Monday, December 31, 2007

Highlights of 2007..

1. I finally got back into the training/racing groove. I did PRs in a half IM, sprint, and Oly. I finished 3rd in the Southwest Triathlon Series, doing 12 races in all.

2. My mother-in-law finished chemotherapy and is in pretty good shape right now.

3. Got to see the whole family twice this fall. Too much fun-I love those little grand-kids. This is the payoff for all the work of parenting.

4. Got to travel to Phoenix, Costa Rica, Peru, St. Louis, Santa Cruz, Long Beach, Cancun, many places in New Mexico, Denver and even Lubbock & Alpine, Texas!

5. I served my Jury Duty for the decade. What a pain in the ass..

6. I had pretty much all of my body tested, ultrasounds and a biopsy and have a relatively clean bill of health. A few odds and ends of preventative medicine and I hope to stay that way.

7. We had a major flood at the cabin in Chama but got a remodel out of it and it is more beautiful than ever!

8. Hartley and I completed our first full year of "retirement" and have had the best year of our life/relationship. All the hard work and now it is harvest time-it is the best really.

9. I started blogging for the first time and it has opened a whole new world for me. I thought Geekgirl was a little off to be honest when she started talking about the blog thing until I started it. Now I can't stop! I have met some amazing peeps through all this. Plus I have a running diary of my life, which I cannot seem to remember much of these days. I get to keep up with the folks in triathlon land, even if I don't see them often.

10. I lost the last 8 lbs that I have been "lugging" around for a couple of years. I feel better than I have in 5 years. Maybe the hormones are finally settling down. Maybe menopause is over-yea!! No more hot flashes..

Goals for 2008 tomorrow..

Saturday, December 29, 2007

This and that over the holidays..

Below is a pic from my daughter's 30th BD party. Guess which ones are my daughters? The other woman is Linda, my daughter's mother-in-law. We had a great time in Denver the days before Christmas.

This is Hartley and I on Christmas Eve in Taos, where we celebrated with daughters Heidi and Heather, granddaughter Avery, son-in-law Jack and his family. It was a white Christmas there! Wonderful time at dinner at Joseph's Table, Julia Roberts favorite hangout (we didn't see her though).

This is the view from our new window at the cabin in Chama. We arrived here yesterday to much snow. The recently added window is the perfect place to sit and enjoy coffee and breakfast in the morning. It is very cold here (10 degrees at the moment). I am busy stoking the fire in the woodstove every little while, being the pioneer woman that I am. Our plan is to stay here most of the next month, until H's BD on the 22nd at least so we will see how the mountain people really live. That is with our internet, Tivo, satellite TV and 4-wheel drive-really roughing it! Ironman training starts very soon. More about that later!

As I rode on my trainer this morning, this was the view out our window. I tried to catch the deer that ran across the road but I guess he was camera shy-didn't get him. I want to be running down that road in my new Yak trax tomorrow but it better be a bit warmer or I am opting for more trainer riding and Yoga tapes.

Monday, December 24, 2007


I've been tagged by Cindy! So here are 5 unusual or interesting things you may not know about me:

1. I wanted to be an actress from the time I was a little girl. I actually wanted to be Shirley Temple. I had a lead in my high school musical-"Plain and Fancy" I majored in Drama my first year of college. Then it seems my major switched to partying and it was downhill from there for a few years. My dream is to do acting again after this triathlon thing is out of me.

2. I am an orphan. My parents were both chronically ill and passed away in their 60s. It has been very difficult to adjust to especially after my mom died 13 years ago. As I get older, I realize this is just part of the life cycle only I experienced it a bit sooner than some. My hubby's mom is still alive and for that I am grateful. She is very loving to me and it has eased the pain alot.

3. I was a swimmer growing up (now you wouldn't know that by my swim times now!). When I was 8 years old, the lifeguard saw me swimming (I was about a foot taller than other girls my age) and asked me if I wanted to join the swim team. I swam and won until the other kids caught up with my height, then I wasn't so good. But it was fun and some of my best childhood memories are being on the swim team. I swam competitively until my first year of college when the above major kicked in (partying) and I got side-tracked.

4. I am completely neurotic about being on time. I am compulsively early to the airport for trips. I get extremely annoyed with people who are chronically late. The older I get, the less stressed I get if I am running late but it still is important to me to be on time.

5. I was married to my first husband for 10 years. He was an alcoholic and I was insane which made for an inevitable ending. We did however, manage to produce 2 amazing kids and for that I am grateful. It took me years of therapy to get out and get through the ending of that relationship. I have now been happily married to my hubby for 15 years. Therapy works!

I now tag Vickie, Amy, Becca, Lisa,Heather.

We are off to Taos to have Christmas Eve with other kids and grand-daughter Avery. Be back soon!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A brief update and it is COLD here!!

We are back from Cancun where I disconnected from everything including my computer, Blackberry, phone and life for 10 days of beach lying, eating and reading and generally just hanging out and resting. I am well except for the annoying runny nose. I had an absessed tooth while in Mexico and had to have it pulled. It is a long story but perhaps this is the reason for all my sickness-who knows? More about that later. We are home for one day then off to Denver tomorrow for Becca's 30th birthday. I cannot believe it has been 30 years since I brought that little baby home in her Santa Suit on Christmas Day-sniff, sniff..

Hartley decided to sign up for Ironman Arizona so I have 2 IM's for 2008. Should be a fun and challenging year!

Sorry I haven't been able to read or post on anyone's blogs lately but will hopefully be able to catch up on that in the next week or so. Happy holidays to everyone!!

More later from the rested Ironmaiden..

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Another day of sickness and PR..

I did another PR yesterday while being sick with a cold. What is up with that? Of course everyone says it is the massive cold medication I was on. So what! I am so psyched-I like to think it was the visualizations from the Mark Allen Seminar that did it. I also like to visualize my favorite Dolphin that almost kissed me while diving in Costa Rica. Whatever! Here is what happened:

We arrived on Friday night at the base pretty late at night. Our friend Lisa is in the military and scored us some rooms on the base. It took a good 45 minutes to clear us on to the base-seemed like mighty tight security but we made it..I was really stuffed up by now with the cold and coughing so I slugged down some NyQuil and slept like a rock until 5:00 AM. I awoke to the wind howling outside about 25 MPH. That is not good-I thought.. We were about 300 feet from the transition area (thank you again Lisa). I got down there and got my bike at the best spot and proceeded to check in. The wind was gusting so hard by bike almost fell over while putting air in it. I ran into S.Baboo in the transition area and he exclaimed gleefully "Now this is how a Polar Bear triathlon should be!" I wanted to slap his Sweet Little Baboo face but I smiled and said "I think this wind is a bit much"..As the sun started to rise, the wind died down a little but not much. I overdressed for the run, which was first-I was so paranoid of being cold. Now I didn't realize this at the time but apparently about 30 people were in line still trying to get into the base. If you arrived at the gate at 6:30, you barely made the start at 8:00. The RD was not going to hold up the start. More about that later. So we started right at 8:00. A coughdrop in my mouth, I felt good from the start, although was peeling off layers of clothing right away. Off came the gloves, jacket, ear warmers. I felt so good, I picked up the pace. I was not wearing a watch but knew I was at a pretty good pace. I kept passing people as I ran, one woman I knew was in my AG. Finally-I passed someone in my AG on the run-now that is a first!! When I came around the corner and realized I did the run in 37 minutes I was ecstatic! It was a 7k run which made my pace under 9 min. mile! Holy cow! My legs really hurt so I knew I may pay on the bike but I figured what do Ihave to lose? I quickly made the decision not to take my jacket on the bike, which I somewhat regretted late, but I was so hot by now. The sun was out, it was in the 50s I am guessing but as soon as I got out on the bike I thought 'Uh-oh, here is the wind now' and boy was there wind. The whole 18 miles it seemed like I was in a headwind. How is this possible? There was a short 5 miles or so where the wind was at my back but I was in aero position the whole time trying to fight the 20MPH or so wind. It was exhausting! I think I averaged about 15 MPH which isn't bad considering the wind factor. At about mile 15, a woman who whooped my ass last year in my AG whipped by me. Thank goodness, she has aged up, I thought. No other women passed me so I was hopeful for the win..I got to T-2 and it was very interesting trying to rip off all your clothes with cold hands and wobbly legs but I did it. I forgot to take off my ear warmers that were around my neck, which I realized about halfway through the swim. Oh, that water felt sooooo good! like a hot tub after the cold wind! I couldn't wait to get in..I swam pretty good, although I think i forgot I was racing about halfway through the swim. H said it looked like I slowed down. Anyway, I felt good and when I got out the clock said 1:57. H was waiting there with a warm towel-he was such a good sport and I know was upset because he couldn't race (still nursing the leg injury) So that was my total time-I'll take that! I don't have my splits but I would guess my bike was about 1:10 and my swim about 11 min, counting in the transitions because no chip timing at this race. I stayed as my fellow NM Outlaws finished. For two of them, it was their first triathlon! I think that is pretty awesome considering the wind on that bike.. So after showering, we all headed to after race luncheon where we were suppose to receive our awards. after lunch however, it was announced that 4 people were still on the bike course and awards would not be given out until all had finished. Apparently, since the RD decided not to wait for the people at the base gate to get in, some started as much as an hour later. The RD would not take into consideration that they were late so we all had the same start time. WTF???? I guess he announced later-tough beans if you were late-next time get here sooner or don't come at all! What an A-hole! So to make a long story short, we left before the awards ceremony because the Southwest Challenge Series awards were being held at a different venue and we didn't want to miss those. So after driving for what seemed like forever in the mountains to a picnic spot, we found that ceremony. H got his first place award, I got my third place, which were champagne bottles, personally engraved. That is funny because we don't drink, but they are lovely anyway. Half the people weren't at that function because they were still waiting for the awards on the base. It was a confusing day to say the least as far as the race logistics-that was the RDs fault for sure..The other folks finally made it to the campgrounds and Mark handed me my first place medal in my AG. And he said I actually beat some women!! I felt really good. H was depressed because he couldn't race. I felt bad for him and sad we couldn't share in the joy of this race. The Series awards were anti-climactic for me but I was happy to see H get his big ole' bottle of champagne-he earned it!

I slept 10 hours last night-finally. Feel better this AM. Now we have the day to pack and get ready for our trip to Mexico tomorrow. 1o days of beach lolling and reading-I can't wait!!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Back to Reality..

First of all I had the stark reality of "heart zone" training yesterday when I was riding my usual bike route up and down Tramway with my friend Kathy and we were taking it pretty easy. I look at my new best friend-the heart rate monitor-and alas! My heart rate was 142! A good 10 beats above what I was suppose to do. Now it looks like 12 MPH rides on the bike may make for a pretty lonely Ironman training. I am praying it was the cold or I was tired (from my 4 days at the beach), or something else!

The mountains of things I have to do before our trip to Mexico on Monday is growing. Will the bills never end? I swear that PNM sends a bill out as soon as they receive my last payment. Trying to get ahead a month is impossible. I am trying to get out all our X-mas letters by today. This was more of a daunting project than I thought. Of course I have to have a clean house as we walk out the door.. Going to get my legs waxed today so I can show off my white legs in Mexico. Hair highlights and cut are on the agenda today too! And oh, the laundry thing-don't get me started! I hope the clothes fairy comes in and throws away half our workout stuff while we are gone so we will just have to keep wearing the same stuff over and over. We may not have any friends but my life will be easier!

I am suppose to do "Polar Bear" triathlon this Saturday before we leave. The only reason I signed up for this is because H wanted to go down and get his award and race. He is injured and now I am the only one racing-figure that one out. Well, that is in question because I am coming down with a cold. Got the sore throat, runny nose thing going on-didn't I just get over this crud?? Weather reports have the temps in the 30s and possible rain the day of the race down in Las Cruces, NM. So I will just have to see how it goes. I really do not want to go to Mexico sick. I have visions of trying to say "cough and fever" again in Spanish like I did in Peru. This is getting ridiculous! So out comes the Airborne, my suitcase looks like a drugstore anyways for "possible cases of whatever" traveling with Nurse Debi..

And to top it off, IM Arizona is almost full and H has not had any lightbulb moments of doing that race together next November so I guess it will not happen for me. The way I feel today-that might be a good thing..

It seems unreal that 3 days ago I was going to win Ironman and now I feel like an 80 year old woman!

Enough whining for today..

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

I RAN with (or behind) Mark Allen!

Ok so I was a bit behind the pro but hey-I was on the same beach!! We ran with HR monitors and I was trying to keep my HR below 132, which for me is very frustrating as this slows me down to a snail's pace. In metaphorical fashion, I was in the middle of the pack as usual. But what Mark basically teaches in training is to train mostly in your ""aerobic zone" and only do very little speed work to get faster nearer the race. Now this is the simplified version but if you hear him talk, it is very convincing. I mean 6 Hawaii Ironman wins-can you argue with that? I like to think that my svelte young feeling body could tolerate a higher HR than that because for heaven's sake, I am running 12 min miles at that pace. Supposedly your body learns to utilize fat burning and you eventually get faster. This is how I trained for the last IM but I think my "middle age" was not factored in. So I am a Mark Allen groupie now and think I will use his coaching for IMCDA.

Sunday of the conference was a mix of talks from Mark: Nutrition, weight training. Stuff I basically knew already with some tweaks of info I didn't know.
Then Brant Secundo: ceremonies and Huichol Indian rituals and info. Very good. His website is: for those that wanted to know more info.

I realize the value of a balanced life in training for Ironman is essential. Something I already believed but obtained some tools to utilize a bit more. Secretly, I want to win my age group one of these days at one of these big races. Someone asked me last night why that is so important to me. I have to ponder this. Maybe cause I was always one of the slower swimmers on the swim team. Maybe cause I never got the approval from my parents I wanted. Maybe I always wanted to be one of those athletes in high school. Who knows? I don't think I have a particularly competitive spirit with other people ie; "Man I really want to beat her!" It is just this inner drive to win at something. Be the best athlete..well in my age group anyway. I may have to wait for my 60s or 70s-who knows?

So I am doing my darnedest to make this a reality. If it takes me balancing more, then I shall. If it takes training more, or less, slower, I will.

In the end, it is all about the journey, really..

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Danced with the Greatest Triathlete of all Time..

Yep. I danced with Mark Allen. Oh sure, it was a Huichol Indian Deer Dance around a fire with 50 other people but yep I can say I danced with the man! The conference so far is fabulous. We spent yesterday in sessions alternating between Brant Secundo-(Shaman) and Mark Allen all day. The interweaving of spirituality and training was beautifully done, in my opinion. It was also fun! We did do some dancing, ceremonies and exercises on one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen here in California. We are about 15 miles south of Santa Cruz in a very nice condo a stone's throw from the beach. Hartley and I went for a very long walk yesterday AM before the conference and got locked out of our condo for about an hour. A very minor blip in the scheme of things but it does seem like there is an annoying negative force following us this trip..
However the positives have FAR outweighed the negative so far..

Mark (yes I met him and am on a first name basis now-:)) delivered a talk on heart zone training yesterday. I knew about Maffetone training but this is the first time I have heard it explained clearly and why it works. Then he told his story of how he lost IM in Kona several times. When he started training like this he started winning. He proceeded to win 5 IM World Championships in a row, took a year off, then in one of the most amazing and inspiring stories I have heard, he told of his win in 1995, against all odds at age 37. This is where his Shamanism practice came in. He called on the island for help at the last half of the marathon and he shifted into some other reality where he caught the leader and won. I was in tears at the end of that story. And if you met this guy, this exceptional athlete, you would think he was just one of us. He is very humble, approachable, and sweet. He is 50 years old now, hasn't raced in 20 years and loves his life still. The combination of shamanism practice and right training helped him win that last race.

OK-I am inspired! Now I will go out and win at Kona-well not yet but damn after that talk I feel like I really could do anything I set my mind to. And may start using some of the exercises we are learning from Brant, who has a story of his own that is fascinating.

So today I am going to ask Mark about his online training program. I may use his approach for IMCDA..I like the idea of training with someone who has won Ironman Hawaii. Yesterday, some man asked him about some other program that contradicted Allen's HR training. Mark humbly said-"Well, he hasn't won Ironman Hawaii has he?" Subject over..

Friday, November 30, 2007

Workshop weekend..

I sit here in the Phoenix airport where H & I missed our connection to San Jose. We were stuck on the runway at ABQ because of "weather delays" in Phoenix-"Don't worry about your connection-all the flights are running behind" Well, we landed here and there was no rain, not even any turbulence and it appears that our flight was the only one with the "weather issues". Now I feel distrusting of this reason for missing my flight. Like the airlines are plotting just to keep their profits up in some way. At any rate, we are stuck here for 3 extra hours. We should be on the road to our condo near Santa Cruz, California as I write this. OK-now breathe! Now the clouds really do look dark and thunder is predicted so who knows when we will get to face California rush hour traffic at this rate. To top it off, there is a bird flying around our heads here in the terminal-a bird-no kidding. Hartley says this is a bad sign-is it? He seems to like us alot because we have been eating sandwiches and have crumbs I guess. Not a normal sight in an airport in my experience.

The good new is we are going to a great conference this weekend on the beach in CA with none other than Mark Allen-yep the Mark Allen-famous triathlete extraordinaire. He is doing a workshop with a Shaman called "Fit Body, Fit Soul, a Visionary Way to Health, Balance and Well-Being". We rented a very nice (we hope) condo on the beach to enjoy the great Mother Ocean while we are taking in education and spirituality. This workshop is something we know nothing about so should be interesting. We were told to bring pocket knives and hiking shoes. Some kind of art/self exploration exercise, I guess. I am just hoping this will make me a really fast triathlete and secretly make Hartley want to do an Ironman. He is still injured from Soma so not looking good at the moment. Guess i will be running on the beach alone this weekend-bummer.

Looking forward to the weekend-OK now we have only 2 hours to wait..then California rush hour on Friday in a rental car for 2 hours. That should be fun!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

On a brighter note..

Here is my granddaughter Lane, making a snow man on Thanksgiving here in ABQ.

Monday, November 26, 2007

In honor of Sara..

Today would have been my oldest sister's birthday. She would have been 58. Sad because she died so young-52 years old of Multiple Sclerosis. It was a sad day in December when I got the news while traveling around the country of Chile over the holidays. It was sudden, she had been doing pretty well but got an infection and in one 24 hour period, she was gone. Traumatic moment for me that day of the phone call, in a foreign country, shocked beyond belief. We got home on New Years Eve, 2001. Wasn't 2001 sad enough? There were 300 people at the funeral-it was surreal-this is my sister's funeral? I think of the daughters Sara left behind and how cruel it is that they don't have their mom anymore. I think wasn't it just yesterday when Sara was taking care of me as a kid and we were creating plays to perform for the neighborhood? Losing a sibling is up there with losing parents, only closer to home. I remember calling her on her last birthday alive. I remember where I was, what we said and that is a gift. Amazing really after all those birthdays all those years. And the thing I am most grateful for is that the last words I said to her on the phone on December 23rd, 2001 were "I love you".
Happy Birthday sis..

Think I will go and tell my loved ones and friends I love them again never know..

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Losing weight is simple?

Now that Turkey Day is near, I thought I would share these articles from my favorite guru of the day-Josh Hillis, the trainer. I really like his no BS approach to weightloss. Now go on and pig out on Thanksgiving:

Losing Fat Is The Simplest Thing In The World
All of the stories in the media make fat loss sound more complicated than it is. The way certain diets are marketed often complicates weight loss also. Sometimes searching for more information online and running into a million different opinions can complicate weight loss.

Let's take a step back and simplify. Take a deep breath, here comes reality: Most of the time, if someone isn't getting results, they are simply eating too many calories. Eating too many calories will ruin the results of even the best workout program.

One of my favorite people to listen to when it comes to fat loss, Neal Spruce founder of Apex Fitness Group, said this -

Calories in, Calories out
You must come to accept the factual calories in and out aspect of weight management; otherwise, there’s no point in trying to solve for the motivation aspect. Repeat after me: if you’re overweight, it’s not because of your age, it’s not your thyroid, it’s not menopause, it’s not because you don’t eat enough, it’s not your parents’ fault, it’s not the number of fat cells you were born with, it’s not that you don’t do your aerobic work in your target heart range, it’s not high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), it’s not that you weren’t breast fed, it’s not your medication, it’s not your hormones, it’s not sugar, it’s not trans fat, it’s not saturated fats, it’s not carbohydrates, it’s not because you eat after 7:00PM, it’s not because you had a baby, it’s not because you eat the wrong glycemic foods, and, no, it’s not the fast food industry’s fault if you are overweight and don’t like it...

...So let’s get past the calorie piece and all the misinformation and boil it down to one simple sentence you can apply to your life right now: “I won’t think about anything else except eating fewer calories than I burn until I reach my goal.” Say it again! “I won’t think about anything else except eating fewer calories than I burn until I reach my goal”.

That's what I like about Neal, he doesn't mess around.

It's really a pretty simple game we are playing.
Here is your four step plan to get you 99% of the way to your goal:

1.) Eat less calories. Keep an online food log. Trust your scale and how you fit in your clothes to tell you how accurate your food log is.

2.) Eat good food. You know what is good food, and you know what is bad food. Eat less bad food.

2.) Do short, high intensity cardio.

3.) Do an intelligent strength training workout a few times per week.

4.) Drink lots of water. Don't drink anything that isn't water.

If you are a girl just doing those four things will take you from 30% bodyfat (below average) all the way to 21% bodyfat (pretty damn hot). For a guy that would be like going from 20% bodyfat down to 12% bodyfat.

Getting lower than that it gets a little more interesting. If you want to get really rockstar lean, you'll have to periodize your workouts (your workout goes through different cycles, like seasons) and you'll have to eat even cleaner. But that's it. It's not rocket science.

Don't over complicate things.

Here is some wisdom from one of the best workout articles of all time, written by my friend Dan John:

"When things go wrong, simplify."

Usually, when we aren't getting the results we want, we complicate things to the point of insanity. That, of course, makes it worse.

When things go wrong, that's actually the time to get back to basics.

Focus on the few simple keys that make everything work. (steps 1-4 above) Ignore everything else.

By Josh Hillis

How To Enjoy Thanksgiving and Not Get Fat

November means one thing in the fitness world - Thanksgiving.
I want you to totally pig out at Thanksgiving dinner, and still look like a rockstar. To do that, you've got to start now.
You should earn the right to pig out at Thanksgiving dinner.
That means tightening up your workouts and nutrition right now. Start keeping a food log now. The time between now and Thanksgiving is critical.
The best way to manage weight gain at Thanksgiving is to lean up right now.
If you lose 2lbs of fat per week, every week between now and Thanksgiving, you'd lose 10lbs total. With a smart workout program and a food log, losing 2lbs per week is totally realistic.
You can totally lose 10lbs in the next 5 weeks. Then if you gain 2lbs at Thanksgiving, you're still 8lbs leaner than you are right now.
Earn the right to be able to eat what ever you want on Thanksgiving, and not feel guilty at all.
My clients manage to enjoy Thanksgiving and come out ok on the other side. Most Americans get fatter because of Thanksgiving, and keep that fat until Christmas, when they gain more fat.
I want you to enjoy Thanksgiving, and in truth, I want you stuff your face until you pass out. It's only one meal, and one meal won't be the end of the world. But that's if it's only one meal.
Most people's Thanksgivings spill over into the whole following week.
People have such an "on diet" or "off diet" mentality, that they destroy themselves. They figure if they eat one "bad" thing then they might as well give up. So they figure after "messing up their whole diet" on Thanksgiving, they might as well keep on pigging out the next day, and the day after that. Hey why not keep on going straight through 'til New Years. That kind of thinking will put you 5 or 10lbs fatter at that New Years party.
I want you to plan to pig out for one day - on Thanksgiving - and then stick to that plan. And then get back to your clean, whole food, low calorie, balanced nutrition plan the next day. Stick to that plan. You can totally go crazy on Thanksgiving, just keep it to Thanksgiving Day.
Go back to your eating plan and go back to your workouts. The 2lbs of fat you gain you'll lose the next week, and then you'll be even leaner when you roll into the New Years.
Fat loss expert Alwyn Cosgrove just asked on his blog "Do you want to be the hot girl in the little black dress at the New Years party that everyone is talking about?" There's 12 weeks of training between now and then.
Or do you want to gain 8lbs over November and December like most Americans?
Waiting for January to make a new New Years Resolution is a mistake.
Set yourself up for the holidays by making smart food choices now. I recommend reading Tosca Reno's Eating Clean.
Get on a smart workout program now. I always recommend for guys to get Men's Health writer Craig Ballentyne's Turbulence Training, or for girls to get my own 8 week fat blasting workout program: The Stubborn Seven Pounds.
By Josh HillisAuthor of How To Lose The Stubborn Seven Pounds
National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer (NASM-CPT) and Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM-PES), and currently studying the Corective Exercise Specialist (NASM-CES) course.
Josh is a kettlebell instructor and personal trainer in Denver, Colorado.
© Joshua Hillis 2007

Friday, November 16, 2007

Things I am doing in the off season..

Well, it is the official off season although I am doing "Polar Bear Triathlon" on December 8th. Only because that is also the same day they give out the SW. Challenge Series awards. Hartley is out because of his foot so I am the only one in the family doing this sometimes cold, but fun race. Other than that I am suppose to be "recovering" but I have been continuing to bike, run and oh yes, I did manage a 3100 yd swim workout in the pool yesterday. That swim is the one in 6 week swim that should be enough for Polar Bear..:)
Other activities:

1. Shampooed all my carpets and washed all the tiles. I did have the housekeeper clean the rest. I am such a diva.

2. Had my windows cleaned..On a cleaning frenzy I guess before winter.

3. Finished all my Christmas shopping. Now this may be impressive however, it is only because we will have all 4 daughters, 2 grandchildren and 2 son-in-laws here for Thanksgiving and this year we do Christmas exchange then.

4. Trying to keep up my 3 times a week Josh's workout-that is so hard to keep at-I am telling you..

5. Another trying to do Yoga once or twice a week. That one is easy to blow off too.

6. Was going to go to some new groups to broaden my horizons. I did go to a philosophy group once. It was interesting but had a really nutty guy in it who insulted me by email so don't know about that one. i want to be around positive people. Also cancelled on the book club and the scrap booking club. I hate going out at night as a rule-geez I am getting old.

7. Trying to read more. Hartley got me this cool thing for my birthday:

It is a Sony Reader-i can download about 40 books on it. I think he got sick of carrying my luggage with books in it on vacations..

8. Catching up with blog reading, writing. Vickie is right. It is like talking to your friends on the phone everyday.

9. Yes-it is true. I am a reality TV addict so gotta keep up on my shows! Becca, my daughter calls me when one is about to begin and thank goodness for Tivo! How did we live without it? I mean it is one of life's necessities huh? And yes-I am a Dr. Phil and Oprah fan (and NO-Oprah never called-darn!)

10. Soduko everyday and sometimes I actually read the newspaper. The ABQ Journal leaves something to be desired though.

Mostly I wake up everyday and pinch myself. Is this for real? Am I really reaping the rewards of all those years of working, raising kids? Do I deserve this? Shouldn't I be working? This is too good to be true. As we were walking our dog the other day, Hartley turned to me and said "I just know it-the police are going to come and arrest me any day for not working. They will throw me in jail for not working the past 440 days!" I laughed because this is exactly how I feel sometimes. Our lives are amazing right now, the best ever. I just hope it lasts for a long time..

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

These are my teammates.

I am just so proud to part of a team, The New Mexico Outlaws. We have some major talent brewing in these parts. These folks will also be my roommates at Ironman Couer d' Alene. Not bad company, I must say!

These are my heroes of the day:
One is Brian. When he started he was an overweight newbie and over the last few years has taken triathlon by storm. I remember the day I realized he was faster than me on the swim-say what? Brian is a really smart psychologist, very organized, very enthusiastic and sweet. He is married to GeekGirl, who is also a gem. So he is S. Baboo to all of us in blog world. Here is his latest Ironman adventure. He is also, by the way, getting thinner everyday:

Then there is Maria. She started running a couple of years ago and biking last year and has obviously found her niche. She runs faster than anyone I have ever seen. After this short time in the sport, she is already gotten herself ranked 8th in the World in the 70.3 championships. Now Maria is a very humble, sweet tiny gal, who just makes you feel faster looking at her. I have hopes for getting faster just looking at her times. Here is her latest race:

These are my training peeps!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Love this quote..

I am having trouble coming up with anything original to write about this week so I will use a quote from someone who posted this over on the Ironman Couer d' Alene site:

This journey is no longer just about becoming an IronMan and finding where the path will lead us. It is also about Forging Iron Friendships. Understand, I do not use the term "Friend" loosely. I know we all use it to describe even a casual acquaintance at times when relaying a story. But, in my heart, a casual acquaintance is not where I find my friendships. I find my friendships in Likes. What I mean by that is "Likes attract Likes". That doesn't mean we are only drawn to people exactly like us. We are not drawn only to the people who we find our mirror image in. The "likes", that draw us together are the core things we find to be important. Our values, our beliefs in what makes another person "good". Our abilities to find humor in the same things and sadness shared in other things. It's what makes us pull together.We may have different spiritual beliefs, we may live in different cities or countries. We may walk such varied paths in our careers that others wonder "what could they possibly have in common?" What we have in common is drive. The drive to live our lives. The drive to give every day our best, even when some days our "best" is sorely lacking. What we have in common is the ability to extend our hand out in love and offer our heartfelt assistance to those in need. The genuine belief that our words of encouragement just might help someone through a rough spot in their lives. Our ability to rejoice in the victories, both big and small of those whom we visit. Maybe we visit every day, maybe we visit once a week, our schedules never allow us to predetermine that aspect of our friendships. The main thing is, we visit. We visit when we can and make the effort to do so. We care and we express that. That is friendship. Those are the sorts of friends I consider true. Those are the sorts of friends I consider real.

Very cool indeed. Now this is why I LOVE triathlon!!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Always the bridesmaid..

never the bride. Now I could be cynical and whiny right now but I choose to be thankful. I finished 3rd in the Southwest Challenge Series. You have to do at least 8 races in the series and then you get to count the top 8 races in points for for your place. So even though I did the most races, got the most points, since I got some 2nds and 3rds, I got 3rd place. I am a little peeved about this since I trained my butt off this year but it goes to show that those of us that do not have the genetic gift of winning every race we do, have to work our butts off and still get the bronze. I won't be doing the series next year so now I will just have to wait until the next age group and hope those other women decide that knitting is more fun..

Now the thankful part-I do get an award! I am healthy, strong and did have some good PRs in there. Also my wonderful newbie hubby won first place in his age group. Yay Hartley!

So I will go to the ceremony and smile and be happy nevertheless..

We are off to S.t Louis today for a wedding of a daughter of a friend. I need to get out of my playclothes and actually put on a dress!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

I get by with a little help from my friends..

Yesterday I eeeked out a 35 mile recovery bike ride with the help of Pirate, who pulled me against the wind the first half of the ride. Now that is a true tri-friend!! I almost have her signed up for Polar Bear Triathlon in Dcember to get back on the horse, so they say, or the carbon, as we said. Any-who-I wasn't at my tip-top shape yesterday but felt better than I thought I would. It was great to see all the Outlaws and some Outlaw wanna-be's. Hartley's foot seems to be on the mend as he kept up with S. Baboo, which I thought was good, even on a recovery day ride.

The rest of the day did nothing (I am in the off season you know-lots of rest)..:) I did decide to attend a few club gatherings in the next month to try and pick one or two to help develop my intellectual, creative side. One is a monthly book club, one a scrapboooking club and the other a philosophy club meeting..Now that last one-I may be in over my head but I would like to hear other people's opinions about life and figured this was a good place to start. I am up for the adventure out of my little world to try some new things to broaden my horizons. This is good for the "Off-season" where I am suppose to be less structured in training-more "fun". Also good for the soul to try to meet new people, although I know triathlon peeps are the best-maybe I can convert a few :))

Friday, November 2, 2007

To the Dr.-motivation to stay healthy..

I went to the Dr. yesterday, waited an hour for him to tell me what I already knew. I have bronchitis, probably viral. I told him I have had this about 4 times in the last year. He asked how old I was-I told him-he said well, after 50 we all get weaker systems and body doesn't fight as hard. Say what??Just give me the drugs buddy-I ain't buyin' that...i smiled and laughed but thought "f&^*$k you! I do not accept that answer". So then I got my drugs and left. I hate the doctor, I hate our health system, I am ready to move to a country where health care is valued. The people at the Dr.'s office (workers) were practically dressed in jeans, the aide that checked me in said nothing to me, not even a "hello" as she took my vitals. The Dr. is really nice but overshares a little. He went on and on telling me all the meds he was on now that he was over 50, he is overweight, has high BP, high cholesterol. He can't run anymore because he hurts all over. His mom died of a heart attack at 53. Now this is the guy I really want to treat me for heart disease for sure..What a joke! And I can remember in my early nursing days (sounding old now), when patients were treated professionally, nurses had a role in doctors' offices-it was very different. Now the indifference is overwhelming. It is, however, a good reason to stay healthy and scary if there was ever something really wrong with me or my family. I then went on to Walmart to get said drugs and waited another hour while one person was checking out about 50 people in line to get their meds too. There was one pharmacist, one tech that had long greasy hair-I thought-"yuck" hope his hair doesn't get near my meds..Now maybe it was because I felt so sick and it had been 2 hours since I left my house but I became very disheartened at this point almost despair about the state of health care here in Albuquerque or probably nation wide..

Then later- I saw Dr. Oz on Oprah talking about how we could live to be 100 years old and vital if we take care of ourselves..Now that is who I want to see in his office!! Wonder if he is too busy doing the Oprah show? And he is cute too..

I am seriously going to start studying health care in different countries. I have heard that Thailand and India have some pretty good care..It just scares me how we are in this country now. And I haven't even seen Sicko yet. I am sure I will completely freak out if I do..

Now that I got that out of my system-I am planning to go to the gym for a short workout today and maybe a jog/walk outside. I think my brain is getting warped just sitting in my house all day..

By the way-I feel better today..Almost human..on the mend-despite my Dr's visit I think.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Finally sore, sick and tired..

Well, I guess it all caught up with me the last couple of days. The old body finally said-"OK, you are done with this friggin' race-you can get sick now" So I am coughing, sniffling, my head hurts, generally feeling sorry for myself and want my mommy-waaaaah! My legs are pretty sore today and I am grumpy. Welcome to post race blues! I can hear it now-"Get a life!" "or job!"

Seeing the Dr. tomorrow if no relief. In the meantime i will not be out of my PJ's today..
Here are some pics from post Soma dinnner:
Michi, Michael, Me & Hartley post Soma
H&me post Soma..

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hardest Finish to Date..

I can only say that maybe IMLF was that difficult and I just don't remember but this one in on the books for me as the scariest (physically)-like the scary kind of am i really doing damage here on my body or could I die in this heat kind of fear.

So here's how it went:
I woke up with a ridiculously sore throat and congestion, took some sudafed-that seemed to help. No other symptoms. Hartley and I got up early, did our morning bagels, ensure, coffee for me and decided to leave around 5:45 since we had later waves. It took about 25 min to walk to the race site. Our bikes were already there-I liked that part-no lugging bikes in the morning. When we got there, we started hearing "transition closes at 6:45-no exceptions" Well, they had said in the pre-race meeting that it closed at 7:15 so I was pissed. We had literally 30 min to get all our stuff ready and find air for my tires. That sounds like alot of time but it's not when you have all the little doo-dahs to put in your bento box,race number belt and bike helmet. Vaseline on my run and bike shoes and baby powder in each for a smooth transition..I got out of this very huge transition area (about 2000 athletes) just under the wire. I couldn't find Hartley at this point but finally somehow ran into him. We got to hug and say good luck-his wave went before mine. Mine was last! I thought that would be bad but i think it was actually nice to know I probably wouldn't get passed by another wave behind us. The swim takes place in Tempe Town Lake-temp was around 70 degrees-you jump in, tread water and boom! you are off! it was a rectangle course, the second half was directly into the sun-guess they thought us old women could take the sun and heat so started us last..I could see nothing but thrashing arms in the sun portion and just kind of followed them. I felt like I was swimming pretty well-not fast but not slow. At the end, this really big guy hoisted me onto this block step to get out. I almost lost my balance as I tried to stagger out of those steps-that was tricky. they stripped my wetsuit for me, then was about a 100 yard run to transition. All in all my swim time was 44 minutes-which was slower than I thought I was swimming. I read on one forum that the swim was long-that's what I'm thinking. I was 2nd out of 16 in my AG in the swim, which is great but sucked later when 5 women in my AG passed me on the bike.

T-1. I just whipped out of there and did it in 2 min, something. Jumped on the bike after running forever it seemed-had my shoes already on the bike. Wasn't quite the pro start I wanted but I did get into the shoes eventually and took off. The bike course is a neat little urban 18 miles loop that you do 3 times. The roads were closed-it was awesome! Lots of turns, a couple of "hills" (are they kidding-go check out Elephant Butte). All in all a great course. BUT-one by one 5 women in my AG passed me on the bike. You can tell by the age numbers on their calves. This started to discourage me but also spurred me on to go faster. I was pissed!! These women were bigger than me, for the most part and I thought -"shouldn't I be faster here?" Well, I never saw them again except one I passed on the run-tee-hee...
Total bike time-3:05. My personal best by about 25 minutes in a half. I am thrilled and do thank each and every 50-54 woman that passed me now! It was starting to get hot near the end of the bike, bu nothing really noticeable. I forced myself to drink and eat because I knew it would be hot later and I needed reserve. That all went well. I saw Dread Pirate on the bike stopped with a major bike problem and waiting for help. I felt really bad for her because I think it had something to do with the wheels I sold her..I ran into Duane on the bike and others. It was fast and alot of folks on that bike course..My legs were screaming by the end, I was pushing so hard and I began to wonder if I had pushed it too hard..I was trying to catch all those women!!

T-2. Another fast one. I can brag that i did have the fastest transitions in my age group-something to be proud of. Coach Mico taught me that. Even if you are slow,even the slowest, you can make time up in transition..and I do..

THE RUN: Now here is what separated the men from the boys, so to speak. And I am not sure that those of us that finished are necessarily smart or sane, but I did....finish.... As I I headed out to run, I noticed right away it was HOT! I mean REALLY hot! The internet said it was 97 degrees. There was no wind at this point-I was saying to myself by mile 2-"there is no way I will finish in this heat" I have never thought this before in a race. I felt at times running faint, nauseated, chilled-these are all signs of dehydration, probably sun stroke-I told myself. I started walking out of fear. There were ALOT of aid stations-at least every mile and at each one they had water, gator ade, pepsi, ice, etc..It was so well supported. At each aid station, I drank water, poured water on my head, put ice on my chest. I alternated drinking water, pepsi, gatorade. After awhile I think I was delirious because I forgot when I had taken in goo or salt tabs-I did take about 4 I think. I took 4 Ibuprofen. My legs were cramped and feet numb the first 4 miles. I had to stop and take my shoes off, rub my feel and put my shoes on looser each time. This happens to me often in the heat..I think it is the swelling after the bike. Anyway after about 4 miles and my "walking the aid stations" idea was clearly not working-I needed a new goal. OK-I can walk 60 secs./run 60 secs.. I do not race with a watch so I counted-probably out loud, who knows. But that seemed to work for awhile. There was an out and back loop at mile 4 that seemed like forever. Everyone looked like hell. I still wondered if I would faint and die out there. I wondered why there were not more bodies on the course-really! But somehow I finished the first lap. I still did not know my time but I knew if I did the walk/run thing-it would probably be about a 3 hour run and I could break my 7 hour goal. I saw Geek Girl at the 7 mile aid station and she said she wasn't going to make it..i understood that for sure..i was about to join her. About mile 7 and 1/2 I saw Hartley in a sag wagon-OH NO!! I thought. He told me he pulled something in his leg and was going to the medical tent. I was really bummed now-he wasn't going to finish his first half IM! I felt like crying. Then I re-focused and started the walk /run thing again. I met Russ, from San Diego and we walked/ran/encouraged each other for the last half of that very long hot run. My voice was hoarse by now-I could barely talk. The breeze actually started on the last 5 miles, which helped a bit. I no longer felt like I may die and knew I would finish at about mile 10 of the run. I met another guy that told me I would make it under 7 hours with time to spare (I wouldn't let him tell me the time-it psyches me out). Russ and I continued to jog and somehow the last mile and a half, I got a burst of energy and just blasted in. It felt so good to run the pace I wanted to run the whole time and at the finish line-there was Hartley, cheering me in and limping along...I felt tears in my eyes as I realized I had my PR and he didn't finish. He had pulled his Achilles Tendon (we think)..
Final run time was a miraculous 2:52.
Final time: 6:47-my PR by 27 minutes...I finished 6th out of 16 in my age group. 684 out 881 overall.

We went to dinner with our friends Michael and Michi and had Sushi. Hartley was a good sport even though he was bummed. We swapped wars stories of our battle of the day in Soma. We iced Hartley's leg after dinner..I slept like a rock! I am not hoarse this morning..

I woke up this morning and still cannot believe I finished that race.. It was pure determination and stubbornness this time, I swear. I am tired but not too sore. We are drifting around this morning, eating breakfast and relaxing at the hotel before the long drive home..

Afterthoughts: I was really thinking during this race-why do we athletes do this? What is the driving force behind all of us pushing ourselves that way? Is it for the accomplishment? The completing of goals? Are we just insane? I mean we don't get more points in heaven for finishing a half IM in blistering heat..what drives us? It seemed like deep questions at the time but may have just been heat stroke..

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Short Version of Soma Race Report..

IT WAS HOT!!! I mean the kind of hot that made me question whether I would finish! But I did and did PR of 6:47. I did the bike in 3:05 which is fast for me. I had to walk part of the run because the temp was 97 degrees here today (the record is 99). Did I mention it was HOT?? I think I got 6th in my age group but official results not up yet:

Now the bad news:

Hartley pulled a calf muscle on the run and had to stop. He was doing great up until mile 2 on the run and something "snapped" and he couldn't run or walk the rest. He is OK-still hobbling but able to walk now..He is bummed and I am too cause he does so well in the elements-better than I-so he would have rocked the run..

More later-it was by far the hottest race i have ever done and one of the hardest!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Beautiful Tempe..

Well we made it here yesterday. The only glitch was arriving to the "host hotel" and they had no idea what race we were talking about on Sunday-so what shuttle? Then we went to get into our room and found someone else's belongings (must have been a man-WAY too little stuff). While it might have made for an interesting encounter, we opted to tell the front desk that HE may not want to share a room with us. Woops-they had made a mistake, well not them-HE had decided to extend his stay. Wow-why can't people just say "We blew it"?

Anyways, after that and getting a very nice new room, we were off to register for the race. The venue is only about 1.2 miles so will get a little warm-up in the morning on the way to the start. There were hardly any folks here yet so we got our packages-no sweat. The venue is beautiful, on the Tempe Town Lake, or river as is looks to me..I will try and get pics later. I am number 902-lucky I am sure. H & I each got stretching done from one of those booths although this AM I really need a neck massage so will go for one of those today..Still have the sore throat, which is a puzzle, no other symptoms. It suddenly occurred to me when i woke up (as I removed my night guard) that maybe that thing carries critters and i should be more sterile in cleaning it..

When we arrived to our hotel, the first person i met was Duane at the front desk checking in too! Was great to see a friendly face although i was embarrassed because of course i was bitching to the front desk person about not having a shuttle to the race on Sunday, which she had no knowledge of at all. Yes Duane, I am that bitch at the front desk! We chatted a bit and was great to meet a fellow "blogger"..

I slept really well until someone seemed to be trying to get into our room at 6:15 this AM. Kind of freaked me out but I will assume it was someone confused about their room..Lot of water and carbs today-we will do a little swim this afternoon and mainly rest before the dinner with the gang at 5:00..

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Last minute jinxes (or the full moon)

Yesterday I was gazing out my window in the mountains watching Hartley feed the deer right out of his hand(they like graham crackers). It was so lovely and then the full moon rose over the mountains-life was perfect-almost..

Jinx time:

It all started this morning when I put my socks on at the cabin and proceeded to trip and fall down the stairs (2nd time i have done that over the years-this time I was dead sober and knew where I was-we'll save that for another story about my past life). I am a little banged up and sore but nothing major. I have a bandaid on my left finger, a small lump on my right arm and a slight twinge in my right knee-oh please god-not the knee..Hopefully in the morning I will be fit as a fiddle, whatever the hell that means. I just want to not be injured in any major way. Thank goodness for those Calcium pills I have been taking-no broken bones-something I never thought I would be saying 10 years ago..

ALSO-last night I felt like crap, had a scratchy throat and I think a fever-this seems to be somewhat subsiding today but what is up with that? I have been training like crazy with no illness-now I stop and I feel like i am fighting a cold? I read somewhere this is typical-that people get hurt or sick before a big race sometimes..I would like to stay clear of that statistic please????

H & I are off the the not so temperate Tempe Town tomorrow AM. The temp there is holding in the 90s but NO WIND! Darn! All that training in hurricane force winds to no avail :) Note to self-bring salt pills..I feel excited about the race actually, besides the full moon activity or whatever my calamities seem to be related to..I just need to put shoes on while I walk from now until the race or better yet, not climb any stairs! I am in denial about the sore throat and will stay that way until after Sunday..

The carbs are comin' in. It is really difficult to shove food in my mouth when I am not hungry unless it is chocolate or pastry. I mean really, eating an apple on a full stomach is not my idea of dessert. However, I am committed to follow the nutrition plan that I had for IM Florida-well, some modifications since it is half the distance but me and carbs have not been too buddy-buddy lately so it is a challenge. Tomorrow starts the Gator Aid, and the ever tasty H2O..Oh and ensure. I like to go to more liquids than solids for a couple of days before the race so I don't become the running queen of runs! There are not enough porta-potties for me when it gets that bad. I think I have it down to an art now on how to prevent that (note to self-pack Immodium just in case).

I started looking online at the dreaded competition this week because well, basically I like to feel bad about my athletic abilities before a race and just for kicks googled a few of the 15 women in my AG. They are all FAST runners (of course). So my secret dream of being in the top 5 is slowly dissolving but I would be happy to have a PR or better yet a PR and feel good at the end of the race (yea right!). I like to think I can still place in the swim?

More during travel and racing..

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

This puts it all in perspective..

and is very inspiring also..

Randy Pausch on Oprah

I am one lucky woman..

4 days and counting..

til Soma..We are up in Chama really tapering now (like doing practically nothing). I feel creaky and old not training so will be doing a few yoga moves and a couple of short runs while up here. We got here yesterday and surprise, surprise-we have no heat again. The heater is not working, which is the problem that caused the original flood. It is so hard to get someone up here to work, it's incredible..So we built a fire in the woodstove we have that heats at least the upstairs. Me-being the pioneer woman that I am-actually got up in the middle of the night and "stoked the fire" again so we are pretty warm unless we go downstairs..The sun is rising above the mountains and we have lots of windows so should be pretty toasty soon..

Now for the heater problem-we are in a dilemma. If we can't get anyone up here in the next 2 days, Houston we may have a problem. We may have to live up here all winter, stoking the fire so the pipess don't freeze again..

I guess it could be worse..(see post above)..

It will be 90 degrees in Soma-now that will be a shock on the body for sure. I am excited for the race! To see friends, see H finish his first half, to see if my running really is better, just to be alive enough to do a race is enough really..

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Wind, fun and taper blues..

We had the kids in for the balloon fiesta weekend. A house full of 11 people, including 2 children- 3 years and 16 months and it was some crazy fun! The 3 year old had an ear infection or the flu-anyway spent much of the time do the 2-step (diarrhea and vomit) until we landed in the emergency room the day my daughter left, where she got some drugs to help and knocked her out all the way home to CA. She's fine now-kids are so resilient! Otherwise our family get-together was so fun and I LOVE to see all the kiddos..

We managed to get to the mass ascension on Saturday AM.It was so much fun-haven't done that in years!

Two of my favorite balloons-the bees kissing and then after they take off they separate-ahhhhh:

We had a rockin' time at our 80s themed party (for Heidi's 30th BD) where we all dressed up 80's style (I just had to look in my closet basically)..Then we pretended we were rock stars and lip synched to our favorite 80s song. Here are Heather and I rockin' out to Styx:

And her sister and I being 80s chicks (although I think I look more 50s here):

I have been really tired since. Could be the "tapering" we are doing for Soma in 11 days. We have done several bricks recently and the wind situation is getting ridiculous! We have been riding in the wind now for about the last 10 times we have ridden. Not the occasional breeze kind but the seemingly hurricane force NM winds! So if Soma is windy-we are ready!! Actually had to break out the gloves and hats for yesterday's ride it was that cold...
I am feeling a bit down-not sure if that is just let-down from the weekend or I am feeling the "tapering blues" but it has been hard to write lately. I have had situations in friendships arise that seem difficult and I hate confrontation. The group I have been going to for 3 years which is a professional counseling group seems to be dissolving (I am still licensed and wanted to keep that up). So I am feel a bit disconnected and sad this week. This too-I am sure-will pass..

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

You know you are a crazy triathlete when...

You get on the bike trail (we are back in Albuquerque) and head INTO, not away from, the very dark, stormy clouds. It looked like a very ominous storm right where we were headed today for our 2 hour bike. I commented that we would be lucky to see an hour. Then I thought-you know this really is the difference between me NOW and 2 years ago as "working Debi". I started to actually think riding in the rain might be an adventure! Just the whole- we don't really have time structure thing going on now- is liberating. But I actually think my thought processes are changing. Everyday seems so much like a gift and I feel so blessed sometimes-this was one of those days. Like rain seemed exciting! But alas-we rode the whole thing with only maybe a drop of rain. We had clouds ALL around us about to open up but we managed to get through that little hole of rainless bike trail and then the sun came out! Now this is why Albuquerque rocks. If it rains, they say, just wait 10 mins and you will have sun..It's true! After the ride we went for a 30 minute run and I felt great. We have trained so hard for Soma- I really feel in the best shape my 53 years old body can be in. And I actually like running now..this is a first for me.

All the family-4 daughters, 2 granddaughters, 2 son-in-laws are starting to come in tomorrow for the balloon fiesta weekend and celebration of a birthday. I love my family of girls-lots of estrogen in our house with all the girls growing up! Now they are all beautiful grown women and now we have 2 little bundles of budding estrogen and it is so great to be "Grandma Debi"..

When I did Ironman Florida, my daughter had a little T-shirt made for Lane that said "My Grandma did an Ironman". Now she is threatening to get me a bumper sticker that says "Don't you Wish Your Grandma Was Hot Like Me?" (you would have to remember the song to get that one).

Enough ramblings from this Grandma..

Monday, October 8, 2007

L-O-N-G workout weekend!

It all started with the Chase the Balloons Ride on Sat. AM at 7:00. Wow it is hard to ride in the COLD-I had forgotten! It warmed up quickly as we cycled up Paseo Del Norte. I had to fight the inner demons as I got passed ALOT on this part of the tour. Telling myself "I am a triathlete-not a primary cyclist" helped..As we rode down Tramway as hundreds of hot air balloons were rising right in front of us (damn why didn't I bring my camera?), I thought about how lucky we are to be living in New MExico. I remembered one of the first balloon fiestas at the State Fairgrounds in the 1970s where there were maybe 50 balloons and 200 spectators. WOw-has it grown! We rode with the balloon chase crowd, then added 16 miles on the bike path to make it 77 miles. Then on to the 20 run brick afterwards. H & I practiced nutrition and managing snacks, nuun tablets, Ibuprofen, water, etc on the bike..We had about a 25 MPH wind going south on the bike path-that was fun, then turned around-Wheeeeee...

OK that was Saturday. Then Sunday, out for a 2 and 1/2 hour run. First hour slow, then last hour and a half faster. And the WIND again-only this time it was COLD for most of the run, esp running into the wind. We managed to do 12.6 miles, almost the half marathon! Again-managing nutrition was the goal..After the run, we did a short swim in the Highpoint Pool. Hartley was brave enough to venture into the outside pool while I swam in the not so clean looking inside 20 yard pool. That pool really needs come remodeling or something.

I was dead tired after the 2 days of long training. But we were scheduled to go up to Chama to see our new deck and remodeling done by our contractor post flood. I did n't want to go-I was pooped but relented since H drove and I slept and did SOduko. So here we are in beautiful Chama. The deck looks awesome!! IT is HUGE! Enugh room for a big party and then some..So now we just have to figure out the party time..

SO I am thinking now we can rest-right? Well, H's coach has him doing a 90 minute run today-still in "build mode". My legs are really tired so I am in the "trying to decide mode". I am caught in this how much is I am tired mode and how much is more training is too much?

I'll see how the day goes as I watch the aspens change..

Friday, October 5, 2007

Digressing to Movie Review..

Ok so H and I went to see "Valley of Elah" yesterday afternoon. Let me just say-we didn't have to fight the crowds on a Thursday afternoon (I almost felt guilty like I should be somewhere else, shouldn't I be?) , there were maybe 10 people in the theatre and when the heck did going to the movies get so expensive?? I confess we brought our own drinks in my bag along with my usual box of Red Vines, which yes-I ate ALL of them. This is counting as my cheat calories for the day/week/month. Oh wait maybe that was the pizza I had the day before. Weight is staying steady below goal weight so I have a few lbs to work with..

Anyhoo--This movie is very riveting, somber, sad and very real. It hits home like "Crash" (same director). If you thought being at war was bad before or even if you didn't, this really drives home the destructiveness war leaves in it's path. Tommy Lee Jones puts on the performance of his life. This movie and Tommy Lee Jones will be up for Academy Awards for sure. Not to mention Charlize Theron (now here is a girl who can look ugly in a movie and stunning in real life), who I didn't even recognize without make-up and her blonde hair-but I think Tommy Lee stole all her scenes from her, he was that good! I cried at the end when Annie Lenox song came on for the credits.It was definitely not the light-hearted theme I usually go for, instead, it touched a place very deep within that asks these questions about violence and peace. Sad, sad, sad....

Did I mention the whole film was done in Albuquerque? They showed places like the Frontier Restaurant, TD's and stores I recognized on Central Ave. Now that was kinda wierd and creepy. We think the bad thing was filmed at 9-mile hill. Also 2 scenes at the Airport (one with no other people at the baggage claim-now that is just plain stupid)..I wish I would have run into TOmmy or Charlize. BTW-rumor has it that there have been Kevin Costner sightings at Trader Joe's up here and the Albertsons-right by my house! I guess he is residing in a house up here in High Desert while filming a movie here. I must admit, I would be pretty star-struck if I ran into Kevin in the check-out line at Albertsons. Me: "Oh hi Kevin, how the heck are you?" Him: "Who the hell are you?" Me: "I am going to be on Oprah soon. You will know me then."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Looking to Soma

While I am waiting for Oprah to call, today I am pondering over this:

Soma half IM results from 2006

and wondering where I might stand this year. Flat course, lots of turns, lower altitude..Geez, I could drive myself nuts..I think I am in pretty decent shape and could do well but my time in Buffalo Springs was 7:15 which according to my calculations in Soma I would be dead last with that time. Hopefully all the other factors will help that and I have improved my run thanks to all the track workouts. However we will never know until race day if the gods are smiling on you, if the weather cooperates, if you have a cold or feel like dog-doo-doo or have the race of your life...That is what i love about this sport-always surprises!

I think Oprah will call today..

Monday, October 1, 2007

No wind, no tar, PR!!

Ok-so I bitched enough about Elephant Man that I guess the tri-gods heard me, the stars aligned and I am training hard.Whatever-i had my PR! Oh and the night before I ate a brownie! We got to Elephant butte on Sat afternoon. We were going to ride, run and swim a bit. But guess what? The wind was blowing really hard-imagine! We did manage a run and a very short ride just to check out our legs and bikes. the pre-race meeting told us everything we needed to know about the race, then off to the pre-race dinner at the hotel. Pasta, bread, salad and BROWNIE-it was all very good. The hotel was nice, our room a little dark but lots of room!

Sun AM-we got up at 6:00 and took our bikes over to the transition area and racked them, then came back to the hotel to eat. Now that was a great way to do it in my opinion. Of course it helped that the transition was about a mile from the hotel. i had my usual 1 and 1/2 bagel w/cream cheese, banana, gator-ade and water..then off to the race site. The getting in was smooth, everything very organized, the pre-race meeting started on time at 7:30. H& I decided to leave our flip-flops at the beach so we could "run" up the sand hill and into rocky transition in them. This turned out to be a great idea actually. Saw lots of Outlaw friends, including the ones that were doing the water stop at mile 3 on the run. I told one of the guys, fellow Outlaw mike that if he had flat coke for me at the turn-around i would kiss him..

Swim: It was a beautiful morning-60s-no wind, clearly marked buoys on the right for once (I am a right breather), going clockwise. I felt great on the swim, passed alot of people as I warmed up, just all in all good feeling. At the end I wished I could stay in the water instead of off to the challenging bike course!
Swim time including the 75 yard run up the hill-32:17.
T-1-uneventful except I forgot my helmet briefly again-that's it-I am leaving it on my aerobars from now on..time 1:09

Bike: Well, I knew what to expect, that is for sure. I was pleasantly surprised that the fresh tar was gone, but the bump, bump,bump was still there. That was OK. The first 14 miles of hills are challenging and one of the downsides of being a better swimmer than some is i get passed alot in the bike by alot of good people. I had no idea where the other 3 women in my AG were though (there were 4). So I took it fairly easy on that first part. I had planned on walking up the mini "heartbreak hill" but hey I felt OK so rode up it. Now that is not to say I probably could have walked as fast but my pride was still in it and I did it! The next couple of miles sucked-what can I say? i knew they would. After the turnaround though-holy crap! What a difference from last week! I booked it back and passed a few even..I spent alot of time on my aerobars on the way back. It felt great!
Bike time: 1:41

T-2. I must have been taking a nap but somehow got my gear for the run on. I didn't want to do the get off the bike without shoes trick because I knew it was rocky and I had to run the length of transition but this slowed me down.
Time: 1:19

Run: What can I say? I felt great from the get-go. Now this is not my normal feeling off the bike but I just kept plodding along. The first .75 mile of the run was slogging in the sand, then you go up a very steep hill in deep sand then you are on the road. I walked up that hill and several other parts of hills on the run. It was pretty hilly and challenging, even on the road part. I had an annoying side stitch the whole half of the run then at the turn-around, guess what? There was all the very enthusiastic and colorful NM Outlaws and Mike with my coca-cola! He handed it to me and said-it's not flat but hey-he got a big kiss! That coke tasted soooooo good and helped a little with the stomach thing. I felt all in all really good though. The scenery was beautiful over the dams (2 of them). I gave away both my Advil to people walking with cramps so I hoped that was good karma. I saw Hartley after the turn-around. I saw lots of folks, ALOT faster than me going the other way but I also saw ALOT of people going the other way coming back. Little did I know my competition was slowly gaining on me on the run.
Run time: 1:04
I finished the race in 3:20. My best Oly time ever-this including a mile swim, 26.5 bike (longer than usual) and 6 mile run. The gal that was gaining on my on the run finished 1.5 min. behind me-whew!
I got 2nd in my AG out of 4. The woman who got first in my AG got a 2:46. Whatever! (BTW-she is a RUNNING coach!)..
I was 29th out of 52 women.
The race was perfectly run, very organized which pleases this Virgo. The water stops were a-plenty, volunteers amazing for such a small town-and really nice. The only thing that was sorta weird were the awards. Beer mugs? Well, for this non-drinker that was kinda funny. But Hartley and I both got 2nd in our AGs so who am I to complain? An award is an award...Damn-too bad I don't get any SW points for it..

I am pretty happy with those results! It was a hard course. Bring it on Soma!! Gotta keep up those speed workouts..

Thursday, September 27, 2007

That's it-I'm joinin' the gym..

Yep-I am so joining Del Norte S&W again. What sold me? The little TV's on the dreadmills (treadmill). I know-how shallow and yuppie of me. I can watch Oprah and workout at the same time come winter. Also they have a yoga class every Tuesday morning..What can I say? I love upscale gyms and this seems to be the best choice in ABQ at the moment. If I had millions of dollars, I would open an exclusive expensive gym with all the amenities and then some in this town. Like warm towels when you get out of the pool (that would be a HUGE Olympic size pool), massage therapists waiting for you as you finish your weight routine and oh yes, handsome pool boys to hand you water during the swim. This is only the beginning of my dream. Any other thoughts?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oprah-pick me..PLEASE?!?!?!

This is no joke! I shamelessly sent in a photo of myself when they put out a call for "people who look 10 years younger than themselves". What can I say? I have always loved the stage and REALLY want to go to the Oprah show. If this is the only way I can get there, what the heck? Then I wrote a blurb on what keeps me young..
This is what I wrote:

I am a 53 year old woman who looks at least 10 years younger than I am. People are constantly shocked that I am 53, have 4 grown children and 2 grandchildren. I have had folks tell me I look like I am anywhere between my 30s and 40s. I use to be offended when I was in my 20s that I looked so young (I was carded until my late 30s) but NOW I feel so blessed and fortunate to have such youthful genes. However, it feels like a double-edged sword at times because I don’t really look or feel like someone in their 50s. Nonetheless, I work HARD for my youthful body! I am a triathlete who took up the sport 6 years ago. I did my first Ironman Triathlon the year I turned 50. I run, bike, weight train and swim several times a week. Competing in triathlons (12 this season) keeps me positively focused and young. I am training for another Ironman next June. Eating high protein, low fat, whole foods helps to keep my weight down. I keep my mind active playing soduko. Preventative medicine such as massage and seeing my chiropractor once a month keeps my body aligned. I love being with my childrensfamilies and my husband. I have been in an amazing relationship with my husband for 18 years, who also looks 15 years younger than his 60 years. Last year, we both left very demanding jobs (I was a counselor in private practice, he an attorney). I believe that loving each other and being each other’s best friend keeps me young. We play, travel, workout, and in general love each other’s company. We raised 4 daughters (2 his, 2 mine) in a loving blended family. The satisfaction of surviving some difficult circumstances makes me feel successful and I suppose that reflects on my youthful nature. Though I have many friends that are my age, I also like spending time with younger people. I train with athletes who are for the most part 10-20 years younger than me.

Is this narcissistic or what? I am pulling out all the stops..

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The advantage of bike cleaning...

is that you might find surprises! Like before we did our 65 mile ride yesterday I, for the first time ever, cleaned my own chain and gears on my bike. Surprise, surprise! They were full of TAR!! That would be from the newly surfaced road in Elephant Butte..No wonder I was so slow! (I told myself). I am no longer a bike cleaning virgin-it really wasn't so hard after all! I used gasoline on parts that would NOT come clean from the tar. Of course i was paranoid I would blow my garage, home and whole neighborhood up as i was getting into this process but alas we are all still alive. The ride yesterday was MUCH easier. We did 65 miles in about 4 hours and I felt really good about that. Then today we ran 10+ miles in 2 hours and that is a record for me in training this year! i partially attribute my success to Josh's weight workout, which once and for all helped me lose that "stubborn 7 pounds". I think running with less weight (or "lugging" as Hartley says), really does make a difference..Also bought some ice to do the Ice bath thing both days. It is R_E_A_L_L_Y hard to get into a bath of cold water, then dump ice into it. I managed to stay sitting for about 15 minutes, shivering in the frigid water then jump into a HOT shower.The legs seem pleased with that routine today. I am immensely hungry all the time with all this training. Then eating healthy really sucks cause you can only eat so many yogurts, veges, fruits, before you want the real thing-ICE CREAM!! But I have been pretty good besides the big honkin' bagel I had for breakfast. The GPS said I burned 1600 calories this morning so what the heck? Well, this week will be a mini taper for the Elephant on Sunday. My "race strategy" is yet to be determined..

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My day at the Butte..

So H and I drove down to Elephant Butte yesterday to scope the course. Now keep in mind all the riding I have done this week (100+ miles) and I was tired so this report could be skewed...i am trying to stay positive because NM has so few races I do not want to be the pessimistic athlete that trashes a course before the race even starts! So here goes (and BTW-all you people that decided to sit this one out and volunteer, I am jealous):

This is not one of those "Oh I think I'll do a little race this weekend" courses. Now you have to understand that this is me, a 53 year old middle of the pack athlete who has had her butt kicked a few times. So take it with a grain of salt (where does that expression come from anyway?):
It took us 2 hours and 15 min to get to the race venue from the big I. That included 2 bathroom stops.

The swim:
The first thing we got as we went into the park was a paper stating a WARNING about "blue-green algae" in the water and the potential hazards and symptoms. The park people didn't seem to worried about it, we told them we were there to swim. They just said stay away from anything "floating" in the water. Oh you mean I can't swallow that big green thing floating-darn! Ok, so I was a little freaked by that, but not too bad. I am sure in my life I have swam with BG algae at one time or another and lived. Supposedly is more harmful to dogs and children..So we made the decision to swim anyway. The water was clear, beautiful-temp around 76 degrees. H & I swam about a mile. No wind at that point, no waves-nice. Almost hot in my wetsuit.. So far no rash,hives,abdominal pain,vomitting or dizziness..

Transition area: It is about a 75 yard run, uphill, in the sand to get to T-1. We ran into the RD while we were there, who is VERY nice and we chatted awhile. She said there would be someone there to hose off our feet at T-1 and some carpet up the ramp..

Bike: Well the transition area is quite a ways down a hill from the main road. As you can see from my bike profile, the first thing you do is ride up a fairly steep road. It is short but breathless at the top. Then you head out the road for the 25+ bike. Now one of the things that makes it tough is that almost the whole course is new black asphalt. So it is bumpy and tarry in places. Not the kind of bumpy that is a bad road, but that constant bump,like riding over gravel, only easier. The first 10 miles of the bike are rollers, some sort of steep but very short-doable, not too bad. The road is winding around the canyon. Then downhill into a canyon-the scenery is beautiful really, with the lake to you right, mountains all around..Then at mile 11 comes (for me), the "challenging" part of the course. There is a .2 mile hill that is at least 12% grade. Now maybe I was tired or whatever, but I will admit I walked this one at some point. This is where I said "Oh, sh$^&%t! Maybe this is more than I can handle. Then the hill keeps going, not as steep but still hard. This goes on for about 2 miles. Oh and the wind had started blowing really hard by now so the what I call "Mini Heartbreak Hill" had a head wind too. We got into some sticky asphalt after that which sucked. I sure hope that is somewhat dried by the race (10 days). So we thought from mile 16, it was flat and downhill, right? Well, the direct headwind by now was about 25-30 MPH so we were SLOW going back too. At one point I looked at my speedometer and I was going 11 MPH and peddling as fast as I can. It was hot-bring water!! Although the RD said there would be 2 aid stations on the bike.. The downhill didn't feel very downhill at all at the end but I know it is by the profile. It was hard to go aero on the bumpy road, but maybe that's just me..

T-2: VERY downhill into the T-2 as expected.

We didn't run the course but the first part is in the dirt (think Farmington) but I think this is only about a half mile or so. Then there is a big hill down and over the dam (It was closed to cars so we didn't drive it). So that means the last part of the run willl be UP..

This looks like a really challenging Oly course...Think I will be taking this one easy since Soma is a month later. Finally NM has another "challenging" race to rival Farmington. If it eventually becomes a half IM, it will rival Buffalo Springs..That is pretty cool!

I pray for only light wind on race day (enough to keep you cooler but not knock you offf your bike)..

Now to be honest the whole bike took me 2:15. I am hoping to break 4 hours on this one. My expectations have dropped of doing a PR. I would rather be fresh for Soma a month later..

I will leave my pride in Albuquerque..

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Random News..

1. Hartley's mom is OK. 86 years old-no one can believe she is that old-she looks very young for her age. She has beaten ovarian cancer. Now she is home on blood thinners to dissolve the clot they accidentally found in her leg that would have probably killed her. Her spirit to live and be healthy is nothing short of a miracle. She has nine lives so seven more to go. She is my inspiration for the new woman in her 80s!

2. Hartley and I are headed down to Elephant Butte tomorrow to check out the "Elephant Man" Olympic race course. The race is on the 30th of Sept. so will be interesting how the difficulty is, etc..

3. I have ridden 140 miles in the last 6 days. Now that is a first for me in a very long time and by golly I actually feel faster and better recovered. So take THAT for turning 53!! (my birthday was yesterday) The age gods cannot get me. I can only get faster!!

4. Speaking of age defiance, I am going to a Styxx and Scorpions concert tomorrow night at the Journal Pavilion with my 28 year old daughter Heather. Yes-I am one of those annoying middle aged moms who wears hip clothes and tries not to breathe in too much so I don't get high from the pot fumes (I think they call it weed now). We have 4th row seats! Thank goodness she is not embarrassed by this because Heather & I have rocked before together. It is SOOOOO much fun! Heather is the type of person it is really hard not to have a pretty good time around her when music or gambling is involved :)

5. Gosh someone asked me if I ever get bored these days not working. The answer is a resounding "NO". Maybe that will change down the line but there is so much for this Virgo to do!! Not enough time to organize everything no matter how much time..

6. We went to the NM Outlaw picnic on Sunday (check out the cool Outlaw chics). I love seeing all my buddies I have actually known for several years now. You know triathletes are the most incredibly nice people on the planet? Seriously, I have always had a good time in these situations, at races, meeting new tri friends. And they all look good too! The picnic ended kind of suddenly when my friend Mark's little son broke his arm on the jungle gym. Boy, I remember those days-my daughter got hit in the nose with a baseball bat about that age. She is almost 30 now so it really sucked but no permanent damage. My other daughter was running a fever of 103 degrees at the same time. Two doctor visits within 4 hours-ahh those were the days.. As for Mark's son-poor little guy-he must be scouting a cool cast by now..

Monday, September 17, 2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

My two favorite supplements..

These are my favorite supplements for training. I have been using FRS for about 3 years because LANCE endorsed it. If it could make Lance faster, then by golly, it would make me faster too. Well, not sure about that but it does give me more energy for training (I take it right before a workout) and I need all the help I can get.

The other one, Acid Zapper, I read about in bicycle magazine a few months ago so thought I would try it. I can't find the original article but here is some info:

My stomach cannot handle the pill formula it seems (upsets it) but I put the powdered form in my training drinks and it really seems to help with muscle soreness the next day. I have heard others say this too.