Garmin Forerunner – Setting up data screens

With awesome features comes slightly difficult set up sometimes. You would think that setting up your data screens for your Garmin Forerunner would be easy, but it can be a challenge. I will give you instructions on setting a data screen for a Forerunner 230 (my current running watch). This may not match your watch exactly but it might get you close enough to figure it out!


  1. Select the Menu for the Activity you are setting up your screens for.
  2. Use the runner button to select and the lap arrow button to go back. Choose Activity  Settings.
  3. Use the up and down arrows to choose the Data Screens items.
  4. Select which screen you would like to modify. (the number of screens you can modify will be based on which watch you have)IMG_8984.JPG
  5. Select the Layout (how may fields you display).
  6. Use the up and down arrows on the left to toggle between the choices. You will see the layout change. Use the runner button to select the layout you want.
  7. Next select Field 1 to choose what data it will display
  8. The field types are in categories; Distance, Pace, Speed, Heart Rate, Cadence, Temperature, Elevation, and other. Choose the filed you want.IMG_8987.JPG
  9. Repeat for the next field.
  10. Select the type of field.
  11. Select the field you want.
  12. SUCCESS!

2015 Recap and 2016 Goals

Looking back 2015 was a pretty quiet year race-wise. I had started the year off planing to do epic crazy trail runs with Stuart. Unfortunately it became apparent, very quickly that, my heart was not into trail running after 15 miles. So I did an about-face and found a full Ironman to focus on, Iroman Boulder. I did manage a 50 K that I was really proud of but I needed triathlon and Boulder was the perfect race! I didn’t have the run I was hoping for but I had a great race and my quest for Kona continues!

I also worked on my diet this year. I did a Whole 30 challenge and learned a lot about how to eat healthy and still train. I managed to lose that 5 pounds you never think you will lose!

My 2015 ended a bit early when I broke my collarbone in October. I only missed one race, the Santa Clarita Marathon as a result. It was a much longer recovery than I expected and I am still not 100 % at 13 weeks post injury.

Here were my training totals for 2015:

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So what is the plan for 2016? I am the kind of person that like to attach numbers to my goals. I need to know what I am working towards. I want to get to Kona some day. I actually think I can do it. But you HAVE to set time goals if you want to qualify. I just don’t it see any other way!

So here we go…

  • April, Ironman 70.3 Oceanside: I just want a solid race. I have no goals for a PR since I am still recovering. 40 min swim, 3:15 bike, and sub 2 hour run would be awesome!
  • July, Ironman 70.3 Vineman: I have done this race 3 times before. If my training is going well I would LOVE to do sub 5:30. My PR here is 5:32. 35 min swim, sub 3 hour bike, 1:50 run. Sub 5:30 would really be awesome!
  • October, Ironman 70.3 Tempe: This will be a training race since it is 4-5 weeks from Ironman Arizona. I have no time goals as of now for this race. When I get closer I will set some.
  • November, Ironman Arizona: My A-Race! My PR here was 11:48 in 2014. I am hoping to make some significant improvement on the bike. My goals are sub 1:10 swim, sub 6 hour bike, and sub 4 hour run. That gives me a finish time around 11:15, and based on last years results a 14th place finish. Not a spot to Kona but getting closer.

Once again I will be working with my Coach, Jen Mathe. She has done an amazing job and I can’t wait to see where she gets me this year! I am even racing against her twice this year! If you need a coach (I would never do this without one), check out Jen! She knows her stuff and is very passionate about sport!

Diet wise I plan on using the guiding principles I learned from Whole 30 to keep my weight down. I plan of eating a mostly added-sugar and grain free diet. It really works for me and I think it is sustainable.

Thanks, as always,  for following along. Your comments and “likes” are really encouraging! The accountability that come along with doing a blog and being vocal about my goals helps keep me on track!



Setting Up Alerts on a Garmin Device

Did you know that you know you can set up a variety of alerts on your Garmin? I have used this mostly as a time based alert to remind me to eat. You can use the alerts to monitor your pace, heart rate, distance, and even a run/walk interval. The directions below are based off my Garmin 230 Forerunner watch but it should be similar for other Garmins.

To access the Alerts on the watch follow this path.

Activity Settings–>

If you haven’t set any up the next choice you will see is “Add New”. Choose the type of alert you want to create; custom, heart rate, run/walk, pace, time, distance, or calories.

Custom has some cool choices like drink, eat, turnaround, go home, or you can even make a custom custom one!

After you have created your alert (based on whatever you need your watch to alert you about) you must turn it on for that activity. To do this follow this path.

Activity Settings–>
Alerts –>
Find the Alert you created and make sure the status is “On”

Be prepared to be alerted!

Creating a Custom Workout with Garmin Connect

One of the most useful functions of a Garmin device is the ability to create custom workouts that the watch can guide you through. Not all Garmins have this capability so you should review the specs of your device to see if your device supports this. I have used this function with a 910, 920, and 230. You can create a workout on the device directly but I have found that using Garmin Connect online makes it MUCH easier.

In Garmin Connect, open the Workouts menu item.

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From there you will want to create a new workout. You can choose the type of workout. I mostly make run workouts but I have made a bike one.

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Once in the new workout, you can choose the type of interval, the duration of the interval (I often use Lap Button Press for my warm up and cool downs just so I can start and stop the workout when I am ready), you can add more steps, or add repeats (much easier than adding them over and over again)

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I have added a set of repeats that will be 6 X 0.25 miles with 2:00 min rest. If you select the “Add More…” function you can specify a goal pace or HR zone for the interval. Be sure to name your workout.

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When you are done you must SAVE the workout and then you can send it to a device.

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If you have more than one device you must choose which device to send it to.

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Next time your device syncs, it SHOULD pick up the new workout. This can be  bit clunky at times. You may have better luck sending it to your device through your phone if you use Garmin Connect Mobile. Give yourself some time to play with this step.

Once it has synced to your device you should be able to find it in a Training menu under Workouts. This will vary by device as well. Once you locate the workout you just have to start it! If your last interval called for pressing the lap button to end it, be sure to do that to hear your finishing music!

Happy training!

Argon 18 E-118: It goes to 11!


I am very excited to announce that I got a new (to me) bike!!! I am now the proud owner of a 2014 Argon 18 E-118 Tri bike. This bike has all the bells and whistles I could have imagined. Full Dura-Ace, Di2, and it has highly integrated components to make it more aero. I never could have imagined owning a bike this nice!

I have only been able to ride it a little so far while I am recovering from my collarbone but here are my thoughts so far:

  • D12 is the best thing ever! I love being able to shift while riding on the hoods/brakes. It feel really safe and makes for much better riding.
  • The bike is highly responsive. I can accelerate quickly off the line.
  • It is a well balanced bike. It feel very stable when riding out of the saddle or in aero.
  • It will allow for a more aggressive fit. You can see below how much more compact I am on this bike compared to my Slice.


  • And since it is an 11-speed, it goes to 11!

Next stop Dialed In Bike Fitting to get everything dialed in!


Sherpa for Everesting


Stuart decided months ago that he wanted to do a particularly difficult cycling challenge called Everesting. The idea of the challenge is to ride up and down a segment of road until you accumulate 29,029 feet of elevation gain. He was training and preparing to do the challenge in October but when I broke my collarbone in early October, we immediately realized I would not be able to help  on the original date. We pushed it back one month to try and use a night with decent moonlight.

When Stuart writes up his report I will link back to it but I wanted to get my thoughts out on support such a massive undertaking. When we first stated planing for this we thought it would take somewhere between 17-20 hours. We were WAY off on our estimate. Total elapsed time was close to 29 hours. Link for ride on Strava can be found here and his report on the event can be found here.

The day was harder than I ever could have imagined and I wasn’t the one riding over 200 miles! Here is the whole challenge played out:


  • Cooked and prepped all day Saturday so that everything was packed up before we went to bed.
  • 8:00 PM bed time
  • 11:30 PM alarm to get up and go. The segment, Mulholland Highway, was a good 45 min drive from our house.


  • 1:50 AM wheels down starting first loop

This was my view for most of  the night

  • 5:00 AM wonderful friends showed up and followed Stuart in the dark while I went home to feed the dogs and take a 30 min nap. We always had someone following whenever he was descending to give him extra light on the road.
  • 9:00 AM I got back with hot chocolate and a morning bun


  • 10:00 AM we realized this was going to take much longer than we had originally anticipated. Stuart sent me home to nap and rest so that I could help again once it got dark. We had left a van parked in the middle full of food and supplies so Stuart could be self supported during the daylight hours
  • 3:30 PM I came back with soup and more snack. Nick had joined him for a couple laps which was awesome. It took his mind off the task.


  • 5:00 PM the sun went down


  • 7:30 PM in the middle of his 9th lap we started to do some math. We still had 6 1/2 laps to go and we were barely making it in less than 2 hours per lap. We had 12 hours to go (my math won’t be perfect through this section, my brain was fried)!
  • 9:00 PM after lots of waffling and being very close to quitting we both (it took me longer) finally committed to finishing the challenge. I reached out to Pam and Mark (who had come out at 5:00AM already) to come back and bring coffee and help. We seriously would not have finished safely with out them. They drove up and down for 4 more loops!


  • 6:45 AM FINISHED!!!


Advice for supporting such a challenge – Know your limits

  1. Ask for help! I could not have safely supported Stuart on my own. I don’t do well with sleep deprivation so I really needed the help.
  2. Organize your gear wisely in the car/support vehicle. Things started getting mixed up as the day went on and it got pretty frustrating for Stuart. Make sure you as the support person know where everything is before the event starts.
  3. Reduce your stress by covering all NON-RELATED items ahead of time. I had to worry about feeding our dogs during the day. I ended up driving back and forth 3 times! Don’t make that mistake.
  4. Bring lots of food and just make decisions for your athlete. They get to a point where they can’t make their own decisions. Once we got in a groove I had the food and beverages planned out well before he would see me.
  5. Savory before sweet. Feed in that order!
  6. Don’t be the reason the challenge fails. This almost was the case for us. If you commit to supporting this type of challenge, stick with it. You don’t want to be the reason they quit. This goes back to #1, ASK FOR HELP.

We were very lucky to have a lot of people, as well as sponsors, supporting us. We couldn’t have done this with out them!



2016 Plans – Full of #HeartandCourage

After Ironman Boulder in August, I immediately made some plans for the rest of this year and a rough sketch of next year. Breaking my collarbone has forced me to drop a race or two and re-prioritize my races. I don’t think I can start a full training load until January. So here is the plan for next year:

  • February,  The Tour of SufferlandriaThis is a week of indoor bike riding with close to 2,500 other all over the world. Lot so of fun to collectively suffer! This will be a great way to get my bike legs started again.
  • April,  Oceanside 70.3 – This was going to be an “A” race for me but I really don’t think I will be ready to put it all out there by then. I am committed to fully recovering so that I can have a good year. This will just be a solid race where I want to have a good time.
  • July, Vineman 70.3 – I expect to be 100% by this race so it would be great to go sub 6 hours and hopefully closer to my PR there of 5:32.
  • October, Arizona 70.3 – I signed up for both races in Arizona so this will be a good lead up to my only full this year which is….
  • November, Ironman Arizona – I had such a great race here in 2014! I can’t wait to take another crack at it!

Not on the list anymore is Ironman Boulder. I just don’t think I will be ready to have a great race by August. That, coupled with the fact that it costs mush more money and time to go to Boulder, means it will be out for 2016. I fully plan to go back another year. It is an AWESOME race. I know I can go faster on that course!

The best news is that I am a Coeur Sports Ambassador for 2016 again!

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I feel so lucky and honored to be a part of this group. Besides the fact that Coeur is an amazing sponsor, they make me feel so awesome, and make the BEST endurance clothing around, the ladies on this team are incredible! They inspire me that my goal of getting to Kona one day truly is possible.

2015 Halloween Candy for the Troops!

Purge your Halloween candy!

Operation Gratitude Blog

Happy Halloween PicWe are really excited aboutHalloween! Are you getting ready for another great year of collecting and donating sweet treats to the troops?

If you represent a company or group that would like to host a candy collection drive, sign up here!

Please read these important and helpful “Do’s and Don’ts”!


  • DO ship your candy NO LATER THAN November 15 to:
    Operation Gratitude
    17330 Victory Boulevard
    Van Nuys, CA 91406-5438
    ATTN: Halloween Candy/Angel Cuevas
  • DO separate chocolate and non-chocolate candy.
  • DO line your boxes with big bags to safely ship loose candy, or place the candy into zip-close bags.Say THANKS to our Troops
  • DO include donations of individually-packaged toothbrushes, dental floss and toothpaste — we need to keep smiles on the troops’ faces all shiny, bright and healthy!
  • DO fill out the Donation Form and include the number of pounds of candy, number of toothbrushes, etc., you are shipping. This donation form…

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