Posts Tagged With: training for triathlon

Spring Really IS Here



You know it’s officially spring here in Wilmington, North Carolina, when the Azalea Festival arrives. It’s a time when everyone in town can 1) Party like it’s 1899, 2) Eat fried anything, 3) Go to concerts that would never normally come to a town this size, and 4) Watch a 3 1/2 hour parade.


There’s the parade, carnival, craft shows, garden parties, a bunch of stuff I’m not invited to because I’m not a belle, more stuff I’m not invited to but is put in the paper, probably to make everyone NOT invited jealous and WANT to be invited, which makes the entire Festival one of those “I really want to be a part of this thing but I really don’t know how or why”, and concerts. Alan Jackson was in town last night, and tonight, it’s the rap god, Nelly (and my son would have said, of course it’s not the rap god, THAT’S Eminem), who will be donning the “big” stage. There was plenty of “wha?” when it was announced that Nelly was the festival headliner. I mean, this Azalea Festival is all about southern belles and gentlemen, spring flowers, and fried oreos, so what does Nelly have to do with THAT? Because he brings in a LOT of people, that’s why, and there’s no way in gold teeth that he would ever come here at any other time. Hey, maybe he likes azaleas…

It hasn't gotten too hot because he still has his clothes on.

It hasn’t gotten too hot because he still has his clothes on.

So last night, when everyone was donning their cowboy hats and boots way down yonder by the Chattahoochee, I was at a home run derby, getting eaten alive by flying jaws. Tonight, when what I suspect will be a different set of people will be getting hot in here but hopefully keeping their clothes ON watching Nelly, I will be at a different field, yet again getting eaten alive by flying jaws, watching my son play soccer.

THE Azalea Queen

THE Azalea Queen

Last year, we went to what we now call “the longest parade in world history” on that beautiful Saturday morning, which was three and a half hours of watching five floats go by, followed by ten minutes of watching the people across the street because there was nothing coming down the street, followed by five more floats, followed by ten more minutes of watching the people across the street (repeat no less than twelve thousand times), and then finally, finally, FINALLY, the Azalea Queen float comes down the street, which is when we went to the carnival and spent $20 for a glass of ice water with a cup of sugar and a lemon’s worth of juice in it and resisted the urge to buy a fried tenderloin on a stick with Kurly Fries for a “great deal” of $75. All served with a smile. This year, we will be at the soccer and baseball fields for our entire Saturday, which is part of the deal when you have two kids in sports. In honor of the Azalea Festival though, I just may have to spring for a $2 hot dog.

So in my last post, I had mentioned that word “cry” and I was upset about something. Simply stated, I was sad about my marathon goal. I’m over it, but get bouts of sadness every once in a while. I’m allowed. I STILL have a post to post on that one, but there’s been a lot of stuff cooking here in my house, and it ain’t the Food Network’s fault this time. And it’s not actual food cooking. Except for when I make dinner of course. So sometimes, when there’s a lot going on, I do this:


Yes, the proverbial deer in headlights.  It’s all good, and I really CANNOT wait to share what’s going on, but I need to get my ducks in a row first. After I get done staring at the wall and going buh buh buh. Let’s say that this youth coaching thing is getting bigger and my vision is now a very distinct possibility.

As for my workouts, I’ve ridden my bike the last few days, simply because 1) that’s the workout I planned and 2) I had no choice yesterday. Storms rolled through the entire morning, and as much as I like to bar-b-que, I do NOT want it to be me, so the only option I had was to ride my bike indoors. I absolutely LOVE storms, or at least not the ones where you head for the basement, and yesterday’s was like therapy. Rain, thunder, more rain and thunder, for hours at a time. I kept the house perfectly quiet while I cleaned, and it was perfectly soothing. My version of a bath in lavender.

Anyway, I’m headed to the pool today, which is almost like going to get my teeth extracted, because it’s PERFECT outside. BUT I know what I need to work on and my legs are tired, so I don’t want to do too much, plus I have a brick planned for Sunday. You know you’re tired when you walk up the stairs and need to pause and take a breath. Yeah, I need a day off. That will be tomorrow. Enjoy your weekend, every one, and I hope you are enjoying spring!

Do you enjoy spending your weekends getting eaten by flying jaws? Does this make you think of sharks like it does me?



Categories: being epic, coaching, follow your dreams, ironman, ironman florida, marathon, swimming, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

It’s The Food Network’s Fault

It’s that time of year. You know, when you have the heater on in the morning and the air conditioner on in the afternoon. It’s spring!!! It finally sprung here in coastal North Carolina, and you can simply tell by all the pollen all over the place. It’s kind of gross.

The kids are out of school this week, and although I desperately miss having a career of my own, I really enjoy this time with them.  We stay up later than normal, we sleep in, we watch TV in the morning, we go to the beach, we cook, we clean, we eat ice cream, we play games. Last night, my boys had two friends over and tonight, they’re going to stay at my sister’s house. All of us are off on Friday, so who the heck knows what we will do.

I still consider myself in post-marathon recovery mode, but I’ve only taken two full days off where I didn’t do any workout at all. It would have been three days, but yesterday, I convinced my kids to go run a few miles with me. I’m just about going a little nutty. I think part of it is not meeting my goal in the marathon, part of it is just to move on from that to the triathlon. Part of it is just being used to having workouts almost every day. Since I’m not running 50 miles per week, I have a ton more energy.

Saturday, I ran 5 with my husband at an 8:30 pace. I  felt great and had to hold back, and he went faster than his normal pace – so it was good for both of us.

Sunday morning was cold (29),  so when the hubster went for his 10 miler, I got my new (to me) bike out and rode 90 easy minutes on the trainer, or just over to make 30 miles. This was my first ride on a tri bike. Felt about the same, but then again, it’s been a few months since I’ve been on a bike. My legs were slightly tired, but I figured it was from the marathon just a week before. Ironic the movie “Without Limits” was on. I’d never seen a movie about Pre, and honestly, I don’t know much about him. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t learn too much more because I found myself really bored and turned the channel. Later that day, we took the kids to see the Harlem Globetrotters. I think they’ve been doing the same thing for generations, but the really enjoyed it and it was cool to see them play ball.



On Monday, I took my kids to the YWCA pool and swam an 800, stopping after each 100 to catch my breath. Crazy, I can run a marathon, but swimming just sucks the energy right from me. Then we played in the deep end for half an hour until I was too raisiny to stay in any longer. I’m really working on form, and I have to say, my right side is catching on, my left, not so much.  I know it will just take persistence and work and patience, but as much as I dislike swimming as compared to how much I love running, I do look forward to more workouts and especially some open water swimming. I can’t believe I actually just typed that.

Playing around in the pool.

Playing around in the pool.

On Tuesday, I rode for an easy hour, 20 miles, on the trainer and then went for a 3 mile run. I LOVE the post-bike run feeling and I ended up doing my 3 miles in a 7:47 pace. I was BEAT when I finished, but I had a pretty big smile on my face. I met a friend of mine at the beach and we walked the 2.5 mile loop with our dogs while the kids trotted behind, beside, and in front of us. We then took our lunch to eat on the beach and had ice cream when we were ready to head home. It was a fabulous afternoon with almost perfect weather. Ok, for March, it WAS perfect weather!

The beach.

The beach.

Wednesday was the few miles with my kids, and then this morning, I rode my bike easy for an hour. The boys slept in later than they probably have, almost EVER, so I didn’t have to share the TV as I rode. Bonus. I usually check their breath with a mirror when they sleep past 8:00, but I checked in on them and did NOT want to disturb the bears, so left it alone.

My "new" tri bike, now called "KitKat"

My tri bike, “KitKat”

Tonight, my husband and I are going to a social run for 4 miles, something we haven’t done in a really long time. Part of me is looking forward to it (Running AND social? HELLO!) but part of me wants to just go to dinner or something since we don’t get out very often just the two of us.

The Cooking Part

The cooking frenzy started last week. I’ve always liked cooking, but this is probably the most I’ve spontaneously cooked, like real food with recipes, since, EVER. It was the new show’s (I CANNOT, for the life of me, remember, what the name of it is!) fault, totally. Well, Chopped too. A lady had made gnocchi, which I’ve never made but have eaten before only from the pre-made packages, so I decided on a whim on Saturday afternoon that I was going to make gnocchi. Plain gnocchi was a no-no, so I decided to make some garlic butter cream sauce to go with it. Once I had that going, I realized that I needed to make some pesto with my huge basil plant that I’ve been loving on ever since I got it. Did you know that two cups of basil is pretty much every leaf from a medium sized basil plant? Poor bald thing.  Ok, I LOVE pesto. I REALLY LOVE pesto, like eat it out of a jar with a spoon, and I love garlic, but I learned a very important lesson when I made my homemade pesto with home grown basil. You CAN have too much garlic, or shall I say, gahhhhhhlic, in your pesto. I may have “accidentally” put in twice as much as what the recipe called for, but I’ve never been a real stickler for following recipes, except in baking. It almost garlic-burned my mouth. It was pretty bad. There’s no way in h-e-double-hockey sticks I was going to waste my lovely basil plant I’ve been lovingly caring for, so I just stuck it in the fridge.  And that was just Saturday afternoon.

Gnocchi with garlic butter cream sauce and pesto

Gnocchi with garlic butter cream sauce and pesto

Sunday was Lemon and tarragon-poached chicken with mashed potatoes.  The terragon recipe required white wine, and when I have leftover white wine, I immediately think of risotto. So the next day, I made some delicious risotto with our leftover grilled chicken. The risotto was perfect for toning down my fire hot garlic pesto sauce, so I mixed some of the rice into the pesto and BAM, you have a four-star meal.

Risotto with gahhhlic pesto

Risotto with gahhhlic pesto

THEN I decided to make some cheese filled shells with turkey spaghetti sauce. I made a batch with shredded spinach in the shells and one without. It was good.

Cheese shells. Mmmm. Good.

Cheese shells. Mmmm. Good.

The kids have been asking me to make jambalaya for about a month, so yesterday, I made that for the crew since I can just add more rice to make it go further. Thankfully, I didn’t get crazy with the cayenne pepper as I’ve been known to do, so it was the perfect spice heat for us. Because the kids had friends over, I decided to make some knockoff Cinnabon cinnamon rolls. My house actually smelled like the mall when you walk by the Cinnabon store. Fabulous. I’ll have to make a double batch next time as one regular batch only makes SIX!

Check out that bun!

Check out that bun!

So with my girth a little thicker than a week ago, thanks to my current cooking phase, I’m looking forward to some warmer weather, getting my bike out on the road, and running for speed, maybe even looking for a 5k PR (21:13).

Do you like to cook? Do you go crazy right after a marathon?

Categories: ironman, ironman florida, marathon, open water swimming, quintiles wrightsville beach marathon, running, swimming, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

2015 – IM Ready

I find it interesting the way things come to be. One simple conversation or one decision can lead you to something that you never thought possible. Maybe not impossible exactly, but just not considered.

I learned a lot in 2014. The two main kernels of knowledge came at the beginning and the end of the year. I learned how to train. I trained my ass off for Boston. I ran when I was tired, I ran when I was exhausted, I ran when everyone else was sleeping in, I ran when my muscles ached, I swam to cross train, and I didn’t give up. I didn’t miss anything.  I knew that PR’s and successful races don’t train for themselves, so I got up before 5, I ran in the snow, the ice, and honestly, I loved it. I learned how to put everything into my race.  It became even more of a part of me, deeper into my soul. It made me happy to work so hard, to focus on a goal, and to push myself.

I also learned that being afraid of things is stupid. Ok, there’s things like sharks and the flu and spiders in the toe of your shoe and things like that, but I was terrified of the open water swim in my half iron triathlon. I knew we wouldn’t have a tide push, or much of one, and I was scared I wouldn’t make the time cutoff and be disqualified – I am not a strong swimmer. I FREAKED out about it more than once, and I honestly considered not doing the tri for that one reason. And when race day came, I finished in good time, with plenty to spare, and I pulled off a really good race, especially with it being my very first tri. I ate a little crow, got a little sheepish, and realized that all that worrying was stupid. And a waste of energy. There’s no room for fear when you have a a dream.

So what does this mean for 2015?

March 22, 2015!!!

March 22, 2015!!!

MARATHON: I’m still planning to run my marathon on March 22nd right here in good ole Wilmington – the goal is a 3:43, which would be a PR and a BQ. My training has increased, and I’m hopeful for a good race. I’m behind with speed work, but at this point, I’m doing the best I can that doesn’t irritate my irritable leg. It’s like the grumpy old grandpa sitting in the corner of the room with a ratty old plaid blanket over his legs, muttering “bah” every time someone asks if he wants something but then complains that no one will get him anything and he’s cold.  I can’t figure this one out, so I’m being cautious, but I’m also continuing with training. I’m still very much in love with running, and every time I visualize the race, I get goose bumps.

March 7-8, 2015 - SO EXCITED FOR THIS!!!!

March 7-8, 2015 – SO EXCITED FOR THIS!!!!

COACHING: I have decided to pursue more coaching education (I would like ALL of it, but let’s be realistic – one class at a time). I happened to find an open (that’s hard to do) RRCA Coaching Certification Class ONLY 90 MINUTES AWAY (also hard to do), so I signed up within ten minutes of finding it. I almost peed myself.

I’m also beyond happy that my ideas to work on the middle school Stride program curriculum were accepted. My goal is to make it more of a pre-high school cross country meets track and field program since there is no track program for any middle school in our county. I have tons of ideas, resources to read and talk to, and a plan to write. I am really excited to see this come together this spring for the fall season.  I’ll be coaching the elementary Stride this spring, so that will be working with twenty 3rd-5th graders. This will be like herding cats on a treadmill, or at least that’s what I’m guessing, but I know it will be a lot of fun!


The two elements that I mentioned earlier are put together on this one. I learned how to train right and to train hard. I learned how to do new things, things that I’m afraid of (or not comfortable with), and that I must take chances. I love to challenge myself physically, but more than that, mentally. I love the mental part of running, of training, of pushing yourself and doing new things. So by chance one Sunday afternoon in November, I found registration still open for Ironman Florida, and I registered.

No room for fear on this one.

No room for fear on this one.

There’s no going back, there’s no excuse that will get me out of it, and honestly, more than fear, I have a sense of determination, of eagerness, of peace. Whether I cross that finish line to the tune of “Kelli, YOU are an Ironman” or not, I’m going to face my fears and give this thing my all. Why this event? I’m such a newby, why would I take on something so BIG? Well, it’s simple to me, yet quite complex to explain. I’ll steal from the video below and say “Ironman is about persevering, enduring, and being a part of something larger than ourselves…. Anything is possible.”

November 7, 2015

November 7, 2015

If you’ve ever wondered why people do Ironman races, watch this video – for reals.  This will explain it all. For example, when I told my parents that I signed up, instead of getting, “Wow! Way to go! Good for you!”, I got a head shake with “That’s nuts” and “Why would you want to put your body through that?”. To me, it’s simple. To them, I need to be put in a straight jacket and thrown into a padded room. I had my mom watch this, and I honestly think she gets it, or at least gets it more than she did before. And this video motivates me to try my absolute best, to be the epitome of what an Ironman really is. Or more accurately, an athlete.

2015, IM ready!

Categories: anything is possible, coaching, go for your dreams, half iron distance, iron distance, ironman, learning from failure, marathon, no fear, quintiles wrightsville beach marathon, rrca coaching certification, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, wrightsville beach marathon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

2014: Looking Back Before Looking To 2015

2014 was pretty epic. I accomplished and experienced things that I never thought I would or could. I also failed. More than once. I surprised myself with both the successes and the failures. I had a LOT of fun. I met a LOT of people.  Since this is the time of year that we make our goals for the upcoming year, I felt it was important to FIRST look at what the past year held and remember what I learned from those experiences.


Um, heller….did anyone say, “BOSTON MARATHON”??? The mostest epic-est, awesomer-than-anything and favorite part of my year and running life altogether was being a part of the athlete field in the 2014 Boston Marathon. It took me many years to get there, and to realize that dream was the ultimate epic experience. This got the diamond crown.

I got the medal.

I got the medal.


I was able to PR in both the 5k in January (21:13) and the half marathon in February (1:40:15) as a part of marathon training. I was pretty damn happy about those times, too.

I learned how to train my ass off.  During Boston training, I never missed a workout. Ok, I never missed a running workout. Zero. I missed one swimming workout the entire training cycle. ONE. I learned how to be devoted. I learned to not make excuses. I learned that in order to become the runner you want and know you can be, you have to work and work hard. I learned how to go the extra mile. I did that, and I’m really proud of the work I did. I know I was capable of running an amazing race in April, which is almost as good as actually running that amazing race.

Beach 2 Battleship 70.3 – 6:03      I learned about being a triathlete. I looked fear in the face, cuddled with it for a while, let it whisper sweet nothings into my ear, then kicked it’s ass out. I learned how to swim better than I did before, I learned how to open water swim, I learned how to ride my bike in between swimming and running, and I learned how to run after swimming and biking. It was epic. And I’m going to do it again.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3.

Almost to the finish of my first tri, B2B 70.3. It looks like my knees are stuck together.

I had fun.  Running is really awesome. But it can become competitive for me, and the ability to “just run” a race diminished. So that’s why I decided to do an endurance triathlon. Well, I had one on my radar for a number of years, but I needed to do something different and NOT be competitive. It worked, and I had a total blast training for and competing in the 70.3.

Mott’s Channel Swim – I entered and completed an open water swim race. Pretty proud of that, mostly because I would have laughed until I peed myself had you told me two years ago I would do something like that.

After the Mott's Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

After the Mott’s Channel Swim, a 1.3 mile open water race.

The 10×10 Challenge. Ten continuous miles for ten days in a row.  I learned that it’s definitely doable to complete this challenge in July, but not advisable. I can’t wait to do this challenge again. It was an epic feeling and quite the journey in itself. Try it, you just might learn something about yourself.



Coaching. I found that I really love coaching. I’m learning a lot about it, and I know that I want to keep doing it. Being at the 5k with those boys made me feel like a momma hen watching her chicks fly for the first time. It’s a really cool mix of pride, excitement, and nerves.

Here’s the video I made for my Stride boys.


I hate to admit this, but there’s usually something good that comes from failure. I think we all know this, especially as athletes. I’ve had a lot of good things come from the hard work and dedication that I’ve put into my running and triathlon training and races. I’ve also had some pretty big fails. But with a little distance, I can see how the failures have done me good. Dammit.

I’ll start with the little one. I got a pretty big PR (4 minutes) in my half marathon in February. So you’d think it’s all good, right? No, I was pissed. I got a 1:40:15, but I could never see the success in THAT because I was too busy being pissed that I was only 15 seconds from getting a sub-1:40.  I wished I had pushed just a second or two faster, that I had put my head down and gunned it into the harsh wind that met us a mile or two from the finish that totally wiped me out. I wish this and I wish that. What I REALLY wish is that I could’ve forgotten about all that garbage and celebrated the huge success that I DID have. I ran a really good race, and I’m now really happy about it. But my finishing moment was ruined by me wishing I had something better. When you start getting that attitude, that nothing is good enough, it’s time to think about things. And that is what led me to decide for sure to do the triathlon. I KNEW that I wouldn’t be competitive with it. I KNEW I would have fun, that I COULD NOT get all ants-in-my-pants about times and stuff. I knew I needed to step out of the bubble, the one that says you’re never good or fast enough. That was stupid, and that race taught me to not be stupid.

So the next one… it was the epitome of good and bad. The Boston Marathon. Yes, I’ve talked a lot about this, but I think, after this, I’m done talking about part of it. I’ll wipe the bad part out of my memory like wiping the marker board clean.

Running Boston was so awesome, so overwhelming, but I had a big fail. I trained and trained and spent hundreds of dollars on a coach and getting there and all the hubbub that comes with seeing your dream marathon come to fruition. My parents came to see me, my sister and her husband came to see me, my husband and my two kids came to see me. I was ready for the race of my life. Oh, I got the race of my life all right. The race recap I wrote that day describes the race perfectly – It was the Best of Times, It was the Worse of Times. You can read it HERE. It really was the strangest combination of good and bad. The bad was something I didn’t see coming. I thought that it was possible for me to run out of strength because I pushed the race. I was worried about how warm it was too, but when racing, I never felt hot. I wasn’t sweaty. I went for my goal, and I was doing it. I was heading for a sub 3:40 and I only had a 10k to go. Part of my race mantra was “I can do anything for X amount of time”. I was counting down. I was doing it. In freakin’ Boston. That was the best of times.

I can’t remember the exact feelings, but around mile 20-21, I knew something was wrong. I knew I had to stop, regroup, and slow down. I knew my PR was shot, but I was having fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Heartbreak Hill area, having a brew with one of the college kids. Most of it spilled out the sides of my mouth, but still, this was fun.

Then the bobble head feeling started. And the nausea. It all went downhill from there. I barely remember the last part of the race. I knew I had to stop several times so I wouldn’t throw up. And I didn’t truly understand what happened until I became the internet doctor later that night.


Can you see the sarcasm on my face?

Where’s the lesson in this? How can my slowest marathon of seven teach me something? First of all, I’ve never tried harder to finish a race. I could NOT DNF. No. Hell no. So I put on my big girl tights and pulled out every bit of anything I had to finish that race. And it took me almost 5 hours to do it, 75 minutes extra minutes in just the last 5 miles. I had to put one foot in front of the other carefully and consciously. To sum it all up, I had salt depletion dehydration. How did I turn that frown upside down? I acquainted myself with Endurolytes. I thought that taking in salt was just an endurance triathlon thing. Honestly. But I talked to a lot of people, tried them myself, and learned that Endurolytes are pretty damn awesome. I used them throughout the summer, especially during the 10×10 Challenge. I used them during my triathlon. I used them with long runs. And if I learned one thing from the Boston Marathon, it was what salt depletion was and how serious it can be. Oh, and how to help prevent it. Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to learn so many lessons, especially the hard way.


You can always learn something when you look back at your experiences. Whether you learn them right then or have some “delayed learning” like I did, chances are, some piece of information can be available to you at almost any given moment. It’s just up to you to grab it.  Where does this leave me as I look back over 2014?

I’m very proud of the work I did. I’m proud of the chances I took. I’m proud of the fact that I let myself learn things along the way. Sure, I have a tiny baby scar from feeling so horrible during one of the best races of my life, but I’ll go back. I’ll do it again, and I’ll get my moment of glory. Some day. I’ll be patient. I know I have things to work on too. Facing fears and not letting them take over. NOT taking the easy road (swimming only on calm days). Balancing life and athletics.

As I took towards 2015, I know that I’ve got a beast mode full of grit and determination that I have not fully used before. I also have a lot more patience than I used to. What EXACTLY does that mean for me in 2015? You’ll just have to wait and see! Plans post to be coming soon. 😉

Do you look back before you look forward?

Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, coaching, half iron distance, learning from failure, marathon, open water swimming, running, running buddies, running challenge, running streak, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Going To PT To Fix My Leg But Coming Out With A Fixed Back

Today was hopefully my last day of physical therapy. I never truly was treated for my shin splint issues, just given several stretching exercises to do to help the tightness in my calf and foot. Besides what I was already doing, anyway. Honestly, shin splints are devilish things and it’s not simple to find an exact cause, so is very difficult to find a fix.  Mine are extremely high and medial, so a little more atypical than others. But they suck.

To say that I was inflexible would be a huge understatement. I’m sure this has something, if not a huge part of what has been going on. As part of his exam and “the body is all tied together” theory, he checked my back during one of the early visits. I won’t ever forget his response to my “cobra” pose, which should more accurately be called the “I can’t do a cobra” or a “stiff as a board” pose. He muttered, with wide eyes I may add, “Ohhhhh, yeah. We gotta fix that.”  I was shocked because, in my head, I was as flexible as the Nutcracker ballerinas. Nice way to crush a dream, doc. Sniff.  All in all, he said he wasn’t certain if my leg issue was related to my back issue, but it could definitely be a factor. That being said, my back really needed fixed, no matter what. Maybe that’s why my back hurt any time I swam, especially when sighting in open water and using the kick board. Maybe that’s why it is a total mess after I do yard work. Yeah, let’s get this back thing fixed.

Fast forward six weeks and my calves are a lot less inflexible (note I didn’t say flexible, but I’m working on that daily!).  I let him fold me in half BACKWARDS, and now I have a gorge cobra pose.  I can cobra pose like the pros. I’m a pose pro. Ok, not really, but it’s crazy what you can make your body do after practicing for several weeks. Being more flexible less inflexible takes a lot of work.

By the way, I can’t believe it’s Thursday, I haven’t written in a week, and I haven’t commented on so many of the blogs I read. For some reason, I’m feeling like the TV of old, when there was no station or after all the programs were done for the night, and it would go to black and white, the old “cowboys and Indians” as we used to say. That’s my brain. I need an antenna. Maybe it’s because I’ve spent HOURS doing Christmas cards. Maybe it’s because I’m shopping for the family. Maybe it’s because I’m working on a video for my Stride boys. Maybe it’s because I turned the TV to the Hallmark Channel and I CAN’T STOP WATCHING. I don’t know. I don’t really care, honestly, because I LOVE this time of year. I love the silly movies. I love the shopping. I love the candy I shall be making and eating in large quantities. I love that my parents are going to visit. I love that I’ll have a few unstructured weeks. So I’ll take the “fuzzy TV” feeling, it will pass, as will the decorations, sugary food, and lack of structure.

Wook at her cute lil' face. Extra cuddle and play time!

Wook at her cute lil’ face. Extra cuddle and play time!

So where am I with running? I think the last time I wrote (I would look but I’m too lazy), I said I was taking two weeks off running. I made it nine days. I ran yesterday, and I ran again today. A lot of it was for mental health. It was sunny. Running and cloudless skies make me happy. I needed a mood lifter, that’s for sure. And, as prescribed, my run cleared my head, put a smile on my face, and didn’t hurt. I’m healing. It’s not there yet. I can’t even consider training for another week, but I know I’m healing and am not dealing with a stress fracture or related issue.

I renewed my membership to the YWCA so I can use the pool any time they have open lanes. I have gone three times already, so that’s good for me since I can be in my swim suit, towel and car keys in hand, and talk myself out of going. I made HUGE progress last week too, so that’s a bonus. Maybe not in the fashion category though….


Bowchickawowwow. I couldn't keep the guys away with THAT outfit.

Bowchickawowwow. I had to beat of my suiters with a kickboard!

As for the progress in the pool, my back doesn’t hurt for one. That’s huge progress. Hint: if you’re back hurts, that just might be a sign you have a problem with your back. And last week, I decided I needed to teach myself how to breathe on left side. A few laps later, boom. I was doing it. I have to very conscientiously pay attention to what I’m doing. So I went slow, very slow, even slower than my normal snail pace, but I did it, and it felt natural. It was a good rhythm to have and a much better breathing pattern for success in triathlons. I felt it kept me at a better balance too. So yeah for swimming (you won’t hearing me cheer about swimming very often), and for pushing yourself into doing things out of your comfort zone.

Besides the pool work, I’ve been working hard on the bike. Some rides have a purpose, some are to get the seat time, but I’ve realized that Netflix is a good thing with indoor biking and the boredom that can result. I’m base building, strength building in my legs for running, for more triathlons.

This weekend is the Stride 5k that all my protégés will be participating in. I’m so freaking excited for them, and I’m making them a video that will hopefully instill in them a desire to keep running or at least realizing that running is the BEST EVAH. We’re having a pizza party next week and I’m making them individual certificates for their personal achievements. For example, my son will get the Guy Smiley Award because he’s always talking and will never find him without a smile on his face. Except for the day they had the Spanish class market and he ate more than a pro football player does before a big game. Urp. Yeah, the boys certainly learned how much NOT to eat before running.

Guy Smiley

Guy Smiley

So I’m keeping myself in a relative holding pattern as far as running, but I know I’ll try again Monday, and must remind myself to GO SLOW, both in pace and progress. Practice. I must get to the pool twice a week to just re-familiarize myself with the water and become stronger while seamlessly gliding through it. Or at least work on that. Practice. My trainer probably will remain behind the tree, reminding me to get on my bike and practice. And stretching. I have lots of that to do. I don’t want my physical therapy graduation certificate to get revoked, that’s for sure! So I will practice that too. That’s the most important part, stretching, exercising, training to train. Until the next time, as I will be indulging on too much Michael W. Smith and chocolate covered cherries.

Has anyone else gone to someone for treatment for one thing and realized you needed treatment on something else?



Categories: coaching, marathon, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Taking A Look Back Before I Go Forward

A year ago, I couldn’t imagine sitting at my kitchen table, writing my first half iron race report. Sometimes, when things are that far away and you don’t have the skills or equipment to do something, it seems impossible. But it was always my goal, to finish the B2B 70.3 with a smile on my face.

Off the subject, but speaking of smiles, I got my race pictures back this weekend. Oy. Can you say GOOBER?

Ok, back to it. I remember last year, when I ran the half marathon for the B2B relay, and I knew I wanted to do the 70.3. I knew I wasn’t interested in doing sprint triathlons, but endurance events. I didn’t want to make a “thing” of it and do them all the time, and I still don’t, but I knew I wanted to give it a try. If it all went well, I was planning to do a full iron distance, and I still am. But as I did do the race report, I thought back to events over the year that led me to a pretty good finish for my race.

I made my goal and I focused on it. I started swimming as marathon cross-training. I figured out what bike I could piece together, got it adjusted, greased up, and started riding it. My time at the pool was long and tedious. I swallowed a lot of old-lady aerobics water. I became friends with Endurolytes the hard way at the Boston Marathon. I ran the BOSTON MARATHON. I learned how to change a tire on my bike. I drew a cat on my PT bruise. I got a half marathon PR. I figured out how to unclip my shoes so I wouldn’t fall over at a stop light. I learned how to hydrate with EFS. I ate while riding my bike. I got a trainer so I could do bike workouts inside. I cried. I deferred a marathon. I ran. I ran more. I got a wetsuit. I swam in open water to practice. I got a swimming lesson. I met a lot of people along the way. I worked pretty hard along the way. I did the 10×10 challenge. I laughed a lot. I sweated a lot. I swore a lot. I ate a lot. But I had fun. It was an adventure. It was something new and an experience I was enjoying, beyond my expectations.

Here’s two pictures. The top one is of me running the B2B relay last year.  The bottom one is of me running B2B this year. I’ve come a long way. But I’ve got a long way yet to travel on this journey of mine!

Running the relay October 2013

Running the relay October 2013

Doing the full 70.3

Doing the full 70.3

During the year between those two pictures, I ran 1,339 miles. I biked 1,025 miles. I swam 55 miles. That’s freakin’ 2,419 miles!!! Not every mile was good (i.e. the last 6 of the Boston Marathon and most of them in August). But they all add up and provide a block in the foundation of meeting a goal.

If I could go back and tell my 2013 self something, it would be to just give it a go. Don’t be afraid. Read the tattoo on your foot, for crying out loud! Just do your work, trust your training, and have fun. Maybe that’s a little unrealistic, to have no fear? Well, ok, we all have some fear.  The key is to face it and don’t let it stop you from following your heart and going for your goals. Never stop dreaming. Never stop GOING AFTER your dreams. Chase ’em down with a baseball bat if you have to! Just go get ’em!

I can tell my current day self the same thing, as I gear up to train for the Houston Marathon that’s only 11 weeks away. I need to focus on my goal and stop overthinking everything, stop worrying so much about things I cannot control.  (It’s best to email coach when not high on caffeine too considering I have ALL THE FEELINGS.) My husband is rolling his eyes at this right now. You are, aren’t you, Andy??? Yeah, I can dream big, right? I know I’ll worry, I know there’ll be hard days, but I won’t give up. Hmmm, I wonder where I will travel in the next 12 months. How many miles will I run, bike and swim? Chances are, it’s going to be a lot, but most of all, I’m looking forward to the journey.


This is the tattoo I have on my foot as a constant reminder.

This is the tattoo I have on my foot as a constant reminder.



Categories: 10x10 challenge, beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running challenge, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Turning Fear Into Determination

It’s taper time, bitches, and do you know what that means? It means I’ll have more time to get the shit done that I neglected because I was too busy doing my workouts until noon, showering and stuffing my face until 1:00, then staring at the wall going “buh buh buh” until my first kid gets home at 2:45, then spending the rest of the night stuffing THEIR faces and making them do their homework and go to practice and get ready for the next day while also reminding them that no, they cannot spend an hour in the jon as to avoid emptying the dishwasher because conveniently, it’s time to go to practice/school.

For instance, take today. I got up, got my kids to school at 7:45, hopped on my bike and rode 40 minutes, messed around with my dumb cadence sensor who just wants to be free but will not because I’m going to zip tie that MFer until it cannot breathe and fall off my bike. I then did strength, showered, ate, drank coffee, cancelled my NatureBox subscription, emailed all my Stride parents, picked up more crap from Saturday’s event that I just left laying around, posted a few things on Facebook, researched how to tighten my shoe cleat on my bike pedal, put on makeup AND curled my hair (this is a big one), worked on my new “About” page that I’ve been “working on” for months now but can’t seem to finish, packed up and took a load of crap to Goodwill, picked up my book on hold at the library, came home and it’s not even noon. Can you say “hollah”? I mean, really. It’s not like every day had a huge long workout, but when they shorten up, I can certainly feel it.

Anyway, while I taper down for my first triathlon on the 25th, I MUST reflect on the last year and smile. Hell, I need to do a little dance!  I swam the “Mott’s Channel Swim”, which is almost the same course as my triathlon course at exactly the same tide as my triathlon tide, so it was picture perfect practice for my triathlon.  Saturday was my first swim race, and a year ago, I had only been “swimming” for a few weeks. It’s crazy to think that a year later, I was swimming  over a mile in the channel, without a current push, with about 100 other people, and I would really enjoy myself. And I mark Saturday as the day that my fear of swimming, my fear of not making my cutoff for the swim in the tri, my fear of failing at the tri would turn into determination.  It’s about time.

My view on the way to my run/swim.

My view on the way to my run/swim.

Saturday morning started off like Friday – it was absolutely gorgeous. I had six miles to run, so I decided to get a good parking space at the swim race start, and I took off for my run from there. I was hesitant to get my pace miles in because of my *(^% shin splints, but I got two miles in at 7:40 and the others at 8:15-8:30.  I would have done three at pick up pace, but I misread my workout and only did the two. It was probably good for my splints. I saw some people I knew along the way, saw the ocean, and knew it would be a good day for a swim – sunny, warm, slight breeze, NOT windy. I wasn’t nervous at this point, so I was hopeful that I would remain calm.

After my run, I went to wish my coach and swim race director a happy birthday, got my timing chip, and chatted with some of my buddies. I was doing the “Mott’s Channel Swim” which was a mere 1.3 miles, but there were others doing the “Swim the Loop” which was a 3.5 mile swim that ended against the current.  Yikes.  No nerves yet. I got my post-race bag ready, dropped it off, made sure I had my swim cap and goggles, and ate my two pieces of bread with peanut butter as I waited for the trolley to come take us to the start.  I ended up sitting by someone I knew and a few I didn’t know but got to know as we waited to head out. It was fun! Some of us were concerned the warm weather (in the upper 70’s or lower 80’s at finish) would make us too warm for wetsuits but I wanted to practice my “real” tri experience as close to what the tri actually will be, so I had mine on.  When we got to the start, music was playing, and I wondered how it would be to swim with about 100 other people, which is something I’ve never done. Obviously the crowd would thin out significantly, but I just didn’t know what to expect. Gulp. Then the nerves hit. Big ones. Big raging ones with nausea.

The only thing that went through my mind to do was go to the person with whom I’ve done the most open water swimming with, the person who has ALWAYS told me that I could do it, to not worry, and that it’ll be ok – my friend Stacey.  I only met her on July 4th, but I’m so glad that I did!! I have complained and moaned and groaned about my swimming ability, and she has always been so positive to me, and it all came around on Saturday. I found her and was met with a hug and a “You’ll rock this race”. That’s all I really needed, and then we talked course strategy. Thanks, Stacey! I knew I needed to veer to the left to catch any current that would take me right, and I knew that I needed to try and hug the marsh to the left. The part that I DIDN’T do was REALLY study the details of the course. Sure, you look at it and seems easy and like a straight shot until you get out there and realize you can’t see the finish because there’s docks and buildings and boats and water weeds. More on that later.  The National Anthem was played, and we were about to head into the water for the mass start at 10:00 am.

Swim course for the Mott's Channel Swim. Looks simple and easy right? Yeah, that's because you're waaaaay up high and can see everything.

Swim course for the Mott’s Channel Swim. Looks simple and easy right? Yeah, that’s because you’re waaaaay up high and can see everything.

When we crossed the mat to get into the water, I was still a little nervous, and I honestly couldn’t believe I was about to embark on my first swim race. Me?! Swimming?! Crazy!!! The water was pretty cool, not yet COLD, but cool, so I was glad I had my wetsuit on. Picture it: 100 swimmers happily chatting, sun shining, beautiful view, and pretty calm waters. It was go time. I started close behind Stacey so I could keep an eye on where she was going, and the horn sounded. We were off.

There’s really nothing like the sound of 100 swimmers all in the water at the same time. I have always enjoyed the sound, and here it was again. And this time I was one of them. I usually get songs in my head or count strokes or just watch the docks pass by when I swim. This time, I was concentrating on sighting and knowing where I was and where I wanted to be. It seemed pretty easy in the beginning, probably because I’m familiar with the course. I waited until I reached the first buoy to check my Garmin, just to see where I was. Hmmm, not too bad! I didn’t look at the time, because it was really irrelevant at that point. I remember thinking, “Hey, I’m crossing the channel. I’m almost across the channel. I crossed the fricken channel!”. I did check a few times to see if there were other swimmers behind me, and I was actually glad there were. Just a few lingered, but I wasn’t last.

The water got slightly more choppy as we progressed, and my goggles fogged up. I had to stop to check my bearings and clear my sight, then I started back again. Since I hadn’t had a day off in eight days, my body was pretty tired, but I felt good and strong. My coach even said “let’s have you swim on some tired legs”, which they were. In a good way. I watched my distance progress, and at .6, I was happy to be half way. Then it dawned on me that the race was, in fact, 1.3 miles, not 1.2. Dur dee dur.  Oh well, just keep on swimming!  I’m not sure how far into the course we were, but I remember passing a buoy and thinking we needed to head right to the finish. I swam that way for a bit, was confused because there wasn’t another bright orange buoy to sight to, so I stopped to verify I was going in the right direction.  Good thing I did, because I was NOT going in the right direction. Oopsy! I corrected myself and headed towards the other swimmers.


Oops! This still cracks me up. Lesson learned to REALLY check the race course before you swim because it's not like a running race!!

Oops! My Garmin map. This still cracks me up. Lesson learned to REALLY check the race course before you swim because it’s not like a running race where you’re following people!!

I was still feeling good, staying focused, and I made sure I knew where I was from this point on. And the funniest and most ironic part for me was that I was having FUN!  I didn’t care how fast I was going, I didn’t care that I made a mistake, and I honestly didn’t care if I was last as long as the support people didn’t harass me, which I knew they wouldn’t. THIS is why I wanted to do triathlons! THIS feeling – the FUN, the excitement, the thought of doing something new.  And I liked it. (Did I just hear my husband groan and hide the credit card?)

I knew I was getting closer to the finish when I could hear the announcer. I checked my Garmin and knew that I would end up swimming farther than 1.3, but again, I didn’t care (and what was I going to do, stop, hold my Garmin up and say “Hey, I’ve done 1.3, so hellooooo, I’m DONE!”? No, just like any distance, Garmins are Garmins and with my little “detour” I very well probably did swim some extra. I was trying to find the finish line as I was pretty damn confused, and finally it became clear AFTER the stupid boat moved away from blocking my view of it.

When the finish line came into sight and I had just a little left to go, things changed. I saw some swimmers behind me, and my competitiveness came out. No way in hells bells was I going to let someone pass me now, so for the first time probably EVER in the history of me open water swimming EVER, I tried to swim fast. I lengthened my stroke, pulled harder, kicked harder, and I made it to the finish as fast as I could. In front of the other swimmers.

We had to climb a ladder onto the dock to well, get out of the water, but to also cross the timing mat. I stopped my Garmin on just over 47 minutes.  47 freaking minutes! Can you say insta-tears?????? Holy hell, Gary was so right, I had been freaking out about this half iron swim for NOTHIN’!!!! I F*****G DID IT!!!!!!! And I swam a bonus .09 miles with a total of 1.39. If I can do THAT, then what the hell have I been whining about making the cutoff in the swim in 90 minutes with less swim to finish?  Yes, Gary, you were so right!!! Cue the “told you so” dance!

THAT is when it happened. THAT is when my fear disappeared, and determination slowly took over. It probably started happening the minute the swim started, but when I was done, I had such a feeling of……of…..happiness. I set my mind to it, I did the work, and I did it.

I  was wobbly right out of the water, not vertigo as some swimmers have, but I think it was simply “tired body syndrome”, which became “I want a damn beer syndrome”, which became “this was awesome syndrome”. I recommend that one for anyone 🙂

After the Mott's Channel Swim.

After the Mott’s Channel Swim.

I found the results and saw that, with my 2:00 wetsuit penalty, I finished 82nd of 98 swimmers. If I took out my penalty, I would gain 5-10 spots, but still, I finished, so my place is irrelevant.  It simply didn’t and doesn’t matter to me. We hung out for quite a while, drank some beers, ate lunch, and watched as the 3.5 mile swimmers came in, many of them against a very strong current. They were inspiring, that’s for sure!

So now, as I taper, as I get my race plan in place, make my lists, get my race head on straight, I know that I’m determined to tackle any obstacles that come my way come race day. I know that I can do it, that I can overcome, and that I can finish my race strong and smart on October 25th. Saturday was the day my fear turned into determination.

My Garmin's path of the race. Pretty close to my race plan minus the teeny little oopsie in there.

My Garmin’s path of the race. Pretty close to my race plan minus the teeny little oopsie in there.


View of the finish overlooking the course.

View of the finish overlooking the course.


Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Happy Friday!

Guess what song was on the radio as I was driving home from the GORGEOUS bike ride this morning?

I still haven't stopped laughing.

I still haven’t stopped laughing.

This was the first thing that popped into my head when I heard that song. Yes, “Africa” by Toto.  Anyway, how could you have a bad day when it’s PERFECT weather? Oh my goodness, I’m so glad I didn’t ride on the trainer, because I would have missed the PERFECT weather! It also helps because my neighbor was having a tree cut down and the buzzing and zzzzzzzing sounds from the chain saw and huge grinder thing would have driven me in-sane.  Thank goodness for chirping birds that 99.99999% of the time make me happy.  I had to stop and gaze at this, and I even got some beautiful ocean shots, complete with fuzzy finger.

I still can't believe I live here.

I still can’t believe I live here.

It was super calm but the waves were huge, and crashed in on the rocks. It's like a movie or something.

It was super calm but the waves were huge, and crashed in on the rocks. It’s like a movie or something.

Is anyone NOT from here tired of these pictures? Well, SORRY!

I ended up biking about 27 or so miles, which is my 3rd day of biking in a row, and tonight, I’m off for packet pickup and swimmer meeting for the race tomorrow. This is the first time, and could be the only time that I will never care in what place I finish.  There’s even a strong possibility that I will come in last in the sprint race, and I do not give a crap. At all. I might even win an award for last. It’s refreshing. I’m just looking forward to getting out there and getting one more step closer to completing my first triathlon.  On a beautiful day.

Good luck to those who are racing and may you come in wherever you please! Happy Friday!

***After posting this, I found that THIS IS MY 100TH POST!!!! AND IT’S ALL ABOUT BEING HAPPY!!!!!! Happy 100th Post Birthday to me!


Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Lot of Racing Goin’ On: Recap and The Jitters

WARNING: Because I’m a slacker, this is quite long, but I wanted to catch up on training. And racing. And training to race.

So let me get into the goods of my workouts lately. My birthday was Friday, and I REALLY appreciate the “Happy Birthday” sentiments from you all. I got a TON on Facebook, and that just sort of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. We had some drinks on the beach, met the kids as they got off the bus, and I got to open presents. Will I ever outgrow the fun of that? I hope not. I got a Magic Bullet and used it Wednesday…. I can say that I will never use that friggin blender for a smoothie again!!! Love the Bullet.  We then went out to have some more drinks and eat dinner.

Some beers we got for our beach trip. Not that we drank any on the beach, because it's illegal. No, we didn't.

Some beers we got for our beach trip. Not that we drank any on the beach, because it’s illegal. No, we didn’t.

I did extend my birthday day drinking a little too long, and there may or may not be a picture of me riding a big plastic tiger at the Mellow Mushroom, but anyway, when I got up to run on Saturday morning, I was just dog tired. I had four miles to run before my 5k, and I wasn’t feeling it. Then I realized that the color for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness was pink. Like it has been forever. And what did I pull out of my drawer to wear to a Breast Cancer Awareness race? Yeah, the brightest ORANGE shirt I have. I take the “Moron of the Race” award, that’s for sure. It was the Run for the Tatas 5k to help raise money for local charities that support those who have been affected by breast cancer. I was so happy to be a part of this race! So many survivors out there, so many supporters, a great vibe on a beautiful morning. This is a different style of race because the men have to start 2:30 AFTER the women start. Rad, right? It was cool to just have all the women start first. When the horn sounded, I took off, hoping for the best. I was in the front of the crowd, and was happy to see that, in mile 1, I was going about my PR pace of 6:50-ish. Well, that certainly didn’t last long, as in mile 2, I got that lead feeling in my stomach. I wasn’t super surprised since I hadn’t been doing speed work and haven’t trained to run a 5k PR. I slowed down, and then tried to pick back up in the last mile. I can’t remember when the men started passing me, but it was fun to be in front of so many of them, at least for a little bit!  I crossed the finish line in 22:30, which I’m happy with, but I’m also slightly disappointed. When will I ever learn to not have parties or special events the night before a 5k?

I ran another two miles after the race so I could catch the awards ceremony, but I still had another two miles to go after that, plus catch my son’s football game. I got lost in the awards ceremony though, especially when the announcer gave the awards for the fastest survivor, the survivor teams, and all the survivor stuff. Sheesh, I get all verklempt thinking about it now. One thing I did notice was how YOUNG they were. These weren’t grandma types like my mom, they were, well, like ME. It took me back a little (oh Lord, here comes the tears again), and I was so proud of these women. I’ve never been challenged with something like that, and I can’t imagine how it would feel. I was inspired by their strength and the fact they were out there, running, raising money, and with big smiles on their faces.

My time ended up being good enough for 3rd Overall Masters, and I won MONEY. I couldn’t believe it, real, actual money. Then I felt guilty because some other ladies donated their winnings back to one of the charities, so I decided to buy a race shirt with half and donate the other half. Knowing me, I’ll probably end up donating the entire thing, but it’s definitely a great cause and well worth it.

Medal I got for 3rd Masters

Medal I got for 3rd Masters

I had to leave the awards early so I could get my last two miles in, catch some grub, and head to my son’s game. It was a beautiful day, but later that afternoon, I was so tired, I could barely keep my eyes open. I headed to bed before 9:00 pm. It was awesome.

On Sunday, I got up to meet my friend, Gary, so we could go for  a 40 mile bike ride and 5 mile run. I was really geared up for it and wanted to just tear it up. Well, my legs had another idea, so I struggled through most of the 40 miles. I couldn’t get my heart rate up where my legs could stand the work, so I ended up going slower and easier than I had planned and what I was supposed to do.  I figured my run was going to be crap too, so I started off at a conservative pace, and ended up having to slow myself down several times to an 8 minute mile. Where the heck that came from, I’ll never know,  and I was confused, but I was happy that the run felt so good.  My coach did tell me that I’m in the “awkward phase” of training right now too.

Monday rolled around and I had arranged to meet my swim friend, Stacey, so we could get our open water swim in.  It was in the 40’s that morning, so I wasn’t looking forward to getting in the water with the chilly air. Surprisingly, the air temps at the beach were pretty warm, so it was nearly perfect. We had a screaming current and the water was flat as glass, so our 1.4 mile swim only took 30 minutes. We chatted a bit, and I headed home with the windows open and a smile on my face.


Perfect. Just perfect!

Perfect. Just perfect!

Tuesday was my running group run, and I was happy to report that my leg was feeling great. Signs of my shin splints were disappearing, and I was happy that I caught it in time to reverse the pain. The issue that day was that my stomach was a mess. I don’t know if it was from open water swimming the day before, but it felt weird and it did last week after open water swimming too. I wasn’t ready to run super fast, but I came ready to run. I was happy until I found out we were doing one and two mile time trials. Time trials. Ugh! I hate them and my stomach was really pissed, so I figured I’d just give it my best shot. I was a little nervous about my shin splints since I’d had some fast paces the past few days, but I charged ahead anyway. My mile came in at 6:38 and my two miles came in at 15:08 or somewhere close to that. I had to laugh because 1) I don’t put much weight on time trials and 2) the two mile split was slower than my 5k. So whatever, but it did give me a benchmark to improve upon as the season continues. I also was dealing with mass boredom during the 2 miler. I almost quit. It was so boring and was the longest 8 laps I’ve ever run at a track, probably ever. BUT, I made it through.  Anyone else feel ambivalent towards time trials?

So moving on to Wednesday, I had 1:15 bike ride followed by a one hour run. I drove to Wrightsville Beach to have a change of scenery, and the bike ride was surprisingly good. I figured my legs were going to be pretty tired, but I felt strong, even against the wind. It was a LOT warmer than what I thought it was going to be, so by the time I got that done and moved on to my run, it was probably in the upper 70’s with high humidity. Not a big deal, normally, but something in my body was missing, because I made it 20 minutes before I realized that the run wasn’t going to be a good one. It was the opposite of Sunday! What the hell!???! I thought I fueled well, and even practiced eating while riding (slow), so I was expecting good things.  I’m not a huge heart rate training person, for no particular reason, but I noticed that it got really high when I started running and took a long time to lower, which is the opposite of what it did on the bike. Many times, I can’t even get my heart rate in Zone 4 unless I’m going as fast as I can with heavy resistance. I stopped to walk a few times, grabbed a drink, but I continued to feel like crap, plus my stupid shin was bothering me. So I was frustrated, but I also realize that there are going to be good training days, and there are going to be not-so-good training days. I had a combined effect with Sunday/Wednesday with one sport being good the other bad. I came home and stretched, rolled, and iced, and it’s feeling better today. Thank goodness.

The impromptu bike shop this morning.

The impromptu bike shop this morning.

Now, on to today. I had an easy bike ride, so I thought I’d meander down to Carolina Beach. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right? Yeah, my stupid tire was as dead as a doornail. Well, alert the mental health professionals because I fell apart. All my fears of the half iron came out in a big mass of tears. I’m scared of having a flat during the race, I’m scared of finding my tire flat when I get done with the swim (assuming I finish the swim in time), and having yet another flat was just something that put me over the cliff. Without the bat wings.  I realize that it’s just all my fears and stress coming out in a not-so-princess-like way, but it’s real. It didn’t last long, and when it was done, I turned my bike over and changed that damn flat.

On Friday, I’ve got a high cadence bike workout and then Saturday…. drum roll…… is my very first ever in my entire life SWIM RACE!!!!! (Check out the website, it’s really cool and you can see where I’m going to be swimming! You can see half my coach’s face in the picture montage too!) I have 6 miles to run earlier that morning, but the race will start at 10 am. I’m sort of nervous but I’m sort of excited because it’s almost exactly the same course with the SAME tide conditions as the Beach 2 Battleship triathlon I’m doing in just two weeks. Um, two friggin’ weeks. Yeah, if I’m not a river in Egypt because I’m in De-Nial about that. Really super duper excited to get ‘er done, but wow, here it is. HERE. IT. IS.

Jitters? Yes. Excitement? Yes. Visualization? Yes. Determination? Yes. Confidence? Mostly yes. Saturday will really help, but really, I have to take each bit, know deep down that I CAN do it, and that whatever happens, I did the absolute best to prepare.  It’s time to bring on the BEAST MODE for this race!

I’ll be back with my race recap, probably this weekend. I don’t usually blog on the weekends, but I just may for this 🙂

Happy running, y’all, just over two weeks and it’s MARATHON MODE for me!



Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, running with friends, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, training for triathlon, triathlon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Looking At 41 Years With Rose-Colored Glasses

Today is my 41st birthday. I’m so thankful for the experiences I’ve had, the good ones AND the bad ones. I would say the past few years has been especially challenging, but then I think back to having a newborn who wouldn’t sleep more than two hours at a time and NOT in his crib, and I realize that it’s all with respect for what you are going through at the time. Sometimes my memory can get over things like never sleeping and remember the good parts of having a newborn, such as the fuzzy heads and clean smell, the cuddles and coos. So today, I’m looking back with rose-colored glasses at my life, and I am filled with a sense of happiness and gratefulness. I know things get tough, but I’m here, I’m alive, and today is my birthday. So in celebration, I thought I’d make a random list of things I’ve done over my 41 years. Because I like lists and today is my birthday and I can do whatever I want.

  1. I married my best friend 15 years ago and am still grateful every day for him. Cue the barf.
  2. I quit my corporate job in 2003 to be home with my kids.
  3. I climbed a mountain in the Tetons with my best friend, Melanie, back when we in early high school. Won’t ever forget being stuck at the top and having to find a different way down, which scared the SHIT out of my parents, who then went up after us, thinking we had been eaten by bears. When we got to the bottom, they were at the top. When we finally all reunited, no words were needed to tell us girls how bad of an idea the climb idea was.
  4. I saw a shooting star at the top of a mountain in Yellowstone National Park.
  5. We took the kids to Yellowstone and camped.
  6. I nursed a kitten from near death to health. Now he’s an overweight load who likes to steal my son’s stuffed dog and carry it around the house, meowing.

    Here he is. The former runt.

    Here he is. The former runt.

  7. I started a blog and have met some REALLY cool people because of it. I don’t do it for giveaways or money, I do it because it’s interesting.
  8. I’ve seen the Dave Matthews Band in concert more than 20 times.
  9. I’ve caught frogs, pollywogs, leeches, fish, and have been swimming in the lakes of Minnesota and Iowa.
  10. I ran the Boston Marathon.
  11. I drink wine out of a box.
  12. I’ve seen a sun rise over the ocean.
  13. I scare my husband whenever I say “Honey, I have an idea.”
  14. I trained a horse named TJ when I was a teenager.
  15. I moved two states away from home right after college.
  16. A year after that, I packed up my cat and meager belongings into a U-haul and moved even further away, just because I could.
  17. I flew back home to surprise my dad for his 50th birthday.
  18. I flew back home to surprise my mom for Mother’s Day.
  19. I listen to music with swear words in it REALLY loud when I’m at home by myself.
  20. I tell white lies to my kids to throw them off so I can surprise them with something cool.
  21. I cry when I think about running marathons. In a good way.
  22. I joined my first running group in 2012 to meet people, never knowing how many awesome people I would meet and that I would crave running with a group after that.
  23. I give people my parking passes when leaving the beach. It shocks the crap out of many of them that I’m doing something “nice”, which shocks the crap out of me.
  24. I have bought a man his lunch without him knowing it was me buying it.
  25. When I was a teenager, I stole an eyeliner from a Walgreens. Still feel bad about it.
  26. I’ve sat on my mom and dad’s porch for two hours just listening to and watching birds. It was bliss.
  27. I’ve been to Las Vegas twice and only gambled $20.
  28. I was a Mary Kay consultant for about five years.
  29. I’ve eaten an entire bag of Halloween pumpkins. In one day.
  30. I learned how to swim in open water so I could compete in a triathlon.
  31. I’ve been the first woman to cross the finish line in a 5k.
  32. I’ve driven two full days with four cats in the back of the car and made it to the destination sane and with all four cats alive. Barely.
  33. I use the word “awesome” too much. It’s an awesome word and I like awesome words so I use the word awesome.
  34. I’ve been on the inside of the Hoover Dam.
  35. I threw up in Mexico.
  36. I tried to fry ice cream. Yeah, it didn’t work.
  37. I’ve ordered the Dirty Dime at the Icky Nickel.
  38. I graduated with honors from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Business Finance.
  39. I laugh at things for days if they strike me the right way.

    We love Phteven.

    We love Phteven.

  40. For most of my life, I feel like I’ve taken the road less traveled. It’s taken me some pretty funky places, that’s for sure.
  41. If given the chance, I wouldn’t change the decisions I’ve made (ok, there’s a few in there) because I wouldn’t be right where I’m at right now, and I think I’ve got an amazing life with amazing people in it. Thanks for being one of them!

Do you look back and “take stock” on your birthday? I didn’t used to and only looked forward to what I wanted to accomplish or change in the coming year. But really, the way I live my life, I always need to look back at what I HAVE done and accomplished. The little things, like holding a pollywog, and the big things, like quitting my job. You can lose sight on the fullness of your life if you never look back, which is what I do from time to time. I’m also looking forward. I’ve got big plans for this next year. My triathlon, my marathon, coaching a big bunch of kids, re-decorating a few of my rooms (lawd help me on this one!), having a summer full of adventure. This past year has been a big one, too. The Boston Marathon, getting settled in our new town, deciding to coach, learning how to swim.  The most important part is to take out the negative and look at the positive.

My 41 years of life have been amazing awesome, and I look forward to what the next year will bring! Thanks for being a part of the journey!


Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, Boston Marathon, half iron distance, iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 11 Comments

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