Sunday, April 05, 2009


So I'm sitting at work on this Sunday morning wishing I were out running. Yes, I said it. I don't wish I were in bed, I wish I were running. This morning is the Brew to Brew 43 mile run. I did it last year and I sure didn't think I enjoyed it at the time. But this morning I'm really wishing I were out there. See I'm really enjoying triathlon training but I will always be a runner at heart. Biking and swimming are hard for me. I do it to prove to myself that I can. I do it to challenge myself to get outside my comfort zone. I do it because I once crashed my bike and I'm a little afraid of it. I don't like being afraid of anything so I get back on even though sometimes I hate it. Swimming and biking take concentration and work. Running is an escape, a release, the time when I find peace and I let go of all my troubles. Everything makes sense after a run. I hope I get to that place with swimming and biking. But right now I'll just wish I was out on the Brew to Brew course.

Sunday, March 08, 2009


So two weeks ago I began a new journey to Ironman #2. Ok, ok I'll admit, this is not the first time I've announced a new start. But so many things have changed that I think this really is a new start. I've got a great new job that I generally enjoy and I think I'm finally at the point where I can invest the time I need into my training. Two weeks into my training there are a few things I've learned:

1. Doing two workouts a day most days of the week is hard. Luckily I work at a gym so it's not too hard to get the training in. But my days mostly consist of getting to work at 5:30 or 6 am to train, then work for awhlile, train again, and work some more. By the time I go home at 7 or 8 pm I'm so tired I usually fall asleep on the couch. How do people do this with regular jobs and kids?

2. I'm hungry all the time. I had forgotten about this. The other day I went to Subway and got a footlong sandwich because I thought I'd save half later. Instead I ate the whole thing and then was still hungry. I pretty much never stop being hungry. Someone told me I should try eating two doughnuts a day while I'm training and I'm thinking that could be exactly what I need.

3. Swimming sucks. I'm an Aquatics Director so maybe I'm not allowed to say that. But it does. It just doesn't seem to get any easier. Ok, it's only been two weeks. But still you'd think I'd be flying through a 2000 yard workout by now. Right???

4. If you were afraid of going fast on the bike 2 years ago it doesn't just go away when you take some time off. I cannot for the life of me let go of the brake while going down a big hill. I realize this is silly and I even laugh at myself but I still don't let go of that brake. After crashing it's going to take awhile I think. The bike and I have a love-hate relationship.

5. I love to run. No matter how long of a training day, how sore I am or how bad my other workouts were I never have a bad run. Everytime I put on my headphones and head out the door I come back happier and generally feeling great. So why not just run you ask? Well, that would just be too easy.

6. This isn't going to be easy. Just wanting to be an Ironman isn't going to make it happen. It takes work, dedication, and commitment. It takes rolling out of bed at 3:30 am when it would be so easy to turn the alarm off and go back to sleep. It takes sacrifice to give up your free time and your sleep. It takes finding the motivation you didn't know you had when you're tired and just want to do nothing. It's easy to forgot that nothing worthwhile is easy.

7. It is worth it and it is going to be fun. In the end I love the training almost as much as the event itself. I love pushing myself and seeing what I'm capable of. I love knowing that I'm in amazing shape. And honestly, I love the surprise when people learn that you're training for an Ironman. I hope this year will bring the results I want. I hope that I've made the right choices as far as training. I hope that I continue to find the motivation I need each day. And I hope the bike and I have finally made peace.

More to come later....I promise.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Joy of Sprinklers

Today I ran 10 miles for the first time in at least a couple of months. I don't know what has happened. It's been a busy summer as usual and all kinds of other things have distracted me along the way. I guess I can honestly say I just lost motivation to train. So I've decided I may not do Silverman in November. I have my sights set on running 100 miles, something I've wanted to do for some time now.

So anyway......10 miles. Well, I slept until 2:00 this afternoon so I didn't even set out of the run until 5:30 p.m. It was hot and hard from the very beginning. It took me awhile to get into a rhythm and I'm not sure it ever really happened but things were going fairly well. I guess I'm just not used to the heat yet because I feel like I could not possibly sweat anymore. I froze my Heed and it tasted hot after about 2 miles. Then I just get annoyed at the heat.

I finally finished 8 miles which put me back on the street near my apartment. I ran most of the way on the paved trail which was just slightly cooler than the street. Well I hit the sidewalk and keep running. I look down at my Garmin to see where I'm at and notice that it's off. That's weird. It never said low battery or anything. I stopped (I certainly didn't mind the break) and attempted to fix my Garmin. It wasn't working. I leaned against the railing and reflected on the fact that I had 2 long miles to go.

Then a great song that I love running to came on my ipod. Just at that moment I noticed some sprinklers up the road. I smiled and ran to the sprinklers where I found a joy I haven't appreciated since childhood. I walked through the grass in the sprinklers. Finally I just stood next to one until I was completely soaked. My shoes squished and I looked like I had just taken a shower. But I didn't care. The rest of the 2 miles went by quickly. I have no idea how fast I ran them since I didn't have my Garmin and that's ok. Sometimes it's nice to enjoy a walk through some sprinklers, good music, the sun on your skin and a beautiful Sunday evening. Just what I need to keep motivated for another week of training :)


I really wrote this on April 23rd but I never got the chance to post it. So here it is: Ok, once again I am restarting my blog. I keep thinking about it and now seems to be as good a time as any. There will be time later to talk about my latest running accomplishments and goals. But for now I have something else to say. I’m on a plane on my way home from burying my grandmother. I miss her more than I thought or realized I would. But at the same time I know how much of her I take with me in this life. I will always strive to be the kind of woman she was and to live my life with the grace and faith that she did. So as I sat here stressing over how many things I have to do when I get home I finally just smiled with a new realization. It’s a beautiful day out. The sun is shining, Spring has arrived and summer is near. I have a job that I love and friends that love me. Because of the way my grandmother saved her money, I’ll be able to pay off a few more bills and pay for my Personal Training certification. I just got certified as a Lifeguard Instructor and I’m excited to train my team this summer and prove what kind of a leader I can be. We are running an endurance camp this summer that I get to help coach which is a huge opportunity and something I’m very excited for. My dad and I made up and made plans to do some things together (we had not spoken since Thanksgiving). And on that note, should I run 40 miles this weekend? Probably not. I have a million things to do and I don’t really even feel recovered from Brew to Brew. But what would my grandma do if she were me? I have no doubt that she’d be there Saturday morning with a smile. So it’s time. To embrace life and to find hope in my future. Sometimes you just have to try even though you don’t know what may happen. I need to run. Because I look at my family sitting around getting drunk and fat, complaining that their knees hurt and they’re too tired and it’s easier to sit on the couch. And I know one thing. I am not them. I run because I can, because I love the experience of just being out there. Because every time I run a find peace and I find faith. I feel my grandmother’s spirit with me and I know how proud of me she would be. There is a joy in that that goes way beyond staying in shape or fitness. This is what I was meant to do. I have finally found my way. I have more respect for my grandmother than I could ever put into words and I hope she is always with me, cheering me on and filling me with her graceful spirit.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A New Start

I've decided that I'll officially start blogging again. It didn't go too well before but maybe this time will be better. Since I last posted in October so much has happened. I did not run that 50k I was training for, but did run 2 others. I also ran a half marathon and another full marathon. It sure was a lot in a years time. But then again, I'm not known for patience or taking things slowly.

My last marathon did not go so well. I PR'd (4:15) which was an hour faster than my first marathon. But I have paid dearly for that time. I ended up with a stress fracture - in my pelvis of all places. It was a painful last 8 miles and it definitely was not worth the past 4 months of recovery. I don't think I'll be writing a report of that marathon. Pain and stupidity pretty much sums it up.

So this is a new start for me. I'm slowly trying to get back into running, although I haven't had much success yet. But I am biking and swimming and weight training in the hopes that healing will eventually come. It's been a long road and, despite my attempts to learn something from it, I've often been frustrated and impatient.

Koach has stuck by me every step of the way despite my frequent arguments that I am ready to run (when I'm not), my lengthy emails and my grumpiness. Running has given me so much in this past year that I've had a hard time with the temporary loss of it.

But I'm almost there. I biked 13 miles this morning and felt good. My training is getting tougher and my body seems to be taking it well, as long as I don't run. Our plan is to increase my strength so that I can come back stronger than before. And since I can't run I'm considering another iron distance triathlon. Maybe it's meant to be. Maybe this is my year to really improve my bike and swim. There must be some point to all of this.

There's so much to say since October of last year but this will do for now. Wish me luck in my return to running on May 14th.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I'm Back

I don't know where I've been these past few weeks. Every time I decide to update my blog I somehow end up not doing it for some reason. It's been a busy and very strange time since Redman. I'm training for a 50k which is this Sunday, although I don't know if you can call what I've been up to training. It's been nothing like Ironman training. I haven't eaten as well, I haven't trained as much and I haven't felt very inspired lately. Every day I think, this will be the day I discover my new motivation, but often it just doesn't come.

I've also been injured for almost two weeks which hasn't happened to me in quite awhile. I did something to my ankle and it just isn't getting much better. I haven't run since last Tuesday so really my 50k this weekend is in jeopardy.

I did have one great run where I really did think I had found my motivation and inspiration. It was a 10 mile run which I'm not used to doing by myself so I was a little hesitant to go. It was also very cold, windy and overcast. My ankle was really hurting so I was pretty slow for awhile. I started thinking about finishing Redman and what it meant for me. I realized that there was no huge meaning to finishing. It was so much more simple than I thought. The reason I finished is that I put one foot in front of the other until I got reached the finish line. I kept going even when it was hard, even when I was tired and I didn't want to keep going anymore. That's it.

You see, I tend to over analyze pretty much everything in my life. And the lesson of Ironman for me was to quit analyzing sometimes and just be present in the moment. If I had analyzed every moment of my day I never would have finished. My goal was to take everything that happened, deal with it, and move on. I didn't let myself think of that finish line until I only had a few miles left. That was my victory at Redman.

So that's what I take home from Redman. Things don't have to be so difficult for me. Some days it's tough and I don't feel like I can keep going on. But I do and as long as I keep things simple I do alright. I have to take things as they are and not be inpatient or so rushed to figure out the next step. Things will happen and whether it's Redman or relationships or my ongoing quest for a better job, I just need go with it sometimes.

The one thing that really stuck with at Redman was hearing all the other athletes say "keep moving" on the run. It wasn't "you're almost there". Because I wasn't. It wasn't "you look great". Because I didn't. It was "keep moving" and it was that simple. It goes for life too, keep moving even when you're not sure you want to. As I thought about that I began to run again. I started moving and realized I felt pretty good. I stopped thinking about how far 10 miles is or how much my ankle hurt. I became present in the moment again and it felt a lot like those last miles at Redman. I kept moving. I found myself running faster than I usually do without really meaning to. And before I knew it I was home.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Redman - Everything else

Ok, I'm finally going to finish my Redman report. I don't have a whole lot to say about the bike. It was windy, very windy at times. It was tough and there were a few times I seriously considered getting off my bike, sitting down on the side of the road and waiting for someone to come pick me up. Of course I didn't. I kept telling myself to make it to each aid station and then I could quit if I still wanted to. By the time I made it to the aid station, refueled and talked to all the volunteers I was always ready to go again.

The hardest part was going back out for another 56 mile loop and seeing all the athletes finishing their last loop. But I kept going and when I finally finished that 112 miles I was never more ready to get off that bike. There is definitely a moment when you feel like you might never want to get back on a bike again.

I had a slow transition to the run but figured I could use it after the bike ride. The volunteers were great again and had everything laid out for me. I started my first 13.1 mile loop just as the overall winner was crossing the finish line. In some ways it was inspiring to see him finish, in other ways it was a little discouraging knowing how far I still had to go.

My first 6.5 miles of the marathon went pretty well. My legs actually felt better than I thought they would. I still ran a few minutes and then walked some just to make sure I would feel ok on the second loop too. As I was reaching the 6.5 mile turnaround I saw 2 of my teammates just in front of me. It was great to see them and know they were doing ok and also to know I wasn't too far behind them.

I went into the turnaround with a couple of guys who happened to be on their second loop. Army guy said the 3 of us should stick together and "get each other home" I then had to tell them that I was only on my first loop so I wasn't really headed home yet. Army guy said if I would get him home he would get me to the turnaround. For the next 6.5 miles we ran and walked together. We talked and kept each other going as much as possible. For 6.5 miles I forgot to look at my Garmin and just ran and enjoyed Army guys company. We thanked all the volunteers and said something to every athlete we passed. I think that helped pass the time too.

Army guy told me he was hoping to finish in 13 hours so when we had 2 miles left and he had 20 minutes to make his goal I told him to go ahead and run the rest of the way in. He said time didn't really matter and he'd stay with me. I didn't even know how to respond to that. The sun started to go down so we picked up some glow sticks and tried to run as much as possible but ended up walking a lot of the last mile. Finally the trail split - one way to the finish, the other to the 13.1 mile turnaround. We said goodbye, he wished me good look on the rest of my journey and I congratulated him on his finish. The next day I looked up his time and saw that he finished in 13:01. I'm sure he would have been under 13 hours if he hadn't stayed with me.

As I went through the turnaround and picked up my special needs bag I saw my coach and teammates who had done the half. I was so excited to see them and it really gave me the energy to keep going. My coach walked with me a little to see how I was. He asked about another teammate who I had passed a ways back and I told him he didn't look too good. Koach told me to tell him to hurry up and that his koach was waiting for him. This was the first time I realized how much our koach really did care that we finished and that we did well. I knew then that he was proud of me and that kept me going through the next few long, dark hours.

I never found anyone else to run with. There weren't many of us left out there at that point. Except for some lights that had brought in and the aid stations it was very dark and a little cold. But I found that I enjoyed being out there, alone under the stars. My mind wandered and I was able to reflect on this incredible journey that was quickly coming to an end. At this point a lot of people were hurting, many were walking and if they were running it was more of a shuffle than a run. But most managed a few words as we passed. "Great job" turned to "just keep moving" or "you're almost there".

The aid stations and the volunteers were amazing. They were just as enthusiastic toward us as they were toward the winners. Someone would always run out to meet you and find out what you needed so by the time you got the aid station it was ready for you. There was a group of high school kids who wrote all the names of the athletes who were left in chalk on the trail. They really spent a lot of time making us feel important and like athletes. My favorite aid station had to be tailgate with the game on tv and beer in the cooler. On the way back I seriously considered a beer but I don't think that would have turned out too well.

In the last few miles I was alternately so happy I was almost laughing and overwhelmed with emotion at the idea that I was about to finish 140.6 miles. There were a few tears and a few laughs mixed in together. At one point I practiced running with my arms over my head for the finish line - just to see if my arms would still go above my head. Than I laughed at myself for running in the dark practicing my ironman finish.

With a couple of miles to go I could hear the music and the announcer at the finish line. I was so close. I tried to run the last few miles but I started feeling sick so I walked some. I have never been so happy to see a sign as when I saw the 26 mile sign and then the sign pointing the way to the finish line. I made sure to run now and listened to the announcer saying it was my first iron distance triathlon and my first ever triathlon. "Against the Wind" was playing and I remembered that I loved that song. Crossing the finish line was a surreal experience. My teammates were there with high fives and my koach. They put the medal around my neck and my koach gave me a huge hug and it was over. I think I was so surprised to be there I was just in shock. I had finished. 16:03. I didn't know what to say, I didn't cry, I didn't scream. I just tried to take it all in and remember every feeling of this moment.

I had done it. I proved to myself that I have what it takes to finish, to compete in an ironman. I wanted to believe that I had what it took, but I didn't know until the moment I crossed that finish line. Then I knew that my life had changed, that anything was possible, that I was so much stronger than I had thought.

I waited for one more teammate to finish and and spent some time time talking to my koach while the soreness set into my body. Once I sat down I thought I would never be able to get up again. When we left, after midnight, there was still one guy out there. We learned the next day that he finised at 2:30 am. He was an older man and they allowed him to stay on the course even though he was way over time. He was so over time that they had to shut the aid stations down and a volunteer followed him for 2 hours in a truck making sure he was ok. The high school kids felt bad that they had to leave while an athlete was still out there so they left some food and stuff for him. They also wrote him notes on paper plates. One said, Ironman is not a race, it's a state of mind. You are an inspiration." I think that says it all.

Ironman is for everyone, 18 or 70, man or woman, the winner or the last person to cross the finish line. We've all been through the same journey. I can't imagine anything greater than crossing that finish line - except doing it again next year - in 14 hours.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Check out the interview my koach and I did for The Everyman Endurance Show If you're interested in helping me with my fundraising efforts for Team in Training you can email me at I'll have a link up to my fundraising website soon. Thanks for your help! More on Redman later.