Thursday, March 29, 2012

If This Video Doesn't Melt Your Heart, I Don't Know What Will

I have to share this video with you for two reasons. One, it's the sweetest thing you've ever heard, and two because it's about an incredible family who are trying to adopt a baby from Africa.


If little Madeleine's narration about adopting a baby sister doesn't melt your heart, I don't know what will. And if you feel like helping them out, check out their story (with a link to donate) on I know these folks from my Masters swim team, and they are just the most amazing family. I know they would be incredible parents for an adopted child to have.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Countdown to Ironman, Week 13: Who Would I Save From The Towering Inferno?

I joke about this: If there was a burning building with all the people in the world in it, I'd save my family first, and then I would save my chiropractor. He's that good. Okay, I'd run in for my friends too, you know I would. But seriously, my chiropractor's like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, putting the stuffing back into the Scarecrow (me).

After seeing him twice this week, I'm feeling pretty nearly human. After the first time, I was able to stand and walk without pain for the first time in two weeks. After the second time, I could get on my bike again - 2 hours today. Running is still iffy, so I'm hoping that the third time's a charm and I'm seeing him next Monday.

Other than that, there's not much to report. I'm swimming a lot, because I can. The weather still sucks so I don't miss running as much as I would if it was sunny. And I'm still indoors on the bike trainer although I would love to start getting outside! Maybe it will all magically come together next week when I hit that 12-Weeks-To-Ironman moment and start "training for real". Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Antidote to Discouragement

Whenever I get down or feeling sorry for myself, I find that the best remedy is to seek out something or someone inspiring to remind me that, as Richard Bach says "Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours".  Here is this week's remedy. Contracting polio at a young age, Dergin Tokmak learned to walk on his hands, and after seeing a movie about breakdancing, became a dancer. He integrates his crutches and incredibly strong upper body into his amazing dance moves. This is well worth a watch, and reminds me that whatever is getting me down in the present moment is simply something I have not yet set my mind to overcome.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Countdown to Ironman, Week 14: Damaged, Discouraged, and Depressed

It's raining. For the next ten days at least. And cold. And raining. And my back is not only not better, it's worse. A massage yesterday did nothing to help. Some time every day in the hot tub at the club isn't cutting it either. I'm supposed to spend next week as a "big bike week" doing tons of bike mileage, and I can't even sit up in a chair for an hour without my back killing me. That terrible fear that my injury will take too much time out of training and I won't get enough miles in before Ironman keeps lurking at the back of my mind.

And did I mention it's raining? And cold?

I normally get the post-vacation blues when coming back to the soggy NorthWet in the wintertime, but this is a thousand times worse. I need to go read over some of my old posts where I actually have a good attitude, and kick my mental butt back into shape. That is all.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hunting and Gathering the Wild Coconut

If there's one thing I love about the tropics, right up there with warm ocean and sunshine, it has to be coconuts. I could eat coconut all day every day. And nothing is better than a fresh one, tossed out of a tree by the storm, and opened on the beach.

My daughter spotted this one when we were taking a walk, and she was intent on carrying it back and seeing if she could get it open. I have to admit, it was quite funny watching her pound it with sticks and rocks to no avail. And if I had a video of my son trying to open it by throwing it on the rock wall, and it bouncing up about crotch high and nearly nailing him, it would probably go viral on Youtube. But nothing made a dent in the coconut itself.

I remembered from travels in the South Pacific, seeing big sticks which had been driven into the ground and secured, pointy-end up for pounding coconuts against. So hubby and daughter went to work with a pointy stick and the sharp edge of the rock wall, with the net result that it split open to reveal a perfectly ripe interior, and delicious coconut water inside. We've been eating fresh coconut for days now, and perhaps it's about time to head out on the hunt for another one. Island eating, paleo-style.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Countdown to Ironman, Week 15: Hawaii 5-0, or is that Hawaii 4-6??

We've been here in Hawaii just a bit over a week. Sure, it's vacation, and it's been great to just be able to swim out in the ocean most days, except for two when the flooded rivers dumped a ton of yucky mud into the ocean and made it more or less unswimmable. But mostly I've been using this time to do a run focus, ramping up my running mileage to 34 miles in the last week, which is about double what I've been running. Unfortunately, I should've thought to bring something other than my Vibram Five Fingers along, since all of the running is on pavement and I'm not used to cranking out that many miles on hard surfaces without any cushioning. 

Fortunately for me, my feet have taken the challenge well, and I haven't had any problems running all that mileage in the Five Fingers. My only hitch while exercising here is that I hurt my back surfing a few days ago, I bailed off of a wave when another surfer and I were on a collision course, and while my body was twisting one direction, the wave sent my torso in another. Ouch. I probably wouldn't even have noticed it at 25 years old, the last time I surfed, over two decades ago! But now at almost 46, yeah, I notice. My back has been sore and tight since, but fortunately hasn't bothered me while running.

But that just brings me to yet another one of those "this is why I train" moments. How cool is it to be able to just get on a surfboard on the North Shore of O'ahu (granted, not during the winter big wave months) and have the strength, flexibility, balance, and stamina to surf for 2.5 hours?? When you train your body in all-around fitness, not just endurance  but all of those other components as well, you can go out and do whatever it is that you want to do. And right now, with the crystal clear waters and reefs right off of our balcony, that looks like an hour or two of snorkeling...hang loose.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Now This is How To Train

Up at 6:45 a.m. Walk out the door to the beach, just a few steps away. Spot four sea turtles right off the beach. Jump in the warm water and swim along the beach. Hose off in the already warm morning air. Come in and grab a banana and a cup of Macadamia Nut Kona coffee. Throw on the Vibram Five Fingers and some running shorts and head out on a six miler along the beachfront road, hearing the surf all the way. Come back into the condo, make some Coconut Banana custard for breakfast along with a cup of green tea. Bask on the balcony. Smile.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Countdown to Ironman, Week 16: On Vacation

Yep, I'm on vacation this week. And that includes from training. Oh. Well. At least from structured training. Because you know I packed my running shoes. And my swim suit. But not my bike, so I'm not REALLY training for triathlons, right?

Seriously, my plans are just to chill, and enjoy whatever workouts I can fit in while we're gone. And get a good margarita or two and enjoy them on the beach. Then I'll be good and ready to hit some long hard stuff when we get back. And yes, I know several of you are wanting me to put some recipes up on the blog, especially for that Paleo/gluten-free Chicken Pot Pie that my family loves. I wish I could say that I'll get that done this week, but I didn't even pack my computer along, so unless I stumble across a keyboard somewhere, this will be the last missive for awhile. But I will definitely get some food stuff posted when I get back, I promise.