Monday, October 15, 2012

7 Years of Tri-ing

A few days ago was my 7 year anniversary of deciding to become a triathlete, it has given me some time to do some reflecting......

My path to triathlon began as I new challenge I wanted to set for myself.  I had already run 3 marathons, participated in 2 multi-day walks for Cancer and needed a goal.  Up until this point I didn't even know triathlons had multiple distances!  I thought triathlon = Ironman and that brought me back to this:

Surely no normal, sane person would ever put themselves through this "for fun"!  I searched online and found a few triathlon training websites like and some races in Northern California.  I set my sights on a sprint distance race, part of the Marmaid Series.

My first step was to buy a bike!   I went to my local bike shop and ask said the salesman "I need a bike, shoes, pedals, and helmet.  I'm not spending more than $1000 total as I'm no Lance Armstrong"  I had no idea EPO even existed ;)  The guy showed me 2 bikes that would "fit" me and I chose the blue one, he said "great, we will prep it and have it ready for you in 2 days".  I went to pick up the bike and said to the guy "umm, where is the kick-stand?"  NOTE that up until this point the time I had a bike it was a 10-speed.  The guy looks at me and takes the bike out of my hands and rolls it over the wall and leans it against the wall and says "instant kick-stand! This is a racing bike, you don't want the added weight of a kick-stand"  I wanted to crawl into a hole and said "so that was a pretty dumb question, huh?"  He said "One of the funniest I have ever gotten"  Oh yay, score one for me!

All winter long I swam, biked and ran.  I logged my workouts and started to meet other people in online tri community.  I remember reading a quote "You need to race at least 1 triathlon a year to be a triathlete, but if you race Ironman, you are a Triathlete for Life!"  I thought, "Ironman, that's insane!"

Finally the day came, I was more nervous to race this Sprint triathlon than any of my marathons!  Matt and I took the dogs and headed out to the race.  Below you can see even then I was super-early for races, not the lack of other bikes in transition!  I didn't have a wetsuit and the water was cool but not freezing. It was a 440 yard swim and I don't think I put my face in the water more than once. FROM my race report "First open water swim. There was a lot more bumping than I had planned on, got kicked 3x but it was ok. did not expect the swim to be so hard, OWS is much harder than the pool! Did the side stroke a lot!"

I managed to finish the race and LOVED it!  Race Report quote!  "Kissing Matt and the boys when I crossed the finish line....I am a triathlete!"  I was hooked like a junkie to a crack pipe!

I continued to race more sprints that season and finished with an Olympic.  The following season I raced my first Half-Ironman, I thought to myself "why would anyone race a full Ironman?  Twice this distance?  That's just fuckin stupid!"  Fore-shadow of fucking stupidity ahead!

As I spent more time learning about triathlon and reading race reports from "normal" people who completed an Ironman.  I watched Ironman Live and watched as total strangers crossed the Ironman finish line and it brought me to tears.  Hmmm, maybe I could be one of those people!?

I set my sights on Ironman Kentucky for 2008. To have the "privilege" of racing Ironman, you need to register a year in advance!  The day came and I sat in front of my computer and typed in my credit card info, I hit submit and I said myself "what the hell have Ijust done?"  I called my mom and I said "you know that race you see on tv in Kona, the Ironman?  Well, I just registered to race that same thing in Kentucky next year and I want you and dad to come."  She said "what?  Are you serious?!  That's ridiculous!" 

I trained and joined an online group full of people all over the country who would also toe the line with me in Kentucky.  We learned about ourselves as well as about each other.  We learned that a crappy training day was to be expected, that smelling like chlorine was completely acceptable, that saddle-sores...SUCK!  We would inspire eachother and cheer one another one from thousands of miles away and compare our mileage online.  We were all so focused on the training that I don't think many of us realized the amazing bond of friendship we had formed.

Finally the day came when we would all meet face-to-face in Kentucky.  We hugged and laughed and shared that nervous energy.  It was AWESOME!  Suddenly being surrounded by people who understood my version Ironman was not so bizarre!

In addition to my new "family", my real family was supportive of me.  After-all, they understood that giving myself a challenge is part of who I am.

It was a very hard day and extremely hot, but I finished!  Race Report quote "I wish things would have gone a little better for me in this race, but hell, I'm still an Ironman....Iron-Abbie!!"  For a month or 2 I felt like SuperWoman!  I was on a amazing high, just AWESOME!  I never expected Ironman to change my entire perspective!  Yes, Ironman is a race but it's not about the finish-line, it's a fantastic journey of self.

Fast forward to changes.  I'm divorced, have embarked on a new career, and I'm a 7x Ironman finisher.  My Ironman/triathlon family has grown exponentially here in California and around the nation with each race and training day.  We've celebrated life's wins and PR's.  We've shared broken hearts and broken bones. They are true friends and at this point our conversations typically are more about our lives rather than training days.  Seven years ago I never expected a sport to bring so many amazing friends into my life.  I can travel almost anywhere and know someone who will join me for a run, or take me to the local pool for a swim.

Seven years ago I only wanted to know how to ride a bike with clipless pedals, I never expected the massive windfall of amazing people I would find in this wonderful world of swim, bike, run. 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Ironman Canada 2012

Ironman Canada
Penticton, British Columbia
North America Sports
80F / 27C

Triathlon - Full Ironman
Total Time = 16h 14m 40s
Overall Rank = 2267/
Age Group = F35-39
Age Group Rank = 136/

Pre-race routine:

Training for IM has been less then stellar....injured my glute/hamstring in June and just lost my mojo for training. This was my 7th Ironman in 4 years. Training became more of a job than a love, Before toeing the line in Canada my longest ride was a century in June, and a 13 mile run in June before the injury....yep I think if you looked up "undertraining" my pic would be there. I had also jammed my pinky toe a week before and had been hobbing around on it for a week. However, I wanted that IM Canada medal, so I knew it would be a long, slow, day.

Got up and wrote "Suck it" on my arm, my usual. Mom and I went down to the lobby to wait for our pick-up to the start. Saw Mark in the lobby as he was riding down with Endurance Sports Travel to the start. I went to the Denny's next door and asked for 2 bananas (yes I went into the race so chill I had not even bought my usual race day food the day before). The manager refused to take an money for the bananas, I was floored as this would never happen in US!

Dropped off the bags and took a few pics, said "good-bye" to my mom and headed into transition. Mark and I wished one another luck as we each headed off to our bikes. I put my water bottles on the cages and wet to get in the bathroom was huge!

Chatted bit and Mark found me and we waited in line together. I also saw Andrew and Todd and wished them luck. After the bathroom break, time to throw on the wetsuit and head to the water.

Event warmup:

Walked to the water and was amazed at the mass of people on the beach. I think there were 2500+ athletes starting. Spectators lined the wall and I was in amazement at how many people were there to support us. Many people will never understand what drives those of us who chose to race Ironman, yet they cheer their hearts out and support our insanity.

I stood on the shore and saw a girl crying. I said "what's wrong?" She told me "I DNF'ed here last year, so being here again is just emotional" I told her "you are going to finish, just be positive" and I gave her a hug. I walked into the water and another girl just grabs me and says "have a great race!" and gives me a high-5, I hugged her too.

Before the start went off I stood on shore and centered my mind, told myself "today is an amazing day to become a 7x Ironman, you will do this! Take the day as it comes and just smile" The start went off and I walked under the start flags and reached up to touch them with 2 fingers and then dove in.



The course was full of people and I somehow started with a bunch of open water in front of me! I was so pumped to have space! I was not far from the bouy line, so no clue how this happened. I started to pass the orange bouys and was just staying relaxed, I thought about my stroke and smiled to myself that I had once again started my journey to another Ironman.

I continued to swim and then the crowding began....the usual..a few chops to the head, more people grabbing my ass to remember and getting my feet pulled. A few people hit my pinky toe, that was less then fun. Finally hit the first turn at there are 2 scuba-divers under the water! First I freaked out because I thought they were racers, and then I noticed the tanks on their backs and they were waving so I waved back, pretty cool!

Typical log jam at the turn, didn't bother to look at my watch, it was going to be a long day anyway. A bit more water boxing and then the next turn, kinda wish there were more divers there as it was pretty cool! This was the turn toward the shore, yay! Began singing some songs in my head and started to prepare my mind for the bike. Finally started to get close to shoe and I could hear the announcer and hear the crowd, it was awesome! I told myself "another IM swim is done! Woohoo" Yes I talk to myself constantly when racing!



The swim exit was a bit rocky, bruised pinky toe was not happy about this at all. Got out of the water and looked for the wetsuit strippers. I usually go to the 2 biggest guys I can find, bonus if they are hot :) But I wound up with 2 girls and they did a great job. I got to hear my name announced :)

Grabbed my bike bag and into the tent I went. I went to the very end of the tent and found a place to sit. I dried my feet a bit and threw on my bike stuff. Yelled to anyone in my area "anyone need a towel?" The girl next to me grabbed it right away, so many people forget a towel in T1 bag.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, can't help it if there are no guys wetsuit stripping :)



The bike out of town is great! Lots of people cheering and it just makes you feel like a rock-star! I ate a shot block and look down at my cycle computer and notice it's not speed or cadence! WTF!? Then I remembered.....when I swapped my race wheels onto the bike I never moved the sensor over! Uggg dumb-ass! I laughed at myself and just continued on. I knew I wanted to stay at a relaxed pace being so undertrained, so this was going to be all about RPE (rate of perceived exertion, for those not in the tri-world) I don't train with heart-rate monitor, I'm a minimalist, lol!

Finally hit a course marker and it's in Kilometers since we are in Canada! Darn, now I'm trying to ride my bike and do KM to Miles conversion and I suck at math! I abandon the math, friggin metric's getting to annoying, and starting to give me a headache. Then, in the distance.....i see it...a MILE marker! It was my oasis! It was the 20Mile mark and I see that I have been riding for a hour....yikes, hitting 20miles within the first hour is too fast for me, but I'm loving the course!

The course is amazing! The water, the cliffs, the climbs in the granny gear to the awesome, saki-bombing descents! IN my first Ironman I refer to the downhills as "saki-bombing" no clue why, but 7 Ironman races later it still applies. Tons of people passing me on the bike, I was amazed at how any people got out of the water after me!

We get to Richter pass, which goes up in steps. Lots of blocking going on, but I tried not to get frustrated. This is the first race where most people were not yelling, "on your left" as they went by, but I used my tri-racing manners and always yelled out "on your left"..made me feel like a rude American, but it's what you should do when cycling!

I was eating my Clif Blocks, drinking water and popping a few Enduralytes and grabbing a half of a banana at each aid station. My tummy was not feeling great...just had this feeling of being full. I popped some Tums, but the feeling would not go away. I knew I had one more big climb at White Lake, so I ate a Chocolate #9 (a sport gel) and was still not feeling great. I looked down at my bento box and realized I had only eaten 470 calories the entire ride, plus a 300 or so from the bananas, with about 20 miles left to go! Yikes, not good!

Started to hit a bunch of head-wind and then the last climb. I was getting tired of being on the bike, my butt really started to hurt and my left shoulder and my back started to tighten. I really considered just grabbing the SAG wagon, I mean 90+ miles in and I felt cooked. I told myself "you only have 10 miles of work left. After the last climb it's basically down-hill the end. You can do this! Don't disappoint yourself or mom who came all the way from NJ to be here!"

I push myself over the climb and smile from ear to ear :) Finally make it back to town and it feels like a head-wind/false flat, ugggg! I get to transition and see that I had been on my bike for 7.5 longest IM ride ever, yikes!

What would you do differently?:




Getting off the bike and handing it to a volunteer is a blur. I grabbed my bag and headed into the tent. I remember seeing the massive amount of nutrition I DID NOT eat on the bike and became worried that a serious bonk was awaiting me on the marathon course.

I got into the tent and grabbed 2 chocolate chip cookies, I may have swallowed them whole, as I suddenly felt extremely hungry! I grabbed a seat and my volunteer in T2 was amazing!!!! She kept asking if I needed anything and I said "you just need to be honest with me, do I have snot on my face?" She said "nope, looks fine." I said, "seriously, you can be honest, I dont want to hit the marathon course with a cliff-hanger" She laughed and said "I promise you honey, it's all good."

I taped up my toe and then put some type of Icey-Hot on my legs, my glute/hammy was feeling super tight. I put on my deodorant and she said "wow, never thought of that! Is this your first?" I said "7th" and she looked at the volunteer next to us and said "this girl is a stud!" LOL

One again she asked if I needed anything and I said "a back rub" and she did it! SIMPLY AMAZING!!!! This was a long T2, but so worth the extra time for the quickie....massage that is :)

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, the additional few minutes for the backrub was soooooo worth it!



I knew this was going to be a looooong marathon, so mentally I was ready for countless hours on my feet. I headed out on the out-n-back and saw David ad gave him a big hug! The out-n-back is such a mind game as you need to do it on the way out and right before the finish! UGGG! My butt was killing me....basically what I can only describe as diaper rash....OUCH! I walked in the beginning, trying to test out the glute/ was so-so at best, so I started to shuffle. I would pick a telephone pole and tell myself "run until you get the next traffic light" and then I would walk a bit and pick another land-mark and do it again.

I passed a girl walking in a Team-In-Training shirt, her head was down and she was walking very slow. I said "come run with me Sharon" (names are printed on race numbers) and she said "I can;t." I said "yes you can, catch me" this point I'm going slightly faster than a speed-walk, but it was enough to push her to "chase" me. I started to walk again and she said "thank you so much, I was about to cry. I'm in a dark space right now" I said "stay with me, we will finish together. Just do what I do" She followed my land-mark run/walk method with me for 5-6 miles. We chatted, she was a Leukemia survivor from the Bay Area.

I was having more issues with the run as the diaper rash made me feel like my but-crack was on fire! I know, more info than anyone needs to know, but these are the joys of Ironman racing. I walked more and told her to go ahead without me. Stopped at a porta-pottie and applied Vasoline....liberally!!!!! With my butt-crack feeling slightly better I was able to run more, my running segments got longer....I was enjoying the people who came out to cheer.

I was taking in the beauty of the lake. People would say "you look great"...haha, I knew I probably looked horrible, but at least I didn't have snot on my face! :) I saw David and Todd on the course, always great to see familiar faces. I was hurting but knew I would finish before the cut-off. Finally reach the turn around, yay! Start walking with a guy who was doing his 25th Ironman! His goal is to race Ironman all around the world! He has just raced Ironman the weekend before!

I ran on and at every aid station I would have some water, chicken broth and some watermelon.....OMG Canada has AMAZING watermelon! One volunteer had a shirt on that said "free hugs", I saw her 3 times on the course and took advantage of each hug. Even when I'm a sweaty mess, I'm touchy-feely!

I continued on my march toward the finish line and one woman yelled out from the side of the road "Sweet Jesus, you are going to make it!" I wanted to tell her "if Jesus would propel me to the finish line right now, I might consider converting"

At mile 20 I feel it, mega-blister on the pinky toe! Now I'm really compensating for it and trying to walk-shuffle, whatever I can to keep going forward. I start chatting with a girl who was racing her fist IM. She was cramping and hurting worse than I was. I said "you have plenty of time to finish, just keep putting one foot in front of the other" She thanked me and told me to get ahead of her and finish strong. So I high-5ed her and continued on.

Then I shuffled upon 4 guys walking together and one yells "is that Abbie who kept re-passing me on the bike?" I laugh and walk with these guys almost to the finish line. We joked and pushed each other along.

Finally hit the last out-n-back and I'm so thankful that I'm going to finish, I'm going to be a 7x Ironman finisher! I give my glow-stick to a kid and head for home. I hear my name announced, slap hands with the crowd....take a pause before I cross the tape, and do a small bow and hold up 7 with my fingers.

Post race

Warm down:

A wonderful volunteer put my medal around my neck and congratulated me. He was walking me over to get my finisher's pic taken and I saw my mom....I hobbled over and threw my arms around her and cried as did she. The volunteer managed to capture the moment of pure emotion.

I was not that hungry, and just grabbed some watermelon and a Maple cookie. I also made the mistake of grabbing a slice of pizza right before turning my bike in at Tri-Bike transport. I have not eaten cheese in 16 years, and I mad the stupid decision to not remove the cheese!

Within minutes I was feeling very sick to my stomach and I thought I was going to pass-out. Mom looked at me and said "you ok?" and I said "I need to sit" and the guy at Tri-bike transport grabbed a chair for me. I sat down and started sweating, thought I might vomit and then the grass started to glow florescent yellow! I drank some water and poured it over myself.

Felt slightly better and I could tell from the look on my mom's face that I looked really bad. I tried to stand and sat back down to drink a bit more. Eventually stood up and it was almost impossible to put one foot in front of the other. It took forever for me to walk the 2 blocks to the pick-up location. My mom went to find the driver for us and I ducked behind a car and got sick. Finishing the Ironman was painless compared to the way my stomach felt....uggg.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of training and injury

Event comments:

Wow, Ironman #7 is done!!!

Ironman is a crazy thing, it draws some to it and causes others to stand in awe. For those of us who race Ironman, there is something in our soul, in our spirit that says "yes, YOU can do this!" There is a need and a desire that can only be quenched by the Ironman finish line. I AM AN IRONMAN, it is not something I do, but part of who I am. There is a special bond among us that are part of the Ironman family, not one of superiority but one of respect and a common thread of understanding what it takes to get to the finish line.

If you managed to read all of this, I'm impressed! I would like to thank my family, you may never understand why I race long, but you support my choice of insanity. To my computrainer class, group suffering rocks! To coach Neil and Felicity at TriMore Fitness, thanks for making class fun and for letting us race IM Canada on the screen during class. To so many of you that have followed my training and life online, your support and laughter mean so much to me!! A big shout out to my chiropractor and ART guru, Heidi Law for putting me back together again as best you could before this race!

Any finally my mom....words can not express how important it was to me that you were at the finish line. When parts of my race were in the dumps, I thought of you and raced toward you. Thank you for coming to Canada for an amazing Mother/daughter trip!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Black Butte Olympic Distance Triathlon - Race Report

This was my ugliest race ever, so glad it's over!  Ignore any typos and spelling errors, still a bit foggy in the head.

Pre-race routine:

Ate 2 hard boiled eggs, some peanut butter and a banana and headed down to the race. At the transition I had to rack my bike on the shifters rather than the saddle as the wind was so bad, bike were getting blown into eachother on the racks. As a result I didn't put my aero-bottle on the bike this will later prove to be a BIG MISTAKE! Got body-marked and the guy said to me, "we are looking at 25-30 pmh winds today" of just lovely to hear! When we arrived on site and I saw the wind I was regretting bringing my tri-bike with race wheels

Threw on the wetsuit and headed down to the water with Shannon and Candice.

Event warmup:

Looked at the white caps on the lake and said a prayer that the swim would go ok. I guess my prayers were far from answered.



Started the swim and just told myself the white caps were not a big deal. Was having a tough time relaxing in the water, kept getting mouthful of water, the buoy seemed really far away. Slowly the pack got away from me and I just told myself to let them go, focus on YOUR race.

I felt like I could not get enough air and began to side-stroke. I have not side-stroked like this since my first tri....EVER!!! I rounded the buoy and felt tired, told myself "you are an Ironman and this is an OLY, you can do this!" I saw 2 women get picked up by the rescue boats and really wanted to be one of them. I was worried part of me almost just swam back to shore. I could not see the next buoy and would take my goggles off to look for it!

Told myself, just got one lap done and then you can make it! One the second lap, the jetski came up next to me and I chatted with the driver. He said "are you cramping?" I said "no just taking in a lot of water. This swim is really crazy." He said "well the swim is the hardest part in triathlon"...I was so thankful to not have a neon sign hanging over my head saying "i'm an Ironman" as I really wanted to hop on the back of the ski and be done.

I kept pressing forward and finally got to the swim exit. A woman Yelled, "great job" and I said "that was a suck-fest!"

What would you do differently?:

I survived without a DNF, good enough for me. Crazy but I wound up PRing my OLY swim by 4 minutes.



Was so happy to be out of the water, I almost cried! Saw Shannon in T1 and said "I almost bailed on the swim" and she said "I almost did too"

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, I had 18th fastest T1, lol!



The wind on the bike started immediately! It was head-wind and cross-winds. There were a few rollers in the beginning and my bike was getting blown all over the place. I had a death-grip on my bike bars, no way was I going to get into my aero-bars, I was terrified to even move my hands from the bars. On the flats I was doing a 60 cadence going about 9-MPH in my granny gear! I wanted to cry, thought about just getting off my bike...I felt like I was going to get blown off my bike....why risk injury for my Ironamn.

I pressed on and told myself it had to "get better" as dust clouds whirled by! Continued to battle the wind and kept coughing, odd. I finally hit the turn around and got some tail-wind, I drank a bit and had a bit to eat, but not nearly enough.

Finally got close to transition and was bummed when I realized we had another and out back to do with a big climb, ugg! Finally got to T2, was happy to be off my bike, but was very concerned about the fact that I hd eaten 3 Clif blocks and only drank 1/2 a bottle of water in 90 degree temps!

What would you do differently?:

Bring road bike. Since I racked on the bars, I didn't use my aero-drink, I should have taken the time to put that on in least I would have been able to lean over and drink without taking my hands off the bars.



God transition for me.

What would you do differently?:

Nothing, other than take the water bottle with me on the run



Legs felt good and I was happy to be off the bike without having crashed. Immediately I realized I had no saliva in my mouth, WTF!? I got a few hundred yards in and started hyperventilating!! My chest felt like I could not get a full breath, and I could hear myself sucking in air. Shannon came up behind me as I was walking and she said "come on, run with me." I said "I can't catch my breath" in between bouts of sucking air in. She said "I will stay with you. Are you ok?" I said "I will be fine, just keep going." She asked me "you sure?" and I could see a look of concern on her face, but I told her to leave me.

I walked the uphill and jogged the downhill. I made it to the aid station and took a GU and some water. The sun was beating on me and I felt miserable. Legs felt ok but I could not air and if I tried to take a deep breath I would have a coughing fit. Things started to get cloudy in my head and my mantra became "stay upright, keep breathing and don't pass out" I had a feeling if I passed out, they would not find my body on the trail and there were very few people behind me.

I drank a bit at the aid stations, my lips were cracked from heat and lack of hydration. My mouth was dry as the desert. My vision felt dark, like things were caving in around me. I wanted to cry and just get a full breath without going into coughing fits. The wind blew and I got dust in my eyes....I told myself just keep putting one foot in front of the other, no matter what.

Finally I heard the finish line and told myself "just get there". I finally crossed, standing on my own 2 feet.

What would you do differently?:

My body had never reacted like this before! Maybe it was a sh-t storm of swallowing too much water on the swim, not hydrating on the bike, dusty conditions....I just don't know. Its 2 days later and it still feels a bit uncomfortable to take a deep breath.

Post race

Warm down:

Stopping and drinking

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of fuel, hydration, breathing issue.

Event comments:

This was my worse race experience, EVER! Finishing this race was harder than any Ironman I have done. I have dealt with muscle fatigue and pain in Ironman, but never experienced my body caving in on itself. Usually the darkest in racing for me is that place of doubt when going long, but this time it was physical darkness.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What to eat!

I think most would agree that exercise is an important part of health, but there is also that other part of the equation...FOOD!  What the hell are we supposed to eat!  Go to the bookstore (or online) and search for "diet and nutrition books"....the results are mindblowing!  My quick Google search came back with over 60 million results!  And all of these books say something else....low carb, low fat, whole grains, don't eat any grains, eat like a caveman, eat high fat but mostly protein, go vegetarian, no dairy, dairy 3x day, vegan.....the list goes on!
There are books and research to support any of the above.  Hell there's even The Candy Diet!  I must admit as a the owner of a sweet tooth, this sounds pretty.....ummm "sweet"!  I'm not nutritionist or a scientist, but my amazing words of wisdom....when it comes to deciding what you want to shovel down your pie-hole.....K.I.S.S!  Yes, the Keep It Simple Stupid!  Chances are if it comes in a box or can, it's loaded with salt, sugar, preservatives and hell of a lot of ingredients you can't pronounce.  Think of it this way, if your brain is having an issue processing how to pronounce an ingredient, I'm guessing your stomach is just as baffled as to how to digest it!

 If reading labels is too complicated, just shop the produce and meat section of the grocery store, problem solved!  I have never seen a bell pepper with a list of ingredients on it!  Look at all of the beautiful colors in the produce, red, yellow, purple, orange....BRIGHT, VIBRANT, LIVELY colors!  What do you find in the bread isle, different shades of LIFELESS brown!  How many people say "brown" is their favorite color?  I'm guessing not many.

Throw your taste-buds aside for a moment and look at the following items, which one looks more inviting?  Remember don't be guided by your taste-buds!  I'm really hoping you are selecting the salad here!  Now go to the grocery and look at all of the processed foods, are they in boxes and cans that are in bright colors?  Hmmmm, could be because, we are SUPPOSED to eat foods that are colorful?  

Here's an interesting note.....ever think about what FDA stands for?  That would be the good old "Food and Drug Administration"  Let's think about this....why the hell are these 2 things together!?  Ummm drugs in our food?  I'm going to go a bit Nancy Regan here and just "Say No", I prefer my food is drug-free thanks.  Don't let the government dictate how you should eat, just look at how they have changed their tune! 

They used to recommend eating  just as many fruits and vegetables, as processed grains!  Check out today's guidelines...grains are not stressed nearly as much.
THINK about what you eat and decide for YOURSELF!  Happy grocery shopping, you'll find me in the perimeter and not down the center isles :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Enjoy the Journey!

Still sick...ugg!

I managed to do some light cardio yesterday, my body is craving some training!  My day is not complete without a sweat.  This leads me to today's post.....exercise/training so many look at it as a means to an end.  Viewing a workout or training session with some of the following thoughts...:"this is going to help my lose weight", "I'm getting healthier", "I can eat more tonight!"  True these can be great motivating factors, but why not enjoy the workout for what it is?  A moment to focus on YOU and to have some fun!

I don't see many people show up at the gym with a smile on their face.  I usually do, but then again I may not be completely sane....I do race Ironman :)  Look at most people at the gym, they look like they are marching into a colonoscopy!  Granted we all have days where we would rather sit on the couch, but maybe it is about changing your mind-set to "wow, I'm an able-bodied person, look at the cool shit I can do!"  In my triathlon training log, I have the following quote "Some day my body will not be able to do this. TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY!"

We are so focused on suffering or pushing through a workout just to get to the end, do we take the time to appreciate and ENJOY it?  Greg Anderson says it best "Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” So today, if you are blessed with the health and ability to hit the gym, or go to yoga or just walk around the block......have fun and enjoy yourself!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Notice of Eviction to my cold

Dear Cold,


You have now invaded my body for close to a week and I think it's time we part ways.  While giving you shelter in my body, I have fed you and given you plenty of fluids.....even 2 glasses of wine.  I have increased my vitamin C and I'm eating grapefruit as if its going out of style.  I have camped out on the couch for days, there is an ass imprint on my couch.  Granted I have watched a ton of movies, in fact RedBox and I may start a passionate love affair.   I have ignored my training in hopes that you would move on more quickly if you were not stressed by my daily workouts.

HOWEVER, you have become the house guest that will not leave!  Your presence is more annoying than those who step out onto my bathmat with wet feet!  You have over-stayed your welcome and I'm sick of feeling sick!  Granted you only visit once a year, but I have had enough!  Today is your last day, it's time to pack up this stuffy head, runny noise and lousy cough and get the fuck out!!!  I have things that I need to accomplish beyond being your vessel of misery.

I miss my bike and the joy of my heart pounding.  I crave the sound of my M-dot necklace bouncing off my collar bone as I run.  I want that sense of accomplishment after a swim and I want to feel the sweat on my skin as I take my body through a strength training routine.  I need to feel the peacefulness of an amazing hike.  Without challenging my body on a daily basis, I just don't feel like myself.  So enjoy this last day of residence in my temple because tomorrow you will find your bags on the curb.  Bye-bye sucker!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Time....a precious commodity

I have not blogged for a few days, still dealing with cold, so my whit is a bit off.  As such, I thought I should tackle a more serious topic....TIME!

Time is a funny thing....some people like myself tend to not only be "on-time" but actually a few minutes early.  Others always tend to be late and always offer a wide array of excuses.  I'm sure you know which camp you fall in to.

There's "Time Management" which makes no sense as time is always can't contain it, or harness it, just plan your time. 

TIME is one of life's most precious gifts.  "Time is the only resource we can’t renew. Invest it in experiences, places, and people that are meaningful to you."  I believe this, which is why I try to spend my time doing things which bring a smile to my face.  Spending time with family and friends.  Giving my time to causes I believe in, such as volunteering, feeds my soul. 

Ironman training takes time, and I'm often asked how I "find time time to train".  My answer is always the same, "I don't FIND time, I MAKE the time."  It is not always easy, but if someone or something is important to you, it's amazing what you can accomplish in 24 hours.  One of the biggest excuses people use for not exercising is that they "don't have the time", I'm guessing for these people their workout is just not important enough.

Look at your life, your day......what are the most important parts of it?  If you were given a week to live, would you MAKE more time to spend time doing the things you enjoy with those you love the most?  I sure hope the answer is "yes"!

Don't be LATE, Time is ticking :)