Going The Distance ~ Today

When I signed up to do the Vineman 70.3 in July I thought it would be a good idea to also sign up to do a half marathon as part of the training. My logic was that because the 70.3 includes a half marathon it would be good to do it and get it out of the way. Good idea, right?

Something you may or may not know about me is, I have to do a distance before I do the event. I need to know that I will indeed be able to complete it. Most people, from what I understand, don’t do the entire distance as part of their training.

When we did the Tour de Cure, Don and I drove to San Diego and rode the course a few weeks before the actual ride. I was so glad I did because I had some work to do to get ready for it.

Before we did the Triathlon at Pacific Grove, we did many olympic distance blocks on the weekends leading up to our event. (We did taper and rest before the event)

My coach has been kind enough to humour me and scheduled a 13 mile run before the SLO Half Marathon. The race is April 22nd. The time has come to do the distance.


I am going the distance today.


I am a bit apprehensive about it. My longest walk/run to date is 8.34 miles. At the end of the run (jog) I felt like I could have gone farther…. Maybe that means I can do 13???? I hope so.

All you running friends…what do you do during a half marathon or other long distance to get through? Do you eat or just rely on fluids? Do you just drink water or do you drink an electrolyte drink?

Gracious! I am so nervous!!!!


Surprising Myself

Triathlon training has brought about quite a few changes in me. I am feeling healthier, I am getting stronger, my cardio endurance is much more than it used to be. It’s all good stuff.

My coach puts out a training schedule 3 weeks at a time. I try to stick to the schedule and get all the workouts done. I figure if she is going to take the time to put it together the least I can do it abide by it.

Yesterday was a run day. 2 hours and 15 minutes was scheduled. I have no problem on Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays sticking with the schedule because those are coach workout days. One of the coaches is there, at the scheduled time, waiting to kick my rear. Yesterday was an “on your own day”…a “you gotta do it because you want to day”…a “there is no one there to keep you accountable or push you day.”

So…I got myself ready to go. As I was getting myself pumped to go Patty called… a delay. UGH! I was fine with it. One of the reasons I quit working was so I could be available to mommy her. I was still determined to get my run in.

I did get it in. The entire time. I even  challenged myself and ran in the river bottom. My pace was slower because of the sandy dirt, but it was a great work out. As I was running (running is a loose term here) it occurred to me that I was running by myself because I wanted to and I was enjoying it. For all you life long runners out there…no big deal right? But for the never been runners, trying to find the motivation to just do it…CAN YOU BELIEVE IT!!!!!

I spent a lot of the time before the workout telling myself that I was not going to talk myself out of it. I wasn’t going to let myself off easy. I wasn’t going to remind myself that I am fat or that I can’t do it or that I look dumb “running” so dang slow. When the self-defeating thoughts crept in I quickly thought of something else.

Tomorrow we do our first triathlon of the season. We are doing a longer the sprint, shorter than olympic tri in Visalia.  I am pretty excited!!! I will report on it as soon as I get the chance.

It’s Been A While

It’s been a while since I blogged last. Life has been busy and there have been some changes since I last shared. I resigned from my job of 8 years in January & became a stay-at-home mom. We have changed churches. Don and I are training for a Half Ironman triathlon.

I resigned from my job for a number of reasons.

It had become stressful. I thought about work all the time. I dreamed about it at night. It began taking its toll on my health. I mean really…I couldn’t sleep, I was depressed… Don was done seeing me stressed out and wanted me to quit. I am so blessed to have a husband who knows what is going on with me and who makes enough money for me to be able to stay home.

I am excited to be home! I get to be there for Patty whenever she needs me. I can carpool with the other moms. I get to clean my house (ok…not my favorite part of being home). I can train, train & train some more for the fast approaching Half Ironman.

It has taken a while for me to relax. Before there was always something in my mind that I had to remember to do…an appointment to be kept…a job that I failed to do or that I didn’t do as well as I would have like. Now, I am free from those thoughts. I have had more than a few moments of panic thinking I had forgotten something only to come to the realization that there. is. nothing.

I can breathe.

We changed churches… This has been a huge change in our lives. Our church was like dear family to us. For the last 17 years we have spent hours there. We have been cared for and supported by the people we worshiped and fellowshiped with each week. Leaving our church hasn’t been a decision we’ve come to lightly and it has been a painful one for us in some ways. I can see now that it has been the right thing for our family.

Don and I signed up to do a Half Ironman in July. We are doing it to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society like we did with the Triathlon at Pacific Grove.  This one is longer! A 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, and 13.1 mile run triathlon.

So…There’s a little update on what’s been going on with us.

Did 2012 bring any changes for you and your family?

EEEWWWWW ~ This might be TMI

Last Monday I was planning on riding to work. I got ready for work, dressed in my riding clothes and loaded work clothes into my backpack. When I went to get my bike from the garage I discovered a flat tire….bummer, right?

I called hubby, told him to speed home so I could go to work. My backpack and work attire were on the couch in our computer room, so I did a little quick change there, vowing to put my discarded riding clothes away when I got home from work…yeah, right.

On Wednesday morning Patty found that the dryer was broken when she went to go get clean clothes out for school and found them soaking wet instead of all dry and fluffy. It’s a bummer because we do a lot of laundry…I see a trip to the laundry mat in our future.

On Thursday I was finally tired of being a sloth in the evenings and decided to go to the gym. The hubby was at work and the kids were going to have dinner at their grandparents house while utilizing their dryer.

I searched alllll over my bedroom for my favorite sports bra…couldn’t find it. I searched for my not favorite sports bra. Neither were in my bedroom. Not to worry I thought, because we always have a pile of clean laundry on the couch in the computer room (don’t judge…we are busy and putting away laundry is at the bottom of the list.) So I searched there.

Now remember Monday when I didn’t get to ride to work and Wednesday when the teenage daughter found that the dryer was broke when her clothes didn’t dry???? Well, apparently she didn’t notice that the load of towels she was taking out of the dryer to dry her clothes was wet. Yep, she tossed the not dry towels onto the constant pile of laundry on the couch. Guess where I found my sports bra and my favorite pair of gym capris. If you guessed under the pile of, now, damp and stinky towels you are correct.

For some, that might be enough for them to throw in the towel (be it stinky and wet) and stay home from the gym, but I was determined. The capris were damp and super gross smelling. The bra however wasn’t all that bad. It didn’t feel wet and I was pretty sure it didn’t smell that bad…

About 10 minutes into my time on the Crossramp I was very aware that I had made a mistake in wearing that bra. I had waved it around the room, sprayed it with body spray and waved it some more. I put extra deodorant on. I sprayed body spray on before I left for the gym. Here’s how it went…


10 min… “Is that me that smells that way???”

15 min… “Oh my gosh…that is me that smells like that”

20 min… “Ugh, I am going to gag from that smell”… I was texting my bff LeAnn at this point to fill her in on my funkyness

30 min… “I smell like a sour cucumber melon ball that is sweating” I wanted to apologize to the woman next to me, but after working out next to me for about 10 minutes she left. I think my smell chased her away.

40 min… “NO, NO… run!!!! Do not get on that machine” is what I was screaming in my head to the poor unsuspecting guy who got on the machine next to mine.

50 min… “Just 10 more minutes of this…I don’t know if I’m gonna make it”

60 min… “Finally Free!!!! Well, kinda, can’t get home and in the shower fast enough!”

Friends…please, take my story and use it to your advantage.

  • If you are going to change out of your riding clothes on the quick, take the time to put them away…do not leave them on the couch.
  • If the teenager finds the dryer to be broken, find out what they did with the clothes that were in the dryer
  • If you find your sports bra under a pile of damp clothes…call it a night and eat some ice cream

Triathlon at Pacific Grove…My 1st Oly!

We did it!

Last Saturday Don and I finished our first-ever Olympic Triathlon. It was fun. It was hard. It was exhilarating. It was exactly what I imagined it to be and so much more.

We left town on Friday morning, after taking Patty to school and taking care of some business. We got a bit of a late start, but were still looking at getting to Pacific Grove earlier then we had to be there. The drive was uneventful, but with traffic and a couple wrong turns we ended up arriving much later then we had anticipated.

When we got to town we drove directly to Lovers Point to get checked in for the triathlon. The Team in Training tent was out first stop and then we went to the Registration tent to get our numbers, timing chips and awesome bag o’ swag. 

Team in Training fed us a fantastic dinner and I was encouraged and inspired by the speaker. I was embarrassed to see myself in the honoree slide show and even more so as my name was read and I stood and waved to the tables around me. It is an honor to be able to raise money The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with Team in Training.

Our stand in coaches (our coaches and other team mates from Bakersfield were unable to go to Pac Grove with us because they were participating in The Nations Triathlon in Washington DC on 9/11/11) came by our room to make sure we had our numbers on our bikes correctly, check to  be certain we had all we needed, give us words of encouragement and outfit our bike helmets with sweet rubber ducky ornamentation.

The rest of the evening was filled with winding down…breathing…trying to relax and surprisingly enough…some sleeping.

Saturday morning we woke at 4:00seriouslytooearlytobeawake o’ clock. We got dressed in our Tri clothing, put warmer clothes on over and met out team mates in the hotel lobby. We rode the dark two miles to Lovers Point together. After racking our bikes and getting our Sharpie number tattoos we all began the wait…

Don’s wave was before mine so I got to watch him start his swim. I was so proud to watch him head out into the cold water.

I had to go get my wet suit on as soon as he was swimming. My wave time was fast approaching. While stuffing myself into my wet suit I could feel the excitement building in me. I thought I would be nervous, but found that I wasn’t. I lack the words to express how I was feeling…excited just doesn’t quite fit.

I stayed back a little when my wave went into the water. I expected that if I didn’t I would get ran over by faster swimmers. I found that, although I am not a fast swimmer (the total opposite of fast is what I am) I wasn’t the slowest. It was a frustrating to try to get around the slower swimmers and after a couple kicks, slaps and sorries I was able to get something that resembled a stroke rhythm going. I expected to hate the cold salt water and kelp, but instead I loved the water and found the kelp to be mildly annoying.

I struggled with the bike part. I lacked energy and my legs felt weak. I felt like I was a new rider who was struggling to keep up with all the faster people. My time and average were nowhere near what they should have been. It was a really “off” ride for me.

I started pretty strong on the walk/run. I knew I would be walking most of it. My first lap speed was sub 14, the second was sub 15 and after completing the final lab ended with a 15:30 ish average time.

Here I am, finishing!!!! (The time that you see on top of the finish line is not my time 🙂 )

I finished the Triathlon at Pacific Grove. I finished in 4 hours and 26 minutes. There were times during the race that I was in pain. During those moments I tried to find the part of my body that didn’t hurt and focus on it. If that didn’t work, if the pain kept my attention I would remind myself that the reason I could feel that pain was because I had that body part. When I thought there was no way I could finish it I told myself to shut up and looked around at all the beauty that surrounded me. When I was berating myself for signing up for this torture I reminded myself that there were people sitting in a chair or lying in a bed who would have loved to be in my shoes.

I am so very thankful for my health…for a body that I can move at will…for the pain that proves that my muscles are working.

Don and I are already planning for future triathlons. I think I see a half Ironman in our future (2013) and maybe a full (2014).

Sometimes I Fall

I love riding my bike. I love getting into a pedaling rhythm. I love going fast and the sound of the wind as it rushes by. The adrenalin rush when I am speeding down a hill and the see that I am getting close to 30 mph is INTENSE! (Now, I know for those who have been riding for years that may not be so fast, but for me…whooooo it is super fast!)

I love the changes in me that have occurred in the last year. I love that I feel healthier and stronger now than ever before. I love that I am more confident in my physical abilities and I love the confidence I have gained mentally as well. And….I’m gonna say it….I love my legs. My legs are muscly, sleek and tan.

I have found two things that I don’t like though. First…I hate, hate, hate riding up hills. I mean really…I hate it. When I approach a big hill I instantly want to cry, get off my bike and stomp my feet while refusing to climb the hill.

The other thing I don’t like… I fall. I don’t fall speeding down a hill. I don’t fall when the wind is rushing by me. I fall when I am going very slow or standing still.

The first time I fell was the first time I rode clipped in. The second time I fell was the same day as the first time…It’s very important to remember your feet are clipped to your pedals.

I fell again when Don and I were doing a practice ride in preparation for the Tour de Cure.  I was standing at a stop light, waiting for it to turn green and just. fell. over. Really, standing perfectly still. I could feel it happening, but because my foot was clipped into my pedal I was powerless to stop my descent.

I did the entire Tour de Cure without falling. Except for the very end…You know, the part where you dismount your bike. Took one foot out and then leaned to the other side. The nice guy directing riders to the bike corral thought I was having a diabetic episode. I assured him that I was just a huge klutz.

I’ve been doing good though. I haven’t fallen in quite some time. Then Monday night came. I went for a ride by myself. I parked in a lot near the bike path. It was a fantastic ride…the first time I’ve ever rode solo. The ride left me relaxed and feeling at peace with the world.

I unclipped early as I approached the parking lot. ~I always unclip early because of my tendency to fall.~ I got a little distracted by someone getting out of a car near my truck…a girl has to stay aware of her surroundings. I was almost stopped when I got that familiar feeling. I was leaning away from my unclipped foot.

You know what happened, right?

I fell. Then I laughed. I don’t know why I think it is so funny to fall. It hurts…it’s not funny…but I laugh.

A nice woman with her “too cool” son (he rolled his eyes at me and seemed irritated that his mom stopped) pulled over to make sure I was okay. I said I was and that I had just leaned the wrong way. She was kind enough to inform me that it was the pedals that caused me to fall.

I have discovered that my muscly, sleek and tan legs must have some kind of visible injury at all times. As soon as one skinned knee gets almost healed I fall on the bike or slip getting into the tub (big bruise and scrape) or burn my leg on the concrete climbing out of the pool. Below is a pic of my newest injury…view at your own risk…

I know it doesn't look all that bad in this picture, but in real life, it's pretty gross and my calf is all scratched up.

When I ride, I am determined to do what I must to reach the end of the road in front of me. If it’s a hill I must climb, I’m going to do it. No matter how big, long or steep the hill…I’m going up and over it and I am going to enjoy the super exciting ride that awaits me on the other side. When I fall on my bike, I will get back up, brush myself off, ignore my bruised ego and keep going.

In life there are challenges…gigantic, intimidating hills that I have to attack and climb. I will climb and fight my way up and over that hill and scream with excitement when I get to the other side. And if and when I fall, fail or have a set back in life, I will get back up, brush myself off, ignore my bruised ego and keep going.

The Water

Someone is making the most beautiful music on our piano. I feel so at peace. I have to turn around and see who it is.

Dillon…Dillon is playing the piano, but he has never played before. I am shocked at the exceptional talent my son is displaying. The notes he is playing are filling the room. I try to ask him where he learned to play like that…He just smiles at me.

There is another noise…loud, annoying…It has to stop! It is totally drowning out the beautiful piano music.

It doesn’t take but a couple of seconds for me to wake up. Ugh! It’s 4:30 in the morning! The beautiful piano music…the alarm on my phone. I specifically picked that alarm alert so I could be drawn peacefully from my slumber. The annoying noise…Dillon’s obnoxious alarm clock. How is it that it wakes me up, but he can sleep through it forever!

Why did I set my alarm? Surely there is no good reason for me to get up while it is still dark outside.

SWIMMING! I have swim practice this morning! Yes!!!! I love swimming.

Don is waking up. I have to go get Patty awake. She is going with us. Fun times.

As we pull into the parking lot, I can see that our coach is not here yet. I am glad. I am always worried about wasting her time and getting there late. She is training Don and I, for free, as part of our Team in Training participation. She has been kind enough to work with Patty for the last couple weeks.

There are others swimming in the pond this morning. I haven’t ever seen anyone else swim here. I guess word must be getting out.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

As we stand on the bank, I am not looking forward to getting into the water. The highs during the day have been reaching into the hundreds, but the pond remains cold. Don bounds in the water and dives under. Patty, Linda and I inch our way in. So cold…

After swimming the breast stroke for about 150 meters my arms are finally warmed up enough to start swimming freestyle. It takes a little time to get a rhythm going, but with each stroke my arms get looser and my breath gets more even.

The way the water flows over my skin is soothing and refreshing. I slowly glide through the coolness. It envelopes me,wraps around me, blocking out the sounds around me. All I hear is my own breathing.

My mind clears…the only thoughts I have are the movement of my body through the water. I examine each movement; my arm digging deep to pull more water, my hand sweeping past my hip, the roll of my hip away from my hand, my head turning…barely my mouth clears the water and I inhale. The same movements over and over again, free my mind from all the busy thoughts that always swirl around.

As I come to the end of my time in the water, I realize that doing this…swimming has become a sort of therapy for me. When I started, just a few months ago, swimming was anything but relaxing. It was difficult. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t fun. Now, I wait expectantly for the time in the water when I can clear my head and find the sweet relief from the days problems.