on setting goals, ironman and going long…

Ok, so confession time: I’m really not much of a “One day…” type of goal setter. I don’t look real far off into the future. Never have. I have always had a hard time with that question, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” It’s always been that way – when I was just a wee little tyke and grownups would ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”, I NEVER knew what to say. I think I usually either changed the subject (they probably though I was ADD before it was an official diagnosis…) or just said “Teacher” or something I’d heard one of the other kids say.

I’m a “hey, I think I’m gonna do that” type of person. Not “one day” or “some day”.  Usually as soon as legitimately possible. NOW, if at all possible. Decisions to move cross country? Yup, do it this week. Going back to grad school? This fall, pretty please. True stories – that’s how I roll.

Those “One day goals”? “Some day I’ll…” to me means, whatever, you’re never gonna do it.

M-dot sticker – just a little reminder of what’s coming up.

I can’t confess that I started this process two years ago with the explicit goal of doing an Ironman. I don’t want to say it’s been inevitable. But I will say that with the local Ironman race rolling through here each year since we moved here and watching some of the people roll across the finish line at 14, 15, 16 hours, and especially those who roll through at 16:55, mere minutes before they yank you from the course, you find yourself thinking and sometimes even saying out loud, “Hey, if they could do that, I could do that…probably…”. Let’s just say we get a little closer to signing up each time. Plus, the longer we live here, the more people you know that do it.  And not to mention, we’re not getting any younger… it’s not going to get any easier…and all of this training that I’ve been done over the past couple of years and the training we’re currently doing for the 70.3, it’s the question that’s been swirling around our household these past few weeks. And it gets to be a slippery slope.

So, you might as well know that today, the first day of open registration for Ironman 2013, I pulled the trigger. Hubby and I are signed up. That’s right. Ironman? 2013. We’re in and we’re going long and it’s gonna be awful and epic and tortuous and painful and amazing and likely the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I wanted to throw up a little bit just thinking about it. Honestly. But the cool thing is, I know there is a lot that can happen between now and then, but I really think I can definitely do it. And once I do it, that’s something I’ll always be able to say: “I’m an Ironman.”

I may not be able to tell you what I want to be when I grow up (the real answer is RETIRED on a beach somewhere in between international trips with an airport close by and a passport full of stamps), but I can tell you that in 363 days, I will be on the beach in a neon pink swim cap with 2800 other wetsuit-clad crazies ready to dive into a cold (but hopefully not freezing cold) lake hoping that before midnight I will hear “YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!” over the loud speakers as I cross the finish line. And that’s good enough for me. All of the rest of the stuff will work itself out. My journey will unfold in front of me as I go. That’s what keeps it exciting.

This will be hanging on our wall for the next 363 days as a reminder!


side effects of training…

Holy heck. Boy, do nine workouts a week eat up your days and weeks quick. You run out of hours to do all of the little things that you used to do with your spare time. Like do laundry. Buy groceries. Cook. Do yard work. You know. Those things.

The other night, I got home late after a longer workout after work… and we had NO food. I mean seriously. Our fridge was a barren, empty desert. I tried to scavenge what I could, but ultimately determined I would need an emergency trip to the grocery store. Entirely too unprepared for a full-fledged grocery store visit (and too late and much too hungry to get prepared for one), I ran in and out for some apples, bananas and yogurt.  Enough for some semblance of a smoothie in the blender… it’ll get me through the night and hopefully the fruit, plus the can of soup I bought will get me through the next day too. And maybe then I’ll find some time to go to the grocery store for reals.

When I pulled into the driveway, I noticed (not for the first time, or even the second time) that with all of this sun and all this rain, our grass has been G-R-O-W-I-N-G. Shoot. Someone ought to mow that, I think to myself yet again. Later. Maybe this weekend I can fit it in between workouts and errands.

Back at home, I made an attempt at getting ready for the next day – workout clothes, lunch and snacks (apples and bananas – good thing I stopped for groceries!), post work workout clothes, bike, bike helmet, bike shoes, etc.

In addition to the post work workout, I had also worked out at lunch, so today (as with many days), out came two full sets of dank, stinky gym clothes from my bag and straight into a laundry basket full of stinky gym clothes. Oh geez. Someone should do something about that. Right? These days, clean clothes are a hot commodity ‘round these parts and it’s getting to be slim pickin’s; it’s been a week or maybe more since I poured some detergent on those bad boys and ran them through the wash. Sigh. Armful of clothes into the wash. Switch it on and hope to stay awake long enough to get things hung to dry.

I have a necklace my mom gave me that says SLEEP ● EAT ● SWIM ● BIKE ● RUN ● REPEAT. As it turns out, there are a few steps in between. Minor details. Call them all the “side effects” of training.

So, come tomorrow? I get to do it all again. Except I guess I’ll have just a little less laundry to do. Maybe we can get a maid. And a gardener. And maybe a cook.


homemade chipotle bean burritos

Here in our house, we love our Mexican food – fast, easy, and delicious. And what’s more, depending on how you make it (i.e. If you have the strength to refrain from adding massive amounts of queso and frying the whole darn thing), it can be nutritious too. (Side note: as a general rule, we do not keep queso in the house. Too yummy. We’d eat it every meal. And that stuff will kill you. Spicy, creamy, delicious DANGER!)

We fondly refer to Mexican food as “Mexican Goop”:  Beans, any kind of meat (or no meat at all!), spices, a little bit of cheese, some form of tortilla, some salsa or hot sauce, and some veggies and you’ve got yourself a meal!  One of best things about Mexican Goop is how easy it is to improvise. Its seriously the choose-your-own adventure of food.  You can wrap it into a burrito, dump it on a salad, layer it into a baked casserole… the possibilities are endless. And if you focus on making beans and veggies the base, and go easy on the cheese, guac and sour cream, it really can be a pretty safe bet for a quick and healthy meal.

This one here’s super fast and requires very minimal effort on anyone’s behalf, which is great when you’re short on time and still need to eat something yummy (which is me, all of the time!):


Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

1 tbsp canola oil

1-2 garlic clove, minced

1/2 tsp chipotle chile powder (we use 1 tsp+ of cayenne and throw in some red pepper flakes too)

1-15oz can black beans, drained

1-15oz can kidney beans, drained  (you can also substitute pinto beans or other kinds if that’s what you have on hand…)

3 tbsp salsa (I think we get closer to 1/4+ cup of salsa… usually I eyeball this, but again, we like it spicy!)



Romaine Lettuce

Chopped tomato

Sour Cream

1) Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, chile powder and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add 1/3 cup water and beans and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salsa. Partially mash bean mixture. Serve with tortillas and various toppings!

Yield: approx 6 burritos.

Cooking Light Calorie count

(Serving size is 1 burrito. Based on 2.5 tbsp cheese, 1/4 c tomato, 1/4 c lettuce, 1 tbsp sour cream on each burrito): 

Calories 361; Fat 10.3 g (3.8g sat, 31g mono, 2g poly); Protein 16.8g; Carbs 52.2g; Fiber 11.4g;

Chol 19mg; Iron 3.3mg; Sodium 735mg; Calc 395mg