Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I'll admit, I was not looking forward to starting a walk program.  I encourage my athletes to walk often, it is great for fitness, exceptional during the off-season and transition periods and just plain good for you. But, I sat around for a week after being told I could "walk". I wasn't feeling it. Heart rate less than 100, come on Dr B!!!, slow, just wasn't feeling it.  More thinking "why bother", because really I just want to run.
 Not my best state.
But then one day my mind shifted. I needed to get away from all I had "known" and switch things up.  I grabbed my phone (with the itunes) and decided to walk.  3 songs out and three songs back.  No garmin, no watch, just Miley-Cyrus-Leona-Lewis-Beyonce-forget-anything-matters-displaying-thee-best-voice-in-the-world-music.  I needed it. It cleared my head. I felt good, I took in the Seattle Space Needle views and I smiled.
I continued to enjoy these "walks" and added some inclines on the treadmill on rainy days.  Then one day I attempted a 1 mile run, at a...um...9:30 pace.
Within 3 minutes I had that shoulder blade achy cramp feeling, but I kept running. Embrace the suck, over and over. At 9 minutes and 30 seconds I reached a mile!!! Hallelujah!!! And I was bobbing and weaving and ducking and bobby to those same tunes with a smile (yes, I was "that girl" on the treadmil)l.  I walked for a moment for cool down and was dizzy.
WOW. I have a LONG way to go and will not be attempting a mile time trial soon. BUT, I am getting off some stiff medicines, moon-face be gone, and am thankful that things are moving slowly, VERY slowly, in the right direction.
"Good things come to those wait. Be patient"
I realize a big step for me to get back into things is to not be able to compare any of my past training. I needed to make a total shift of getting started again. Keeping things simple and just going with the flow, the easier the better.  I don't even own a bike right now and plan on keeping things simple. This is going to be a huge challenge I am taking on for the next 6+ weeks.
 Just like resuming any training the key is to stop before your body tells you too. To feel good, before, during and after so you can be stronger the next day.  Bring on the challenge.
Walk more, switch things up, be patient, BE HAPPY!
PS. Swimming started this week too! 1600 blissful yards, with no pace clocks.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

110% lecture.

I got a lecture from Dr B (about 2 weeks ago now, as this post has been sitting in the post section for bit).
Not a normal lecture..
It was 6 words and a "you bes' listen up look".
 I  could have just handled the "look" but it came with the specific words of  "No swim, no bike, no run". 
I searched for the "gray" in the black and white and it just wasn't there.
My eyes filled. 
I asked if I was done racing. 
I didn't get an answer.
My eyes became blurry.

You see, I give 110%.  In sport, in life, in work, in relationships.  I may not be perfect, but I sure try to be the best I can be in each moment.  If you add that up that's 440% and that is not balance.  I was told I have 110% to give and that was it.  Nearly ALL of which needed to go to healing.

My UC flare comes as no little surprise. We caught it early...this is just part of the process, in reality I had been pretty healthy for a year and a few months. And I did have some doubts at Danskin if it would be my last race.....for a short time, a long time, or ever....time will tell!

 I'm bummed...it could be better, it could be worse.  I will get through, as it is literally a one day at a time thing.
Take that UC!
There really is a whole other world outside of triathlon, but I miss that bubble. It is "known" to me and the "unknown" can be scary, but rewarding as well. I can already see such great improvements in other areas.
The good things: My pinterest is account is getting organized, along with my closets, details on our business are coming together, additional stressors eliminated and each moment of each day has a bit more calmness and collectiveness to it.  Healing feels good, well, actually it hurts and sucks, but it is getting better, so bad is better than the worst.

Take the time out and ask yourself where your 110% falls, choose it wisely, choose moderation, and be happy.  Life is short and so can your time be in sport.  Cherish your moments, surround yourself by good people and hang onto those special moments.  There are lots of mountains to climb, not just physically, but mentally too! Good luck to everyone with fun races left in their 2012 season.  We are SO ready to track your success and jump through the live feed with cheers!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Back to my roots....

This past weekend I got to head back to my college town of Reno.  I was so excited for this trip for may reasons:
I got to see my college, its been 12 years! And Mark got to see my college. Oh the memories!
We spent the majority of our time in Tahoe.
Running trails.
Swimming at North Star.
Hanging out with friends.
Seeing my BFF Kelley!
Meeting new friends. 
And preparing for Ironman Tahoe and camp next year.
Scouting out the course....I really want to tell you all about it, but am concerned it will change...so will save for a later date, but it will be FAST if it stays as published.
If you got signed up for this you are signed up for one amazingly epic day!!!!
But most importantly we went to our friends Karissa and Todd's wedding at Martis Camp. Thank you for letting us share in your special day!
We had an amazing trip and are excited to add this venue to our travel plans a few times over next year.
I am happy to say that I logged a total of 3 hours of training last week. Progress!

One of the great lap pools at North Star. 6 miles to race start.
Kings Beach. Iroman Tahoe race start!
Trails at North Star.
The Marker Wedding at Martis Camp.


Friday, September 07, 2012


This disease is no joke and it is unbelieveable to me that it can be so destructive in such a short time frame. Bed rest for me.....Dr B (Dr Bohorfoush, just try to pronounce that, best gastro ever!) was right when he said I was on a tipping point, I believed him....but still like to believe in being invincible on most days.  Being ordered to rest is harder than being told to go do an ironman.  Ironman easy, rest hard. 

Loving to ride.......Being in the moment.....

This flare up started about 3 weeks ago.  I had stopped taking immuran (250mg) because I was sleeping my life away.  2-3 hour naps,daily (yes, who has time for that!) just don't seem acceptable, especially on these gorgeous Seattle summer days.  The doctor agreed, but made me book an appointment six weeks post stopping the medicine.  Low and behold 6 weeks marked the signs of being sick. Dang, he is always right! Give me the naps and let me be ME.
 I have been ordered immuran again and nasty prednisone (still on humira too). The puffy face and hair loss have begun.  The good thing is I think we have caught this one soon enough that, so long as I listen and obey then my days in the hospital could be at zero, the doctor threatened yesterday...not funny!   I have lost near 5 pounds and staying hydrated is a big challenge, so exercise is a no-go. Seriously sore from just "being" at the current moment.

Ready to leave this flare behind me.......
My hopes are that these meds kick in during the next couple weeks and I will be able to resume my daily activities, you know, work, eat, exercise.....seems so minor but I can't see myself watching a whole other season of "Million Dollar Listing", "Dance Moms","Kardashians"and maybe a little bit of that "Toddlers and Tiaras". We are going to go broke with the On Demand Rentals. Oh, the guilty pleasures. But someone once said "if it provides pleasure then you should never feel guilty". Right?! (of course they are not aware of my shopping habits!) Really I am losing brain cells! But I am willing to sacrifice a month or two of training and racing if it means I can get back to some normalcy sooner than later.
Theres is a lot of debating and contemplating going on in my head at this point, but I am just going to stay positive and chalk this flare up as a reminder that I  need to be extra careful with this body I am given and keep looking forward.

Up next is a lovely wedding in Tahoe and being an official spectator at Leadman 250....someday I look forward to that race, it sounds so EPIC!

Looking forward to chasing my shadow again soon!
To all those racing, enjoy your day and appreciate your health!  Nothing can be taken for granted.  I will be diligently tracking the races online while creating a permanent booty mold on my sofa. Who knows I may take up ceramics!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Seattle Danskin 2012 Race Report

I have a little soft spot for this race.  This was my first triathlon ever in 2001.  I was a newbie who borrowed a bike, put on bike gloves, fretted over getting lost and just wanted to try something new since graduating from college. 

1st triathlon-Danskin ever. Don't laugh too hard....yikes!!!
I never thought that this one event would "have me at hello".  I remember watching the elite wave,  idolizing the winner, and someday wanting to be like them.  I made it a goal of mine to one day win this race.  I raced elite the following year, and the one after that, and every year until 2008.   Each year hoping it would be "the year". I trained on the only hill on the run over and over knowing every crack and rivet on it since it was my weakest portion in the race. I looked up to all those girls that would win and just someday dreamed it would be me.

I cracked the top 10, I had flat tires, I was 3rd, I was 2nd.....

My first race there being a 1:24 (I think) and my fastest being 1:05, but never being the overall winner.

Hugging mom at finish.
Eventually Lake Stevens 70.3 started falling on the same weekend so I was cheering my heart out for TNM athletes racing there.   This year, however, LS moved up a month and my lifelong friend, Rebecca, messaged that she was going to do Danskin as her first triathlon and that sealed the deal for me.  I signed up immediately.

I went into this race with a ton of worry.  My UC had started flaring up the week prior and I had a doctors appointment on Wednesday and was told if I raced this could be my last race in a long while.  I only swam the week leading up, as that has the least amount of stress on my gut and was left resting, A LOT.  I chose to race on Saturday morning knowing that this just may be my first and last race ever.  Figured if I couldn't race this one I wouldn't be able to race the upcoming ones thereafter, so I went for it!  I wanted to fulfill my bucket list goal. 

Sunday arrived and I was calm, yet nervous with my gut issues.  I prayed it would hold up for a little over an hour...that was all I was asking. 

I was excited to have my mom and my in-laws and Mark there to watch.  They were able to watch the entire swim, even seeing me stop and "look" for the buoys.  It can be tough to site with kayaks in front of them.  But needless to say it was a smooth swim.  I popped out of the water with a 1:30 lead swimming the half a mile in a little over 10 minutes.

As I mounted the bike (smoother than LS I might add) the motorcyclist was waiting.  I had been in this spot many times before and just hoped that the ride would go smoothly. Mark  had gotten me a Zipp Disc for my birthday and I was excited to finally have the opportunity to ride the wheel.  My specialized Shiv road flawlessly and my Cyclops kept me honest.  The goal was to keep the power as high as possible.  I sipped on powerbar perform and had a Powergel midway through the ride back into Genesee Park.  The course was 11.5 miles (30:52)

The run was flat and fast and 3 miles even.  The out and back on Lake Washington Blvd was also lead by a motorcycle.  I hit the hill that I had trained on many times over and remembered how to run it and still have my legs for a final push to the chute. It was fun to have an escort and to have it all the way to the finish line. (21:25).  Finishing in 1:04.42.

It has taken me 11 years to finally cross that tape in first.  I was so relived, so happy, and reminded of just how far I have come since that first race in 2001.
With 2nd place Maddie Graham, 19 years old, whose mom has won Danskin too! She is going to go very far in this sport!
There are several girls out there in the same boat as me, doing Danskin for the first time and dreaming big.  My friend Rebecca smiled her way into the finish line and it was so great to share this day with her.  Keep dreaming and believing!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Fat Salmon 3'ish mile Race Report

"Where's Teresa?" Was a common phrase used at this last weekends Fat Salmon swim race.  This was my 4th year in a row of participating. Coming off last weekends race with a fantastic swim for me I hadn't put much thought into this one. I am experienced at this event. I won the first two years, got 4th last year with little training and this year was wanting to get back on top.
FS swim start. Photo from FS FB page.

I started out like any other swim race and 300 yards (thanks garmin 910 for the metrics) in something happened. I had been swimming comfortable right along side friend/coach Kainoa and a human flock came swimming at us from the side.  Immediately it felt like my wetsuit was a cotton sweater in the dry cycle, my goggles magically had black masking tape over them, and the lake was boiling.  I flipped to my back to try to end this frenzy when I saw the masses coming at me. I put pressure on myself that I had to regain my composure FAST, but it wasn't going away. Fellow lane mate at master workouts, Heather Bales, happened to stop and ask if I was okay.  Panically or manically saying "no" she helped wave support over and went on her way when they were coming to help.  Waiting for eternity for help I became a flailing fish alternating between tearing my wetsuit off and floating on my backside.

When the super-hero arrived I jumped on the surf board in tears of distress and endless words of trying to make this lifeguard somewhat believe that I "could" be normal.  In surfer-style he chilled, with my composure regained I questioned "well, now what?". 

Could I be paddled over to the one miler and try to do that? Or hop right back in the lake and finish up the event.....hmmm.... The lifeguard asked "Well, do you think you can catch up to the group?". Was that a challenge? :) 

I tackled putting the wetsuit back on while balancing on a surfboard. Meanwhile, the head lifeguard guru came over to check on me.  He knows me, I employed him at Seattle Athletic Club for years, he has been a kayak supporter for me and all the other triathletes for years. So it was a surprise to him to believe that I was the one absorbing his staff's time with my panic.

I plopped back in the water (10' later) and began my swim race.  Going from 1st (or very close to that place) to dead last in the matter of 1' was an eye opener.  I gave myself a few minutes to settle in and then decided I could start working hard, I felt safe, so off  to pass as many orange hats in the remaining miles ahead.

I did a lot of "soul searching" during this time. Trying to figure out what went wrong.  I wrapped my head around a few things:

1. I had not gone through my normal race planning/visualization. I had taken my swim for granted, never really thinking that the "race" could be over in the first 5'. Next time I will make sure I put myself in the most safe place for me and prepare my mind for the worst.  Proper planning is key to success.

2. When in a panic I made it worse because I couldn't get back to swimming soon enough.  The take-away- IF this ever happens again I will take my time, focus on my breathing and calming myself.  The episode MAY not have lasted as long had I been patient with the process.

3. Stress. The day leading up my mind was occupied. I had not slept much either. And not that the sleep was the culprit, but the busy mind may have been a factor.  When the panic set in my mind was literally telling my body "I will NOT but up with this stress the next hour of this race". It really did say that!  It literally forced my body to stop racing. Moving forward- I will keep my mind calm and minimize unnecessary stress knowing that it WILL effect my race.

Open water swimming is stressful, it is challenging, and it takes a strong mind to get through the start, pace properly and deal with all the blows, bells, and whistles.  My body showed up but mind was not in the game.

As the event continued I also was thankful for the episode, thankful I was capable of getting back in, thankful of the experience to make me stronger for next years event, and hoping that my experience will be a lesson to many.

Throughout the three miles I paid more attention to landmarks, to sighting, to finding direct paths to make me stronger in years to come. I searched for Webb and swam alongside him a bit.  I swam into the finish as strong as ever and knew that today's event was a life-changer for me. 
Finish line!  Made it! Photo from Dave Johnson

Athletes and friends were wondering "where" I had been, and "why" I was not in sooner.  Let this be a lesson that on some days your game plan can change in an instant and crossing the line is sometimes the biggest accomplishment no matter what the clock reads.

Thank you to Liz Rosen at Fat Salmon for another amazing event, well organized, fun, supported and a sell-out each year! And congratulations to all the fish out there.

Fat Salmon....I will be back!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lake Stevens 70.3 Race Report 2012

Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better- Pat Riley
Lake Stevens swim course. Photo by Joey Compton.

I ALWAYS try to look at the positives with every race, although, I was quite disappointed in Hawaii.  I could come up with several reasons as to why it was such a low, but I chose to take away from it the improvements.
If every race were perfect we would never learn, never have much more desire and never find that extra little bit that drives us one step further.
I made some changes to my training post-Hawaii. Nothing too big, just more swim focus (frequency, not in volume) and more bike focus.  I had a REAL agenda going into Lake Stevens, quite simply,it looked something like this:
#1 Give the swim everything, from the get go.  Prove to myself that I can swim and RACE.
#2 Give the bike all I got.  Watts higher than Hawaii.
#3 Run with whatever I had left and aim for sub 8’s.
(This is not how I typically race. This was actually thought out and planned as my run fitness would pretty much land me the same no matter how I paced on the bike….it’s the truth J)

TYR Freak of Nature!
I feel this was my best swim race of my ENTIRE triathlon career yet and it was in my all-time favorite wetsuit the TYR Freak of Nature. My plan was to not get punched…yes, I had decided I was going to control this. And to put my head down, swim my heart out and never let up. I changed my normal plan and had my gel 15' (instead of 10') before the start and went without the caffeine, this helped in not making me feel nauseous from the get-go.  I started my watch when the pro men left (2 minutes early) so I had nothing to think about but waiting for the gun. I put my head down for 12 supa-dupa-fast strokes (4 more than normal) and took my first breathe and no one was beside me.  Hallelujah!!!! I went straight for the buoy cable and swam right on top of it. I imagined it as a pool lane line and remained dead-center over it.  Knowing each and every stroke was moving me directly forward.  I would sight every-so-often and decide how many strokes to the next buoy, count them out, site, move to the right and then get right back on the cable.  At the pro meeting they told us that the “direct path” was not to follow the buoys on the way in. So as soon as I could see the finish “arch” I moved over and aimed for it. I knew someone was on my feet around the lake as I would get a few taps on the toes here and there.  With the final few yards to go Tenille Hoogland put the hammer down and came out first (she had an amazing come-back race placing 2nd overall for the day!). I was so happy to really feel like I could swim again!!!!  The biggest highlight was the face plant I did coming out of the water….oops.
T1: Spent forever in trying to get my wetsuit over my garmin….grrr!!!
Photo Courtesy of Kevin Tu
If I pushed my hardest the whole ride I could hold a HR of 158-160.  I did this for the first hour and then my body was FROZEN. I kept aiming for my cadence goal as I watch my HR dip further and further south as my body was becoming an icicle in motion. I started counting down the time to get off the bike.  2 hours, 1:30, 2x30’, 30’….etc. My body stiffening, descending in rain, and thinking I would be pulled from the race was not how I wanted to feel on this ride.  I continued to give it my all, being aware that my hydration was low because I was way too cold to drink.  The conversation between my chattering teeth and my mind were not agreeing. Beth Walsh passed in the final 10’ish miles and it forced me to have a self-talk of a lil’ “suck it up sista”.  Not enough fluid and 6 yummy Powerbar gels later, the dismount line was in site. The ride was a huge improvement, holding 10 watts higher than Hawaii and the highest ever since my return.  The goal was to be stronger and I was!
Photo by Joey Compton
I felt great the first 2 miles but my gut forced me to the port-o-let for a couple minutes at mile 3. From there on I just stuck with my goal of trying to hold sub-8’s which would be a huge improvement over Hawaii. And that I did. My gut was not happy which I normally do not experience as much in a half but with my choice-lack-of-fluids on the bike I couldn't expect perfection.  In the last two miles I tuned out everything and ran my fastest miles of the day.
Soaking up the final stretch!

To say I am happy is the truth, to say I am content….absolutely not.  The flame is burning deep inside, there is more.

I have never, race a local BIG race where we have tons of TNM athletes racing. Choosing to do this one since I had not raced Lake Stevens since 2007 and I really wanted that home-town feel…beyond euphoric. With 23 TNM athletes on the course and a team tent full of amazing supporters I was beaming.  TNM family….you rock!
TNM LOVE!!! Photo by Joey Compton

Striving. Believing.Dreaming.

Thank you to TYR for the amazing gear-goggles to site, a comfy wetsuit, and cozy racing gear- this girl could not ask for anything more!
To Powerbar for keeping me fueled, recovered, and a little less hungry!
To Cyclops for the power to see the power!
To Gerks and Specialized for the bike that is smooth!
To Rudy Project for keeping my head and eyeballs safe!
To Zoot for the non-blister, light, colorful shoes that keep my feet happy!
To Seattle Athletic Club downtown for the massages, the amazing trainers (pilates and Kurt Kinetic) and the healthy enviroment I get to be in all year-round!
To lululemon for the super sporty-girly outfits to keep me running!
To 110% and Recovery boots for keeping my legs from screaming at me!
To all my coaches for just being YOU!
To my TNM-family....you inspire!
To my friends, family, and husband....I love you!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Friday Night Swim Race Race Report

Long overdue indeed.

I love this race.  Lots of TNM participants, low-key, very well organized (Thank you Raise the Bar), and my favorite sport, really can't ask for much more.

We left super-early to beat traffic to Kent on a Friday night.
Which gave me plenty of time to “think” about the race,  I’ll admit, B and C races I don’t put too much thought into, just go in and give it all I got…or something of that sort.  But there is something about the smaller races that also make me more nervous than the bigger ones. So in “thinking” out loud to Mark  I had a lot to go over:

Positive thinking:
Hawaii swimming days!
*I had put in a ton of swimming in Hawaii (Linsey you rock)and beyond and was feeling strong in the water.
*I love swimming.
*Great practice race.
*I love racing!

Race Strategy:

*Start out conservative
*Pace myself with the group/people I am comfortable swimming with.
*Build and then “hang on”
*"If it is super close, you sprint to the finish" (that was Mark’s advice!).

I lined up for the start with the New TYR Freak of Nature. So comfy! I was alongside my husband and 3 other soon to be TNM Ironman CDA finishers.  I knew there was a strong field in the group. Mike who attends the swim classes I teach at Seattle Athletic Club downtown and my friend/teammate Linsey who is one tough cookie.  When the going gets tough this girl can dig deep like no one I have ever seen.  She just happened to swim 3 (yes 3!) open water swim miles that morning in prep for her upcoming 11 mile swim race.

Mike and Linsey post-race
I am never one to start out sprinting, make me incredibly nauseous, so I put up with people yanking at my feet while they sprint the first 100 or 200 or whatever yards.  About mid-way through the first straight-a-way through a two loop course the petting of my feet stopped and I could see someone  ahead, whom had picked a totally different route of swimming the course.  I stayed directly in line with the buoys.  I figured at this point that swimmers would be on my feet and I kept it conservative trying to stay in my comfortable place so I could use my matchsticks for later.   Rounding the first turn buoy I did a quick check and could see some swimmers behind, but none right on my feet. Phew…this helped settle me a bit so I could swim at my own pace without the pressure of others. I kept my sights on the one swimmer ahead.  I knew the stroke but I swore it was Linsey.  1st loop I checked my watch around 26’. Never super accurate as I always start my watch early to be ready for the gun to go off AND I can’t do math and race at the same time. But this is where I had “estimated” I would be so knew I was swimming solid. Loop two I started making ground on the swimmer ahead and had small vision of possibly winning. After the final turn buoy I really gave it what all I had left and could feel my face burning hot and my fingertips going tingly numb.

Laura and I.
I popped out of the water as second swimmer, and found the first swimmer was Mike the whole time.  I had won overall women afterall.  I know if Miss Linsey were not swimming over 16 miles that week that this would have been a much closer race and I am excited to see her flourish in just a few short weeks at her big event!

I was lucky to meet Laura who is a fabulously strong swimmer and triathlete, but it was her kindness and sweet smile that stuck me the most.  She had an awesome swim winning herself a cinnamon roll that looks to-die for!

Thanks to RTB for the fabulous fun event and the super yummy 40 pound pie!  With Mark a few weeks away from CDA it didn’t disappear within 2 days like last year!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Hawaii 70.3 Race Report and Rainbows

"The way I see it, if you want to see the rainbow, sometimes you gotta put up with the rain." -Dolly Parton

I have pondered this race report for days now. Mixed emotions on all accounts but trying to use logic over feelings to decipher where I am, where I am going, and how far I have come.

I am still searching, reaching and striving for "that moment". That moment that comes around only a few times in a lifetime where you know you have put your heart and soul and every inch of your mind and body into something and have finally arrived to that "dream" moment. In no way did I expect Hawaii 70.3 to be that day. In fact, it showed me just how much further I have to go, scary and exciting all at the same time.

My body has shown improvements in all three disciples, in fact I raced to my absolute fitness potential on that day in terms of numbers (watts/HR/pace).  I really couldn't have asked for a better day. This excites me. Although, when reaching for the stars I actually wanted to touch the moon.

S/B/R report:

The swim started off brutal for me. The first 10 seconds landed me kicked in the eye, swinging arms in the face, the timing chip unhooked, my cap moved from its "comfortable position", and my watch being unhooked.  Yep, turned over on my back twice to fix the goggles and some other small items.  Pack be gone...I didn't care.  By the first buoy I was caught up and swimming with friends in a somewhat "easy" effort, I didn't want to make any pass here because the water was ferocious and knew I would just be working 10 times harder to swim the same pace.  After the final turn (not sure where a yellow buoy showed up, they were all red at the start) I picked it up on the final stretch.

The bike was challenging for me.  This is where I need to make some huge improvements (that will help with the run too). I was slow to get on my bike and rode solo for a very, very, very long time.  Seeing the other pro girls up ahead.  Climbing to Hawi I am not sure I really paid attention to what I was doing but was more concerned on how the heck I was going to get back down with the wind and the rain (ie:slippery roads).  Yep, I was scared out of my mind.  Hence spending very little time in aero and much more time sitting up, talking and singing to myself out loud ("The Voice" should be calling for audition requests soon soon). I have never wanted to run so bad in my life!

The run actually surprised me.  No, not my time, but the fact that I felt strong throughout, my heart rate was in its perfect spot and I never let up the entire run. Even when the winds had me feeling like I was watching "The Bachelorette" on the treadmill I was still able to find some humor and enjoy the moment.  Seeing the man who sees me struggle, flourish, and dream-big waiting for me at the other end of the finish line made the race that much more worthwhile.

I was happy to finish knowing I put out a strong effort, knowing I raced to my current capabilities. 

What I need the most work on is my mental state. The nerves,the pressure, the uneasiness I feel before, during and after a race are much different.  Things that used to come "easy" are much more of a challenge.  I need practice racing, and getting outside of my mental comfort zone. Therefore I have lots of races ahead.  I will conquer this!

I question-how much longer to be back where I was, to surpass where I was, how much harder do I need to work, I am reminded of having to be patient, I self-doubt, I question my abilities, and then wake up the next day with the fire in my belly, knowing what I am capable of, what I can achieve, and where I am striving to be. 

Thank you to all those that continue to help me, guide me, and support me!  TYR, Gerk's Cycles, TN Multisports, Powerbar, Rudy Project, Cyclops, Lululemon, Seattle Athletic Club, 110%, Recovery Boots, Curt, Dr Perry, Justin, Mom and Mark!  Because of you, dreams will come true!

"The soul would have not rainbow, had the eyes no tears" -John V. Cheyney

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hawaiian Days

We have arrived, our third year at Hawaii 70.3.

Been looking forward to this start line for two years now, being this was the last “real” race I was able to do. As with most case scenarios, things have not gone down without a hitch since returning to full-time training. It has been a slow process and been bogged down with the flu was not what I had in mind.  However, by mid-week last week I was coming around. And I can never pass up the opportunity to do what I love.  So as Hawaii 70.3 approaches I am anxious and nervous at the same time to be at the start line once again.

The big talk of the town (besides Lance) is the wind, the heat, the wind and the heat. The uncontrollable. So each day we embrace what the Hawaiian gods grant us and “go with it”.

Day 1: A ride out to Hawi. Felt great, heart rate was 10 beats higher but this is normal upon arriving in hotter climates. Wind? No wind…..until I flipped around to head back to Mauna Lani.  The person singing out loud and screaming mantras at herself while walking her bike three times may or may not have been me.  Yikes!

Day 2: Perfect riding weather!!!! Until milepost 16.  Then it was side rain with low visibility. But it made for the most gorgeous rainbow.

Day 3: Somehow convinced my supportive mother to ride alongside me (just to feel like lance) while I ran. This kept the motivation factor up, as the run out was a little disturbing with the ferocious headwind.  But running 3’ per mile faster on the way home made up for it!

Day 4: Ride out was windy, but nothing like day 1.  Although my first interval came to a halt mid-way due to the dreaded flat tire.  Carry on, carry on!

Although sometimes frightened by the conditions here, arriving to the race early to train and get used to the weather tends to help me each year.  Also finding the moments that make me smile the most ease some of the anxiousness of race.  Swimming everyday (and with fab swim buddies!) creates calmness to my never-stop-thinking-mind. And finding heaven under the ocean has already made this trip a gazillion times over worthwhile.

Friday, May 25, 2012

UC and Triathlon

A few requests is all I need to put some UC (ulcerative colitis) information out there for those of you googling "UC and triathlon" over and over! I've been there trying to decide if I could or could not race and in search of people I could relate too.I am covering several topics briefly to outline what I have found works for me, in hopes that readers can find some hope in understanding that they are not alone. I am happy to answer any questions via my personal email listed at end of post.  Never hesitate to reach out!

I am not a medical professional on this topic. And I am only speak from my experience and how I have dealt and felt since the age of 24. Here are some blunt facts on my life.

On Flare-Ups:

*I have had 3 flare ups.  Each one gets worse and worse and worse. 
*Remissions tend to last 2-ish years.
*Stress is what ultimately will send me in a downward spiral to a flare.
*Daily there are minor issues but these can be dealt with, it is the flares that are beyond life changing.

On Food:
*The nutrition books are guidelines, but I have had no success with them.
*My findings are that during a flare vegetables, dairy, and fruit are the worst things I can give my body. 
*Chicken broth and jello are my foods of choice during a flare.
*Sometimes all my body needs is a big hamburger or a giant cookie and I feel much better (yep, against all nutrition books). My thoughts on this is that I haven't "eaten" for days and it does not make my gut worse at all, in fact, I feel better.
*Food does not cause a flare, no evidence, but when sick some foods can make it worse.  I find each flare up responds to different foods and studies find that this is the case with many. Ie: Oatmeal may effect you now, but not when in remission or during another flare

On Medicines:
*First flare up- Prednisone, Asacol, Canasa (hair loss, no weight gain)
*Second flare up- Prednisone, asacol and some liquid suppository, imuran (sorry, it grosses me out too!), anti-nausea medicine (hair loss, nausea, puffy face)
*Third flare up-Remicade (6 months), Humira (following Remicade), imuran, prednisone, anti-nausea medicine, vicodine, maxalt (vomiting, nausea, puffy face, hair loss, fatigue, headaches)
*Currently- Humira every 2 weeks, 200 mg imuran, maxalt as needed
*Even when feeling great you must take your medicines. I struggle with this because I do feel side effects of them. BUT, I am not sure I can handle a flare up worse than the previous one.

On training:
*Training is a huge stressor.
*I have to do as much as I can to limit it as a stressor by keeping a balance between sleep, work, and training.
*I sleep a min of 9 hours a night and typically take 1-2 hour naps three or more times a week.
*I train 12-16 hours a week now (far less than before)
*Hydration is a key component in my gut letting me train.  Make sure you are ALWAYS drinking. I get hydration IV's from my doc to help with this
*A missed workout is a missed workout...no makeups...your body is telling you something.
*Running....oh the anxiety!!!  I've found I can only do intervals and even tempo runs (z2+) no more than 1x/week.  I COULD do more but I spend more time looking for restrooms than I do actually running.

*You are the biggest advocate of your body.
*Find a coach that will listen to you and work "with" you.  If you know your body can not handle "x" then let them know.
*Never expect anyone to understand what you are truly dealing with.  Trust that you do know what is best for your body and listen to yourself. Being type-A I often find myslef thinking I am being lazy, or "talking" myself down from hard training. This is NOT the case.  Trust in YOU!
*The people that matter are the ones that you can talk with and who will not judge you or make you feel "less" because of your disease. Those are the people that matter....keep them close by!

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I know the rule "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all".  But I also have goals.  And gosh, I will post 5 times this month! And I don't have much "nice" to report this week.

I am Cranky-crankerson with the flu.  Sitting on the couch for a week now, was not what was in my plan leading up to *gulp* less than 4 weeks to Honu 70.3. 

Looking at the positives:
* I had some super GREAT training weeks/weekends leading up to my puke-fest.
*My cats and I are spending real quality time together
*I am rested.
*The less training the more I geek-out on training data. Just try to stump me on athletes' TrainingPeaks files and WKO+ numbers.
*Two of my most favorite races (ST Croix and Wildflower) took place last weekend so I was fully entertained for a few hours tracking all you speedy athletes! Congrats! Not to mention all you bad-arses that did St George....WOWZA!

As an athlete it can be such a challenge to take time off, especially in the middle of the season. But reminding ourselves that fitness is not gained, nor lost overnight. Fitness comes from consistent, days, years and  a lifetime of hard work. There are no short-cuts to regain any lost time in fitness either. Trust me this past year has been my most-challenging athletic year to-date. Any athlete taking 1, 2 or even more weeks off, it is key to take your time building back up in order to ensure you can be consistent leading into more important races. For me it has been  the little steps, the little peeks of minor fitness gains over and over that I am looking back on to keep my head on straight right now. Being an athlete is so much more than just showing up to races and being faster than the previous race. The more challenging component is how you deal with the curve balls and how you build yourself back up along the journey.

Less than 4 weeks to Honu. Which was my final big race before the Ulcerative Colitis took over a chunk of my time two years ago. I want to race there more than anything. Everything happens for a reason and the body can heal in amazing ways.....so hurry it up flu!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

April finalized!

I only had to post one more time in April, a total of two times to hit my resolution and I did not quite succeed.  Planning on making up for it this month with 2 additional pots.  Pressure is on now! I am a great procrastinator and a great excuse maker.  Really? I think everyone I know has a birthday in April, which means fun all day, everday, non stop plans.  I love it! 

To finish off April here are the highlights:
* I feel like I have climbed mountains....over and over again...

* My birthday!  Tiffany's box and a Disc wheel.  I think my husband knows me VERY well!

* Opening Day at Safeco Field with Mom and Chris and Webb. Along with pre-game mingle with Rebecca at Pink Door.

* Wenatchee training weekend.  Epic riding, epic climbing, epic FUN with great friends! And bread pudding to top it all off.

* Webb's birthday: Costa Rica monkey coffee mugs were in order, another 7 hour training day, and FOOD!

* Joined a new club: The leave your car running all day club.  2012 4-runner for anyone wanting it with a tank of gas, assuming you take a hold of it within the first 2 hours of it running in parking garage located one block north of the Pike Place Market. It turned off somewhere within the 8 hours I was at work. Not such a good-not-so-blonde moment....oops!

* Quarq.  It was reading me some really high numbers, good thing I have trained with HR so long.  Finally got the thing working again, but really it took a lot of time. Thanks to John for helping me out.

*Power training seminar with Joe Friel!  Loved it!

*Nails with Elizabeth continue to be a monthly ritual.

*House refinanced.

*Pinterest officially owns me.  Baked more in a month than total times in the 5 years Mark and I have been together. Considerngi this a "good" time-sucker. From cookies, to donut-muffins, easter bark and bars, to mexican lasagna, I am discovering how to utilize some cookware I didn't even know I owned!

*Next up. Duathlon this weekend, CDA training camp, Honu 70.3, Luna Chix Run Clinic, and our 2-year anniversary, and one of my best buds is pregnant. 
*Life is good!