Mizuno Wave Sky Review

When I first started running consistently again 7 years ago I didn’t know the importance of choosing a good running shoe. I wasn’t fitted at a specialty running store and didn’t do any kind of research. I was familiar with one brand, Nike. I remember clearly marching into the ginormous Nike store at the Santa Monica Promenade (I was living in LA at the time) and buying the coolest, most expensive looking purple shoes from some young, hip college student who probably had no idea how to fit me for a proper shoe.

After my first half marathon later that year and many blisters and lost toenails later, I realized maybe Nike wasn’t for me. Since then I’ve tried several different brands and types of running shoe and even went back to Nike at one point. All the options can be overwhelming and I’m still no expert on running shoes, but I do know now what does and doesn’t work for me. I’m a neutral pronator, so a neutral shoe works best for me.

For the last 6 months I’ve been running in the Hoka One One Clifton 3. Partly because they are a Team Betty sponsor, but mostly because they are super comfortable and keep my feet happy. It would take a pretty special shoe to get me to switch at this point, but I may have found a close contender in Mizuno’s new Wave Sky.


I recently had the chance to test out the Mizuno Wave Sky through my partnership with Fit Fluential and must say I’m super impressed. I wasn’t expecting to like them as much as I do. I was surprised by how comfortable and soft they are. I usually get blisters when breaking in a new shoe, but not in these. In fact, they didn’t really require any breaking in at all.

I was so impressed I wore them at Nite Moves, a weekly 5k race, last week and they were super responsive. Felt like I was flying on clouds! Although I’m not ready to give up my Hoka’s for long runs, I do plan to keep the Wave Sky in the rotation, specifically for tempo runs, track workouts and shorter distance races. It might be a mental thing, but they feel better designed for speed since they aren’t as bulky.


The Wave Sky features a redesigned neutral Wave plate and optimized cloudwave® technology. It has the most u4icX foam of any Mizuno shoe making it very cushy and smooth.

The Wave Sky is available from retailers nationwide.

This is a sponsored post written by me for Mizuno. As always, all opinions and text are my own.

Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

Race season has officially begun and Oceanside couldn’t have been a better race to kick it off!

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I woke up at 4:20 am prior to my alarm going off. I rarely sleep well the night before a race and this was no exception. I ate my usual peanut butter toast with banana, kissed my sleeping boys and headed out to walk to transition around 5:30am.

We were at the host hotel which is a good 2 miles from the transition area with no shuttle service. Ironman requires you to check your bike in the day before the race, so I had no bike to ride over either. I didn’t want to wake the boys and K obviously couldn’t leave them in the room alone to drive me so I just started walking. I saw buses picking people up in a nearby parking lot which I assumed were for athletes, so hopped on one. I chatted with the driver and turns out they were for volunteers, but he was super sweet and drove me to the transition drop off point anyway.

Most of the races I’ve done had much smaller transition areas. This one was massive which was a little intimidating, but it was awesome to have the buzz in the air from such a large and stacked field of competitors! I quickly set up my area, tried to stay warm (it was freezing), ate a couple Gatorade energy chews, then found two of my amazing Betty Squad teammates, Jilliene and Misty. We headed down to the swim chute together. I read a tip from Katie Hart Morse’s 2014 Oceanside 70.3 report about wearing flip flops to discard before entering the water and wish I hadn’t forgot them. The ground was pretty rough. The swim chute was packed. I heard the gun go off, but couldn’t see the pros who were off and swimming. We made our way to the back of the 40 minute pace group. My target was 50 minutes, but my coach advised me to start with a faster group so I could try to draft. I’m so grateful Misty and Jilliene were there with me in that group. We joked, laughed and gave each other pep talks which really helped to calm my nerves.

Swim:

The swim was a rolling start with athletes self-seeding. The idea is this should help spread out the field and keep the faster swimmers together and slower swimmers out of their way. It’s a good idea in theory, but there were so many people in the water it was still a fight to find open space. I kept lifting my head after a few strokes, treading water until I got my bearings. I could feel my heart-rate rising and I knew I had to get it under control quickly or I was going to burn out fast. After about 800 meters or so I finally started to calm down and got in a decent rhythm, but I was still getting hit left and right. I picked up momentum after the turnaround buoy and started getting more aggressive with my swimming, not stopping if I got whacked. Overall it was a decent swim and if I had started out swimming in the beginning instead of mostly treading water, I know my time would have been a lot faster. Lessons learned. I feel less anxiety about swimming now and got the huge Superfrog swim monkey off my back.

Official Time: 51:45

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T1: 8:34 

There is a long run out of the water back to your bike, so it’s not a fast transition. Even so I was way slow. Need to figure out how to get out of there onto the bike faster for the next one.

Bike:

It felt great to be out of the swim and on the road. The first 15-20 miles were rolling hills. In fact it was a pretty hilly course the whole way with the exception of the last 10 miles back into Oceanside. I love rolling hills, but I also don’t have a lot of practice getting into aero on rollers, so I ended up staying up on my handlebars for most of the 56 miles. I also didn’t have much practice grabbing hydration from volunteers and refilling my bottles while riding prior to this race, so I pulled over to stop and refuel at the first aid station which cost me a few minutes. The second aid station came right after entering Camp Pendleton. I decided to try to roll through without stopping and managed to grab a banana and water! Success! The first big hill (which many people warned me about) came around mile 30. It loomed large in the distance. I’m a decent climber and wasn’t phased. Many people got off their bikes to walk up, but I powered up and over passing a ton of people here.  I was re-passed by a few going down the hill. I’m scared of descending and like to hug the brakes, but didn’t ride the brakes as hard as usual, so that was a win.

After this hill there were a couple more decent sized hills and a no passing zone / speed trap where you would be DQ’d for going over 25 mph. No issues there. The last 10 miles back to Oceanside was mostly flat, but there were pretty brutal headwinds. I had left enough in the tank and was able to power through the wind, again passing a lot of people. It was a fun, beautiful bike course, but I was ready to be done and onto the run.

Official Time: 3:37:02

Nutrition –  Gatorade Endurance, Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool dates, 2 GU Roctane Energy Gels , BASE salt 

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T2: 4:54 – Much faster than T1!

Run:

The run is my favorite and this course did not disappoint. My watch froze on T2 mode. It was my first time using the triathlon mode. Note: make sure to practice everything in training. I was able to see elapsed time, but not pace or heart rate, so I had to do it all on feel. The first couple miles felt great! Maybe too great because when I was able to retrieve the data later (turns out it was still recording pace and hr info, just wasn’t displaying) discovered I was running in the low 9’s for those first few miles. The game plan from my coach was to run 10:00 min/miles for the first three miles, then pick it up to 9:30’s and hold that pace the rest of the run. I ended up doing the opposite and ran 9-9:30 the first 3 miles and averaged 10:30’s the last 10. I started out in this sport as a runner first and I usually finish strong on the run, but I failed badly on my nutrition and it totally blew up my run. I was mindful enough to take a few licks of salt every mile or two which is definitely what got me through, but I didn’t take in nearly enough water or Gatorade and forgot to pop energy gels until around mile 9. I’m usually good about keeping up with my nutrition while running. I didn’t do more than 5-6 mile run bricks in training, so I think I just didn’t realize how much fuel I would need to finish strong for a half marathon after a long swim and bike. All good lessons to take with me to the next one. Even though I didn’t finish in my goal time, I had so much fun on the run. The energy from the spectators and other participants was amazing! There was a Betty teammate there to give a high five and shouts of encouragement all along the course. I seriously have never had so much fun at a race. I will definitely be back to Oceanside next year!

Official time: 2:16:50

Overall: 6:59:05

Division Rank: 63, Gender Rank: 438, Overall Rank: 1801IMG_6040

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Thank you to Betty Designs and all our amazing Betty Squad sponsors! Couldn’t do it without your support!

Next up are a couple local sprint and Olympic distance races. My next “A” race is USAT Olympic Age Group Nationals in August and then it’s onto Ironman Santa Cruz 70.3 in September for a chance to put everything I learned from this race into a 70.3 PR! 🙂

Happy racing!

XO

Christina

Race Week and Betty Epic Camp Recap

It’s  race week! Oceanside 70.3 will be my first race representing Team Betty! One of the best things about being on Betty Design’s  #BettySquad17  is the amazing group of like-minded women I’ve connected with! I had the opportunity to meet about 40 of them at Betty Epic Camp in San Diego two weeks ago. This training camp was organized by five of my kick-ass teammates who did an amazing job bringing us together for three days filled with training, laughing, eating, drinking, dancing, singing, sleeping (not really) and bonding.

There were so many amazing photos taken of all the epic things we did, so I’ll just let them do the talking.

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Can’t wait for Betty Epic Camp, Part 2!

5 days until Oceanside! Ahhhhhh can’t believe it’s here! It you want to track me live on race day go to Ironman.com, click the link for Oceanside 70.3 and enter Bib #1562.

XO

Christina

Medjool Dates: Recovery Snack

I have a super big sweet tooth and while I give in to it occasionally, I’m always looking for healthier versions of classic favorites to satisfy my cravings while fueling my training and recovery. As a mom, it’s super important to me that I start my boys on a path of making healthy choices. For athletes, Medjool dates are an excellent post workout recovery snack. They have a high amount of potassium which supports muscle fuel and recovery. Did you know Medjool dates have 50% more potassium by weight than bananas? That’s a whole lot of potassium in one small package. Try this recipe using my favorite Bard Valley Natural Delights Medjool dates and let me know what you think!

 Ingredients

Instructions

Simply blend the walnuts in a food processor until they form a crumbly mixture, then add the dates and blend again before adding the cacao and honey.

Place the mixture into a baking tray and either refrigerate for 3 hours or freeze for one to allow them to set. Then keep them in the fridge for freshness.

Enjoy!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bard Valley Natural Delights. As always all opinions are my own.

XO

Christina

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Training: Week 8

Bib numbers for Oceanside are out and it’s starting to feel real! If you have been following along and would like to track me live on race day go to the Ironman website on April 1st and enter # 1562 for live updates. If you are racing make sure to head over to TriTats to order your Irontats so you can #looklikeapro 🙂

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This past week was a test/recovery week. It was one of those weeks where a couple great days gave way to some not so good ones. This ended up affecting my mental game more than I’d care to admit, causing me to cut short a few of my scheduled workouts this weekend. It started with a series of events which threw off my run test on Wednesday, then Thursday I smashed my swim test which put me on a total high, only to be knocked down again with my run retest on Friday. By the time Saturday came around for a long brick, I just wasn’t 100% in it. I cut my ride about an hour short, but completed the full run. I figured since it was technically a recovery week with less training hours scheduled overall it was a good week to have an off week. We all have off days/weeks. Just have to keep pushing forward. While I’m stuck in the pits I sometimes forget all that I have accomplished so far and 8 hours is still a lot of work put in. Here is a breakdown:

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I’m grateful for a fresh new week and it’s shaping up to be a good one! This weekend is Team Betty Training Camp. I’ve been looking forward to this for a while. It will be 3 full days of learning, training and lots of extras (massages, makeovers and photo shoots!) with a group of amazing women. Can’t wait!

Have you done a training camp? I’d love to hear your experiences.

26 days and counting to Oceanside!

XO

Christina

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Training Week 6

I’ve reached the halfway point of training for Oceanside feeling more confidence build with each passing week. I nailed all of my run and bike (with the exception of one) workouts this week. I felt especially good about my run workouts. I came into triathlon as a runner first. My run paces have always been pretty consistent hovering in the low 8:00 per min/mile to high 7:00’s. Last season my gains started to slow to a stall after the strain of marathon training and I’ve been frustrated by the lack of noticeable improvements in the speed department, so I decided it was time to join up with the SBAA crew for a track workout this week. This group is filled with amazingly talented, speed demons who are an excellent source of inspiration. I’m truly humbled every time I join them for a workout. There are many Boston qualifiers in the group and several elite runners, plus an excellent run coach leads the workouts. We ran 2x (3 x 1k + 400m in-between) and I nailed the fast efforts. My runs off the bike also felt strong and my 11 mile zone 2 easy run felt like a breeze yesterday. I finished strong with a sub 8 last mile! Each week my zone 2 long run pace gets a little faster while my heart rate stays in the zone 2 range which is a good indicator of improvement! I’m cautiously optimistic that I’ll collect some run PR’s this season.

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Here is a breakdown of my training this past week in all three disciplines. I wasn’t able to complete my full swim workouts due to time constraints, but I did make the most of the time I was in the water.

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Swim 1:13

Bike: 4:37

Run: 3:40

Strength: :30

Total: 10:00

Next week I’ll break down my thoughts on the bike portion of my training. Only 6 weeks to race day!!

XO

Christina

Hydro-Inertia Workout

As a triathlete and runner, strength training is an important part of my training, but it’s also one of the areas of my routine I’ve let fall off quickly in the past. This season I’m making a big effort to incorporate 15 min strength sessions into my schedule at least 2x per week and stick to it!

I was introduced to dynamic-fluid resistance training hydro-inertia workouts recently through my partnership with Fit Approach. What is dynamic-fluid resistance training? This new fitness trend is a method of resistance training using equipment that is filled with water. I use the Surge and Kamagon Ball from Hedstrom Fitness. It forces the user to challenge both traditional exercises, as well as sport and activity specific movement patterns. As a result, this training apparetus provides a very unique challenge to the joints and stabilizing structures to resist and control the unpredictable nature of the shifting water within this device.

Below is a quick video I made demonstrating some of the simple moves you can do using the Surge. I usually perform each of the following exercises for 1min. Do 2 rounds, and take a 30sec rest in between rounds.

Join the fun and get your own Surge or Kamagon Ball! Save 25% with code SPHF25. CLICK HERE to order.

And be sure to follow me on Instagram! I’ll be sharing new moves occasionally on my Instagram story!

XO

Christina

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Training: Week 5

5 weeks down, 7 more to go!

I’m really starting to feel the benefits of the new training plan. There has been more of a shift in the intensity of my workouts while keeping the volume relatively modest. Even with the increase in intensity and volume I’m not feeling as drained as I did last season. Maybe it’s still too early in the season to really be able to say for certain the difference it’s making, but at this point I certainly feel a shift. I’m being very mindful of actually going easy on “easy” days and giving it my all on the hard intervals. I also started incorporating BASE electrolyte salt and Gatorade Endurance into my workouts and wow have they made a difference in my energy levels. Last season I struggled with finishing training rides and runs feeling good. I thought it was totally normal and natural to be totally wiped out and fatigued at the end of a workout. I haven’t had that issue at all since I started using these supplements in my training. Seriously a game changer. I used both during my long ride and run this weekend and finished both feeling amazing with lots of energy and like I could keep going forever. They say nutrition and proper fueling is the 4th discipline in triathlon. I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t been the greatest at eating healthy and fueling properly, but trying to be extra diligent with my nutrition this year.

Below is my summery from TriDot for the week. Just over 9 total hours completed for a 95% achievement (I missed an easy 20 min run). The varying colors represent the amount of time spent in each zone.

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Totals:

Swim – 1:40

Bike: 3:55

Run: 3:02

Strength: 30 minutes

This week the intense Zone 4 and 5 interval sets continue and the long bike and run get longer!

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XO

Christina

Ironman 70.3 Oceanside Training Weeks 3 & 4

Made it through my first test week! Things have been a little more hectic than usual at work and the family was sick with a nasty cold last week (I caught it too), so missed recapping week 3. Nothing too noteworthy happened. I completed my week 3 workouts feeling good (except one missed trainer session due to feeling run down with the cold).

This past week was test week, which means I had to perform a 15 mile time trial on the bike, a 5k run as if I was racing and a 400/200 meter timed swim. Overall I’m happy with the results. I showed improvement in all three sports, and most notably with my swim times! If you have been following along my journey, you know the swim is my weakest link and the most frustrating to me, so to start seeing some nice gains and feeling more and more at ease in the water is a huge win!

Here is a little snapshot from TriDot of my training this past week:

week-4I took a non planned rest day on Thursday because my body was telling me it needed it. I just did not have the energy to get on the trainer. Glad I listened since I felt totally refreshed and ready to go on Friday. My swim time trial reflected this. On Saturday, I got out on the road for the first time since November and it was awesome! Sunday we headed down to the beach for one of my favorite local races, the Super Bowl 4-Miler. K volunteered to push the boys in the double Bob so I could race it and try to beat my old PR from 2012 on this course, which I did by almost 3 minutes and finished 6/32 in my AG! And 7 minutes faster than my 2015 time (2016 I pushed the boys in the BOB). Super fun race and I got to meet one of my Team Betty sisters, Elke, who raced in Kona last year and is totally bad ass!

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Just under 8 weeks to Oceanside and feeling good!

XO

Christina

Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Training Week 2

I’m really loving the new training plan and having a coach. After just two weeks on this new program I already notice a big difference, especially in my trainer workouts. All last season I was pretty much flying blind with my trainer sessions. I had no clear direction or goals during my workouts or power/cadence/HR data to reference how hard I was actually working. The zone 4 and 6 interval workouts this past week kicked my a*@s. I used to think I pushed myself decently hard on the trainer, but I now realize my legs have much, much more to give. Same with the run intervals. Most of my runs and cycles the past couple months have been fairly easy, so my body is definitely trying to adapt to the change up in intensity this week. I’ve been conking out early every night and sleeping very deeply. All good things that will hopefully lead to new PR’s and pushing beyond the limits I previously held for myself.

An interesting thing in this new Tridot training is their proprietary technology called EnviroNorm™  It basically converts physical performance outcomes into a base value by factoring out variants such as temperature, humidity, elevation, elevation change, and wind.  I’m still not positive what it all means, but when I check the EnvironNorm box it gives me a race predictor time of 05:35 (T1 and T2 not factored in) for Oceanside. Possible? Maybe?  Depends on conditions that day? Interesting stuff. At the end of the day I would be happy with a time of 6:30, or let’s face it, just finishing at all after my experience at Superfrog. Oceanside will be my first chance to put this all to the test and maybe even surprise myself.

Here is a breakdown of my training hours this past week:

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I missed one easy 20 minute run and fell a little behind on completing my full swim sessions (only because I do them on my lunch break and it’s a hustle to complete the workout, shower and get back to the office for meetings!) I’m going to try to get to masters at 6:00am for at least one of my swim workouts weekly although it will still be a hustle, it always is, but getting it done the best I can!

On to week 3!

Happy training!

XO

Christina