Monday, June 30, 2014

My First 9 Hour Training Day: IM Boulder Training Week #14

Now THAT was a training day.

Yesterday was the longest workout of my entire life (if you don’t count labor and delivery, but even that didn’t take this long and there were pain killing drugs involved).  Yesterday’s training was 9 + hours.

This was also my highest volume training week so far this training season coming in at about 18 hours.

I’m sorry if you get tired of my Ironman training details. I have to say, this training is consuming and monopolizes my brain, so that’s what comes out on the blog. I find it fascinating how the body can adapt over time. Only 6 years ago, I could barely run 2-3 miles. I’m not bragging, but I am proud of my accomplishments! Hard work + discipline + potty humor + being slightly crazy = results.

Yesterday's mega-brick:

2,900 yard swim
100 mile bike
6 mile run

Honestly, while conditions were brutal (strong face wind and 95 degrees), there could not have been a better day to mimic what conditions will probably be like for Ironman Boulder in 5 weeks. I stuck to my nutrition/hydration/sodium plan and I think that is why I did not die or cry. Although I did sigh and say, “oh my” and pass a guy and say “hi.”

What I ingested (okay, I didn’t eat my iPod):



  • Big ass cup of coffee
  • Bottle of X2 Performance (pre-workout supplement. You can get a free sample HERE). I swear by the stuff.
  • Jumbo bagel
  • 2 Salt Stick tabs (I new it was going to be a freaking HOT one, so I wanted to be prepared).

Post swim/pre bike:

  • 1 package mini muffins (200 calories); 1 bottle Nuun

(I have to tape my Salt Stick tabs to the bike or I will forget to take them).


On the bike:

  • 2 cinnamon sugar pop tarts (400 calories)
  • 1 Stinger waffle with almond butter (200 calories)
  • 1 sweet/salty Zone bar (200 calories)
  • 2 Roctane gels (220 calories)
  • 1/2 package Combos (pretzel/cheese – 200 calories)
  • 4 scoops Powerbar Peform – 380 calories
  • 10 Salt Stick tabs
  • So many ounces of water I could not tell you, but it still wasn’t enough (maybe 200 ounces total? And, I only peed once. Yikes. It was not blood, however).

On the Run:

  • More water
  • Honey stinger gel

I didn’t take any pictures because I was too busy trying to survive, but here is one of a jack knifed truck blocking the course. He almost crushed my Pop Tarts.

A little obstacle on the IM course today as we road it!

And, one of the lovely IM course (actually there are some pretty parts, but when you get out east it is all fracking ((hydraulic fracturing – extracting natural gas)), cows, and big ass trucks):

This workout was quite the topper to a long training week:


Monday: rest
Tuesday: Bike 23 miles
Wednesday: Swim 3,000 yards, run 15 miles
Thursday:  Bike 15 miles
Friday: Swim 3,200 yards, bike 21 miles
Saturday: 6.5 mile run/intervals
Sunday: Swim 2,900 yards, bike 100 miles, run 6 miles

Total hours: 17 hours, 53 minutes
Total workouts: 8
Total miles: Swim 5.1 + bike  158.6 + run 27.3 = 191 miles

Okay enough about me already.

Tell me what race you did this weekend.

What’s the longest workout (non race) that you’ve ever done?



Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to Rebound from Your Crappy Training Day(s)

I thought you might want to see our recovery from a hot 15 mile run last night. I don’t know why we are hiking up our shorts. It just seemed the thing to do:


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Colorado is UGLY.



These next two weeks are peak training weeks for Ironman Boulder. On Sunday, we have a race rehearsal, by which I am totally intimidated. I figure the whole thing should take about 8 to 9 hours.

1. Swim ~3,000 yards
2. Bike 100 miles
3. Run 6 miles

Who does that?

I guess it is to be expected that we all hit lows throughout our training. This looks different for everyone. Some people get bitchy. Others shut down and go to sleep. Personally, I like to cry. I have realized that when I am overwhelmed and cannot think straight, all I can do is cry. This doesn’t happen often, but it did happen on Sunday.

Let me back up.

On Saturday, I did a 12 mile trail run. I fell twice and rolled my ankle once. When I say “fall,” I don’t mean that I gracefully tripped. I mean that I went airborne, the world was in slow motion and I wondered if I could  possibly save myself from the inevitable. Then, I abruptly and violently landed with a “thud” on the trail, where I lay feeing sorry for myself before I assessed the damage. I did this x 2.

The damage (warning: blood):


There is something about falling that makes you feel vulnerable. And, pretty damn stupid. This “scrape” hurt like a mother. I tried not to be a baby, but it stung. This was not, however, the part where I cried.


Fast forward to the next morning. I went to Boulder for the Bare Bones 2 mile open water swim event. I was not in the mood at all for this thing. My attitude sucked. Putting my wet suit on over my pussing knee was gross. As I looked around at all the ridiculously fit and fast athletes, I felt even more not in the mood for this thing.

From the start, I could not get my groove. I choked on water and swallowed enough e-coli to kill me. I had weeds in my face. My goggles came off. I lost my breath and couldn't get it back. In the end, the stinking 2 miles took me 1:12. Good lord.

Then it was time to get on the bike for 40 miles. As I was walking to meet Ken, I scraped my pussing knee injury on someone’s car and ripped off the skin (sorry someone’s Subaru – you have a scab on your bumper). That is when I started crying. Ken asked what was wrong? “I’M TIRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,” I sobbed. “The swim SUCKED”, I whined. He told me maybe I should skip the bike. NO! I shoved a Stinger waffle in my mouth and off we went.

After all of that drama, it turned out to be a great ride and I moved on from self pity. The next day was a much needed rest day and I got my shit together.

This got me thinking about the best ways to approach those lows that inevitably come with training.

1. Know it is temporary.
2. Focus on all you have accomplished so far.
3. Take a rest. Back off from training a bit and get some perspective.
4. Cry it out, then move on.
5. Wine/whine
6. Bitch to a friend who will reassure you that what you are doing is hard and you deserve to fall apart.
7. Don’t read too much into it.  One “bad” training day doesn’t define you.
8. Write about it on your blog so other people can tell you they have low points too.


Make me feel better. When’s the last time  you’ve fallen (running or otherwise?)

Ever hit a low in your training?


Friday, June 20, 2014

7 Things That Caught My Attention This Week (including a couple of new products)

1. This morning’s sunrise:


I got to the reservoir at 5:45 a.m. for an open water swim. Note the outside temperature in June (yes, I am aware my car is dusty):


2. This video (maybe you have to have a teen girl to totally appreciate this, but this had me laughing my ass off. GLITTER! Pin the tale on the period! Vagina cake!):

3. These shoes: Asics sent me these shoes that they have recently released. They are the ASICS Gel Electro 33s.  Joie calls them my Easter shoes because of the colors (they also come in a really pretty pink color).  These are a lightweight (7.1 oz)  neutral shoe with a low heel to toe drop of 10 mm (MSRP = $110. I was sent these by Asics, but all opinions are my own).


I have put about 30 miles on these shoes so far. I like the fact that they are not bulky and that they encourage a mid foot strike for me. I find that Asics shoes run big, so even though I sized down a half size, they are still a bit too large (keep that in mind if you order them!).


Even if it is not really true, I find that a lighter weight shoe that has more of a slipper-like fit, makes me feel faster and lighter. However, there is still ample cushioning.


4. These Greek frozen yogurt bars:


Yasso sent me a coupon to try some of their bars. We indulged in the chocolate fudge ones. I know Greek yogurt is all the rage now…so to me, these were kind of a trendy item that did not justify the price tag (about $4.99 for a six pack). Honestly, our family did not love them, and I would prefer your average, cheap fudgesicle. However, they are only 100 calories per bar, with 7 grams of protein, so if you are looking for a refreshing recovery ice cream bar after your run, try these. Other flavors are mint chip, sea salt caramel and peanut butter (a pack of these were sent to me for free, but all opinions are my own).

5. This generator:

Photo: I'm Penny ProteinBar.

I don’t know if you can beat mine, which was “Heidi Hot Tamale.” I knew I should have been a hooker instead of a social worker.

6. This recurring dream: I am asleep in the dream, and wake up in the dream. I am driving a car and cannot keep my eyes open. I am having conversations and cannot keep my eyes open. I am worried that I cannot keep my eyes open. I asked Ken what he thought this meant. His reply? “Ummm..I’m not dream interpretation expert, but maybe you are tired?”

7. This article:


I was very glad to hear that my upcoming race would be even more brutal than I had imagined. I mean, it isn’t enough that any Ironman is brutal, but the pros have to designate this one as especially brutal. Heat, wind, altitude, tough course…plus, it will be the largest IM to date (3,000 people). That means I’ll get kicked in the face a few extra times on the swim.

Wow. I had a lot going on this week from prostitutes to fudgesicles to teenage menstrual cycles. Never a dull moment.


What is your hooker name?

Tell me one random thing that caught your attention this week.


PS: I keep forgetting to give the name of the winner of the “best confessions contest.” It was Christina with this gem (girl after my own heart):

“I cant believe that I am writing this on the internet. because i never told a single soul except my best friend who also did the same thing as me (that's the only reason I told her). so I had a track workout to do. and I needed to...poop. really really. and the feeling didn't wax and wane. it just stayed. and it was urgent. of course it was at the ass crack of dawn and the bathrooms were locked. I couldn't go home. i had a plastic shoprite bag in my car and did what i had to do. omg. don't judge me. hahaha had a great workout though! haha”

Email me at with your address and I’ll send out your prize!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Day I Aged 20 Years

Like most people, I think of the most random things while I’m running, biking and swimming. My mind takes these weird turns that I am positive would not happen if I was hanging out at home making muffins. Most of the time I am thinking about how much longer I have to endure the workout or where I can find the nearest bathroom, but sometimes I get in this detached mental state full of deep thoughts.

Today’s specialty random thought was: I wonder what kind of pace Philippides kept while he was running the first ever marathon from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. I know he was delivering pertinent information about the war, so he was on a mission.  He must have been keeping a pretty good pace since he died at the end. Too bad he wasn’t wearing a Garmin that archeologists could have dug up and charged to find out his stats.

Being so random, I had to think back as to why this popped into my head. Of all things, I was listening on my iPod to an old Cat Stevens song where he sings in Greek and voila! Please tell me I am not the only person who goes into weird thought processes while out on the roads. I do know I am the only person who still listens to Cat Stevens.

Following are a few random pictures from the week. Some ugly, some sweet, some pointless.

Picture #1: On Saturday some friends and I did a long brick workout. We started with a mile open water swim, followed by a 60 mile bike, then a 9.3 mile run. Coincidentally, this ended up being exactly 70.3 miles (totally unintended mileage, but cool nonetheless). This is a picture of me transitioning from the bike to the run. I am indeed proud to look 20 years older than I really am. That natural wave in my hair is due to reservoir water + e-coli.


Picture #2: Please tell me my kids are not the only ones who still my phone and take selfies for no reason. I found this one today.


Picture #3: If you have ever wondered or cared why I am so nutty (and crude), look no further than my own hilarious dad. This was on Saturday night at a fundraiser/silent auction we went to. The red light saber I am holding is to commemorate our dead dog, Lucky, who always had his lipstick hanging out if you know what I mean.


Picture #4: On Sunday we finally got to return to the spot of one of our favorite trail runs. Heil Ranch in Boulder County has been closed since September due to the big 100 year flood. It finally opened back up a couple of weeks ago.


Picture #5: After coming home from the run, a friend posted this picture on Facebook. Guess where it was taken? Heil Ranch on Sunday soon after we were there. Cute baby bear cubs become not so cute when mama bear shows up and eats you.


Picture #6: This last picture is not from this week, but is to honor my dear husband on our 19th wedding anniversary, which is today! June 17, 1995. Columbia, Maryland. Best decision I ever made.



How many years have you been married? Where were you married? 19 years, my parent’s backyard, Columbia, MD.

What do you think about (mostly) when you run? Lots of times I also plan dinner and make grocery lists. If I’m pissed about something, I’ll perseverate on that for a bit.


Friday, June 13, 2014

10 Tips for People Who Hate to Run But Want to Do It Anyway

Often people tell me they hate running. Or, they tell me they aren’t good at it. Let’s face it - the real reason people don’t like running is that they are uncomfortable when they run. I say, no sh*t you are uncomfortable when you run. Most of us are. The fact is - running is tough. That is why if you listen to people around you who are running they are breathing hard and groaning and sometimes cussing.

Just because running’s uncomfortable, however, doesn't mean you shouldn’t do it. It just means maybe you need to learn some tips regarding how to decrease discomfort and increase satisfaction.

1. Remember you are not alone. 4 out of 5 people despise running. They do it simply because they think they should and it burns 4,000 calories an hour (well more like 600, but you get the point). The key is to not think about how much you hate running and why you don’t want to do it. Just shut up and run. You will be happy you did.

2. Start small. I used to hate running more than you do. How did I go from that to running marathons and kind of enjoying it? Baby steps. The reason I hated running was that I would go out and run as far and as fast as I could with no respect for warming up, starting small and pacing myself. That meant that during every run I got cramps and piercing side stiches. I wanted throw up and crap myself. I felt like an out of shape loser. Not much fun. Once I learned to slow down and to progress slowly and responsibly, running became not all that miserable. In fact I rather liked it.

3. Expect it to be hard. When people run and it gets uncomfortable, they think it’s wrong. They think no one else feels like they do. Believe me, running is hard for us all. Instead of judging yourself for the fact that you are out of breath and challenged, embrace the suck and push through (you do need to learn, however, how to run the right pace and distances for yourself to avoid over training and injury. Some good tips here).

4.  Be picky. Don’t run in the ugliest part of town past the garbage dump and the pawn shops. Pick a spot that offers scenery that at least slightly inspires you.

5. Distract yourself. For some, the best way to actually get some joy out of running is to forget they are doing it. Distraction is a wonderful tool to escape the reality of the moment, if that is what you are looking for. Find a friend or a dog to run with. Load some good tunes or audio books on your iPod. Drink tequila from your water bottle <not advisable, but you will forget what you are doing.

6. Stick to it. If you have never run before or have not run in a long time, you might be hating life the first time you go out. Don’t despair. Refuse to quit the whole thing because of one miserable run. Keep at it. Keep track of your progress.

7. Make it fun. People take this running thing way too seriously. Realistically, most of us are not going to be sponsored or win money. You don't have to be fast or run far to be a runner. You just have to put one foot in front of the other. Forget all the “rules” and expectations and just go.

8.  Don’t stuff your face. One time, before I ran regularly, I ate a huge portion of beef stroganoff before going for a 2 mile run in the middle of the day. One mile in, I was dry heaving. Stuffing your pie hole before a run will invite vomit and/or the runner’s trots into your life. Eat something mild and moderate, like a banana or a piece of toast before a run, and drink water. Don't overload your stomach and you will likely be more comfortable. Then come home and stuff yourself silly because you burned 4,000 calories.

9. Minimize cramping/side stitches. Tons of people tell me that they would run but they get really bad side stitches or cramps. Typically, this means you might be running too fast for what your body is ready for, and not breathing enough. Slow down the pace, and breathe deeply. Warming up before you run also might help.

10. Be afraid. Go somewhere late at night where there are bears and other creatures. This will make you a natural and very fast runner. You will also be extremely motivated to run and will not care about how tired or uncomfortable you are.

I can’t promise you that any of the above tips will make you fall in love with running. But, they just make running a tiny bit more bearable. Try and see!


Any tip you’d like to add for people who hate to run?

Did you used to hate running and now love or at least like it?


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vegas Style Triathlon

I killed myself to get in all of my Ironman training before I left for Vegas.  I wanted to leave my schedule open to do the Vegas Triathlon, which is drinking-blackjack-pool. I will let you know that I got a PR this trip.

Here’s how IM training shook out last week, PV (Pre-Vegas):

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 2,800 yard swim, 6 mile run
Wednesday: 40 mile bike, 4 mile run
Thursday: 2,300 yard swim, 5 mile run
Friday: 1,900 yard swim, 22 mile bike
Saturday: 100 mile bike
Sunday: Rest (Vegas baby)

Total miles: 181 (swim ~ 4 miles , run 15 miles, bike 162 miles)
Total workouts: 9
Total hours: 14 hours, 20 minutes

I am not going to lie. That 100 mile ride killed me. I rode most of the Boulder Ironman course. I’m not sure if it was the heavy week of training prior to the ride, or what, but I was DONE. Stick a fork in me (hate that expression). How about – take me out of the toaster, I’m toast?

Now I’m home, having returned from Vegas poorer and more dehydrated than when I left, but my stomach is aching from laughing so much and I have a nice tan. I’ll take the good with the bad.

What else was good? This view from our room at the Wynn.


I prefer a view of the golf course, pool and mountains to a view of the Strip. Does that make me weird? I don’t care. I did, however, run on the Strip at 7:00 a.m. when it was 95 degrees. It was me, the prostitutes, the homeless and the tourists. Very scenic. I wore my new shoes, the Asics Gel Electro 33s (review coming soon).


I love walking through this fairyland of lights and fresh flowers, even if I look like a ragged tourist.


We could not get over the hot air balloon made of real flowers.


Everything always has to be the biggest and best and most obnoxious in Vegas. Did you know there is a new ferris wheel on the Strip called the High Roller? It is, of course, the biggest ferris wheel in the world.

Each of those pods actually holds 40 people. Here I am in the black dress:

Just kidding. That’s not me. I didn’t even ride the damn thing. Erika and I were too busy ordering room service at midnight and hanging out in our hotel robes (which I am sure 4,318 other people have worn, but I don’t really care to think about that).


There you have it. Girls’ trip year #12.


Where are you vacationing this summer? Not sure. We were thinking about a trip to Phoenix because my son want to tour ASU and I love 150 degree temperatures.

Would you pay $35 to ride in that ferris wheel at night? (35 minute ride). Probably would do it if my kids were with me.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Friday Favorites In My World

Favorite realization:

I’m not perfect, but I am doing the best that I can, so I don’ t have to beat myself up.

Favorite email I got this week (from reader Dawn. These messages make me want to keep blogging):


Favorite screen that starts today:

Favorite book right now:

Favorite upcoming challenge: 100 mile bike ride tomorrow (have I told you lately how much I love being on my bike? Well, not for 100 miles because that makes my crotch hurt, but just in general).


Favorite getaway (going here Sunday):

Favorite combo (especially on the bike, but good any time):


Favorite girls’ night this week (Saw this with Emma and her friends last night. Was not allowed to sit with them. Theater was so crowded I had to sit in handicap seat. I have never experienced 100 teenage girls sobbing in a theater before):

Favorite mess in my house (this is the “dump” room ((not because we take dumps in here)). Used to be a playroom for Emma and now is where everything is thrown that no one knows what to do with. Please tell me you have a room in your house that looks like this):


Favorite disgusting snack (that I always bring to Vegas for late night munchies and put on Ritz crackers):


Favorite bizarre thing I saw in Cosmo magazine this week while at the hair salon (I dare you to go to the web site, I haven’t yet. I think this was in a Q&A with a doctor or something):


That’s all I got.


Give me one of your interesting favorites from the week. C’mon, you know you have one.

Favorite book right now?

Last movie you saw?

Favorite late night gross snack?


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

NRD: You Better Know What It Stands For

How did you celebrate NRD? (National Running Day). I celebrated by:

  • Sleeping in my contacts by mistake and giving myself an eye infection (why I am wearing my glasses and looking so hot in this very high quality photo).


  • Butt dialing my mom on the phone. She was very confused.
  • Eating all carbs and not one vegetable or piece of fruit.
  • Driving in the car with my son when the song “Jenny” came on and Sam really dials 867-5309 (you know the song “eight, six, seven, five three oh niiiinnne) and gets a plumbing service and leaves a message which involves playing the song really loud <true story
  • Doing a brick workout starting at 1pm (85 degrees) because I had to work first thing in the morning. 40 mile bike, 4 mile run. DONE! <Now that is truly how I celebrated NRD.

What I looked like BEFORE I even worked out. You can imagine how lovely I was afterwards. Ironman training makes you look like crap all the time.


You may be wondering what is National Running Day anyway?

These days there is a national day for everything from National Pass Gas Day (a personal favorite of mine) and National Public Sleeping Day, which is your opportunity to fall asleep while driving or on a park bench or at work and no one can say anything. Same with farting. If you do it on National Pass Gas Day, no one has the right to call you out on it or complain. Heck, do it in church! In the middle of target! On a job interview! The sky is the limit!

You may be surprised to learn that NRD is a celebration where people everywhere declare their passion for running. But, more importantly, it is a day for beginners to kick off a lifetime commitment to running. Did you hear that? Today YOU, yes YOU, could kick off your lifetime commitment to running.

And…if you haven’t gotten your run in today, you should be ashamed. For God’s sake go do it.  It’s NRD after all and it only comes once a year. Shut up and GO.NOW.

What was your run today? Mine was just a sweaty jaunt around the neighborhood.

In one word, tell me why you run. Sanity


PS: Quick tip: Check out a special subscription offer from Women’s Running Magazine HERE. Today only to celebrate NRD!

Monday, June 2, 2014

You Know It’s Going to Be a Good Race When…

You know it’s going to be a good race when you are coughing like a four-pack-a-day-smoker (damn cold that will not go away. Colds should be illegal during the summer. But, then I would be in jail) AND it is that time of the month.

Here I am pre-triathlon heading for the bathroom with a special item. Can you find it? I am very sly. And, no, it is not a condom or a cigar.


I have done this Longmont sprint tri for a few years, so I know the course. I was hoping for a PR. My time last year was 1:17. I dissected the numbers and decided I could probably do a 1:15 if I did not cough up a lung or lose my tampon on the course.


I tried something new this year. I put myself in a heat of swimmers I thought were faster than me, thinking it would make me faster. It didn’t really work as my swim was only 15 seconds faster, but hey, it was still faster. From the moment I started swimming I knew I was much more tired than I should have been. I chalked it up to the cold, but I had a feeling the PR might not happen.

At the swim to bike transition I could not get my helmet on, dropped my GU, knitted a sweater and wasted some time. I really pushed on the bike, again sucking freaking air the whole time and spitting. I think my average speed for the 12 miles was 19.5 mph, which is good for me, so I’ll take it.

I did the 5K run in 25 minutes (8 min/mile pace). That’s all I have to say because it was really just a lot of heavy breathing, spitting and wanting to be done.

My final time? 1:14! A three minute PR for me. Good enough for 2nd in 45-49 old lady group and 5th woman overall.


As usual I still got beat by our Mayor who is 62 years old. Dude did 22 mph on the bike average. I want to be like him when I grow up (nice photo bomb, Leigh – grow up).


With my mini-me:


This is what happens when you give your camera to someone to take a picture, but they love themselves more than you (nice tonsils):


Ken had  a strong race too. Those who race together stay married longer. I just made that up but it sounds good. 19 years on June 17 baby!



Then I came home, after eating a huge breakfast burrito, and created a recipe that I am going to pass onto my grandkids:


1/2 cup Cap’n Crunch
1/2 cup Honey Bunches of Oats
1/2 cup Cinnamon Toast Crunch
3/4 cup milk
1 spoon



Tell me about your race this weekend. I just did.

Do you mix cereals or are you a solo cereal kind of person? I prefer a mix.

Do your kids come to your race finishes? No, not usually unless it is a really “important” race I have been training forever for. Yesterday, Sam actually wanted to come (without being asked!) and got up himself and Emma and came to the finish. I thought that was pretty cool.


A special thanks to X2 Performance for helping boost my performance and recovery – the stuff works!