Casual Duathlon Training Plan & My Healing Decision

I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago about my plans for training for the Athleta Iron Girl Duathlon in September. To be perfectly honest, I was hesitant to agree to do this event from the get go.

My body has been in such limbo land for so long and I had heard straight from the Naturopath’s (ND) mouth, “you need to chill out on the intensity of your workouts.” And she wasn’t joking. This was what she told me immediately after I had just told her about the Insanity Program.

She told me my body is working so hard to heal, and that I am taking the energy away from healing the disrupted and imbalanced areas in my body by making it heal the muscles and tissues that need repair from the intense workouts. After the Insanity workouts, my body was completely out of whack. Almost every part of my body was out of balanced and stressed. I had agreed to slow it down with the intensity of my workouts.

I asked her about running and she said walking and light jogging would be okay, but nothing more than a mile or two (and she didn’t agree to this right away, it took some persuading from me), and leisure bike rides were okay. But mostly, she recommended I stick to walking and yoga for now. I hadn’t signed up for the duathlon at this point.

I was completely psyched about the opportunity to take part in the duathlon. I began training and was taking a very casual approach to training; biking when I could with longer bike rides on the weekends, and was debating on how I would be incorporating some light running into the mix. The debate was coming from my head telling me I shouldn’t be running at this moment in my life, and my heart telling me I can and that I would be surrounded by thousands of inspiring women including some of my wonderful readers!

The debacle continued and I still hadn’t started running when I went in for my next ND visit last week. In the last month I have made some major changes to my health: I completed the Clean Program and followed the elimination diet for about a month, I switched from Insanity workouts and running, to walking, light biking, and yoga. I continue to eat sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, alcohol-free, and caffeine-free (for the most part) for now until I can be more than 100% sure I am back to health. Besides that I was taking all of my supplements and medications just as I should. My ND also had me on detoxifying drops that are meant to balance out imbalances in the body. For one person, that’s a lot of changes in one month’s time.

When I went back this time around, my body was nearly superb. Compared to my whole body being out of balance last time I went in, nearly my whole body was balanced except for a couple of areas. She was blown away at my progress. She told me that everything I was doing was working, and to keep doing exactly what I had been doing. Knowing that this isn’t a forever diet I will need to be following, I knew I could continue to do it. It’s actually not that difficult if you plan ahead.

I had a brain and heart battle throughout the appointment regarding whether or not I should tell my ND about the duathlon. I have established a trusting relationship with her and felt that she needed to know. So, near the end of the appointment I told her that I was registered for a duathlon in September. I told her about my casual approach to training and how really my goal is only to finish, I wasn’t concerned about my time (except for I knew there was a 2.5 hour time limit on the bike ride, but this didn’t concern me).

She was very glad I told her and just as I suspected, she highly recommended that I shouldn’t participate in the duathlon at this time. She said right now, my #1 priority is getting well and completely healing the body. I am so close to being there and she is afraid that any type of overexertion could set me back again. I really don’t want to be set back again. This has been way too long of a journey already. Basically how she explained it was, even if you are mentally going into it thinking that you will just be taking a casual and fun approach to the whole event, your body doesn’t always take it that way. When it is a timed race event, the body does crazy things. Endorphins run, adrenaline runs, digestive processes increase, and the body gets excited. The body can take it as a fight or flight situation like it is fighting for its life and can become very stressed. For someone who has struggled so long to find wellness, putting my body into any state of stress might be enough to tip me off again.

So, collaboratively, we came to the decision that I will not be participating in this years Athleta Iron Girl Duathlon. The hardest part about telling you I am dropping out from the race is knowing that I have talked some of you into doing it with me, and now here I am telling you I can’t do it anymore.

My health is my #1 priority. I want to be well. I hope to have a family some day. I know that deciding not to take part in this event is absolutely the right choice for me at this point in my life. I am hoping to be able to be a part of this event in the future. Not only that, I hope to run another half-marathon. It will all come in due time. Just not now.

I want this to be a reminder to all of you reading this. If you are sick or if your body is in healing mode, it is okay to take a rest from strenuous workouts. When we workout hard, the body works hard to repair our muscles, meaning it is taking away energy from healing other areas of your body that may need it more (for me, its my GI system and Endocrine system).

Even if you physically know you can accomplish something, take a step back and evaluate if your state of wellness can truly handle it.

Our poor bodies try hard to send us messages all of the time, and sometimes it takes an outsider telling you to “slow down” for us to actually listen to what are bodies are really telling us. This isn’t meant to discourage athletes from performing at their best, or marathoners to stop training, because more than likely, these athletes are in a better state of health than I am, I am just saying that it is OKAY to “chill out” sometimes if that is what your body needs. Sometimes it’s what our bodies do need and I know mine is thanking me.

Even though I am no longer participating in this event, I do still plan to continue and promote this amazing event. The discount offer still stands so if you are interested or know anyone who might be interested in participating in this years duathlon, please sign up and encourage them to sign up. I will be your cheerleader! Email me if you have any questions at


With all of that being said, since I did start to write a Casual Duathlon Training Plan post, I thought I would still share with you what all what I had written so far.


As many of you know, I have registered to take part in the Athleta Iron Girl Duathlon in September. Ladies who are local, it’s not too late to register! Check out this post on how to register. I even included a coupon code so that you can get a discount!

As a reminder, the duathlon consists of:

  • 2 mile run
  • 22 mile bike ride
  • 2 mile run

As another reminder, I am supposed to be staying cool and calm with my physical activity level. Given that tidbit of info, I have really need to take a step back and think about my approach towards training for this event.

I want to train enough so that my body feels comfortable covering the appropriate distances, but not train so hard as to put any extra strain on my body or to stress me out.

I have come up with my super casual Duathlon Training Plan. There are no calendars to print off telling you which day to train and at what distance, this is all about listening to my body, getting the training in when I can, and staying relaxed.

My goal for this duathlon is simply to finish.


The time cap for the 22 mile bike ride portion is 2.5 hours which if I calculated correctly (or if google calculated correctly I should say), would be about a 8.8 mph bike ride. As long as I can maintain a 8.8 mph speed throughout the ride, I can finish in 2.5 hours. My average speed is usually in the 12-15 mph range so I should be just fine.

Over the last couple of weeks I have gotten out during the week for a couple of shorter rides, 6 miles or so, and then on the weekend am slowly beginning to cover longer rides. This past weekend was 10 miles over in St. Paul where the route was fairly level. When I go for rides in my neighborhood, I am always subjected to extreme hills which is good training, but on longer rides, I need to take it slow and gradually work up to longer hilly rides.

biking duathlon training biking duathlon training

My plan is to increase my mileage each week until I feel comfortable with about 20 miles.


I’m still working on my plan for the running training. In my head I keep hearing my ND say “cool it” especially on the running and Insanity program! I feel that if I can comfortably run two miles, that I should be just fine running in the event since the two 2-mile runs are split up by the bike ride in the middle.

I will begin casually walking/jogging until I cover 2 miles at a reasonable pace that I feel comfortable with, and will probably leave the running train at that.


That is as far as I got on my Casual Training Plan. Again, I hope you all understand why I am doing this. I appreciate all of your ongoing support! I promise I AM doing very well! I am healing!

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Weekend Snapshots

I am coming off of what was one epic weekend. It was an absolute blast having my brother and Ana around all weekend. Our family was able to spend a lot of time together this weekend which of course I just love.

Since it’s Monday and since a good majority of us including myself may be a little tired today, I’m going to keep the rest of this post real simple.

Here are some weekend snapshots!

Thursday night we hosted a small BBQ for our special Colombian guests.

Friday I grabbed lunch with the lovely Katie and Becky at Crave at Mall of America. Love love these girls.

blends crave

I ordered the salmon salad which came with mixed greens, salmon, mandarin oranges, goat cheese and pistachios (I think). Honestly it wasn’t anything to write home about but it tasted good still. I think I was so absorbed in conversation that I hardly remember eating it. Yikes!

crave salmon

Friday afternoon Dana and I enjoyed a short and hilly bike ride through the neighborhood. I am hoping to do a post this week about my casual approach to training for the duathlon.

Saturday morning started off with banana with almond butter and no-sugar added dried cranberries.

banana and almond butter

Then we ran a bunch of errands including a trip to the local farmers market where I picked up these beauts for my mom and dad.

farmers market flowers

And later in the evening we had a Mexican fiesta with the family.

taco salad ana grandpa jeff

On Sunday Dana and I took our bikes to St. Paul and biked 10 miles bike along the Mississippi. I LOVE this area. It is beautiful.

bike st. paul dana and melanie bike

I finished the weekend off with a homemade Mediterranean dinner complete with kabobs, grilled chicken, mixed green salad, and yellow quinoa (recipe to come for the yellow quinoa).

homemade mediterranean dinner

It was an absolute incredible weekend. I hope yours was too!

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Join Me for My First Duathlon

I have some exciting news.

I will be participating in Athleta’s Iron Girl Women’s Duathlon on September 22nd! It is a 2-mile run, 22-mile bike ride, and finishes with a 2-mile run. Ladies, I want you to join me in the fun!

Iron Girl

About Iron Girl:

Iron Girl’s mission is to empower women toward a healthy lifestyle and you all know I’m all about that! The Iron Girl event experience provides women with a competitive platform and amenities such as: a post-race catered Breakfast Café, performance shirts sized just for women, professional timing, personalized race bibs, custom finisher medals, post-race giveaways and more.

For inspiration, check out their YouTube video: 

I want YOU to Duathlon with ME

The Event Details: 

Sprint Distance Duathlon
2 mile run/22 mile bike/2 mile run
Date: Saturday, September 22nd, 2013

Location: Normandale Lake Park

Entry fees: 

$95.00 until August 22
$105.00 until race day
(you must be 15 years old to participate in the sprint distance event) Note there is an additional $12.00 fee for non-USAT members to cover your one-day permit through USAT.


Athleta is offering a DISCOUNT off registration for all of my wonderful readers!

Use the link below to register and you will get $10 off registration by using the Coupon Code: BEAUTIFULLYNUTTY or by typing BEAUTIFULLYNUTTY into the referral area.

What are you waiting for?!

For more event information:

Follow Iron Girl on Facebook at 

I’m so excited about this event because it is a less intense way for me to challenge myself physically. I’m still needing to relax with the workouts so this will be the perfect event for me! I feel comfortable with the running portion but I will need to work on increasing my bike mileage. I don’t feel any pressure to finish quickly and feel comfortable knowing there is a 2 1/2 hour time limit allotted for the bike portion. I KNOW I can finish the bike portion in that time.

I will be keeping you posted on my training along the way. Break out those bikes and tennis shoes and let’s get moving! Even if you can’t make it to the event, you can still train and carry out the challenge in your own neighborhood!

I would LOVE if you could join me! If you have any questions email me at: and I would love to help you!


Disclaimer: Athleta and Iron Girl are sponsoring me in this event and have paid for my registration fee, however the opinions expressed regarding the event are all my own.

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