.
So much so that Wednesday got its own blog entry.
Brick Day
:30-45 min bike
:15 run + Core

My friend Sara and I took Jennifer on a bike ride. She hadn't been
on a bike since riding her "Pink Thunder Huffy" so Sara loaned
her a hybrid and we headed toward the beach on the path along
the beautiful LA river. I broke out my old rusty Gary Fisher for the
ride and kept it on (low gear? high gear? which is harder? do I even
need to know?) for a better workout. We did a slow 10 mile ride in
about an hour. The terrain is flat and "rolling" with a few small
hills. I almost didn't make it up the last one but I kept her in (high
gear?) We were just about to do a little run when the office called
and reminded me we had a meeting.

Sara and Jennifer biking along the beautiful LA river. 

Swim 1400
Hill Run/Walk

It rained on Friday. What, you say? Rain in LA?
Yes, we got one of the 5 days a year of rain today. The plan was
to hike Temescal Canyon then go back to swim class at night but
instead we went to a Bikram yoga class and got our sweat on.

Jennifer is going to kill me for posting this. 

Long Bike :90

I got up early to take Jennifer to the airport and fortunately her flight
was fine despite the blizzard that had hit the east coast Friday.
Then I went to Griffith Park to do the Zoo Loop twice. Last time it
took 46 minutes to do so I figured twice would be about right. I
didn't look down at my watch until I was a couple miles into the
2nd loop and it was 43 mins in but I slowed down a bit the second
time I climbed the hill. I finished the 2nd loop just shy of 90
minutes, threw my bike on the roof of my car, threw on my running
shoes and did my 15 minute run to complete the brick I couldn't
finish Thursday. HOLY SHIT! It's really hard to run after biking.
I guess that's why people brick train. I forced myself to run. I'm sure
I can walk faster than I "ran" but I did the motion. 
Long Run

It was cold when I woke up and I really wanted to stay in bed but
I had a 10k on the books and a long run on the plan. It was a slow,
painful 6.2 miles. I was sore and now I'm REALLY sore.

Does this medal make my boobs look big?

Sara plays volleyball a few days a week and I said I'd go watch
her play after the race. I haven't played for a few years and
somehow I got talked into hitting the ball around then playing
a game. I forgot how much fun it was!

I served our way to victory. We kicked that 6 year old's ass!

I am completely busted right now. I need to figure out how to download my Garmin workouts so I can send them to Coach Jen and I need to find my heart rate strap because the new Garmin didn't come with one.

In addition to the fact that I suck at swimming I learned two other things this week:

I am out of shape.

Triathlons are hard.

That's all for now.

Check out Jennifer's blog about the week including her first foray into editing.

Also, check out our movie Happy on the Ground: 8 Days at GRAMMY Camp. It's on iTunes and Amazon. And please like our facebook page.

Here's the trailer:

Friday, February 8, 2013

Swimming: aka My Fat Ass pt. 2

Since doing my first baby Tri last summer I've known swimming is going to be my issue.

With Karen and Sara after finishing our iTryathlon.
I'm not a very good swimmer. Quite frankly I suck. I decided to start tri training towards the end of the season and even in Los Angeles the swimming training slows down. When I got back from shooting Jen Small and friends doing the Rev3 Maine in August I was determined. It was SO beautiful and that group of goofballs are my kind of peeps (video to come next week). I took an Open Water 101 clinic with the LA TriClub when I got home and almost died. Then I hired one of the coaches who kept me from drowning to take me out during our October Indian summer so I wouldn't head into winter discouraged. My stroke sucked less than my kick and since we didn't have much time to work on my technique he basically just told me not to kick. I've "dropped in" at a local pool a few times to swim laps on my own but not until the last couple of weeks have I realized I'm going to REALLY need to learn how to swim if I'm going to make it in Knoxville (let alone Maine). A couple weeks ago I dropped in on a Tower 26 pool workout and got my ass handed to me on a platter. The coach was surprised I didn't bail. Literally, he looked at me at the end of the session and said, "Wow, you hung in there Angela." I've heard that a lot during my lifetime. I have no shame and I'll soldier through. If nothing else, I've got heart. 

Since Jennifer was here working this week (and heading home to a blizzard) I though it would be fun if she got a swim and bike in. Sara has been recommending the Southern California Aquatics swim club and they offer a free workout so Jen and I signed up. Once again I was reminded how lucky I am to live in Southern California where the triathlon training resources and INSANE! Our coach was two time Olympic medalist Clay Evans. Make sure to follow Jennifer's blog for more on that.

The verdict was this: I swim with my head too far down, my stroke is inefficient and I kick with my knees and not my hips which propels me nowhere. Basically I'm doing it all wrong. He gave me fins for now so we can work on my kick after we get the other stuff straightened out. Last night he texted me this video and I definitely see a big butt theme starting with this blog. Also, how bad a swimmer I am is scary. I think it's obvious that my friend and nemesis Scott will definitely be kicking my ass in Knoxville. I'm okay with that. Just as long as he doesn't have to pull me out of the river. That's Matty O's job. 

Here's the awful proof of my non-swimming skills:

And here's my goal:

I want to be able to take advantage of these awesome beach workouts when they start up again in May. The requirements are you have to be able to swim 1,000 meters without stopping and you have to be able to do 2:30/100 speed. I don't even know what that last part means but I'm going to find out Monday when I go back to the pool. I joined SCAQ this morning.


In a moment of insanity I registered for the Maine Half Rev in August. 70.3 FREAKING MILES! I just calculated how long it would take me to finish with my current swim, bike and run times (not taking combining them into consideration) and it's over 9 hours!

I blame those Abekat Anarchists and now I'm fucked.

Challenge accepted.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Sleeping Around

Of all the fun things that come along with starting a blog...

Talking about yourself, thinking about yourself, writing about yourself.... 

I've realized that taking stock of habits, both good and bad is one of the best benefits. Since the goal of a blog is to document progress you make in the chosen topic I have begun making the list of areas in my life that need improvement. 

At the top of that list may be sleep. I am not a good sleeper. I often go to sleep too late and more often wake up in the middle of the night. I'll lay there for a few minutes then inevitably either get up or turn on the TV. The upside has been seeing shows like Homeland and Game of Thrones but in hind sight sleep is probably more necessary for a woman of my age. 

An iPhone is a dangerous toy at 3:00 am
Since my boyfriend, Dave, moved up north two years ago it's gotten worse. When he lived here in LA I could count on 4 or 5 decent nights of sleep a week.

It all became clear to me this week after spending a couple weeks sleeping around. 

Last week I was in Kentucky and shared a bedroom with my friend and fellow producer Kiana. I woke up a couple times but not having many options I lay there until I eventually fell back to sleep. As soon as I got home Jennifer showed up and since Dan is in the guest room she has to stay with me in my room. 

Nighty nite time with Jen
I woke up yesterday (after going back to sleep for a couple hours) and realized the key to a good night's sleep for me is a sleeping bed fellow. So I'd like to thank my sleeping companions for helping me get a few nights good sleep. Apparently I like to take pictures of everyone I sleep with because I found pics of everyone but Kiana in bed. 

Sara's Kindle technique is a good one for sleepless nights.

Watching scary movies before bed isn't the best plan. Penny and I needed Abbey to protect us for our
Walking Dead marathon. 

Dave chillin' like a villain. 

But Kiana did take a picture of me.

Anyone have a cure for insomnia other than drugs I'd like to hear it. 

Otherwise there will be more 3:00 am Photo Booth pics like this:

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week 2: FAIL!

Okay, here we go.
Accountability week 2.

What I was supposed to do:        What I did: 
Rest Day

Yay! I did what I was supposed to do.
Easy Jog

Truthfully I didn't really rest on Monday. I flew to Kentucky to
begin shooting our first TV pilot. We woke at 7:00 each morning
and shot until around 5:30 pm, went back to our host/stars' house
and downloaded footage. Had dinner with Gwen and Tommy
(Gwen cooked us dinner EVERY NIGHT!) and then went back
upstairs and worked until about 1:00 am. 
Bike - 45 minutes 

Another long day of shooting. I got interviewed by the local paper
and the reporter posted a nice pic of my big ass but all in all it was
pretty exciting. In the afternoon we shot them loading up the
trucks for TN. In hindsight I could have helped for a little cardio.
While Tuesday at least entailed running around the compound
with the camera, Wednesday included a lot of time with the
camera locked down on a tripod.
The best shot from my self portrait session
while filming the trucks being loaded.

Rest Day

I sprinted to Kiana to change the aperture on the camera she was
manning then I ran back down the street and up a hill to hide
behind a sign to shoot the trucks rolling out. And I was supposed
to rest today. Bonus points!
Easy Swim
Endurance Based

I spent 2 hours on a time lapse shot of clouds rolling past the TN
RockyTop store. It was 21 degrees outside. You burn more
calories in the cold, right? Then we flew home. 
Easy Jog

I got home at 1:00 am and printed cards out until 3:00 am. I
slept from 3:00 to 7:00 then punched holes in the cards and tied
them to 170 DVDs with elastic silver cord. I delivered them 12
minutes late to the company that's putting the gift bags together
for the GRAMMY Nominees.

Jennifer landed and we had a quick business lunch then motored
out to Huntington Beach to the race expo to get our bibs for

My one man assembly line. 

Race Day!

I "ran" the Surf City Half Marathon. I haven't done a real long
run since September so needless to say I was woefully under-
trained. I wore my GoPro camera but am still having battery
issues. I think I'll try to do my race recap as a video.

Abbey and I lounging post run with our surfboard bling.

I really really need some exercises I can do anytime, anywhere. Like even if I'm in a jail cell. Although hopefully I'll never be in a jail cell.

I have exactly 90 days until the Knoxville triathlon. Gak!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Fat Ass

I've been working my ass off this week in Kentucky shooting our company's first television pilot. So, you can imagine how excited I was to see the local paper had picked up the story.

Now, this story is not about me. It's about the show we've been working so long to sell (we first met the Mitchells in February 2010). It's about the business the Mitchells have spent over two decades building.  It's about the hardworking and colorful characters that makeup the staff of this incredibly interesting operation.


It's about photo #6 in the paper's online photo gallery of my fat ass.

Jen Small I'm calling SOS. The next time a newspaper takes a pic of my add I need it to be smaller.

Rocky Top Log Furniture and Railing, along with owners Tommy and Gwen Mitchell and many of the company¿s employees, will soon have their television break, being seen nationwide in a new TV show ¿LogHeads.¿

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Week One in Review

As a new blogger I've been thinking a lot about what I want to give and get out of this endeavor. Also, after following and getting to know the From Fat to Finish Line bloggers over the last year I've learned a lot about blogging (mostly from Katie) so I'm going to take a few tricks from their handbooks.

Every Sunday night I'll post my week in review; what my goals were and how I lived up to them. I'm generally a goofball but I'm going to try to keep these posts serious (the key word here is try).

I learned the hard way in November at the Turkey Tri in Bonelli Park that you can't really bullshit your way through a triathlon like you can a foot race. When you get tired running you can always stop and walk a bit. But, when you get tired swimming... Well, you get the picture. My coach, Jen, pointed out to me that Knoxville (my intended first real race) is a challenging one.

WTF!?! Part of the swim is UP river!
Bike Course
Run Course

I signed up because Jen will be doing the half Rev and Scott the Olympic. Also, we're filming a TV pilot for the DIY Network about an amazing family run business that has a store in nearby Pigeon Forge and I wanted to put the juju out there that we'll be spending a lot of time in the area. I took all these things into consideration when signing up. Everything except for checking the course. Good thing I have 97 days to train and even better that the folks at Rev3 really do put on a party for the one who crosses the finish line last. Hopefully it won't be me. 

Okay, enough back story. Let's get to the week. Jen emailed me very specific workouts for the week. I did what I was supposed to do on Monday but it went downhill from there. I finished the week with a bang and an ouch. 

What I was supposed to do:        What I did: 
Bike (on my trainer)
Single Leg Cycling Drills

Yay! I did what I was supposed to do.
Endurance Based Swim

My friend Sara wanted to go biking so I went with her to Griffith
Park and we did the 9 mile zoo loop. It has one very long and
gnarly hill and took about 50 minutes.
Run - Zone 2 easy run 

I drove 3 1/2 hours in traffic to San Diego to see one of the kids
from a film I produced play at a coffee shop. John lives there so he
met me then proceeded to take me to his local watering hole with
another friend where we closed the place down. I crashed on a
futon at his place for 4 hours and drove back home delirious.
Bike Hills 60-90 minutes 

Remember what I did yesterday? Yeah, me neither. Since I biked
hills on Tuesday I figured I'd do my Zone 2 easy run but first I
had to figure out this blogging thing and that took a LONG time.
Rest Day!

Guilt Day!
The LA TriClub has AMAZING perks and one was an organized
swim workout at a near(ish)by pool. I figured I'd give it a try.
HOLY COW! This will get its own post but let's just say I did
Tuesday's swim and then some. Also, it was Katie's birthday and
she'd organized a virtual 5k that I didn't want to flake on. So, after
getting my ass handed to me in the pool I went into my garage at
9:00pm to run on the treadmill.
Long Run

It had been raining all week and the sun came out today. We're
leaving for KY next week to shoot part of that TV pilot and I'll
probably only be able to run so I decided to bike. I went back to
Griffith Park.
Bike - 45 minutes all easy

So far I've cleaned my closet and run errands all day but I
PROMISE I'll get on my trainer when The Good Wife comes on
at 9:00.

So, basically I think I got the general level of training I was supposed to in. I was short a run but (kind of) made up for it with a harder swim session and 2 bike rides. I know I'm going to have to do better sticking to the program. Also, I need to learn about recovery. I woke at 3:00 am with my shoulders throbbing after the swim clinic so I took a couple of Advil and finally went back to sleep. But hey, it's week one of my triathlon training. If I had been perfect then this would be one boring blog. Well, it may be already. Speaking of boring, I'll leave you with my helmet cam video from my Saturday bike ride. I've sped it up so it doesn't bore you to death but I slowed it down to normal speed a couple of times on the hill so you can get a laugh. It's amazing I can stay upright considering how slow I'm going near the top.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why I'm Blogging

I know, I know...

You need another friend to start a health and fitness blog like you need a hole in the head. Well, tough shit. I'm training for a 70.3 triathlon in August and I plan on complaining about it.

Here are my top 5 reasons why:

1) It can make you famous - a couple years ago my dear friend and business parter Jennifer Roe started her blog and not only did she lose 100 lbs and become an inspiration to many but she met an amazing group of virtual friends who have now become real friends. That lead to the formation of a Rangar team that lead to the filming of a movie. During the filming of said movie she had a nervous breakdown at 3:00 am in my rainbow tutu and trust me, a year from now Jen will be famous. 

2) You can get free stuff - My blogger friends get free stuff to review all the time. Jennifer (again) and Linda both got these cool things for "that time" of month. 

and Linda got this gizmo so she can pee while standing up!

Who doesn't want a free pStyle urination device!?! 

3) You get a public platform to act like a goofball - I know that might not sound exciting to most but anyone who knows me will understand. Rather than explain I submit the following collage of race pics as evidence. 

Yes, I did run a race dressed as a bath loofah.

4) You (me in this case) will probably lose weight - Keeping publicly accountable helped my role models in their success. Check out what they've done!

Katie's Story Here

Lealah's Story Here

Jennifer's Story Here

Linda's Story Here

Jen's Story Here

Carly's Story Here

John's Story Here

Okay, my dog doesn't have an inspiring story but there
was extra space and she's fun to look at.

and last but not least...

5) It can change your life - Read through the amazing blogs out there like Katie's or Meredith's and you'll feel empowered and motivated. They are living examples that you can do anything you put your mind to. They say blogging helped keep them accountable. I think they both have it in them to have done it anyway but I sure am glad they are sharing their journeys. 

Okay! My first blog is complete. Figuring out this blogger stuff took too long and I skipped my workout. Thanks to my new found accountability I'll have to double up tomorrow. 

Over and out...