Sunday, August 10, 2014

Anything is Possible

A week ago, I watched my dear friend Kari compete in the Ironman Boulder.  I was amazed by her focus, strength, and smile.  And as I watched her enter the finish chute, I was elated.  It was inspiring to watch her tackle the demands of Ironman training. More than anything though, it was beautiful to watch her grow in confidence and strength.  Kari was joined by many of our friends, and I was struck by the diversity of backgrounds and goals.  No matter their journey, they were all fearless!

Yesterday, I finished A Life Without Limits by Chrissie Wellington.  I was struck by her resilience and belief that anything is possible.  Her story is inspiring and I took a lot away from her book, especially chapter 10.  She talks a lot about training the mind, not just the body. 

"You may not be able to right now,
but with a positive frame of mind
and a willingness to work,
anything is possible."
-Chrissie Wellington

You might think with all this Ironman talk that I would be declaring my intent to train for an Ironman.  Nope.  While I love being surrounded by all the crazy, focused athletes...the Ironman doesn't call to me.  Maybe someday (never say never), not now.  But all this Ironman watching called to me to stop letting fear call the shots and to pick a goal that scares me.

For the past two years, I have struggled with injuries.  Not only did it hurt to run, it hurt to sit and drive.  Frankly, it just hurt to be.  I medicated with food and alcohol.  I'm not proud with how I handled it, but I can't change the past.  Finally, I feel like I have answers and I'm working to correct the imbalances which contribute to the injury.  My fitness is nearly at the bottom, so in many ways, I feel like I am starting over.  And I am afraid to be injured again.  I am afraid of not being able to be the strong athlete I so want to be.  I have two choices.  I can let fear stop me from working towards the calling.  Or I can let fear drive me to become that strong athlete.

39 weeks from now, I plan on crossing the finish line at the Ice Age 50M.  That's an "M" and not a "Km."  And no, it isn't too early to start training with this goal in mind.  My short term goal first and foremost is consistency.  The next goal is endurance. I miss being that strong, focused athlete.  So here we go!

Week 1 Plan
Monday - Strength Train/Plyo Class
Tuesday - Run 5 miles
Wednesday - Strength Train with Trainer, Walk 3 miles
Thursday - Hike 4 miles (hills)
Friday - REST
Saturday - Run 7 miles
Sunday - Hike 6 miles (hills)

Happy Running!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Where's Iron Waldo Spectating

Don't get too excited.  This post doesn't signify any return to blogging.  At least I don't think so.  Instead, I am using this format to create a few posts for the Where's Iron Waldo Facebook Page.
Hi Where's Iron Waldo spectators!  A week back, I asked our Boulder Ironman athletes what they needed from their fans....and this is what they said:

"Your presence out there will make us smile.  Much appreciated."

"Make me laugh.  Cause just seeing y'all is going to make me cry."

"Just don't be eating a burger and having margaritas and laughing at us as we limp by!  That would be too cruel."

"Creative signs that make you think, and forget about the pain for a while especially on the run."  i.e. Math problem on the course.  Sign #1: What is 56 + 35 - 11 = ? (athletes spend some time figuring this out....and are confident answer is 80).  Sign #2 = 79 (athletes spend some time double checking their math, insisting they are correct, wondering why the spectators can do math).  Sign #3 Just's 80.  Other sign suggestions included: "Worst Parade, Ever." "Because 140.7 would be just stupid." "Never trust a fart in an Ironman."

"More cowbell."

"Smiles, laughter...lie to me...tell me I'm looking good and strong."

"Goofy outfits" i.e. guy who progressed from a suit to speedos with the sign "run fast or I will strip."

"Cheer for People - whether you know them or not."
"Continue an Ironman tradition....use a Colorado flag so Ironman athletes can identify their spectator group."

The following are a few more suggestions from some experienced spectators.....

Support your athlete.  The week before the Ironman can be a hard time for your athlete.  Respect their need to freak out, withdraw, be hyper, etc.  Extra kindness, patience and understanding goes a long way to support your athlete, even if they are getting a little more nuttier than usual.  Provide positive energy, pep talks and healthy food & snacks.

Be self-sufficient.  Your athlete won't be able to take care of you on race day, so be sure to have maps, a parking plan, a meet-up plan with your group, cell phone numbers of the folks you are spectating with, ideas about where you will refuel, hydrate (just don't let the athletes see you drinking that margarita), and rest.  Know what you will bring for yourself (cash, sunscreen, water bottle, comfortable walking shoes, hat, etc.).

Be flexible.  Your athlete may give you a time goal.  Understand that a lot can happen over the course of 140.6 miles.  And this doesn't factor in any difficult weather conditions, like heat and wind.  So understand that the time goal is just a goal, educated guess on how training went and be flexible on their arrival time.  They might beat you to a designated viewing area, or they might be 30 or 60 minutes behind.  No matter what, always be encouraging when you see your athlete.  Asking them why they were so late or why they are so far behind is not encouraging.  Don't forget to cheer for the other athletes while you are waiting on your athlete!

Know the Rules of Competition.  Haven't read the Athlete's Guide yet?  It's a good idea.  Here you will learn that your Ironman athlete is not allowed to accept any aid other than that offered at the Ironman aid stations.  And you cannot run with your Athlete.  Giving aid and running with them could result in your Athlete being disqualified.

Offer to drop off your athlete the morning of the race.  All athletes and spectators must take the shuttle to the Swim Start.  You cannot bike or walk or get to the swim start any other way (unless you pay to be a VIP Spectator).  Understand if your athlete wants to make it to the start on their own.

Offer to pick up your athlete's bike.  The  last thing your athlete might feel like doing is getting their bike at the end of the Ironman.  You can pick up your athlete's bike between 6pm and midnight at Boulder High School if they give you their Bike Check-out Ticket prior to the race.  Understand if they decline your offer, some of these bikes are rather near and dear to your athlete's heart....

Have fun.  It will be a long day.  So take care of yourself (hydrate, food, shade) and enjoy the many inspirational athletes you will see in the course of the day. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Happy December!

Today's run with Runners Edge of the Rockies started with 50 degree temperatures!  But yet still there were discussions concerning whether a live or artificial tree was preferred...Colorado's weather is just crazy...and I'm not complaining.  I prefer a live tree but I think I'll stick to some poinsettias this year.

It's been a long time since I last posted.  Happy Trails inspired me to post today.  I was so happy to see their update!  And inspired by Kathleen's resilience and optimism. 

I started a new job on October 1st.  And I spent all summer long enduring a long hiring process.  So that's what has been keeping me busy.  This is a dream job and it has been challenging and absolutely wonderful.  It requires a bit of travel so that has been a huge adjustment when it comes to fitting in runs and other workouts as well as eating healthy.  I got quite a bit off track, although I am happy to report that I am slowly getting back on track.  I was actually eating meals at Burger King, Subway and convenience stores.  And when I wasn't eating fast food, I was eating a lot of meals out with too much alcohol.  WHAT THE HECK?  This only caused a lack of motivation to be active and compounded the normal stress one experiences in a new job. 

I just finished an entire week of no processed foods and viola by body and mind is happy.  Priceless.   And as a bonus, I dropped 4.0 pounds in this past week without ever feeling hungry and without counting calories.  The importance of food just can't be underestimated when it comes to our overall well-being.  My meals this past week have included a lot of green monsters, eggs, squash, spinach, zucchini, kale, brussel sprouts, carrots, coconut oil, made-by-me bison meatloaf, chicken, apples, blueberries, walnuts, almonds, pecans, yogurt, parmesan and blue cheeses and dark chocolate.  It's a relief to be back on track.

Over the summer I turned myself over to a friend to help my running.  She has been patient especailly when I have not.  And what might be counterintuitive, we went to a walk/run at predetermined distance intervals, gradually increasing the run distance and shortening the walk distance.  It has been a slow mind-numbing process but guess what?  I'm getting faster.  I have to remind myself of this when my patience runs thin and I want to ditch the walk breaks.  While I won't PR at my next race (Tucson Half next weekend), I will beat my time of my last half and I do think I can manage my race better and negative split.  Stay tuned!

Happy Running!


Friday, July 27, 2012


Here's what I've been doing so far with the summer....

Herman's Gulch Trail

Herman's Gulch Trail

Herman's Lake

Reynold's Park

Reynold's Park looking at Pike's Peak

Reynold's Park

Copper Kettle Brewing Company

Strange Brewing Company

Renegade Brewing Company

Pike's Peak via Cog Railway

Colorado is a really special place to live.  The summer has been low-key.  Or another way to put it - I haven't been training as much as I've been hitting some trails and local breweries.  But I have my sights set on my next marathon - the Tuscon Marathon in December.  So the next few months will be focused on building a base and losing my beer weight.

Happy Running!


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Salad Anyone?

I still have things to share.  Running things.  Dating things.  Wildfire things (sending positive vibes to Happy Trails). Other life things.  But my internet at home is not working as well as it should.  So this post is another Foodie Pen Pal Post, courtesy of an unsuspecting neighbor's internet signal.  I should have the internet problem solved this week....Comcast willing!

In the mean time, a quick post as to my Foodie gifts I received this month.  The makings of salads, use of crusty bread and a pasta salad recipe!  So here's this month's surprises sent to me by Cindy in North Carolina:

  • Bella Tavola Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • The Biltmore's Creamy Vidalia Onion Dressing (I soooo love onions)
  • Bread Dipping Seasonings (including Rosa Maria (rosemary & garlic), Sicilian Blend (garlic, onions, tomatoes), Tuscany Blend (sundried tomatoes & basil), and Parmesan Blend (roasted garlic & cheese)).
  • Gourme Mist Fusions - Balsamic Vinegar + Pomegranate Spray

Is it dinner time yet?

Don't forget that you can participate in the Foodie Pen Pal program too!  Just sign up before July 5th!

foodiepal stamp2 Foodie Penpals

Cindy also sent me a pasta salad recipe I can't wait to make...let's hope I can find some nice local produce to test this recipe out.  Here's the recipe she sent:

Greek Pasta Salad
1 bag colored rotini
1 pkg. sliced turkey
5 roma tomatoes
1 cucumber
1/2 red onion
1 to pkgs feta cheese (she likes the basil tomato feta)
Greek vinagrette

Cook pasta.  Rinse in cold water.  Dice turkey and vegetables.  Add to cooked pasta.  Add feta.  Mix in Greek vinagrette. 

Greek Vinagrette
1/3 c. olive oil
3 T red wine vinegar
2 T lemon juice
1/2 t. dried oregano
1 t. sugar
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 t. black pepper.

I think I might try swapping quinoa for the pasta. 

Happy Running!


Thursday, May 31, 2012

Blue Moon and Bar Nuts

I'm back.  I know I disappeared again.  Honestly, the last few months have been filled with more downs than ups, and really, who wants to read a whiny blog post?  I certainly don't want to read one!  This past weekend, the fog lifted and the funk started moving out.  Thankfully, because I was getting to a point where I couldn't stand myself.  I'll bring you all up to speed later - no worries, nothing tragic.  Today, I'm going to let you know about the Foodie Pen Pal program.

The Lean Green Bean

Click on the Foodie Pen Pal button - the deadline is June 4th!  You get matched with one person to send a goodie box to.  And you get matched with a different person who will send you a goodie box.  You put together a $15 goodie box worth of food items, respecting any known allergies or aversions your pen pal may have.  And you get your own little goodie box.  I had the great fortune to have Bridget assigned to sending me a goodie box.  She's a cool woman who recently moved to the Denver area (Lakewood).  The fact that we were paired was definitely to my benefit.  She could simply drop off my goodie box.  And Bridget took great care of me.  Even though she is raising two little ones, she included homemade goodies!  Here's some pictures:

The Bridget goodie box included:
  • Lemon poppyseed bread
  • White chocolate macadamia cranberry cookies
  • Bar nuts
  • Homemade granola
  • Choco-love Raspberries in Dark Chocolate Bar
  • Blue Moon Spring Sampler 12-pack
While I enjoyed the entire goodie box (and I'm still working my way through it), I have to say my favorite was the bar nuts.  Spiced but sweet.  Perfect balance which included fresh rosemary.  Excellent.  I'll see if Bridget will share the recipe and I'll post it here.

Maybe you would like to participate?  The great thing about this program is that you commit month to month - no three month or year long commitment.  So if you are too busy one month to put together a package, no need.  And while Bridget shared her baking/cooking skills with me, you needn't send homemade stuff unless you'd like to.  I didn't bake or cook anything for my penpal.  To sign up, just click the Foodie Pen Pal button below.

The Lean Green Bean

Happy Running!


Monday, February 6, 2012

Welcome 2012!

Yes.  I realize it is the first full week of February.  I'm a little behind.  Not because I haven't been running or eating.  That's well under control.  I will admit that I haven't been dating.  I think I'm primarily behind because of preparing, doing and decompressing from oral arguments before the Colorado Supreme Court.  It was a totally awesome experience.  Of course I was nervous throughout prepping right up until I started my argument.  And then it was fun.  I was peppered with questions and thankful I didn't have to use my 45 minutes worth of prepared questions.  I rather enjoyed the exchange.  And then I was exhausted.  After this weekend, I finally feel like my old self. 

Denver got hit with snow on Thusday/Friday.  15 inches of the stuff in the metro area.  Thankfully our coach moved our run to Sunday and I got in a long, arduous 14.5 miles along the Cherry Creek Bike Trail.  It was beautiful!

So on with the new year!  I do love a new year.  It's a new beginning, time to reflect on what is important to you and what you would like to accomplish.  I never feel pressure about it.  I know a lot of people try to avoid setting goals and resolutions.  However my personal belief is that it is a perfect time to express your goals.  So here's three of mine.

  • RUN a sub 5:00 marathon.  This might take a while to accomplish - it would be a huge accomplishment for this very slow runner.  But I'm working to give it my best in time for the Colorado Marathon on May 6th.  And if that isn't in the cards, then in the Fall.

  • EAT in a way that supports my goals.  I started keeping a journal to track how my body responds to what I eat.  I want to eat foods that my body loves.  I actually ate cauliflower and brussel sprouts yesterday.  Really.  I'm not sure it will be a regular occurrence, but who knows?  I'm learning it isn't about some perfect macronutrient breakdown and that no matter how many books I read, the only expert on my body is me. 

  • DATE people I meet through the people I already know.  I can't keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.  So I'm on hiatus with the online dating thing.  I'm just trying to put out there that I'm looking and seeing if people who know me can connect me.  Fingers crossed.  I have one email contact so far. 
Here's to the remaining 11 months of 2012!!

Happy Running,