when aqua zumba gets the best of you…

Today was one of those days. You know. Those days. 

I was up and out of the house extra early for a 7 a.m. meeting only to find out it had been cancelled and I was the only poor schmuck whose email rejected the announcement. So there I was, sitting in the dark in the parking lot, all by my lonesome, waiting for a nonexistent meeting to start. That non-existent meeting kept me from a morning workout. 

I was lucky to pull off a lunch workout at all today, because, did I mention? Today was one of those days. All work week I’ve been getting my butt kicked six ways to Sunday. Things are popping. But by 1:45 I (pretended that I) had my stuff together enough to run out of the office to steal a quick run. Thank goodness too, I needed the fresh air. 

This evening, I thought I would take the opportunity to swim immediately after work (since this is the only pool I have paid access to right now…). I had even turned down an opportunity to go to an epic brewer’s dinner with goodness knows how many delicious courses and beers. Good times all around. But instead, I opted to try for a workout instead. Bad move. 

I had to stay at work a little late (also see butt kicked, above) and when I got to the gym I saw a pool totally full of dancing, squirming, floating, mostly white-haired waterbound Zumba-ers. WHAAAAAAAAAAt?

Now, this is not to be down on Zumba. Or Aqua Zumba… but let’s just leave it at this: it’s not really my thing. 

It turns out that Aqua Zumba is not only the latest rage, but also was going to last for another 45 minutes. Just my luck. 

Now, I would’ve stayed and waited it out. I hate to admit I let Aqua Zumba win. But I had left early for that non-existent 7 a.m. meeting and my dogs were stuck inside all day….And our old dog is not really holding it like he used to. And even though it was already one of those days, I DIDN’T want this day to be one of THOSE DAYS. You know, the days that end with you cleaning up your dog’s poo in your house. So I guess at the end of the day, you can say I was foiled not only by Aqua Zumba goers and the fear of a dog who couldn’t make it any longer.

The good news? I had Plan C. The bike trainer. (again). At home. At least it was a poo-less home thankfully.


Today, my key to Ironman training was flexibility and perseverance. And patience. 

But I was looking forward to swimming…Aqua Zumba, you’ve bested me for the last time! Just in case, I guess I’ll check the pool schedule next time.


rooting for Phil…

Oh no.

Week 3 and I’m already tired of biking on the trainer.

Tonight’s workout was a power interval workout. Merely an hour-long workout yet even with a warmup and intervals to break it up, the last 15 minutes sure did drag by.

I’m going to spend the next few weeks rooting for the groundhog – Punxsutawney Phil – for an early spring. If I ever needed it, it’s this year…

C'mon Phil, we need you to do the right thing!(photo from: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/02/133427240/punxsutawney-phil-says-spring-is-coming)

little ol’ phil…

C’mon Phil, we need you to do the right thing! Do you take bribes…?


Photo credit: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/02/02/133427240/punxsutawney-phil-says-spring-is-coming

frozen foods…

As you might expect, training for Ironman means you want (and need) to eat. Lots.

I’m this way without training for anything, so one of the best things for me about any training program (but especially training for endurance races like Ironman) is the ability (and justification) to eat whatever it is you darn please. However, training also puts a severe damper on the amount of time you have to do non-training things, such as grocery shop and cook… minor details.

In previous years when I’ve trained for half Ironman distances, I’ve had weeks where I was just so darn tired from working and training, training and working, that I didn’t want to do anything but SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP when nighttime or the weekend came.

I don’t imagine that this year will be any different and in fact the need to have easy, accessible, relatively nutritious food is doubled with two hungry bears in our household training for Ironman. So on my rest day the other day, I ran out to the grocery store and picked up all sorts of yummies – ingredients for things that could be cooked and prepared now while I have the time and frozen for future convenient consumption.

Behold my progress!

yum yums for later!

yum yums for later!

I am no professional food photographer, nor am I a professional chef. But I can tell you that a frozen lasagna and a container full of 3 bean chili are happily sitting in my freezer now, waiting to fulfill their destinies as fuel in a time crunch in the near future. The third is a concoction of the nuts – oats- chocolate – raisins persuasion that was intended to be saved for future but proved to be too tasty to resist!

I hope to have some more time this coming week to put together some more freezer meals while the workouts are still relatively short. The more I can make, the better!  My future self will thank me…

Do you have a favorite freezer-type standby meal?

adventures in winter running…

The reality is, if you live in the Inland Northwest (or anywhere that has 4 seasons) AND you sign up for Ironman Coeur d’Alene, you are going to be doing some cold weather training. For some folks this means treadmill time. But for me it means bundling up and running outside. I’m like the postal worker of Ironman training when it comes to winter weather – Neither snow nor rain will keep me indoors if I can help it (so long as I can take a nice warm shower when it’s all over!).  As one of our local running gurus always quips, there is no such thing as weather that’s too cold, just people who are too soft!

Winter trail

As you can imagine, this means running in snow. On icy roads. In the dark. And the cold. You would be correct in all of these. The other night was no exception and all of the above was true. Fresh snow. On top of old snow which had melted into ice. And it was dark but not the coldest run of the year. Naturally, running in the winter can be hazardous so hubby and I and the rest of the members of the local wintertime running group (organized by the local Fleet Feet) were cruising along much slower than normal due to the ice below the snow. Outdoor wintertime runs are no time for speedwork, you know. And sure enough, just 10 minutes out from the “finish line”, my spidey-senses detected extra super-duper iciness, so I started to slow to a walk. Yet practically the instant I decided to walk I found myself a-slip slidin’ away, landing squarely on my tush (with some impact absorbed by my wrist since I have somehow still not taught myself in all my years of snowboarding and falling NOT to put my hands down).

Luckily, in this case I merely sustained a bruise on my behind and a ‘tweaked’ wrist. Today we had 3 or 4 inches of fresh snow out and a high of 20 degrees and I went out again at lunchtime for a sanity break. (Ironically, everyone looked at me like I was insane…). The cold air is downright invigorating but there is an intense quiet and utter peacefulness that comes with winter running. This is why we run in the winter.


Peace on the trail

If you can bring yourself to brave the cold, here are a couple of articles that have great winter running safety tips, from dressing in layers to making sure you’re visible in the darkness to keeping your feet underneath you (and your butt off the ground). Take it all in and hopefully you can avoid a bruised badonkadonk like me:


Happy running!



welcome back, me!

Hello world, I’m back!

When I was last here, wayyyyy back last summer, I had just finished my 2nd 70.3 triathlon and had an October marathon staring me at the face and an Ironman off in the distance. Following the completion of that marathon, I took a much needed break. A full-on break for about two full weeks followed by four weeks of “still mostly break”, running maybe a handful of times, swimming some, but mostly sleeping and relaxing. Recuperating.

Mentally, I knew I needed it. Training takes a lot out of you. Well, it takes a lot of out me anyway. Physically, sure. But that’s not the hard part. The hard part is ALWAYS steering the ship toward the goal. Doesn’t matter how much you want to achieve your goal, there will always be days when you just don’t want to but you have to. It takes a lot of will power to choose to log sometimes lonely miles over beers with friends night after night, week after week, month after month. Your brain gets tired of making that decision. My will power needed a break if I was ever going to be able to pull off Ironman 2013.

So I rested. Just a few weeks ago, I started slowly logging in more time in the pool, more time on the road. Getting ready to start training again in earnest. And here we are. This coming Sunday OFFICIALLY marks the start of training for Ironman Coeur d’Alene. That’s right. This blog has been upgraded to 140.6 and me!

Twenty four weeks of swimming, biking and running toward the ultimate goal of completing 140.6 miles in under 17 hours on June 23. And not dying along the way. Over the next six months I’ll be posting my thoughts, fears, goals, dreams, and experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – throughout my training right here for you to follow along.

Since I’ve been gone for a while, just a quick reminder / disclaimer: I’m not an expert in much of anything and certainly not a personal trainer, nutritionist, or professional athlete. I’m just a normal gal training for Ironman. The thoughts and recommendations I have here are solely my own … if you are thinking of joining us in crazy town, I highly recommend you talk to a professional. More specifically, a therapist first. Then head straight over to talk to a coach or someone who’s got a few races of this distance under their belt and hop on in, the water’s fine!