Friday, February 28, 2014

2014: A Year of Monthly Challenges

406. That is the number of minutes that I planked in the month of February. 6.7 hours of core work over 28 days. It's really not a lot of time when you look at it that way, but on a daily basis, it's much more than you think.

I decided at the beginning of the year that I was going to give myself a monthly challenge. In January I was part of a group challenge to kick start the year off healthy and it was great. We had 4 standards to live by and considering I follow most of them on a daily basis anyway, it wasn't too hard. So I tried to come up with something in February that I wasn't sure I'd be able to do.

The February Challenge...Planking
I would plank every day in February the number of minutes that correlated with the date. I broke it up throughout the day and would plank anywhere from 30sec to a minute at a time. It was a short month - only 28 days - so I figured this was the best month try it out.

The first 5 days were easy. Planking for only a minute or two on the first two days was nothing. I thought it was going to be a breeze getting thru the month. Then I got to day 6. And I started feeling my abs. By day 7, I wasn't sure I would make it thru all 7 minutes that day. Even though I spread it out over 10 hours, my muscles were sore to touch, it hurt to laugh. I kept thinking that the more I did it, the more I was going to get used to it. My abs had to stop hurting and get used to being used so much. I told myself that I had to make it to Feb. 9 - my birthday - and get thru those 9 minutes. And if after that I wanted to cut the challenge, that would be fine.

Surprisingly, day 8 brought happier abs. On day 9, after my 18 mile run, I got through all 9 minutes without much soreness at all. I guess my abs were getting used to all the planking. My first double digit day of 10 minutes was no big deal. At that point I knew I'd make it to the end of the month. It wasn't going to be easy but I committed to finishing out the challenge.

20+ minutes isn't a long time across an entire day, but you do have to fit it in around work, errands, fun with friends. So there were many minutes spent planking on the floor of my office, on the ground before a bike ride, in the middle of the street during an event. If I had a spare 30-60 seconds, I might as well fill the time. So you'd think it would be easy to fit in throughout the day, but there were times I had to cram at 10pm to finish up my remaining minutes.

As February comes to an end, I can say that I successfully completed my planking challenge - all 406 minutes of it.

Was it worth it? Absolutely. Do I have abs of steel? Not so much. Will I do it again? For sure.

I don't want to lose the ease of planking quite yet so I'm going to continue the plank challenge through March. This way I get a full month with 31 days. That's an extra 90 minutes of planking in the month. I didn't make it out of the 20's this month so it's time to hit 30 in March!

Challenges are always more fun with friends.....who wants to tag in to the March plank challenge?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sing Me a Song

“It's now or never
I ain't gonna live forever
I just wanna live while I'm alive
It's my life” 
― Jon Bon Jovi

Just 11 days and race day will be here. Can't believe it's less than two weeks away after 8 months of training. The time has gone fast and at the same time very slowly. Taper time is finally here and wow my body is happy! I think this taper and I are going to get along pretty nicely. 

Over the past few months and especially the past few weeks I've spent some quality time on my bike. Whether you're out with a group of people or not, riding for 6-7 hours leaves you a lot of time to think and you get tired of yourself pretty quickly. Everyone does something different to pass the time. I like to sing songs. Shocker. But usually I get stuck on not just one song but one lyric. Sometimes just one word. And I repeat it, for miles and miles and miles. Now that gets old. And no matter what you try, it won't leave your head. Lately, I reach mile 40 and all I bust out with is "C is for Cookie..." Where that came from I don't know but that is not ideal to repeat for 2 hrs. 

Another gem that has been popping into my head lately is "The sun will come out, tomorrow...." That's it. Just those six words. On repeat for hours. I love little orphan Annie but not on repeat in my head for 3 hours.

So as I get ready to leave next Wednesday for CdA, I'm thinking ahead to the many hours I'll have by myself on June 23, not just on my bike but swimming and running as well. So how can I distract myself? Easy. Sing songs. But don't risk the one liners I come up with. Enlist the help from everyone. I have 140.6 miles to do - 2.4 swim, 112 bike, 26.2 run. That's 140.6 DIFFERENT songs that I could sing. But rather than come up with them all on my own, I'd love for everyone to help me. Not only will it give me options to turn to if I become a broken record in my own head, but every new song will make me think of a different person that I know somehow and that is sure to keep me happy for 140.6 miles.

Here's how you can help. Send me the name of a song or send me a few. It can be any song - your favorite right now, something you listen to to pump you up, something that puts your kids to sleep, something that reminds you of me or a time when we had some fun. Anything. If kids want to participate (you know who I'm talking to..), awesome. I'm not above singing the ABC's or Mary Had a Little Lamb for a mile, especially if I am reminded of toothless grins :) I want to get 1 song for every mile of the race. That's right - I need 140.6 songs. I'm going to put them on a piece of paper and laminate so I can carry them with me all day. It'll be hard to carry with me on the swim so hopefully I can remember 2.4 songs. I'll attach to my bike so they're in eyesight the whole ride, and I'll pin to my run belt for the marathon.

How can you send me songs? A few ways....
  • Shoot me an email
  • Send me a tweet to @hesort
  • FB message me or post to my wall
  • Comment to this post

A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.
~ Lou Holtz

I look forward to all the new songs (or old ones) that come my way and help me on race day!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Desert Tri: Mission Accomplished

Desert - A large, dry, barren region, usually having sandy or rocky soil and little or no vegetation. 

Last weekend marked a milestone for many of our participants - they became triathletes. Not only was it the first race of the season, but it was many participants' first triathlon. It was so amazing racing alongside them and watching them all cross the finish line. 

To avoid the unavoidable LA traffic, we headed out around 9pm on Friday. Got there late but practice didn't start til 10am on Saturday so no early wake up call. The Embassy Suites was our home for the weekend, and the added bonus of living room with kitchen made it that much better to accommodate all the crap 4 people have when traveling for a triathlon. And that doesn't include the bikes!

Saturday morning. 10am. Arrived at Lake Cahuilla for practice. A reverse tri was on our schedule. Did the race course that we'd be doing on Sunday - 24 mile bike then 6 mile run. We didn't start til 10:30 so by the time we were running, it was blazing hot. This was the second time I had an issue training in heat, and it's not fun. Now I know I gotta watch out a bit and get ahead of it before it takes me down. But our day didn't stop there. Race prep meeting, packet pick up for Sunday and then a swim in the lake. It was great to finally get to dinner and be able to chill out with the team. 

Sunday morning. Wake up - 4:30am. Oh...the season has officially begun. Most race mornings I'm a bit nervous but not that day. This was a training day and I took it at that. And I was excited to see all the new participants complete their first triathlon and cross the finish line. Plus, how could I be nervous when I was dressing up in a costume?

We headed out to the Lake at 5:15 and arrived to the most amazing sunrise. 

Set up transition, walked around and checked in with peeps, did a little warm up run, then suited up for a practice swim before my wave start at 7:42am. 4 Goals of the day: get to 1st swim buoy before the second (unlike last year), work the bike hard, don't melt on the run and most importantly, have fun.

7:42am - horn goes off and we're in the water. Thanks to the race officials for changing up the swim course so we didn't have to swim straight into the sun this year. YAY for getting to the first buoy before the second. Goal 1 accomplished! I forgot how awful the first open water race feels. Arms & shoulders were not in wetsuit shape and wow did my arms feel so lethargic and dead weight. Can't wait to get those OWS back in the weekend rotation! 

Swim was done and now time to bike. The course is super flat so it was go time. Glutes were a bit tired from Saturday but wanted to hammer it as much as I could. Managed to shave a few minutes off from last years time. Goal 2 accomplished!

Now it was time for some fun. Running in costume always makes things better. And if I can make others happy, then that's a win. So off I went...all dressed as Luigi.

The first person that saw me running out of transition as she came off the bike was Christine. All she could say was "O dear, mentor. O dear." But then she smiled. Next one that came up on me was Beth. We had just started running and it was her first triathlon. And hearing her say "Oh my god Holly you are f'ing awesome for wearing that!" made me happy. I knew it was gonna be a hot 6 miles but that was ok. Making people happy was what it was about that day. 

It was a 2 loop run so that made it so easy to see lots of people. It was great catching teammates as I rounded my second loop. Chatted with lots of participants along the way - Tiffany, Rona, Sheree, Mary, LDV, David just to name a few. Everyone was in great spirits and having a great time. It was awesome! And I considered it a bonus that the sun was not as blazing as it was last year. I finished a few minutes faster than last year with a one-up jump as I crossed the finish line. Goal 3 accomplished - do not melt!

The best part of the day was cheering everyone in. Lots of PRs, lots of first time triathletes. All in all, super successful and fun day. Goal 4 accomplished!

Way to go Ironteam!

Long and tiring weekend but worth it! Great job Ironteam. Happy to be a part of such an amazing team. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

#2500 Crunches: Day 9 Results

It's crunch time....only one day left in the challenge. Who's gunning for more? Don't stop just because you're already there. If you've already hit it, see how far over you can get!

Everyone's doin what they can to get these last few in. Rockstar Kelli dropped for 50 in the park on the way to work. Anyone else stop, drop and roll in public and crunch out a few?

Crunching Kelli headed to work

Check out all you superstars on your way to abs of steel. 

Click for larger image.

Look how far you've come in just 9 short days. Who's thinking about the next challenge already? We'll give you a little break...just til Wednesday. But get ready. The real fun is about to begin. 

#MissionPossible. 7 days of mini-challenges filled with all kinds of magic. Should you choose to accept the daily challenge, you will be sent a 10 min. workout to do any time over the course of the day and report back when finished. Goal: to unlock all 7 challenges. You can't get the next challenge until you've completed the one before it. 

Are you up for it? If you want in, send us an email at to be put on the list!

The fun starts on Wednesday. Don't miss out!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#2500 Crunches Day 6 Results

Not stopping!
Competitive :)

All words to describe how amazing you all are. We've got 4 days left - who's gonna surpass 2,500? Set your mind to it and you can do it. 

Check out the results from Day 6.

Click to make larger.

How did you do with the mini burrito challenges yesterday? We saw some of you adding in those planks. See if you can keep that up today. And if you feel the burn, then you're doin' something right! So while you're crunching away and it's getting harder, just remember....

Sunday, February 24, 2013

#2500 Crunches: Day Three Results

We're just a group and we're on fire.
Crunching each and every day, til our abs are hurting and in pain
We're living in a world and it's on fire.
Feeling all the pain and burn, but we know we can still keep crunchin

Oh oh oh oh oh, we got our ass on the ground
And we're burning it down
Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh, we got our ass on the ground
And we're not backing down

These ABS are on fire.
These ABS are on fire.
We're crunching on fire.
These ABS are on fire.
3 days down, 7 to go. You. Guys. Are. En. Fuego! Keep it up crunchers. You're kickin ass. And I bet it's getting a little easier every day. All you over achievers out there...who's aiming to break 2500? Seems like a lot of you are on track to blow that goal out of the water if you keep this up. 

Here are the results through Day 3. If you're not on here or your numbers are wrong then we didn't get your crunches in time. Make sure to message us by 10pm PST every day if you want to be in the daily update. 

Here's a few more pics for inspiration as you crunch away. If you take any photos or videos send them along and we'll include in our updates.

Jason crunchin after practice in the parking lot.
Rob & Naomi on the deck before swim practice.

No I didn't eat the bar!

Keep it up crunchers. It's inspiring to see you all workin hard and having fun doing it (for the most part!). What's a few crunches amongst friends?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Birthdays, Vegas & Training Oh My

What a busy two weeks it has been. From birthdays to Vegas to the P!nk concert....and somehow fitting in all the training. It's been fun but busy so I'm happy it's a recovery week.

Feb. 9 
Happened to be my birthday and what better way to start the weekend than with a freezing cold bike ride in Westlake with the team. When we started, it was a balmy 29 degrees. For those of you that think LA can't get cold, think again!

But all was made better with a decorated bike and helmet for my ride compliments of some great teammates.

Stingbee all decked out. Thanks +Christine Concepcion , +Emily Conlon  & +Clare Ryan .
We headed out on our crazy cold ride - it was a 50 mile day followed by a 5 mile run. Couldn't feel my fingers until 10 miles in, then my toes went numb. Needless to say it was a hard day but every time I saw the shadow of the bow on the road from my helmet I smiled and took the day for what it was, lucky to be celebrating it with so many of my friends. 

Thanks for the awesome shirt Em!
Then rushed home, headed to the airport and off to Vegas for the weekend with friends. Great time with two great ladies. Maybe not the typical Vegas weekend that most have, but we had fun. The 75 minute massage on Sunday was much needed after a pretty miserable 10 mile run.

How I wore heels I don't know!
My birthday fruit cup with gold pieces.

Feb. 16
This past weekend was a pretty epic training weekend to close out our second build week. Thank goodness for recovery weeks! A hilly 56mi ride in Malibu followed by an hour run. And what a change from last weekend - the weather was beautiful and warm. Too bad I forgot to sunblock my arms...great start to some awesome tan lines. Then that night, it was off to the much anticipated P!nk concert. What. A. Show.! Absolutely amazing and totally worth it as tired as I was. 

Yes...P!nk was flipped upside down, spinning, AND singing.
Feb. 17
To close out the weekend, we had an 11 mile run up to Inspiration Point. I ran a few bonus miles with some teammates and capped out at 15.25. Tired legs but nothing a little stretching and compression socks couldn't fix.

Week of Feb. 19
So that brings me to this week. Recovery week. Workouts may be lighter but the intensity is up. And although I'm not working out as much, I'm more hungry. Good thing we started 2 core challenges - Challenge 1: 60 minutes of planks in 7 days. It ended on Tuesday. I had to cram 40 min in two days but I got it done. Challenge 2 - (to begin Thursday): 2500 crunches in 10 days. So my abs have not been recovering this week but how could I not participate?!

"Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did."