California 70.3 - Fail

The short version is this:  I ended last triathlon season by completing my first half ironman distance race at Troika.  With a lot of hard work, a healthy season, and relative ease, I finished that race in 5:50.  I had raced smart and conservatively and I looked forward to my next go at the 70.3 distance.

I signed up for Cali 70.3 last October and trained my ass off all fall and winter long.  Round about 6-8 weeks before the race, every ride and run felt like a major struggle.  Frankly, I felt powerless.  I thought my legs were just overly fatigued and would "snap back" during recovery week.

I was completely wrong.  I finished Cali 70.3 an entire hour slower than Troika.  Granted, the swim at Oceanside is in a choppy ocean and the bike course is much more challenging in Camp Pendleton.  Whatever.  I gave the race all I had, but I just felt bad, again powerless.  Not sick, but not 100% well.

I'm not an excuse maker and when something goes wrong with me, I will always blame myself.  Immediately after the race I started finding all kinds of reasons for such a piss poor performance at the race...I didn't recover between race season (this might be true), I should have hired a coach, I should have used a different training plan, I shouldn't have done strength training this season, I need a new bike fit, and so on.  My husband had another theory - perhaps my chronic anemia was back, since I hadn't taken my iron in months.

One blood draw and a doctor's appointment last week said it all: I am severely iron deficient and suffering from anemia.  So, though I don't have to change my entire training approach, I am still mad at myself and it really is my fault for not taking care.

What's next is not entirely clear to me yet, since it could take four months before my iron stores reach a reasonable level.  My plan is to finish my three weeks of recovery this Saturday and start building the blocks of smart and healthy training again.  I want to feel some power when I swim, bike and run.  I look forward to enjoying a long run, not dreading my failure at it.  I want to be able to push hard and know I am making progress.  I want to succeed.


I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike.

Last week I had a baaad attitude about my training load, especially riding my bike for seemingly endless hours inside.  Just after I revamped my training schedule for the wiser, mother nature came and catapulted me into bike riding heaven.  The picture above is from my ride OUTSIDE yesterday afternoon!!!  I'm sure I grinned the whole time and my smile was bigger than my face. 

There really is no better way to rejuvinate and revive one's perspective about training besides a major change of scenery.  Happily, I was not more than ten minutes into my ride when I had to peel off a shirt layer and a pair of gloves.  Spokane can provide some of the most beautiful landscapes, especially between seasons = brilliant sunshine + snow covered fields. 

The hours I spent on my bike yesterday seemed like mere minutes.  Another surprising aspect of getting back outside to ride is the renewed enthusiasm for routes that seemed mundane by the end of the last race season.  Instead, I was in awe of all the little details.  I even grinned my way up a long, tough hill climb, seriously thankful for the opportunity to embrace the day's warmth on my bike.

  I sure hope you had a chance to get out there and ride too!


Half-way there.

This picture has absolutely nothing to do with this post; except that it's very close to Valentine's Day and I just love this happy picture of me and my sweetie.

Well, I'm half-way through my sweet, sugary, blissful, yummy goodness FAST.  100% success so far.  The major temptations I have had to overcome include: gooey brownies at Dinner Club night, a HUGE box of Dove chocolates for my birthday, my entire family ordered either chocolatey lava cake or creme brulee at my b-day dinner , a student gifted me red velvet cupcakes, chocolate/cream cheese cupcakes at my birthday party, Davenport's famous soft peanut brittle, donuts in the staff room 2x and a student brought me donuts in class today.  Still to overcome: Valentine's Day sweetness.  I will admit that I have definitely prayed more in the past 11 days than I have ever before.  And that's the whole point!
In other news, I'm training right along - but I am having a little trouble with my attitude lately.  Two weekdays I have very long training bricks to accomplish.  I may actually hate my life both of those days.  I tried to get up this morning at 4:00 to get one of my workouts done - but my bed was too warm and comfy to get out of so early.  I keep trying to think of ways to reorder my day's activities to fit in the workouts so they cause less stress.  Not happening!  If it was light earlier in the morning - I'd just get my run done.  My resolve for next week is to get my buns outta bed in the early AM and suffer a bit.  Also, I should remind myself that this is a life choice :).

Happy early Valentine's Day to all you sweethearts!!!



Today I will start fasting and will continue for 21 consequetive days.  My church is engaging in a congregational fast to pray for something specific.  I am too.  The idea is that I will give up a specific food, habit or activity and every time I miss/crave/think about that "thing," I will say a prayer for someone else. 

I choose to fast from all sweets for 21 days and pray for a person who is very precious to me.  This means that I will not eat chocolate, candy, cookies, (cup)cakes, pie, birthday goodies, Valentine's Day treats or anything that I would consider delicous, sugary bliss. 

So if you notice me acting forlorn, lethargic, mean, grumpy, moody, despondent, nervy, resentful, defeated or miserable - maybe you should start praying for ME!


A Fun Reprieve

I think it was about four years ago when Greg and I first attempted skate skiing.  We tried to learn by skiing in the dark, on frozen trails with a small beam of light coming from a head lamp.  I did not ski well and felt like it was entirely too challenging for my liking. 
Yesterday I got another go at it - and it was incredible!  Fitness Fanatics, our local (crack shop) triathlon store provided two instructors for our tri club to ski at Mt. Spokane.  Fourteen of us met with skate skiing gurus, Caroline and Brian, and received careful and fun instructions on the fundamentals of skate skiing.  Conditions were awesome...snowfall with huge, downy flakes, a bit of ambient fog and lots of enthusiastic teammates. 
Greg, Nate, Curt, Christine and I enjoyed our lessons so much that we skated around the mountain trails for another 1.5 hours afterward - increasing our skills and the fun factor by a big bunch.  I'm so glad we tried it again, and both Greg and I got a better taste of the sport.  Skate skiing is definitely an exciting cross training alternative that I will be enjoying again very soon.


What's up.

I realize I haven't posted anything new since Thanksgiving.  Honestly, it's not because nothing has happened in my life in the past 6 weeks, or because I have nothing to say.  It's just been busy, busy, busy.
Mom and dad on Christmas morning.
We had an amazing Christmas celebrating Christ's life with our family and friends!  Lyara has been home for two weeks, and we are absolutely loving her company. 
Skiing and snowboarding at Schweitzer with Lyara.

I'm happy to welcome the new year feeling energized and ready to embark on a more structured and focused training plan.  As a nice bonus, I've been sponsored by Brooks again for the upcoming tri season and I am so excited to represent the best running company in 2011!

Although I didn't officially take any time "off" from training, I did enjoy an unstructured training schedule from October through December.  I continued swim-bike-run workouts, but I also indulged in yoga, mountain biking, and snow shoeing.  In early October, I added in strength training for endurance.  Strength training is now a very regular and important part of my weekly plan, month after month.

We've also hosted several HLR's at our home that always prove to be spectacularly fun and social.
Virginia, Gingey, Mitch, Nate, Merissa, Kevin, Roger, Steve, Me, Matty, Jessie & Jessi.
Now I'm full swing into triathlon training again and trying to balance my life.  While swim-bike-run is important to me and a passion that my husband and I share, I remind myself NOT to let the numbers of training take over the other numbers of important people, and time shared with them, in my life.  Today, after I rode my bike for XX:XX and got ready to meet a friend to run for a while, I contemplated how much time I spend watching time go by, either in the water, on my bike or during a run.  Then I thought, what else would I be doing that is healthier, more entertaining or equally social, if not working out?  As long as I don't neglect my family or friends, work or domestic responsibilities - I'm glad this is what I put my extra energy and time into right now.

Do I have big triathlon plans this year?  No, not really - I just want to work super hard, stay healthy and do well.  After completing my first half-Ironman last year at Troika, I discovered (again) that endurance training and racing makes me really, really happy and satiated.  My first "A" race is at Oceanside, California 70.3, where I will get my ass handed to me by highly skilled and very tanned Californians!  Beyond that race in early April, I'd love to do the REV3 Half-Ironman in Oregon and a couple handfuls of local and other triathlons, along with a smattering of run races too. 

About fifteen months ago, me and two of my gorgeous friends, Jessi and Tiff, created our own "dinna club!"  We've been feeding each other's families week after week since last October with nothing but delicious, healthy, hearty recipes.  If you're interested in saving time and money and want to get creative plus enjoy the art of cooking...check out our blog at

I hope 2011 is filled with new memories made by family and friends, invigorating training sessions, delicious meals, and abundant love for you!