Thursday, April 24, 2014


“Shame corrodes the very part of us 
that believes we are capable of change.”

BrenĂ© Brown ― 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Meatballs and Monday

Quick entry to get caught up.  I had a good week of training last week, missing just 1 workout in the end.  Gotta keep it going.  I am starting to get my routine back.  It feels good.  When I left Masters, last week, and was driving to work, I felt noticeably happier than usual.

I had a good, hard run on Saturday night.  It was a good effort on a night time run.  Running at the end of the day for me is always a challenge.  I run out of time, or am too tired.  I figure I might as well get used to running at night -- I'll be doing a lot of that on November 1st.

Today is a recovery swim, and boy do I need it.  Ugh!  Everything is sore!!

Czech meatballs from Well Fed
Tried some new recipes this week from the Well Fed book.  I made Czech Meatballs, Chocolate Chili and Meat Muffins.  I also made my own recipe of roasted tomatillo sauce and some verde chicken in the slow cooker.  It all came out pretty good.  Bonus was Cassie even liked the Chili!!!!

We had our annual "Funnest Run Ever" -- Since I'm not racing, I supported.  We do a few miles of the Houston Marathon/Half Marathon course, for visualization... we end up at the actual finish in front of the GRB where you are expected to practice your finish line moves.  Good times.  Good company.

While Masters is going well I decided not to get up early this morning... I needed the sleep.  Coach provided me (conveniently) with a workout I can do on my own. Need to lift some weights too!

I don't think I've seen a Tedx Talk that hasn't left me feeling inspired for change.  I watched this Ted talk and it makes perfect sense.  I used to be a better journal-er and always used to write down 3 things I was grateful for.  Not sure why those have slacked off over the years.  May need to start this again. 

Friday, January 03, 2014

Breakfast 1/3

Breakfast today was delish, although it is probably more of brunch entree to some.

Verde Breakfast Stack
Baked sweet potato
2 scrambled eggs
Topped with Crockpot Salsa Verde chicken

Sounds brunch-is,  but good! 

Crockpot Salsa Verde Chicken
2 packages organic chicken tenderloins
1 15oz jar of "clean" Salsa Verde (or make your own!)

Dump chicken in crockpot, sprinkle with salt/pepper, top with salsa verde.
Cook on low for 4 hours. 

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Lunch 1/2

Homemade Roast Beef w/fresh peas and carrots!

Okay,  I know peas are not paleo legal,  but they are fresh and no one gets fat from eating peas.  :)

Let's Be Frank...

Had a couple of discussions with CC... actually he really wasn't a Cranky Coach -- he told me what I needed to hear.

Ever since my skin removal, almost 6 months ago, I hoped I'd feel *different* where running was concerned.  Biking and swimming feel eaiser, but running it just sucks the freakin' life out of me right now. Might have something to do with a lack of training.  Doh.

Having set inappropriate expectations, my motivation dropped and I experienced a slight depression.  Not like I'm-going-to-kill-myself kind of depression, just disappointed.  I was somewhat realistic in that I knew it wouldn't be magical like a Unicorn, but I did expect it to feel different, better.

The last few months have been a whirlwind of travel, work and family obligations -- If I wasn't busy I was sick.  I was getting sick and tired of being busy or sick.  Couple that with the lack of motivation and the few opportunities I did have to make choices to train, I didn't.

There were a number of reasons ranging from, "I am just too tired",  to "I better do this now, while I have the chance, because once I start training..."  In between all that there was a bunch of dread and disappointment.  I have the Houston Aramco Half looming over my head -- and it was causing a lot of stress knowing I felt so sh*tty running, and that I haven't made some of the best choices outside of my crazy schedule.

I kept thinking if I could just string a few weeks together I could get my routine back, but it didn't happen -- at best I did 2 weeks -- I made most of my long runs and got up to 9 miles, but it was a miserable 9. I knew that for me the best thing to do is to defer this year.  I just didn't respect the distance enough to make the right choices when I could have. I feel like such a sh*tty athlete.  A half marathon is a daunting distance when untrained and the thought of it just paralyzed me.  I knew in my current (lack of) condition it would be u-g-l-y.

I didn't want to have the discussion with coach.  I knew he'd give me a million reasons why I should do it -- Mr. Optimistic.  Mr. Positive.  I knew I didn't want to be talked into it, but sometimes he can be so darned compelling... that is his job though. :)

Before talking to him I did some thinking and came up with a plan.  I decided that I need baby steps with running again.  It has essentially been a year of very little running -- my pace, while always slow, is still off today.  I can't even run the official pace cut-off time (13:45 mile) for the Half distance (another big driver in my decision not to do it).  I will know I didn't race it by the rules... even there is 8 hours to finish it, you know?

So I keep asking myself, why am I jumping straight into a half marathon?  I didn't do that distance when I first started running.  I started with 5k's and 10k's... then halfs. I worked my way up.  So I decided to use the Rodeo Run 10K as my target race.. it gives me more than another month to string together some good effort and get my routine back.  Wow!  It felt good to make that decision.  I felt like a weight was lifted.  Of course I still had to tell Coach. Which I kept putting off, until this past weekend.

He already sensed my disappointment and depression -- he just didn't know the cause.  His biggest reason for wanting me to race is that he wanted me to get that event under my belt to get me back into the routine of training for something... that, and having a crappy day would light that fire under my butt.  He doesn't think you can just "flip a switch" and be 100% on when it comes to training -- I think there is some truth to that, especially after you've been off for a while, like me.

I know I can flip that switch, now that I have the weight of the Half removed from my shoulders.  If nothing else, I will prove him wrong.  :)

There are no podium spots for runners like me and really, I am okay with that.  The only thing I do have is to do better than I did last time -- which is not going to happen in for 2014. Even if I tried, I wouldn't come close.

It's a tough decision to make, to quit a race before you start -- although Coach says. "If you never start, it's not really quitting."  LOL  I still feel like I quit -- that's how I am.  When I commit to something I go all the way -- I won't do it if I can only go half-way, you know?  I am like that with most things.  Having to make that decision was enough to light that fire he was looking for.

In the end the conversation was good.  We also talked a lot about life dynamics when Ironman Florida training starts.  He accepted and agreed with my plan, though he still thinks I should just go and "have fun" at the half, even if I had to walk it all.  I just don't wanna go down that way.  He was happy I had another race in mind, because then he still kind of gets his way.  LOL

 My training calendar is changing a bit and adding some other considerations:

FEB   Rodeo Run 10K
APR   70.3 Texas - Relaying (swimming)
MAY Gulf Coast 70.3 (Panama City)
JUN   Buffalo Springs 57.2 Aquabike (Tentative)
SEP   Redman Full Aquabike
NOV Ironman Florida

In other news, I am happy I am going back to Masters swimming starting tomorrow morning and mad spin has started! Coach argues that I am faster than I was, so here's weight off my shoulders and getting my training routine going to find this speed he says is there.  :)

Morning Snack

Just before 11am.
1/2 apple
10 Pecans from my mother-in-law's Tree!  

So fresh.   So good!!

Breakfast 1/2

Turkey scramble and baked Spaghetti Squash

Turkey Scramble
Fresh parsley
Lemon juice
Lean Ground Turkey
Brown lean ground Turkey and Rotel.   
Add in lightly beaten eggs and stir until eggs are cooked.   
Add fresh parsley and juice of a lemon.

I make this in volume and it lasts for a week.   Makes for a super easy breakfast.  :)
Baking the squash is silly easy!   

Just cut the squash in half (this can be the hardest part!) and brush a little EVOO the open sides.  Dust with salt,  pepper,  garlic powder and onion powder.   Place face down in a large piece of tin foil and wrap tightly.   Bake at 350  for 90 mins.   I find cooking it long and slow makes for a better,  softer,  texture.  

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

In a Blink!

Whoah!  Where did the last 3 weeks go?  Like that, they're gone!

There hasn't been much training going on with a much-needed family vacation to NJ and then a week of travel for work.  Add to that, living with the worst cold I've had in a very long time and it's an awful recipe for training. 

I've caught myself shaking my head a number of times,
"How am I going to find the time?"
"How is my family going to live with me through the next 11 months?"
"Where's this money going to come from?"
"Do I really NEED a computrainer?" 
"Do I really NEED a powertap for my Training wheel AND my race wheel?"
"Are Quarqs really THAT quirky?"

I am "running" the Houston Half.  It's going to be painful and long. It will not be a great performance, but I'll dig deep and do the best that I can on that day.  My mileage is not anywhere near where it should be and that's sad.  I feel badly I'm using a lottery slot that someone is upset they didn't get, maybe to run maybe their first or their 20th half marathon.  Sometimes that thought is what pushes me to get out there when I don't have a real reason I can't get my run in.  

Running, you and I need to get chummy.  Seriously.  Let's do coffee and have a serious chat.  I really want to know you better and enjoy your company.  We've got some long runs coming up!

My race schedule is still coming together for the next year.  Looks like I am going to relay Galveston 70.3 and do the Gulf Coast 70.3, in full.  I am excited about GC70.3 because it's the IMFL course, just half of it.  I get the same swim, bike and run. 

Being sick, I've had some help with some clean-er eating.  Still not perfect, but better.  Need to work on that and start journaling my food again... there will be some boring posting going on, but I always do better noting it down. 

A bit of half/half for way too much coffee
2 eggs
1/2 sweet potato

AM Snack
Need for Seed Picky Bar

Grilled Chicken & Broccoli

PM Snack

Turkey Meatloaf & Green beans

Tonight I have a 1 hr. easy ride, which I think I can manage, even at the end of this illness.  :)

Now to work....

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Counting Down

Here's what is ahead of me for the next year!  Exciting!!

Admittedly it has been a challenge to get back in the swing of things.  It makes me worry (a little) that once the official training for IMFL starts I won't get everything in. These days I don't know if I am coming or going!  By the end of the day I am just flat-out exhausted!  I know it will get better, but right now it is super-tough.

The first step has to be getting back to eating well a larger percent of the time. I string a couple days together here and there, but then blow it, in a moment, without even realizing what I am doing.  I am so busy that I am not "present" 100% of the time.  For me, that's what it takes to be successful with eating well the majority of the time. I will be blogging food again, so get ready for the boring daily food posts.  :)

The second thing has to be running.  Ugh!  My albatross! Since I haven't been running ridiculously inconsistently for the last year, it is worse than the slow I already was.  I have not been 100% consistent with getting my runs in either -- it's crazy really.  I don't think it's about not wanting to run -- it's more about not wanting see how bad it is.  I am much, much better when I run without my Garmin... that is until I download the data.  Ugh!  I download the data and then the self-loathing begins.  It's a vicious circle and one that I have to get through if I'm going to make it 345 days!  It is going to be a slow process.

For swimming, I'm hoping for the start of a Masters swim program in the next few months.  Otherwise I may go back to my old Masters swim program; new coaches make me uncertain though.  No preconceived notion of them, just that they are new to me.   This year is about learning to be vulnerable though, so the right thing for my mind is probably to get outside my comfort zone and go back.  I'm working on that.

Biking won't be too hard -- that comes easiest for me.  Just getting the rides in the during the week will be a challenge, but I'm hoping to Have Trainer and Travel, to get some of my hour long rides in while Cassie is at Swim team practice.

I need to utilize the next 30 days to get my head straight and continue to remind myself that I am an athlete, believe I am an athlete and live like an athlete.   :)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Look Out Ironman Florida... Coming to Your Race in 2014!

It has been quite a while since I last posted, and pretty much a year since I've blogged routinely.  There's a reason for that... I just wasn't motivated or inspired.  My "plan" didn't go as expected, and I was less than inspired.There really was no reason for it either, since I knew it would happen, the skin removal surgery, that is. Such a waste of time and energy, being down about it.

The good news is, it is done. Now it's time to work.  Now it is time to move forward!

So a couple Saturdays ago I was in Panama City... Panama City Beach, FL to be exact.  There would only be 2 reasons I would be there the same weekend as Ironman Florida.  to 1) Volunteer or 2) Sign up for my first 140.6!  

I did both!

I can hardly believe it.  Just like that, $1,000 spent between race entry and week long condo stay!

What the heck is wrong with me?  

353 days on a journey a better version of me, mentally and physically... and learn to really believe that fear is a liar.  I am limitless, despite what has been programmed in my silly mind.

It's not going to be easy, but nothing worth doing ever really is.

Outside of registration we had a great time volunteering and spectating.  I took a unique-for-me volunteer assignment and chose to work timing -- usually I hang in transition (much easier to cheer-on your team mates there!).  This time, we started with timing at the swim exit.  It gave us a great view of the swim start so we could get an good idea of what to expect.  The water was pretty active this year, but once you made it past the breakers, it was fine, so all the athletes said.

We were tethered to our Ironman staff leaders until 10 AM, so they had us working next at the bike out.  The bike out was one of the hardest jobs... we had to document the number of each bike leaving transition, as backup to the chip.  My throat was sore from calling out numbers, my hand cramped too!  Clearly I was dehydrated. LOL I didn't get to actually spectate much with this job, which was a downer because I had friends racing, but I was happy to know that if someone had a chip problem, we'd have at least some of the data to help resolve their bike out time or swim/transition time.

The staffers then took us out to the run course to place the timing wires for the split reporting.  We got to cruise in their 2014 Ironman Mustang.  It was awesome way to get a view of the entire 2-loop run course!  This part was bonus.  We thought we just be timing at the swim.  Getting to see the entire run course, before you race it, goes a long way for you mentally.

Me and my IM buddy Wei, my photobomber.  :)
After our tasks were complete, we went to Waffle House to grab some b'fast.  We had a front row seat to watch the bikes roll in, in groups of 20 or so, then nothing for a while... then another big group.

Absolutely no drafting happens in Florida, right?  Just crazy!  Yeah right.

Amy and I rented a 2 seater scooter-go-cart-thingie and made our way to the run course to cheer everyone on. 

On the run course we FINALLY got to see some of our club friends, which of course is cause for cartwheels and photos!  I only do cartwheels for Ironman.  :)

Sadly , we didn't have this scooter near long enough.  We did take time to stalk the remaining bikers on the bike course and cheered them on... okay, we spurred them on to race us in our "dragster".

We got a brief rest at the hotel and then it was back to the Finish line to catch some newly born Ironman athletes!  Typically I love this job.  It makes me happy and sad, but always leaves me inspired.  Although this time the finish line was highly congested and that really sucked some of the enjoyment out of it.

On top of the regular media, there was additional media for the "Sheiks" who competed from a "Far-far Away".  In fact they had a complete entourage with them the entire race.  It looked to me there was lots of pacing going on.  Ugh.  Whatever.  What made me most angry was how these entourages, and others from the Ironman Foundation, felt some sense of entitlement... like they owned the Finish line.  It was all just extra frustrating because everything was so congested.  It really it was not laid out well at all (sorry Finish Line V'teer Captain -- nothing personal, but the exit could have been far better coordinated).

We went to Florida with one mission... to get registered.  There were doubters among us though, bringing us down (not really, but it makes it sound so much more dramatic), worried some kind of logistical change would happen and well, we'd be screwed.  Really, it was simple...

Volunteers get preferred registration the day after that.  Period.  End of story. You just can't give doubt any energy. 

Even though registration didn't open until 9, word on the street was people start getting in line at 5 am! The Athlete Coordinator told me people were camped out at 12:30 am, and were made to leave the premises.  This race is both a fast course and a first-timer 'friendly' course.  People love it and it sells out each year in just minutes once it goes online.

As CC (Cranky Coach) told us, "You have one mission while you are there. If you don't achieve it, you didn't want it bad enough."

Here we are "wanting it" at 5am

My "view" for the next 4 hours!

 Time passed in the line so quickly.  Lots of tri people.  Lots of excitement.  Lots of nerves.  Lots of doubt.  The next 365 will erase all doubt and negativity.  Because once you go in this tent...

and come out the other side, it is the first "transition"....

There is no more room for doubt, negativity or self-destruction.  There is only room for deprogramming false truths, moving through vulnerability, building fearlessness, consistent training, trusting your coach and maintaining a deep-rooted belief that you are an Ironman athlete and you will succeed.

With that...

101 uses for business white boards. :)

Lastly, none of this would be happening without the support of my Husband and my Daughter.  They know there will be some sacrifices in the coming year.  They also know I have promised to make the best choices possible to minimize family impact and keep balance.  They know too, that the last few months will be the toughest in every way.

I love them not just for their support of this, but because they still love me, even when I am hard to love.