Saturday, June 29, 2013

It Will Be Like 4 Months Of PMS

I did it. I hired a coach for Ironman Florida. I need someone to boss me around and assure me I can actually do this thing in 4 months. I also do not have the time to plan out my weekly workouts right now. Truth be told, I was having kind of a breakdown trying to figure it out. I think it will be money very well spent.

Oh, and she’s not just any coach, but a coach who said she could teach me how to pee on the bike. My kind of lady (yes, ladies do pee on the bike).  I mean, why get off the bike when you can just let it flow right then and there? I will draw the line at #2, however.

Meet Carole Sharpless (or “Sharpie” as some call her – like the pen).


I think she might know just a couple of things about the sport of triathlon because she is a pro-triathlete who was 1st place for pros at 2010 Ironman Florida and has a whole other huge list of amazing triathlete accomplishments.   She does both virtual and local coaching for all distances. I think she is going to be a terrific fit for me.

When we met yesterday, she made a few things clear:

  • I am the best person she has ever met or coached (I made that up, but she was probably thinking it)
  • I need to “get my ass in the pool” and start swimming (Yes, these were her exact words. I have successfully blown off swimming for a very long time and cannot get away with it anymore)
  • I will be baptized by fire since I don’t have much time to train. This weekend alone I will do 7 hours and 40 minutes of workouts in two days. Huh?
  • I need to eat/drink 250 calories per hour on the bike. That means stuffing my jersey with all kinds of crap.


Pretty soon I will have my X2PERFORMANCE gear to wear. Cannot wait to show you!

  • I will be doing many, many TITS (“Time In The Saddle”) rides keeping my heart rate at 134. Shoot. I thought TITS rides would mean topless rides. I guess I could do topless TITS rides if I wanted.
  • My rest days will be MAJOR rest days. Coach Sharpie will ask me the plot line for the book I read or the movie I watched while laying on the couch not moving. Guess I need to buy some Cliff Notes.
  • I will be tired, irritable, cranky and delirious. Kind of like 4 months of PMS. I’m sure my family is thrilled.

So, what else was there to do but get up at 6:30 a.m. this morning and head out for a 3 hour ride? It was NOT easy keeping my heart rate that low because I really like to HAMMER on the bike. I hated, hated being passed by all those folks singing “on your left” as they smirked and flew by. I wanted to yell, “I am HEART RATE training. I could go faster if I wanted!” God, what egos we have. But, I know the Ironman is all about endurance and these long aerobic rides are essential.

Last night we had a HUGE storm that went on forever. We got to a place in Lyons, CO where the streets were covered in tree branches. Kind of pretty actually. Funny how you can enjoy workouts more when you can actually breathe, talk and take in the scenery.


I jumped off the bike (about 43 miles total) and transitioned for the run. Heidi came along, but she said I made her a bit too tired, even with the stop to lay down in the river.


3 hours, 30 minutes of training done all before the kids got up. I felt like super mom just for a second. Until I felt tired and yelled at someone.

Tomorrow will be a 4 hour ride followed by a quick 10 minute run to shake out my legs.

You people who have done Ironmans (or should I say “have done Ironmen?” That sounds dirty) in the past are CRAZY. This shit is crazy.

What’s your favorite thing to eat while cycling?

Have you ever worked with a coach? What were the positives and negatives?


Thursday, June 27, 2013

I Don’t Think I Could Drink That

I am not sure which is harder on your body - training for a marathon or spending a few days in Vegas. Both wreak havoc. Both include dehydration, fatigue, possible injury, G.I. distress, and the consumption of many calories. My total sleep for 3 nights was 14 hours, for a whopping average of 4.6666666 hours per night. I take total responsibility for this because I insisted on staying out late and playing blackjack, then getting up at 6:30 a.m. to work out. This shows I am a very dedicated gambler and athlete.


I look okay at 2 a.m. Not so good the next morning

One of my most favorite things to do in Vegas is to run up and down the Strip in the early morning. Nowhere on earth do you get a better or more eclectic mix of the human race. One can see everything from prostitutes to hard core runners to people who never made it to bed the night before (and scream at you in their drunken stupor), to families just out for a little sightseeing (prostitute sighting!).

Our flight left Vegas for Denver at 7:20 a.m. this morning, so when the guy in front of me took his bag out of the overhead compartment and hit me in the head with it, I scarcely noticed. That is how tired I was/am. But, now I am home, and re-entry to reality is never easy. Actually, it can be an outright bitch.

Here are some highlights from the trip, if you care:

Best New Restaurant We Tried: El Segundo Sol (on the Strip across from the Wynn) for the margaritas and fishbowl of guacamole (you know how I love my guac)


Best Restaurant Overall : NOBU (sushi) at the Hard Rock. I also liked the new Steven Tyler display they have there (is that a nipple ring?):


Best Quote From the Trip: “No one should ever have to go to the ATM.” I was playing blackjack and losing my shirt. I muttered under my breath that I might have to make the walk of shame to the ATM. The guy beside me was on a winning streak, and started giving me $25 chips to bet. That’s when he told me no one should EVER have to go to the ATM. If only.

Best Person at the Pool: The 54 year old guy from Michigan wearing the bright fluorescent green banana hammock. He wore the same one in black the next day so I think he has one in every color. I was sad to leave today because I did not get to see which color might emerge. After all, Thursday might be hot pink banana hammock day and that is something I hate to miss.

Best Fight Witnessed: Two girls in the pool at the Wynn screaming at each other across the water because one girl said the other girl’s boobs were fake and apparently they were NOT. “I have had these since I was 12 years old!!”

Best Picture From the Trip: This girl photo bombing me an Erika. We have no idea who she is.


Best new drink (which I actually did not have, but I wanted to tell you about it): Bacon martini (because bacon now has to be in lip gloss, on donuts, and in cocktails). Nothing like bacon infused vodka to go with your eggs.

So now, it’s onto serious Ironman Florida training. 18 weeks and counting. I meet with a potential coach tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for all of your advice from my last post. I’m ready to get this thing STARTED!!


Do you like trying new restaurants or just sticking with the old stand bys? I am a stand by girl – when I find something I like I tend to stay with it.

Do you always work out while on vacation? YES. I don’t see any reason not to – the facilities are amazing these days (depending where you stay – plus places like the Wynn charge you for it whether you use it or not, so you might as well) and I think the absolute best way to see a new place is while running.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Mixing Pain and Pleasure

I love this picture of Ken on the trail yesterday morning. I wonder what he is doing? Nice that he was able to use the tree as his personal fuel belt hanger.


Sunday we did a 9 mile trail run where we parked a car at one end, drove to the other end and ran over a mountain. There was lots of climbing and my legs just said “NO.” I have put in a big training week (well, at least for me). I am totally finding myself in no man’s land after finding out about getting on the X2PERFORMANCE team for Ironman Florida (see excited post HERE). In the same moment I was jumping around peeing myself with excitement, I was muttering "what the hell have I gotten myself into??”

I’m overwhelmed and a bit lost. The questions swirl in my head.

  • Which training plan to use? (I’ve been reading “Be Iron Fit” which has some good plans in it. The shortest plan I can find is 30 weeks and I have 17 weeks, so I’m trying to figure out how to customize it)


  • Should I hire a coach? (I’ve been talking to a couple of coaches. I’ve never had a coach before. It’s expensive, but I desperately need the guidance)
  • Do I need a tri bike? (NEED? Maybe not – could probably get by on my road bike with aero bars. But, I WANT one. It’s either that or a beach cruiser. I could carry my fuel in the basket and ring the bell every time someone passed me) – in all seriousness, IM Florida is a flat, fast, non technical course and I can imagine spending the whole ride in my aero bars.
  • Is it normal to be this hungry? (Good lord. I’m like a teenage boy)
  • Can I even complete this thing? (the answer to that is a resounding “yes.” I know I can go the distance on November 2, it’s the training I’m worried about).

So, in the midst of trying to sort things out, I decided the best I could do would be to ramp up my training a bit. Prior to this, I had been doing about 8-9 hours a week of biking and running. This week I added in swimming (uh, yeah, got to figure out how I’m going to swim 2.4 miles all at once. Did you know that’s 160 lengths in the pool? Who does that?).

My total for the week was 12 hours of training. Both bike and run were HEAVY on the climbing. Here’s how it shook out:

 Monday: 5.5 mile easy run in 48 minutes

Tuesday: 21 mile ride in 1:15 with 500 feet of gain

Wednesday: 31 mile ride in 1:46 with 1,000 feet of gain

Thursday: 2,200 yard swim (no clue how long it took – 45 minutes?)

Friday: 10 mile TOUGH trail run in 2:15 1,679 feet of gain (almost died by rattlesnake bite)

Saturday 45 mile ride in 3:15 with 2,300 feet of gain (my legs were shot. Ken asked, could you ride another 67 mile then run a marathon? I told him to shut up).

Sunday: 9 mile trail run in 2:00 with 1,300 feet of gain (I whined quite a bit on this run. You can ask Ken. From the moment we started climbing my legs did not want to go. The trail was so rocky and my legs were tired enough that I kept tripping and fell once and had a tantrum that went something like this - I am too freaking tired to do this today. I’m going to hurt myself WAH!)


24.5 miles of running with 3,055 feet of gain – 5 hours, 5 minutes
97 miles of biking with 3,800 feet of gain – 6 hours, 26 minutes
2,200 yard of swimming – 45 minutes

12.26 hours of training

Oh, and at least 400 million calories burned which I promptly replaced with avocado/egg sandwiches, donuts and wine.

I realize that I’m going to have to alter my training to mimic the Florida course – more flats with wind, right?

This morning I’m headed at the pool for an hour swim. And tonight’s workout? I’ve got a flight leaving for Vegas at 7:20 p.m. for a girl’s trip. From last year’s trip:


I think it’s good to mix pain and pleasure.

Any advice on my above questions? Coach or no coach? Is the tri bike a necessity? Do you have one to give me? Do you like those shoes with that dress?


PS: Congrats to Dimity and Page who completed their first Ironmans (Ironmen?) yesterday in Coeur d’Alene! Both girls seriously KILLED it finishing in about 12:15!

Friday, June 21, 2013

What I Hated About Today’s Run

Well, “hate” is kind of a strong word. How about what I “strongly disliked” or “freaking did not appreciate” about today’s run..


This is Joie, not me, running. People sometimes think we are sisters. Do you?
She is frowning because her stomach hurts.
I told her to do what I do and lay it all out on the side of the trail, or fart, but she didn’t.

You may be thinking “What’s not to like about that run? She’s a spoiled. bitchy brat.” Let me explain.

This was a gorgeous 10 mile run basically up and down a mountain.


That part was incredible, although HOT and I ran out of water (by the way I wrote a post last year on Tips for Running in the Heat and I think it has some good reminders, if I do say so myself. I should take my own advice and bring enough damn water).

The part of the run I HATED was on the way down. I was a few feet in front of Joie when I heard her scream. I came over to see a rattlesnake coiled up on the side of the trail, with his upper body in striking position. I didn’t see him when I ran by, but he rattled at Joie telling her to get the eff away or he would have his way with her. He looked like this (my phone had died by this point, so this is a Google image, but I swear this could be him).

This area is definitely known for its rattlesnakes. Ironically enough, earlier in the run we discussed what we would do if we got bitten by one. Slurp out the venom and spit it? Use my headband as a tourniquet? Pretend it didn’t happen and finish the run? I remember last year my daughter’s teacher found one on a hike with the class and did this:


I’m pretty sure that’s a big “No, no.”

You bet I came home and looked up what to do. If bitten by a rattler you should:

  • Remain calm – Okay, yeah sure.
  • Keep the bite lower than the heart – What if you get bitten in the heart? Or how about on your head? Would you have to do handstand?
  • Remain immobilized so the venom does not spread quickly throughout the body – so no rolling around and screaming.
  • Go to a hospital. Uh, wait. I thought I had to remain immobilized.

I may have just saved your life. You are welcome. I know I wrote recently about being creeped out by bats, but snakes are also evil.


What’s the last animal (non-household pet) you saw outside? Before this run, a squirrel. He was cute.

Ever been bitten by something and been injured/poisoned, etc? Not really. I’ve been stung be jelly fish a zillion times. Does that a count?

Have a great and SAFE weekend. Remember to keep the bite below the heart.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

How Did You Almost Die?

My friend Julie came over last night to spend the night and drink wine with me. I love friends who will support me in my wine (and guacamole) addictions.  The avocados are so good and cheap right now I have been making guacamole several times per week. Sometimes I just cut an avocado in half and eat it with a spoon like yogurt or something. Not kidding. It tastes really good with Heidi’s slobber.


Here is my guacamole recipe. It is very complex and you might not have the ingredients on hand:

2 avocados diced, then mashed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

Mix it up.

I call this minimalist guac. The reason I don’t season it any more than that is that I’m lazy and it actually tastes amazing just like this. The ONLY bad thing about guacamole is that the leftovers are hideous and resemble something you would not normally eat because it would be found in your Diaper Genie:


I know, appetizing! That is a really good wine, by the way. I am a cheapskate when it comes to buying wine (well, when it comes to everything). This one is normally goes for about $16 (WAY expensive for me), but I found it for 40% off.

So, Julie and I took a 31 mile bike ride this morning. Julie is pretty much an animal who has become a very competitive duathlete. She really pushes me, which I hate and love at the same time. I hate it when I can’t breathe, but I love it when we are done.


After our ride I was driving Sam to a friend’s house on some back roads. We saw a bunch of cyclists stopped in the road. As we got closer, we noticed there was a cyclist down in the middle of the road, and bystanders were holding a tarp over him. I don’t know what happened, but it looked awful. I said a little prayer.

Again I’m reminded of how risky life can be even when you are just out doing something you love. You forget sometimes. But, every single time I get on my bike, or go out for a run or drive my car, I suppose there is risk involved. But, you just have to keep living, right? Beyond taking standard precautions like wearing a helmet and riding well over into the shoulder and not being stupid, what else can you do?

This got me to thinking about times I almost died. I think we all have at least one memory of a time when we got lucky and didn’t perish.

Mine occurred when I was 25 years old and at the beach in North Carolina with a bunch of friends. Which one am I below? Hint: “mom” high-waisted shorts were in back then. Oh, and I don’t have a penis.


There had a been a huge storm the night before, and the waves were angry. Regardless, that morning I wanted to take a swim in the ocean. Alone. Amongst the undertow and huge surf.

This is what I remember (and I’m not being dramatic): I quickly got carried out by the current. I was being pulled further and further away from the shore and was powerless to fight my way back. I remembered that if you got caught in an undertow you were not supposed to fight it because you would get too tired out and drown (or, maybe I made that up). So, I floated on my back, looking at the sky thinking THIS IS IT. If you’ve ever had that “this is it” feeling, you know what I mean. I was so tired I could hardly breathe and no one knew where I was.  Finally, I knew it was literally sink or swim, so I let the current carry me down the shore and it eventually pulled me into the crashing waves.  I washed up on the sand like a dead fish. I suppose it wasn’t my time.

This better not happen when I swim in the Gulf of Mexico for Ironman Florida. Maybe I’ll just get eaten by a shark instead. Are there sharks there, does anyone know?

Have you had a terrifying, possibly near death experience?


Monday, June 17, 2013

Come Ride With Me…

If you’re in the Denver/Boulder/Longmont area (and even if you’re not but you want to fly in)– I hope you will think about signing up for the Venus de Miles coming this September (don’t say I didn’t give you enough notice).


This is a local bike event that starts and stops in my town of Longmont every year. Here’s why this is a good event for you:

  • It’s all women. This should mean no hairy backs, less testosterone and porta potties without pee on the seat.  (But I will admit sometimes women will surprise you with hair. My back is not hairy, but you should see my pits).
  • You have your choice of distances – 33 miles, 67 miles or 100 miles. I am doing the century ride just for the hell of it and because I guess I need to be able to ride that far if I am going to do an Ironman a month later. Yikes. Did I just say that? Pinch me.
  • It’s for a great cause, supporting the Greenhouse Scholars. This group provides personal and financial support to high-performing, under-resourced college students.
  • The post race festival is not your run of the mill bagels and bottles of water. Enjoy mini-facials (but only if you have a very small face), massages and acupuncture. There will also be a gourmet lunch (I’ll be lucky if I’m there in time for dinner let alone lunch, but maybe that will make me go faster), and the bestest (<if that’s not a word it should be. That is how I referred to all of my friends in the 7th grade) part of all enjoy wine, mojitos and cosmos or beer from Left Hand Brewery. This is all included in your registration price!!!
  • I am riding it and would like some company (<self serving part of why you should sign up).

I think it’s going to be a blast. September is my favorite weather month in Colorado because it is usually crisp and cool in the mornings and warm and sunny throughout the day (watch it be snowing and 25 degrees. You can punch me in the face then).

This course promises lots of great scenery (these guys tried to sneak in, but they were too hairy. There is NOTHING sexier than a man in a kilt with a hairy belly button. I wonder if he has anything on under that kilt? You’re not supposed to):


If you are looking for not just a physical challenge, but an entire experience gather your friends and sign up. I’ll see you there. Oh, and use the code “bccobeth” at registration and you will get $5 off. Register HERE or by clicking on the tab in my sidebar.

Have you ever done a long distance bike ride event (not including tris)? Yes. Believe it or not, when I was 10, I did my first 25 mile fundraiser ride (this was my pre-pubescent Ironman training). Back in those days, the language used was very different. It was called “Ride a Bike for the Retarded” (<makes me wince to type that, but that’s what it was called), and I raised quite a bit of money for the cause. I did my one and only century ride about 20 years ago. I also did Ride the Rockies and the MS 150.


Friday, June 14, 2013

IRONMAN Florida, Here I Come (For Real)

I am as surprised as you are. It seems I’ve got exactly 140 days to whip my ass into Ironman shape. That’s one day for each mile I will cover on the Ironman course on November 2nd. Hold on while I go freak the eff out.

2.4 miles of swim + 112 miles of bike + 26.2 miles of running = holy shit

I knew I’d do an Ironman before I died, but since I’m not supposed to kick the bucket until I’m 86.6 years old (see where I figured my life expectancy HERE) – I figured I had a few more years before I took on the FCIMC (F$cking Crazy Ironman Challenge).

But…remember I told you about that little opportunity I applied for to be sponsored by X²Performance?


Seems they took me on their team! Found out today. Couldn’t wait to tell you.


Who is coming to Panama Beach, Florida in November to cheer me on? No one? Ok. Maybe I can talk my family into ringing a cowbell and throwing me some toilet paper and Ibuprofen. I wish Heidi could be there. Did you know that November 2nd is actually her birthday? I know this from her microchip. How coincidental is that?


Seriously, I am out of my mind excited and terrified all at once. I have no doubt in my mind I can do this thing, hell yes I can. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have those WTF moments when I question my own sanity and abilities. As my mom said today, “I had no clue when you were born you’d do this kind of stuff.” Me neither, mom. 

So, for the next few months this blog will be heavy on the training stories, many of which I’m sure will be humbling and funny (hey! I farted in the pool!) and sometimes inspiring. Please hang with me on this journey. I know I’m going to need your support more than ever.


PS: Since I am a girl I already calculated if I will have my period on November 2nd. I will not. Let the celebrating begin.

PPS: Anyone know of a good 18 week beginner’s Ironman training plan? I need to get going on this thing.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

How Many Calories Does Sex Burn?

Please tell me I’m not the only one who has kids who take the ugliest pictures possible of you without you knowing, then text them to you?


I must be very comfortable with you all to share such a heinous picture of myself. It makes me cringe to think that this is what I look like every time I am glancing at my phone (505 times per day).

I did not run today, I went to spin class. I realize it is nice enough to ride outside now (and I did do that yesterday morning), but I LOVE this spin class because the teacher is 50+ years old, owns a travel adventure company and is so cool and hip and full of energy that I just like to see her every week. Maybe I just want to BE her. I bet she never looks like I do when she is checking her phone.

After spin, I went to the eye doctor for all of the eyes issues I’ve been having (itching, redness, constant look of smoking marijuana). Turns out I’m probably allergic to Heidi. Who could be allergic to this lump of love and hair?


Sam is trying to photo bomb the picture of Heidi doing her leg lifts above. He needs more experience to be a professional photo bomber like this person:

Speaking of allergies, I had them TERRIBLE as a kid. Mostly ragweed. My mom even had to give me injections at home. When I was tested, they found I was allergic to dogs and cats too. But, we always had dogs and cats anyway because we liked them and what’s a little sneezing? The eye doctor told me today that your body can actually adjust over time to the allergy. It’s almost as if you build up immunities. So, she said don’t get rid of the dog, which is good news because my family would probably rather have ME move out than Heidi.

I know I am all over the place today but here’s another subject - while I was at the doctor’s office, I saw this interesting snippet in Health Magazine about spin classes. It said something like people don’t lose weight doing really high intensity workouts like spin because they overestimate how many calories they burn and eat too much later in the day. I am not trying to lose weight, but thought that was kind of interesting. Below is a chart of the number of calories burned certain activities.


Who knew eating burned calories? Win-win! Although if you’re eating for an hour straight…well, that might be a problem. Why isn’t sex on there?

I think the trick is to remember that even if you were laying on the couch, you would be burning a certain number of calories – so you should subtract that amount from the amounts above (so if you burn 85 calories per an hour sitting on your butt and you burn 700 calories an hour running, the excess calories burned is 615 or something like that – I’m no nutritionist or Jillian Michaels).

Are you a calorie counter? No. I just try to stay active and not over do the junk food. Wine is perfectly fine.

Have any allergies to food, pets, etc? Ever had to get rid of a pet due to allergies? Not yet.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Not Exactly Roughing It

Yes, it’s true that this morning I was running through this:


Don’t punch me in the face because you are jealous.


And, I’ve got to say it was magical being at 8,900 feet and going through this enormous area of Aspen trees called “Aspen Glade.”


Again and again this weekend, I kept thinking to myself just how in my element I was running up and down trails, sometimes feeling like my lungs would explode, sometimes dodging roots and rocks and always taking in devastatingly gorgeous views.

This picture was taken after Ken and I ran up on the Overlook Trail from the village below (yeah, that’s right. We started down there). Once at the top, we ran along a ridge for awhile.



Beaver Creek, Colorado, which is a few miles west of Vail, has the slogan “Not exactly roughing it” for good reason. It is a small and exclusive community tucked away in the mountains at about 8,100 feet. If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile it’s rather ironic that I would stay in a place like this (or even be able to afford it), but I have to say that as much as I like camping, I also like a warm, cozy bed (Sleep Number anyone?), super double ply soft toilet paper, and a glass of chardonnay on the deck overlooking the village (and maybe eat some Pringles and Pop Tarts).


Our family and another family went up together and stayed in a gorgeous condo in the village. There was some wine, some Catch Phrase, some pool time, some hiking/biking/running, and some Apples to Apples (most parents will know this game because their kids make them play it quite a bit).


Beaver Creek may not be roughing it, but you’d be hard pressed to bike, hike or run in this place without roughing it. There is no level ground anywhere. You are either climbing and dying or flying down some trail out of control. You might even find yourself stuck in some snow if you hike far enough up. I swear I didn’t Photoshop this:


Dude thinks he’s king of the world in his goofy John Lennon glasses:


Do you prefer roughing it, luxury, or a bit of both? What’s the most luxurious place you’ve ever been? I always feel luxurious when I stay at the Wynn in Vegas. For my 40th birthday Ken and I splurged and stayed in the most amazing 1,500 foot suite. Usually, I am not found in luxurious settings, however (except the bathroom).

What was your favorite board game to play as a kid? Monopoly (although I kind of hate it now, and dread it when my kids ask me to play. Longest game ever).


Friday, June 7, 2013

7 Things You Must Know About My Day

Sometimes I have to much to tell you, but they are all little things, and not one of them could make up an entire post. Well, knowing me I could come up with some fart-related anecdote to create a long post around something minuscule…but I decided to lump little crap all together for your entertainment. You are welcome.

My Odds & Ends:

1. This creature. It was almost exactly two years ago that Ken and I were on our anniversary dinner, sitting outside in a romantic setting, when a bat jumped into my lap (crotch, actually). Read the full story HERE.

Bats freak me the eff out. And, now, just to taunt me, there is a bat hanging out on the side my my house (probably waiting to jump in my crotch). Can someone please come get it? Good Lord look at those claws. I am sure they could maul me to death.


2. This lunch. I have started a love affair with this sandwich.


It is 2 slices of toasted Ezekiel Flax bread with one fried egg, one slice provolone (melted on the egg) and three generous slices of avocado. Top it off with a bit of sea salt and it is perfection, I have eaten this every day for a week now it’s hard for me to describe how satisfying it is.

3. This song. Although my iPod is full of AC/DC, Green Day and Pitbull, I do love and can appreciate a more mellow and instrumental song. Yes, it’s true, I do have Chariots of Fire on my iPod.

When Jerald Simon, a runner and professional musician, sent me his newest piece “Triumphant,” I knew I wanted to share it with you. He said, “I composed the music thinking about runners and created the melody and the harmony specifically with runners and athletes in mind to help them as they train and run.” See what you think. It has the flavor of Chariots of Fire and transports me to a peaceful place.

Confession: I am so anal it is making crazy to not be able to center this video on my page.

This song is available on iTunes and online music stores.

4. These eyes. Good grief, I am having the worst season of allergies ever. After my bike ride this morning my eyes looked like I had been smoking pot for 12 days straight. It is legal in Colorado, you know. They still look that way. Any advice? I just want to take my eyeball out of the socket and scratch the hell out of it.


5. This opportunity. I hesitated to tell you all about this because I was being selfish and didn’t want any more competition than necessary. But, this is a VERY amazing thing – and if you have it in your heart and long term goals to do an Ironman, you might want to look at this one. You could be a member of the X2Performance Triathlon Team.  Who knows? Maybe we will be on the team together (okay, just let me dream for a minute). Click HERE for info and application.

6. This food. When I go on vacation and stay at a rented house or condo I see it as a free- for-all as far as food goes. I mean, I’m pretty healthy/careful about what I eat, but during vacation, I whoop it up like no one’s business. When we rent places at the beach my favorite thing to do is layer bologna, cheese and Fritos on bread.

Here’s a sampling of what I’m taking up the mountains this weekend (that cereal reminds me of my childhood. We never got sugary cereals, let alone the cute individual boxes. Maybe once or twice my mom bought these for us and seeing them still gets my heart rate up):


I think those Pop Tarts are healthy because of the oatmeal.

7. This picture. I will leave you with this. There is nothing better than your smiling child with your smiling dog.


What’s your favorite junk food from childhood? I still miss Hostess Susie Qs.

What creature gives you the creeps? Bats? Mice? Snakes? Golden Retrievers? I hate bats, but I’m not big on snakes either.

What is your go-to daily lunch? Before I discovered the above-perfect sandwich combo, I usually have potstickers, an Amy’s bean/cheese burrito or a huge salad for lunch.


Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Story You Will Not Believe

We’ve all heard those stories about a girl going to her senior prom, thinking she has to use the bathroom (i.e., move her bowels) and then she shockingly has a baby. In the toilet. I questioned if these girls really did not know they were pregnant or if they just were in such baby denial that they ignored it, hoping the little fetus would somehow climb on out and go find another family to live with down the road.

Having been pregnant myself a few times I’ve NEVER understood, nor will I EVER understand how someone could not know they were pregnant. I felt pregnancy in every cell of my being. I  was so nauseous I carried Saltines and a grocery “barf” bag on the floor of my car for months. My bedtime became 6pm instead of 10pm because I was so tired I could barely eat a Saltine. Then there was that little thing called weight gain (as in 40 pounds) and such intense fetal kicking and hiccupping that I was sure my body had been taken over by an alien. And then the titty fairy arrived! Good gracious…Oh, and not to mention a teeny bit of growth in my mid-section:007

This leads me to tell you about the AYFK (Are you Freaking Kidding Me?) article I just read online.

It seems that a 33 year old woman, Trish, was training for Grandma’s Half Marathon in Minnesota. She went out for a two hour run on Sunday and had severe back pain following the run. The next day she ended up in the ER and – you guessed it – was 35 weeks pregnant. She had a 6 pound, 6 ounce baby girl the next day. She said she thought pregnancy was impossible because her husband had a vasectomy (awkward…)


I’m sorry, I don’t want to be a cynic, but I just don’t get it. We all view life through our own lens of personal experience, and I cannot imagine training for a half marathon and not realizing I was carrying a 6 ½ pound baby along with me. Not even if I was the most constipated I had ever been in my entire life.

Let’s just hope she didn’t celebrate every training run by having several margaritas. You wonder what kind of crazy readings she would have gotten if she wore a heart rate monitor during training.


How was pregnancy for you? Can you imagine NOT knowing you were pregnant?

For those of you who ran throughout your pregnancy (I did not – I wasn’t a runner back then) how different did you feel at the start vs. the end of pregnancy?


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Apparently I’m Going to Die Someday

A best friend called me today. She wanted my opinion. Should she do some crazy thing that involved this?

And this?

Her: It’s the last day to sign up (see link HERE). I mean, I only have so many weekends a year to myself. Should I do something like this when you and I could be philandering in Vegas instead? Today is the last day to sign up. Did I tell you I’m REALLY afraid of heights?

Me: Are you really asking my opinion?

Her: Yes.

Me: You do know who you are talking to, right?

Her: Uh, what does that mean?

Me: It means, sign your ass up. What are you waiting for? It’s not like you’re going to die or lose a limb or anything (hopefully). You might crap your pants out of fear or pass out, but so what?

Someone wise once said the only thing to fear is fear itself soiling yourself in front of others.

On Sunday when I didn’t especially feel like racing (the last six weekends had been consumed by one kind of race or another), I asked myself, “Why? Really. Why do you love races? It’s expensive. Time consuming. You have to wake up at the ass crack of dawn.” Sure, there is all the stuff about wanting to be in shape, to remain healthy as a I get older, blah, blah, blah. But, what came to mind did not have much to do with that. What came to me was this:

It makes me feel alive

Earlier on in life there were a lot of things that made me feel alive. Probably because the world felt full of possibility. There were graduations, marriages, pregnancies, new jobs, and geographical moves. There were budding relationships and cross country travels. There were many firsts like the first time I made coffee in my own apartment, the first time I drove by myself to the beach, the first time I did a Jello shot and kissed my husband-to-be, the first time I saw this (yes, I did save it):


Believe me, this isn’t to say that I don’t have a lot of experiences in my life right now that make me feel alive – celebrating 18 years with Ken in two weeks, having my son drive me around town (I am just glad to be alive when we get home), talking to my daughter about puberty (yeah, hon, sorry. If you follow in my footsteps you could be waiting a long time for any sign of “growth” if you know what I mean). Truly, I recognize how great my life is and all of the gifts contained within it.

But…I still crave those endorphins, the quickened heart rate, the anticipation of what will happen, the urge to push myself harder than before. For me – this comes with racing and other adrenaline popping activities (Skydiving anyone? Don’t think I’ll do that one again).

There are countless ways to feel alive and renewed. Some find it in church. Others discover it after climbing to the top of a 14,000 foot peak. Still others get it from creating the perfect chicken dish with just the right blend of seasonings or reading the last page of that mystery that kept them up three nights in a row. It doesn’t matter what it is – it matters that we find what it is. Yet, finding what “it” is sometimes takes courage, discomfort, time and risk taking.

My daughter asked me the other day why they call it a “bucket list.” I told her her because it was a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket.” She thought that was sad and grim, but that’s mostly because she’s 12 and she still has that feeling of invincibility and living forever.

On that note, our financial planner asked me today what our life expectancy was. No one has ever asked me that before. I honestly had no clue, so I did a life expectancy calculator test.

The results?


I will supposedly live 86.19 years (factoring in hereditary illnesses, medical history and lifestyle patterns).  That means I have exactly 40.19 more years of BEING alive – existing . But it is my choice if I have 40 more years of FEELING alive. 

How long might YOU live to be? (Life Expectancy Calculator HERE)

What’s one thing on your Kick The Bucket List (KTBL)? Running a marathon in another country. Visiting India. Meeting my grandchildren.