Saturday, March 31, 2012

M&Ms Take on the Warrrior Dash

I just love it when I can use my fitness to have a "M"arvelously fun time with my "M"agnificient friends.

That's me, second from the left on the bottom.......the muddy one. put out a great deal for the Warrior Dash and be really fast athletes, we quickly got our entries for the....

My friends Jamie and Kelli made us all awesome shirts...various colors - pink, green, yellow, red, purple - all with a big "M" on the back.
Our M&M pack ran the 3 miles together. We went over the 12 obstacles together.

The obstacles were fabulous. They included jumping over hurdles and crawling under barbwire to jump over more hurdles; balancing across angled boards about 3 feet off the ground; crawling across tangled nets about 5 feet off the ground; climbing up and down cargo nets; and scaling a vertical wall and sliding down the other side.

Those were the warm-ups for the final three - Water, Fire, and MUD!

We slid down a slippery slope into Lake Elsinore. That was the scariest part of all. Not the slippery slope - but thinking I was actually putting my body in the bacteria-infested waters of lake Elsinore terrified me.

Once in the water we trudged over to the "Capsized Catamaran" where we pulled ourselves up on the deck, then had to jump back into the water, to trudge to the next deck and pull ourselves over it. For some of us shorties (I am 5'), it was difficult to jump up and get a hand on the edging to pull our bodies up on the deck. Thank you teammates for giving a pull or a push.

Then we held hands and jumped over a wall of fire, ran and jumped over another wall of fire. And we did have to actually jump over the fire.

No one got burned.

It quickly became clear that the best way to get through the mud pit was just to relax and float through the mud, letting it soak into every pore and orifice of my body, while avoiding the barbwire hanging over the pit.


The last obstacle was a Warrior Dash Helmet Mud (sand) Castle. We crawled into it and then out between the horns of the helmet to run to the finish line.

We did it in about 58 minutes.

We left no M&M warriors behind.

Yes, we celebrated with a beer.....Mine was Beck's NON-alcoholic (LENT)!

Thank you to all my Warrior M&M friends....and Good Luck tomorrow to Warrior Lance Armstrong as he battles his way through his second Ironman 70.3. I am rooting for you.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Starting to Feel Like Me Again!

I haven't sat in my blogging chair for a few days. I just wasn't me. Mix in my coach wanting me to be a full-time runner, with a death in the family, then my husband gone for 5 days, leaving me home to be a single parent, while I was working full-time (teacher) and part-time (personal fitness trainer), AND trying to get all my training in - and I GOT LOST!!!!!!

I'm back.

After continually sniveling to my coach, he acquiesced and changed my workout. I now get to swim, bike and RUN and strength train. I am much happier. He warned me though, that eventually I am going to have to hunker down and do MORE running.

I ran more this month than I have EVER ran in one month. I still have two days left in this month and I have pounded out 47.41 miles. Please don't snicker or laugh. For me, that is a lot!!!!

Guy is now home and our schedule is back to normal. On those days that I teach and I walk out the door to work leaving the dishwasher unloaded and pile of towels in the dryer, I know he will pick up the slack.
I didn't know there was an actual device for adjusting slack.

Well, I did get some training in this week. Not all of it, but I sure tried! Until Wednesday. After three days of working in a 1st grade class and sending 7 of the darlings home sick, I felt as if I was coming down with something. I had a headache and had a fever. I crawled into bed at 5:30 p.m. and slept for almost 14 hours. I missed my Master Swim class, but sleep was more important. Luckily, I did NOT have to work today.

So what did I do on my day off? Can you believe it - I ran. I ran 5.43 miles to get my winning lottery tickets for tomorrow night's $540 million Mega Million draw. When my lottery group wins, the first thing I am doing is buying myself a tri-bike and one of those new Garmin 910xt watches.

Then I went for a swim.

I continue to visualize that I look like this when I am swimming.

I am feeling like myself again.

Swimming, biking, running, strength training, working, training, blogging, writing....I even worked in my yard today, mowing the lawn. I enjoyed it!

No, this is not my lawnmower, but it sure looks fun!

It feels good to be back in my blogging chair. It feels good to be me!

I'm back to train(ing)-n-tri(ing)!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Coach Thinks I am a Runner!

My coach must think I am a runner because this week he put a total of 31.5 miles on my workout log. YES, you read that right - 31.5 &%#@ miles.

I looked at next weeks' log and he has me down for a total of 32.5 miles.


Let's just put this in perspective.
Last year I ran a total of 312 miles.
312 miles for the entire YEAR!!

I did make it my goal this year to bump my mileage up and I said I would run 10 miles a week. That seemed realistic for me.

I started the year off almost making my 10-mile a week goal. I laid down 38.85 miles in January and 37.273 miles in February.

I am slowly trying to increase my distance and my intensity. SLOWLY!!!!

So far this month I have ran 38.97 miles and I have a whole week left of the month.

Here's why I REALLY think my coach mistakenly thinks I am a runner - this past week my workout called for running on five days and swimming on three. No biking and no strength training (don't tell, but I did both anyways).
This coming up week my schedule shows five days of running! JUST RUNNING!!

No swimming!

No biking!

No strength training!

My coach either wants me to be a runner or go crazy.
Hey, coach, if I don't have any swimming on my schedule, does that mean I don't need to show up for my swim lesson?

Last week I asked him about my training and hinted that maybe he should make some changes to it.

His answer was basically, "Running is the name of the game!"

Okay, I'll play, but I want to play the game of TRIATHLON!

And at this rate I will have to buy a new pair of running shoes sooner than I had intended.

My training plan calls for an 11-mile run tomorrow.

Hope I have some legs left after the bike ride I am going to take that isn't on my training plan!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hard Week

 Monday started off great.

My guy and I went for a 20-mile bike ride up and down Victoria Avenue.

Then I ran 1.5 miles with my youngest son, who is recovering from a bike injury. It made my heart soar to run with him. Every day his back is getting stronger.

In the evening I attended a class on preparing for an Ironman put on by my coach. Here my first HALF Ironman is on the schedule for OCTOBER and already I am planning for my FULL Ironman.

I came home full of energy and plans.
My guy met me at the door looking pale.

"My dad died," he said.

Robert's dad lived in Florida with his wife. Robert left this morning to go there for the funeral.

Robert's dad was not in the best of health. He had some medical issues.

Every hard workout I had this week - running - I thought about how much I enjoyed having my health and being able to run and bike and swim.
Living a long time and being able to do all the physical activities I want for as long as I want is one reason I TRI. Swimming, biking, running and strength training keeps me physically and mentally in shape.

My kids with their Grampa and his wife.

My sister-in-law wrote this message about my father-in-law: Please know that the last day of his life was a good one. He went to a Yankees spring training game with his friends. He told my mom he loved her. He was happy.

I'm glad my father-in-law was doing something he liked on his last day. We should all be doing something we like every day of our lives because we never know when it could be our last day.

My sister-in-law went on to write: I know some of you won't be able to be with us physically on Saturday when we have his funeral, but your presence will be felt. If you have a story, a memory, or a picture of my dad that you would like me to share with my family, please let me know. Or simply, if you want to celebrate my dad's life on Saturday, wherever you are, wear a Yankees cap. That would make him smile.
Thanks again for your support. I know my dad would be happy to know that his wife, kids, and grandkids are surrounded by so much love.

My father-in-law wearing his Yankees' cap.

Tomorrow Robert will be attending his father's funeral in Florida. The rest of my family stayed home. While school and work kept us physically here, emotionally we will be with the rest of our family in Florida.

Tomorrow I have a 5-mile hilly run on my workout schedule. I'll be wearing my red Yankees cap in honor of my father-in-law.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring!!!!

I made it through fall and winter without getting the doldrums! That's a first.

 I am crediting all the swimming, biking, running and weight training I have been doing. Who has time to be SAD (seasonal affective disorder) when they are busy exercising?

I mean, all those good endorphins swimming (even my endorphins are exercising) around in my head has been good for me.


Just the name of it sounds fun!

If you shoved your running shoes, or your goggles or your bike helmet under the bed for the winter, now is the time to take them out, dust them off and put them on and get out there.

While we don't actually have more time in our day, it sure can seem like it. Instead of getting dark at 5 or 5:30, I noticed the sun was still spreading its sunshine around at 6:30 last night. And every day continues to have more and more light....more time to be outside and do those fun, energizing activities.

Here's what's on my plate for Spring:

Yep, I am giving this a try!

I know this doesn't look like much fun, but I will be so HAPPY when the popcorn is off my ceilings...and it is going to be a great workout!
by the end of Spring I am going to LOVE
open water swimming!

I love to garden in the spring time! My son and husband are helping me finish the side yard. I'll post before and after pics when I am done!

This is one of my favorite Spring time activities...I do this when I have a recovery day!!!

And of course, I will be doing a lot of this:
Can't forget about that
runner's high!!!!!

Happy Spring Equinox!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Triathlon Practice Cancelled

My triathlon club was suppose to have a practice triathlon today. It was to be a members-only practice with support. Athletes could pick a sprint or Olympic distance. The practice was to be at the local State Park.

Then the weatherman gave his forecast and the practice was nixed.

But I was all ready for an Olympic distance practice. I need the open water practice more than anything else. Really today I just needed something after not doing much of anything this week because of my upper-body running injury (yeah, well, if you don't know what I am talking about, read a past blog about my running injury).

I decided just to have my own practice. So today I did an Olympic distance, though not in the correct order, and I threw some other events in between the main events.

I started my event with a 6.23 mile run up and down and up and down and up and down Mt. Rubidoux. Some of it I ran on the road and some of it I ran on the trail. It was a gorgeous day! The weatherman was wrong about torrential rain and wind today. Oh, well. While running around on the mountain, which is really just a large hill, I enjoyed the clouds and the sun and the hawks and the darting lizards and avoided all the dog poop.

Not my best time, but I ran my 6.23 miles in 1:10 (about). Lots of uphills and downhills.

My transition time was long....about three hours. I stopped at Trader Joe's and got some food for the week. At home I made tuna sandwiches for me and a boy. Then instead of throwing away the over-ripe bananas, I made banana nut bread. I used COCONUT OIL instead of the cooking oil called for in the recipe. It turned out great! (Read my blog on Coconut Oil....You'll want to start using it, too!)

I got to the gym to spin my 24.6 miles and found that a class was in session. Luckily my friend, Debra, was teaching the class, so she waved me in and I hid in the back and spun out my miles while everyone else climbed theirs.

My transition from bike to swim was fast...just a quick stop in the locker room to change and I was in the pool!

I swam 1000 yards, then noticed I was the only one left in the pool area. Well, that was a little creepy, especially since a few women in the locker room have told stories about a ghost in the pool area - Not that I believe any of the stories. I decided it was a great time to practice using my new underwater camera.

Do I look as focused as the girl on the wall?
They didn't even have Aqua Fit at the gym today and STILL the water is cloudy.

Okay, so I was done playing and I finished my laps!

Next time I want my practice triathlon to include all my tri-friends. It just wasn't the same today trying to imagine all the great support from my triathlon group. And when I yelled out,"Great job!" to a lady on my run today, she just looked at me as if I was crazy. She didn't know I am just triathlon


Keep on train(ing)-n-tri(ing)!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Swimming Security Blanket

I use a swim aid when I swim in open water, even at triathlons! Yep, I wear a floatation device around my waist and it is USAT approved.

This is not the device I use!

This is!

When I first started swimming - again, at the age of 49 - it was in a pool. I was not scared. After all, at the gym pool I could touch the bottom and the edge was close by for an easy grab.

No worries here!

But this worries me!

Not only can I not touch the bottom, but there is no edge to grab! Not only that, but someone could hit me or kick me! And what if I have a medical emergency and can't keep myself afloat?

I have seen the statistics and I don't want to be one.

During this past summer, it was reported that nine people died while participating in triathlons in the United States. Of the nine, all but one died during the swim portion of the race. USA Triathlon has appointed a panel of race directors and doctors to investigate the deaths.
In most cases, the official cause of death was cited as drowning, though some of the triathletes were found to have a minor heart abnormality, which could be a possible contributor.

Most of the articles I read said PANIC ATTACKS were probably the main reason the athletes drowned.

Yikes! I am working on it, but I sometimes still get a little LOT panicked at the start of a triathlon swim.

This from the Associated Press: In the water, despite having lifeguards and water safety personnel nearby in boats or kayaks, it is tough to see someone struggling among all the splashing bodies, which look virtually identical in their wetsuits and race-issued swim caps. When a person in distress is spotted, it takes additional precious seconds to get that person to shore, where there are defibrillators and ambulances.

But I feel secure because I wear this:

Here I am at TriRock San Diego with my guy on my left, and my Triathlon Connection friends. You can see my orange belt.

And here I am at the Desert International Triathlon with my fabulous Triathlon Connection buddies. My orange SwimSafe belt is securely wrapped around me.

If something happens to me out there in the open water someone is going to notice me. I know that at any moment I can pull the string and I will be wearing a bright yellow life vest. Yes, I will be DQ'd if I activate the SwimSafe. But if it is between my life and a DQ, well, I'll take the Did Not Finish on the triathlon, not on my life!

Surprisingly, besides my Triathlon Connection friends, no one at a triathlon has ever asked me about the obvious orange belt.

The information on the Tri-Aid website says that once the belt is activated it will provide 16 pounds of flotation in less than 5 seconds. It weighs 11.5 ounces.

She looks better in the belt than I do!
I  have NEVER had to pull the activation handle.

The device is reusable by attaching a new CO2 cartridge.

Ron Shea
Founder of
gives a review on the SwimSafe at:

I may look dorky with my orange safety belt, but swimming with my security blanket gives me
 peace of mind. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm a Mulitple Personality Triathlete

Just read an article from TriathleteMind about a survey of 1,200 triathletes and how they plan their season and set their goals. From the survey, they found that there are five types of triathletes:

According to the survey, I am a multiple personality triathlete. I am undefined, incomplete and clear and focused. Good thing I have a training plan!

Here are the 5 types of triathletes:

1. Doubtful -
This athlete does not have clear goals. They struggle to define a specific goals and think training for specific distances "might be too much." They are doubtful about their abilities, their physical limitations and their commitment, yet they still are actively involved in training and competing in triathlons.

This is not me. I have no doubt about my abilities or my physical limitations...I know exactly what they are and every day I work to improve them - my abilities, not my limitations...I am accepting of my physical limitations...I am committed to the sport of Triathlon or should be committed for all the time and money I spend on it.

2. Hesitant -

A slight step up from the Doubtfuls, this group is optimistic about their outcomes but lacks determination with goals of ‘I hope to do a sprint’ or ‘I’m hoping to do better than last year’. They know what they’d like to do this season, but lack the conviction and confidence to see it through.

Okay, I am NOT hesitant either. I don't just hope to do a sprint. I have already done two this year and I am signed up for three more sprints. I don't just hope to do an Olympic distance, I have already done one so far this year and I am signed up for two more. I don't just hope to do a Half Ironman, I am already signed up for SOMA AZ.

3. Undefined - Survey results show that this was the largest group. They are more positively directed yet still have undefined goals. They make statements such as “I want to do a few races”, “My main goal is to have fun” and “I really just want to avoid injury”.

I admit it - I am UNDEFINED because I make this statement all the time - "My main goal is to have fun." If training and competing at triathlons is not fun, what's the point? When running, swimming, biking and strength-training are no longer FUN for me, I'll need to look for a new sport or activity to keep me in shape and healthy.

Just an idea!
And let me add - "I really want to avoid injury!!!!"

4. Incomplete  -

More clear and committed, the Incompletes typically know what they’d like to achieve, yet still have some ambiguity. They know what they want to do but lack an extra edge to make it crystal clear in their mind and super focused in their actions to get there. They make comments like “I want to finish an Olympic distance” and “Beat my previous time in a Half Ironman."

This is me, too! "I want to finish a Half Ironman this year" and "I want to beat my previous time at Tinsel Triathlon in December."

5. Clear and focused -
According to the survey, this last group stood out loud and clear from the others in their commitment, focus and excited energy for their year ahead. This group said they know what they want with statements such as “Complete my first sprint in 1:20”, “Improve my transition time by 2 minutes and achieve a personal best in the swim and run by 10%”. Their Big Goal was specific, well-defined, and measureable.

I may be going out on a limb, but to stay in the clear and focused group I will make these bold statements: "I will complete my first Half Ironman in the alloted time." "In 2012 I will swim in a Triathlon with an open water swim and remain calm the ENTIRE swim." "I will beat my Tinsel Triathlon time by 5 minutes." Yikes, did I just say that? Yes, I did, because I AM CLEAR AND FOCUSED!

What kind of triathlete are you?
To see entire survey - click on: