Sunday, July 31, 2011

52 Weeks To Ironman: (Gulp) Week 47 Already?

I was thinking I'd do a cool countdown here on the ol' blog: 52 weeks to Ironman. Except when I looked at my calendar I realized there's only 47 weeks now.  How did that happen? But that's okay, I can recap the first few weeks easily for you:

Week 52: Reading race reports of awesome studmuffin friends doing Ironman. That looks like so much fun. So exciting. I should sign up!

Week 51: Is the Ironman still open? Maybe it's filled up already. Maybe I don't have to make a decision.

Week 50: Maybe I shouldn't do another Ironman until I forget how much the last one hurt. How many years will that take?

Week 49: Ah Crap! I did it. I signed up for another Ironman.

Week 48: What the #@!#!%! was I thinking?

Week 47: Huh. Guess I better start thinking about training.

 So here we are, at week 47. My initial plan for heading into this Ironman year went something like this: In August I'm going to swim a 10k. In September I'm going to run a trail marathon. So all I'll have to do is some biking this winter and I'll be ready to roll.

That was the initial plan. But now my thought process is something like this: Holy Traction Tires Robin, you'll have to do all of your long rides in April and May. In Western Oregon. Where it rains all April and May, and sometimes sleets and snows for good measure. What were you thinking?

I'm still wrestling with that one. I'll let you know how that shakes out for me. I'm thinking a lot of bike trainer time. Yeah, maybe another season or two of 24 (I never did catch up on that) would see me through some long trainer rides.

The Nitty Gritty of Week 47 (for the 2.3 people who might be interested in such details):

Swimming: 2.5 hours (including one 3 mile lake swim)
Biking: 4.2 hours + 1 hour of bike commuting (not bad considering I couldn't ride a bike with my arm a couple of weeks ago)
Running: 3.75 hours, and I even made myself do a sprint run, a tempo run, and a 10.5 mile long run. See how disciplined I'm being?

Total: 11.5 hours of tri-specific training + 5 hours of assorted other stuff (karate, gym work, etc.) for 16.5 total hours.

Food: Still Paleo, though I did eat a gel at mile 2 of my 3 mile lake swim, just to see how well I tolerated gels while swimming, which I've never done before. That seemed to work out fine.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Paleo Triathlete's Day of Food

On my recent post on Paleo and Healing, Beth asked if I could share what a "normal" day of eating looks like for me. That's a great idea, and I love to read through other Paleo blogs to get new ideas about food for the day. So yesterday (a fairly typical day for me, food-wise) I logged everything I ate, and here it is:

That's just the raw ingredients of course, but here's what my day of meals looked like:

Missing from the photo is one Lara Bar, so here that is:

I ate the Lara bar just before heading to the lake for a 2-mile morning swim. Washed down with a steaming mug of Yerba Mate tea.

After the swim, it was breakfast time. Typically my breakfast is some combination of eggs and vegetables. Often it's one of my Seven Paleo Power Breakfasts. This morning it was zucchini, onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper sauteed in a bit of bacon grease and combined with a couple of scrambled eggs from my free-ranging chickens.

Mid-morning snack: 1/2 cantaloupe

Lunch: Stir Fry vegetables with shrimp. I sauteed up some snap peas, broccoli, the rest of the zucchini, pepper, onion, and mushrooms and tossed in a couple of handfuls of frozen jumbo shrimp. I use sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and Bragg's liquid amino acids as my typical sauteeing sauce.

Mid-Afternoon snack just before my bike ride: A smoothie with a banana, some coconut milk (also not pictured), a raw egg, some vanilla and crushed ice.

Post bike ride: One half baked yam with some butter

Dinner: Roasted chicken salad. Lots of romaine lettuce, some local chicken, and a olive oil and balsamic dressing I make up with mustard, garlic, and a bit of maple syrup. Two carrots and a bowl of blueberries on the side.

Evening snack: Raw shredded coconut, a handful of Trader Joe's macadamia/almond/cranberry nut mix, and two squares of 88% ultra dark chocolate, with more hot tea.

According to an online calculator, this day's eating provided me with 2094 calories, 212 grams of carbohydrates, 96 grams of fat, and 105 grams of protein. It's important to note that although I eat Paleo, I am not interested in eating "low carb" since I'm an endurance athlete. The two miles of swimming and 25 miles of biking require a fair amount of carbohydrates to fuel. Recently on a triathlon website, someone questioned whether or not a triathlete could compete without bread, pasta, potatoes, corn, oatmeal, and other traditional "high carb" foods. I'm here to tell you that you can! Think of all those empty (not to mention potentially damaging) grain-based carbs, that have been replaced by incredibly nutrient-dense carbs from fruits, nuts, seeds, and veggies.

Similarly, although I definitely hope to get plenty of protein, I typically do it by feel and not by counting grams. I don't tend to worry about fats at all, since all of the fats in my diet come from extremely healthy sources. As someone who only has half of a thyroid gland, having plenty of my fats come from thyroid-healthy coconut is a big benefit.

I'd also note that most of what I eat (with the exception of the tropical things like banana, coconut, and macadamia nuts) is local and easily accessible here where I live. The tropical stuff for me are treats, and I treat them as such. We're lucky to have access to such luxuries, but I try not to make them a staple of my diet. Compared to a soy, corn, and grain-based diet, what I eat is very local in nature. From meat to eggs, fruit, and veggies, most of what our family consumes is locally available, especially in the summer. In the winter, I tend to eat a lot of frozen berries (which our family is picking right now and storing in our chest freezer), and we buy our meat 1/4 cow or 1/3 pig at a time and again store it in the freezer.

Several people locally have questioned my recently displayed ability to heal so quickly from serious injury. When you look at what's on my plate on a daily basis, should that really be so surprising? Compared to the standard American diet, I'm giving my body what it needs on a cellular basis to thrive and maintain optimal health.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kicking Off: 8 Weeks to Iron Girl Lake Tahoe Triathlon

I'm very excited to be racing at Iron Girl's beautiful Sprint triathlon at Lake Tahoe, Ca on September 18. Want to join me? I'm giving away a race entry on this blog, so comment and tell me why you would love to do this race! Doesn't this look like an amazing place to race?

Think you can't do your first triathlon? I've got a plan for you. Ironmom's Eight Weeks To Your First Triathlon plan is here for free. And here's the plan in an easily printable table format for your refrigerator door. Getting in the best shape of your life can happen by the end of the summer, and all you need to start off with is a bike (any old bike will do), some running shoes, and a swim suit and a plan.

If you're nowhere near Lake Tahoe, pick a September Triathlon near you and train with me. There's nothing like starting off the cold weather season having just challenged yourself to keep you encouraged through the winter months.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Happens When Nervous Nellie Rides Again?

Getting back up on the horse isn't as easy as it sounds. My bike threw me once, and while I didn't take it out and shoot it, that particular bike (my commuter) is relegated to the back of the garage for now. But my sweet little triathlon bike wasn't to blame, and I've had it on the trainer for the last few weeks with no troubles, so why not take it out on the road?

That's exactly what I did yesterday, but I was surprised at how nervous I was! I took it easy and spun up the hills, not standing to climb so I wouldn't have to put any pressure on my still-healing arm. But going downhill I had a sudden attack of the chicken and started riding my brakes. My bike felt like it was all over the place, so wobbly that I could barely control it. I guess my nerves were getting the better of me and I slowed down even more. That's when I looked down and noticed my front tire was completely flat.

So I guess it wasn't my nerves making me all swervy after all, that's a relief. One changed tire later and I had a fine bike ride out in the sunshine. My legs are a little out of practice on the hills, but I'm sure that will come back with time.

As a side note, has anyone else noticed that they break valve stems frequently while changing tires? I've never broken one in my life until recently, and then someone posted on the Trifuel forums about how it seems like valve stems are being made cheaper and cheaper and they break all the time. Sure enough when I changed my tire, the stupid little end of the valve stem broke off in my inflator. If anyone has a recommendation for an inner tube made with quality valve stem construction, I'm all ears!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Iron Sickness

It's almost a year away, but it's already occupying far too large of a corner in my brain. Yes, I've got the Iron Sickness, caused by signing on the M-dotted line, committing yourself to the craziness that is the Ironman. That causes you to start thinking about training for Ironman, reading books about the Ironman, perusing websites and blogs, visiting forums and reading race reports and agonizing over the tiniest details that you don't really need to settle for at least, oh, five or six months.

Oh well, at least Borders has a going out of business sale. That allowed me to justify spending some $$$ on Macca's book "I'm Here To Win", (of course after buying some homeschooling-ish books for the kids, ostensibly what I wandered into Borders to do) and this has at least diverted me from reading through various training plans online, for awhile.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Don't Need A Boob Job or Lipo, I Need One Of These

In my unceasing quest to find a good rationale to buy this bike:

 No. Wait. Not just this BIKE. This amazing piece of road gorgeousness that would rock my whole triathlon-loving world...

In my unceasing quest to find a rationale that would sway hubby's cold, frugal heart, I hit upon the perfect argument. So I laid it on him when he came home from work last night.

(Me, sidling up to him with sweet smile): Hey honey, you know how a lot of guys buy their middle-aged wives boob jobs and tummy tucks and liposuction and face lifts and all that?

Him (not really paying attention): Umm. yeah.

Me: Well, that costs easily like $10,000 or more, right?

Him (becoming wary of where this conversation is headed): Um. Yeah.

Me: Well, that amazing Blue bicycle that I wanted would be less than that! And it would do just as good a job of keeping me looking amazing as any of that nasty surgery stuff.

Him (not even fazed by this argument): You already have terrific looking legs. That's why I married you. I don't think this bike will make them look any better than they already do.

Sigh. Foiled again. Back to the drawing board.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Paleo And Healing: How Diet Makes A Difference

I didn't set out to become a case study of one, but coincidence dumped me here anyways. I've broken the same bone in the same place in the same arm two years in a row now. Common sense would say it's harder to heal from that injury the second time around, since tissues have already been damaged once. However, the first time I had to recover from this injury, I wasn't eating Paleo. Now I am.

I already posted about how bruises from my karate class fade within hours, clearly evidence that my body's ability to heal itself is greatly increased. But what about a fractured bone? The X-rays don't lie. It healed a lot faster this year (after 15 months of Paleo eating) than last year (back when I was eating a very "healthy" diet with lots of meat, veggies, and fruit, but that still included grains, legumes, and more sugar).

Here's what a radial head fracture looks like on a CT scan reconstruction (Note: this is not my arm, but my X-rays show a very similar fracture):

My orthopedist took a set of X-rays the week I broke it, and another set 3.5 weeks later. The bone was totally healed in that time. Many people are still wearing a cast, yet a month after breaking my arm I have near full mobility in the joint and a pretty decent amount of strength. Of course, I'm not testing that by doing anything too crazy (if you don't count a 1.5 mile lake swim as crazy, that is), but all in all the arm feels remarkably good. Last year's bone break did not heal near this easily, and I needed a lot of physical therapy to get to the point that I already feel I'm at now.

How many times have you heard "You are what you eat"? As it turns out, it's true. Feeling vibrant, full of energy, quick to recover, and easy to heal is our human heritage. The fact that most modern humans feel tired, wrung out, sick, or have to turn to the myriad drug offerings that litter our magazines, newspapers, and TV ads just to function says something about what's going on inside them.

If you needed that little extra nudge to try out the Paleo way of eating, or if you're wondering if all the changes you've been making really are reflected by changes deep down in your body, look no further. If a body can heal from big injuries so much more easily on a Paleo diet, what is happening at the micro level? What is happening with cell damage on a daily basis? What about the immune system? There's a reason that Paleo folks can jump out of bed feeling rested and full of energy day after day. What you eat matters, so why not feed your body the way it was meant to be fed?

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Scent of a Memory

I could smell the cable car before I even saw it. What does a cable car smell like, you might ask? Something like a forest fire, but not quite. The famous San Francisco cable cars use pine tar on their cables for lubrication, and when the grip is holding the cable, it melts and then vaporizes. Also, the brake shoes used on the cars are made of Douglas Fir, and have to be changed every few days. The brakes are literally smoking as they stop the cars on those amazing steep hills of The City By the Bay. The smell is unmistakeable. For several years of my young life, I lived in the Bay Area, and this unique aroma was obviously burned into my brain at an early age.

My teenage son looked at me quizzically when I said "I can smell a cable car", and then we heard the characteristic "ding ding" and the car rounded the corner. He was enjoying the newness of the city, but I was reveling in the familiarity of the sights and sounds. We didn't do too much touristy stuff while we were there (although the mandatory stop at Ghiradelli square wasn't missed). He wasn't interested in crowding onto the tourist-clogged cable cars, so we walked all over the place. From Fisherman's wharf to the Cable Car Museum, down through Chinatown, and then the following day through The Presidio and Golden Gate Park, with a long stop at the Legion of Honor (a wonderful art museum that's home to over 40 Rodin bronzes, a good selection of paintings, and ever-changing traveling exhibits).

I think a lot of tourists somehow pass over this museum since it was fairly empty, despite currently hosting The Lod Mosaic, an amazing 50 x 27 foot Roman mosaic from around 300 A.D.  Mackenzie is a big Roman history buff, so this was an exciting thing for him to see. Lucky for me, he likes art museums and suggested we visit the Legion for the Roman mosaic and their traveling exhibit on Dutch and Flemish painters.

Every year, he and I get a little mom-son trip together when my daughter Asa stays at my mom's house for a week of acting with the Missoula Children's Theatre. This year, she ended up as the lead role of Mary in their production of The Secret Garden, which she was, of course, terribly excited about. So we dropped her off with a big fat script to memorize, and a week of excitement with grandma (they got to see The Young Dubliners in concert, for one thing). In years past, we've gone camping but this year he wanted to do something different so it was off to California's central hub on a road trip. I guess I figure if a mom and her teenager can hang out together for a week long roadtrip, then we must be doing something right. Truth be told, he's an easy traveling companion and a fun guy to hang out with. Yep, I'm a lucky mom.

My Smell-O-Vision tour of my childhood followed me back to my hometown of Jacksonville, Oregon, where a nighttime thunderstorm and downpour scented the entire countryside. I took a trail run through the oaky hills near town and was overwhelmed by the heady scents revealed by the rainy evening. Unfortunately, there's one weed that grows there that smells something like funky teenage boy feet (not that I'd have much experience with THAT smell, ha ha). But except in those areas, the air was thick with the smells of oaks and lichens, wild honeysuckle and rabbitbrush. Every moment on the trail took me back to my childhood spent wandering through these hills on Pooh-like adventures with friends.

Then our weekend was capped off by watching Asa in the Secret Garden performance. They did a great job (not that I'm biased or anything), and the role of Mary was pretty well suited to her dramatic personality. Being on stage for her is like being in a lake for me. It's where she lives and breathes and shines, so I love to watch her and just soak it all in.

After all of that, it's good to be home again, although the rain seems to have followed me here. Maybe that's a good thing since I really should be spending the day cleaning and unpacking, something I'd find harder to do if the weather was better. I'm left with the memories of another great trip and of amazement at the people my kids are becoming.

It was hard to say goodbye to the Golden Gate. Driving across it and looking back always seems kind of bittersweet to me since I love San Francisco so much. But in reality, I'm a country mouse, not a city mouse, and it's nice to be away from the traffic and the hustle and bustle of the big city life. It's good to be home.

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Triumph Over the Worst Hotel Pool Ever

There are a lot of bad hotel pools out there. The competition is fierce, but folks I think we've found a winner in the San Jose Hilton at the Convention Center. Measuring in at just over 3 feet deep its entire length, with a width smaller than my armspan, and a length of about eight or so yards. Special features include a knee-busting concrete shelf that runs half of the length of the pool to teach anyone foolish enough to attempt a breaststroke or two a lesson. To enhance your swimming pleasure, the wall to the right blocks most of the sun through most of the day, so you can freeze in the shade instead of being refreshed.

Mackenzie and I are taking this week to toodle around central California, and included a stop-over in San Jose where we took in the Museum of Technology. We got to stay a night with hubby who was in town for business, hence the Convention Center hotel.

Most people, faced with the ridiculousness of this pool might've thrown up their hands in despair and given up, but not I. Since this is the one upper body exercise I can do with my arm, I'm loathe to give up so easily. I managed to eek out 1000 yards in this disgrace of a swimming pool, counting three lengths as one 25 yard length of a real pool. For those of you who are counting, that means I swam 120 lengths of this silly little body of water just to get my 1000 in. It's crazy-making, I tell you.

My point however, if I had one, is that we can let circumstances get us down, or we can soldier on. The people who are successful at maintaining fitness are the ones who get their workouts in regardless. They are the businessmen I saw in the tiny fitness center lifting weights, and the folks who take the morning walk regardless of the weather or the setting of an alarm. And yes, the ones who swim 120 lengths of an eight yard pool.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tourism On Two (Running) Feet

The best thing about being a runner when you travel is that you get to go and see a city on your two feet as a non-tourist. In most places, a person jogging is fairly inconspicuous (although I've definitely been places where that was not the case, and in fact once when out on a jog in Palau, everyone who passed me kindly stopped and offered me a ride!). But most of the time if you head out on an early morning run, you see the city as it's waking up, kind of like seeing your spouse across the breakfast table. Nothing spiffed up or fancified, just the real sense of the place.

You can also reconnoiter any areas you might want to revisit later, or discover hidden gems. Once in Rome, I found this great little DaVinci museum tucked away in a courtyard entrance, and it had wonderful hands-on models of many of his inventions that my kids loved. On another trip, a Yorkshire morning yielded a rainbow that arched over the dales, flocks of sheep guided by anxious border collies and an older gentleman dressed head to foot in tweed.

This morning's jaunt from downtown San Jose originally took  me along a riverfront path, but construction detours forced me to head out into the city instead. I ran past the gorgeous Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, and discovered the Museum of Technology before heading down to the UCSJ campus. Some times, its a little weird to be a woman out on my own running in a strange town, and this is where I'm grateful for some good situational awareness and a little martial arts training as well. Occasionally on traveling runs, I've ventured into areas of town that were better left unexplored, and once I even had a police officer kindly escort me to a better street in New Orleans. But in general, I've never felt particularly threatened when running, perhaps because I'm obviously carrying nothing of value, or maybe because I'm a moving target who looks like she can take care of herself. For me, it's worth it to be out there seeing the real side of any city, not just the parts that appear on a tourist map.

If you like to travel and want to run, I've found that the concierge or information desk at many hotels have running maps already printed up, or can give you good information on where to head for a pleasant route. Then all you need is to remember to stick your watch and shoes in your suitcase and you're off for an adventure. Personally, I also think it helps to enhance your navigation skills when you have to keep track of foreign landmarks and compass directions in an unfamiliar place, so it's a good workout for your brain as well as for your feet.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Best of Times


I live in a beautiful place. We have gorgeous lakes, plentiful fresh water, surrounded by green forests and blue, smogless skies. I have good friends who are wonderful energetic incredible people. I have a body that mercifully works, even the parts that I break to pieces knit back together like the miracle that I am.

I swam a mile and a half this morning. Exactly one month after breaking my arm. What a blessing. What a blessed life I lead. I am so lucky, how can I help but be grateful? All through my swim, heavenly music played in my ears and I said thank you to God over and over and over.

And when it was all over, two of our swimmers who just got back from Germany had a veritable feast laid out. Meats and cheese and this stuff called Fig Mustard that let me tell you was AMAZING. And good dark German beer. Wow. Several of our long distance swimmers did 5.5 miles today, way to go guys!! Myself, I went home and took a nap in the hammock ;-)

Friday, July 08, 2011

Goodbye Nutella, I'll Do You One Betta...

My friend Julie posted this hilarious story about her missing Nutella the other day, and far be it from me to rain on anyone's Nutella parade. I mean, who of us doesn't remember the first time they tasted that chocolatey hazelnutty goodness and thought "OMG, Nutella, where have you been all my life?".But seriously, have you read the ingredient list? Hazelnuts are not the first ingredient, sugar is. Maybe they should call it "sugar spread" instead of "hazelnut spread". Then there's palm oil, and eventually you get to hazelnuts.

Now on the other hand, my little local market carries THIS stuff. One look at the label shows filberts as the first ingredient (that's what we folks around these parts call hazelnuts). You might not know this, but most of the hazelnuts in the U.S. are grown right here in my little neck of the woods. You might've thought that I was the Oregon State Nut but NO, it's the humble filbert. Every fall I run with my dogs through old filbert orchards gone to seed and glean bags and bags of the yummy little nuts.

This spread also boasts organic fair trade dark chocolate as its next ingredient, and moves on to sugar and cocoa butter as well as palm oil. But that's when things get really interesting. Our little dark chocolatey filbert-filled spread has wildcrafted betony on its ingredient list. An herb that's used as a liver tonic and headache cure, betony has a long and very interesting past. A common Roman proverb for someone troubled was “sell your coat and buy betony" and in medieval times you might wear it around your neck to ward off evil spirits. In France, this plant is called herbe du siege, from its roots having been eaten by the garrison of Rochelle during the siege in 1628.

On, you can read about Florida Betony, which apparently is a tuberous root that tastes something like Jicama. I wonder if the wildcrafted Oregon variety is similar, but there's no information on eating it specifically that I can find. I will have to ask my go-to guy for eating from the wild and see what he has to say about it. Nonetheless, it has found its way into this delicious alternative to the evil Nutella, and I'm not complaining.

On top of all of that, it's strawberry season here, and they're unusually sweet and lovely this year. We're putting up a couple of flats of luscious Benton strawberries, and I found that they go uncommonly well with the dark chocolate hazelnut spread for tempting local treat that's just right.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Traveling Paleo: Eating Well On the Road

Does this photo look familiar? Have you ever ended up at the "breakfast buffet" of a hotel you're staying at, only to stare at rack after rack of empty bleached white carbs? Eating well on the road is not always easy, but it can be done with a little planning and healthy decision-making.

We recently spent a week near Disneyland since our daughter Asa was dancing in the mouse kingdom with her dance team. The team families all stayed together in one hotel, and this is essentially what the breakfast looked like. Let me tell you, this stuff was so bad that my teenaged son actually took one bite of a donut and left the rest of it on the plate. Usually he eats so much we have to stop him from actually eating the plate ala the Cookie Monster.

Ironically, there was a sign over the only one section with anything that I would touch for breakfast at all. It had exactly this: hard boiled eggs and fresh oranges. The sign said "Healthy". At least they knew what they were talking about! Too bad there weren't a few more options under "Healthy" (the sign appealingly suggested a variety of fruit that never materialized), and maybe they should've had a sign over everything else that said "Massively Unhealthy".

Luckily, we were only a block away from my favorite breakfast stop while visiting Disneyland (yes, I admit we've gone there often enough that I have a favorite restaurant): Mimi's Cafe. Though it's not the cheapest food in town, for a couple bucks more than the sludgy McNasty Meals down the street, you get real eggs, veggies, avocado, and fruit. Those of you who live in the southern half of the U.S. may already be familiar with Mimi's, but since there's none located in the northern half, I'd never been to one before arriving at Disney for the first time. Getting Paleo-friendly fare there is as simple as saying "I'll take an Avocado BLT omelette, please substitute fresh fruit for the muffin, potatoes, and juice. And for dinner, they had some nice "petite" sized meals (read: normal portions instead of overblown American portions), and I had an awesome little sirloin and salad that was delish.

Eating well on the road often boils down to being unafraid to ask for substitutions. Restaurants notoriously fill up our plate with the most worthless (read: cheap) calories: bread, potatoes, rice, pasta. But usually for just a buck or two more (if that), you can substitute more vegetables, fruit, or a salad. This makes even an IHOP or a Denny's into a place that you can eat reasonably well. Sure, it's not a grass-fed free-ranging organic bonanza, but compared to one of these babies...'s downright health food.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Recovery and Some Inspiration

Asa drew me this little pic this morning, I think it sums up everything pretty well. The arm isn't fully healed, but overall I feel pretty great and I can do enough training now that I'm not going nuts.

I've been cleared to run, and I took my dog Sophie for a nice one hour jaunt on the Ridgeline trail this morning in the cool of the day. I can bike on my trainer, which is a good plan in the basement during the hot afternoons, and I can swim... well I can sort of limp along with a one-armed stroke, plus kicking and the dreaded aquajogging, but my SwiMP3 is keeping me company through the dull slogging swim workouts.

I even did my first karate workout yesterday, which consisted of doing kata so slowly that it felt more like Tai Chi, and I taught the Karate Conditioning class which was kettlebell swings, V-sits, jumping lunges, and a running loop - all of which I could do (kettlebells were one-armed, but still).

I'm still trying to fully process my decision to sign up for IM CdA in 2012, and what that will mean for my training in the coming 11.5 months. I think my kids are going to have to get used to waking up without me in the house, since this time the early morning workouts will prove crucial to fitting it all in.

One thing I love about the internet triathlon community is the incredible people out there. I don't always get as much time as I'd like to read through the blogs (and I keep meaning to update my blog roll) but when I can, I always find inspiration, community, advice, and support.

The posts that have really stuck in my mind and heart this week have been these:

Anton says "Everything I know about endurance sports I learned from Les Paul"
in this must-read post about what is REALLY important in endurance sports.

Marv shows us how to get it done, even if it's a hot hard 10 mile run, with Grace in his post "How Great Thou Art" (coincidentally, that's the hymn my mind goes to when I'm out running or biking in this amazing world we live in)

and IronMom Julie tells us about her Ironman Coeur d'Alene race day in the funniest and most inspiring Ironman race report around!

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Oh No She Didn't! Or Did She?

I haven't posted about it at all, but there's been this internal debate raging inside my head for a month or more now. It's that little urge that starts like a tickle at the back of your brain when you're a triathlete. That little tickle whispers in your ear "I want to do an Ironman." Well, another Ironman, that is. And everyone who knows you that's not a triathlete has this mistaken notion that since you've done one Ironman, you've Done It. You know. You've Gotten It Out of Your System. Right? Riiigggghhhhhht.

So that tickle becomes a voice, becomes an insistent voice, becomes an internal debate, becomes something you casually mention to your spouse (who not so casually says something similar to "No F*cking Way!") and then you wheedle and beg and reason and cajole and if you're lucky they're supportive like my hubby or maybe have amnesia and don't remember everything it took last time to do this crazy thing and they say Yes. Whereupon you go to the computer at midnight with your heart in your mouth thinking "Do I really want to do this crazy-assed thing? Really?" And you register.

Which is how it will come to pass that I'll be standing on the shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene with 2500 of my best triathlon buddies on June 24 2012, ready to do Ironman CdA! Let the madness begin.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Getting It Over With

We've been back from Disneyland for a few days, and I keep thinking I should start my blog back up with some incredibly deep or witty or interesting observation after all this time away, but by the time it gets to the end of the day, I'm tired and I just go to sleep instead of being all deep and witty.

So I'm just going to say hi, I'm back, and leave it at that. It was good to get away while my arm was healing, because it kept me from going stir crazy and kept me from missing my workouts too awful much. We walked a million miles a day and had a blast at Disneyland as always. I saw my bone doc this week and he cleared me to run (hooray!) and bike on the trainer (hooray!) and said I couldn't swim until August (boo!) but I'm doing some one-armed swimming anyways because the weather is beautiful and I can't resist the call of the lap lanes.

That's it. Next post will be incredibly fascinating, I promise.