Monday, December 28, 2009

You Can't Give Away What You Don't Have

So, after almost a month of horribly negative self talk, overeating, completely overdosing in sugar, and escaping my stress by eating, I feel horrible. Yeah, I can hear you "excusing" me already - "but it's the holidays, it's okay". Well, it's not. Not if I want to appreciate my body, use it to do good things and inspire others. How in the world am I supposed to tell people to nurture their bodies when I abuse mine daily, hourly? I'm not.

Wayne Dyer tells a story about his daughter not sharing her toys at a birthday party. She had just gotten the toys and hadn't even had time to enjoy them. She could not share those toys because they were not truly hers to give away - yet.

Yet. A powerful word. Just because my thoughts and actions up until today have not been altogether healthy, that does not mean that one week, one month, one year from now I have to fight the same battles I've fought for 25 years. I can change. I can help you change. But in order to do that, I have to have a leg to stand on, so to speak.

I don't make new year's resolutions. My birthday is just before, so instead I like to have "my year". I try to give myself a good birthday present, like a long run and a massage (this year's plan - the long run is a tradition these days, this is the 3rd year). Instead of expanding my coaching efforts, I am taking 2010 to work on Project M. I am keeping my current coaching efforts intact but not adding a significant time investment. I am writing my book. I am recreating my "glasses" through which I see the world. I am reshaping my body. I am redefining me.

Sounds like a grand adventure, doesn't it?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fun Run

I had an awesome run today. 3.1 miles, nothing spectacular lengthwise, but just a really fun time. I'm still having a bit of anterior knee pain that I'm hoping will go away soon with more stretching and strengthening. Otherwise nothing much, if you don't count that my email was compromised as was my facebook. What a royal pain!

Hope everyone's doing well.

Gotta Run,

Monday, November 30, 2009

Night Serenity

I'm not sure why I don't like running in the dark. Maybe because I'd never done it before. I love the quiet night. I got out of work early tonight, and came home to a beautifully silent house except for the Celtic Spa music which I choose to keep at a low level constantly playing. The sounds weep and flow through my home, a grounding. As my Dad said, like well worn, comfortable furniture. I am very thankful to have had my family here for the holiday. I fear I was not as nice, or nearly as giving as I'd like to become. My husband surely knows this. I hope he knows how much I want to be "that" person, and not the one who lashes out. I am not sure if my selfishness is borne of fear. Likely so. Fear of vulnerability. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Just plain fear. What a waste. It is said that the opposite of fear is love. Selflessly giving of one's time, touch, care, even to myself.  To care, to nurture. I wonder, is it something I can practice? Something I can move toward? I suppose if I follow the path. I am not the first to want this, nor the first to move toward it. I do not expect perfection, but a steady advance in the direction of a giving heart is something I crave.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Befriend the Night

There are so many things I will do differently for my second Ironman. Tonight, I added another. I didn't feel well, and bid a fond farewell to my family after the holiday, so I took a nap. I woke up with not enough time to get the whole 7 miles in (not the fastest turtle in the bunch!) before dark, so I had another good excuse to postpone the run until tomorrow. But, I read the posts of my friends on Facebook, and had some extra motivation, so I grabbed my RoadID Firefly light, and went off to do my run. I ran the last half hour in real darkness. In the past, that would have been frightening, but after Ironman Florida, it is a necessity. My entire marathon will likely be run in the dark. It was in Florida, that's for sure. However, I'd done very little dark running, and it took a lot of mental energy to be cognizant of the road while trying not to keel over.

So today, I overcame my desire to be lazy, overcame my excuse that I have a sore throat and runny nose (no, I'm not sick enough not to run, but again, would have been an acceptable excuse in the "real world"), overcame my desire to grab a novel and sit on the couch, and I ran. In the dark. And it was good.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Last But Not Least

A year ago when I started this blog to chronicle my Ironman journey, I thought I had the dedication to finish a full distance triathlon. This past weekend, I pushed myself to my limit and did just that.

The plan started out with Ironman Cozumel, which was closed by the time we could pay for it. Then we wanted Arizona, but the EM boards conflicted with it. So, Florida it was.

Ironman Florida was the most emotionally, mentally and physically taxing event I have ever completed. Usually when I set out to do something, it's more of a sure thing. More like "yeah, it'll be hard" but deep down I know I can do it. This beast was different. I had no idea if I could do it.

Actually, my biggest fear before the race was that I couldn't make the bike cutoff of 5:15pm. I ended up making it by about 20 minutes, so that was good. Very emotional, because now I knew I had a chance to finish this thing.

However, about 8 miles into the run, I started to do triathlon impaired mathematics. My Garmin had died, so I had no idea of my pace, and had to figure it out per mile. Well, when it takes you over 15 minutes to get to the next marker, sometimes you forget. So, by my calculations, I was worried. So I told myself, "ok, just make it to the turnaround and then you can worry." However, in the back of my head, the doubts were festering.

With 8 miles to go, I gave up. I was walking because my legs hurt so badly. From my feet, a bone-deep ache spread all the way up into my hips. That part was worse when I walked, but when I ran, my back muscles just seized. Not cramped really, but were so overtaxed that they were just painful. Very, very painful. So, I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have an unofficial finish (over 17 hours).

Then, I started to get lightheaded. I'm guessing in retrospect that this is because I had fueling issues from a nasty stomach virus the week before the race. But twice, I said, "forget the unofficial finish, I can't go on any more, I feel like I'm going to pass out!" As we walked through the park in the pitch blackness, Jenny (the girl I was walking with) says "do you think if I get bit by a deer I can stop?" as we pass a beautiful deer standing on the side of the path. Jenny finished well before me in the end - congrats to her!

So, here I am, in the dark, thinking there is NO way I can pull 16 minute miles out of my body. That's what I figured it'd take to do the last 7 miles and finish in time. I was going to sign up for next year and do things differently this time...

As my dad called them, the "angels in the dark" arrived. My wonderful husband, Greg, and my teammates Kirsten and Lynn, pull up in the car and give me the one thing that could get me through - hope. (2017 Update:  I’ll forever be grateful to them for that gift of hope. It is amazing what brings out your true self.)

After all the mental training I had done, I lost hope! Me, of all people. I lost it. I had nothing. Maybe if I'd had less pain, my brain and heart could have handled it on their own, but at that point, it was gone. Until Kirsten got out of the car, and said, "ok, now I know you can do this but we have to pick up the pace. If you run most of it and walk a bit, you'll make it in time. You did NOT come this far for an unofficial finish."

And so I believed her, because I wanted to believe her. I wanted to believe I didn't come this far, both literally and figuratively, for an unofficial anything! I'd been going for over 15 hours at this point and I was going to miss the cutoff by MINUTES.

And so I ran.

And I turned the corner to the finishing chute with less than a minute to spare. I kept looking up, thinking "I don't know if I can make it." I had about 6 people running with me, screaming at me, and to me, this felt like an all-out sprint. It was all I could do. And I still wasn't sure I could make the mere feet to get there in time. Now, there was a chance I could miss it by SECONDS.

So I pushed. Harder. And I heard screaming, from the hundreds of friends I never knew I had, from Mike Reilly, the voice of Ironman.

And I finished - in 16:59.43
the last official finisher of Iroman Florida 2009

Even as the last person to cross, I didn't feel slow, I didn't feel inadequate,
I made it.

I am an IRONMAN.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

As the Day Approaches

It is Tuesday.

Ironman Florida is Saturday.

There are no numbers in that calendar. There are mere days between, not "3 more weeks" or "in only 2 months". I am not sure what to make of it. I was feeling confident after my century brick. Then I got a bit nervous. Then I got sick. Really sick. I think it was likely viral, since it went through my body like a raging freight train. I have started to eat again, which is good. This is not an excuse to not finish IMFL, mark my words. I. Will. Finish. Just to review, lol, I have two goals. 1. finish in 17 hours or less, and 2. have fun.

My physical condition isn't at its peak, but how many of us know what our peak really is? I do know that this isn't it for me. At least I hope not, and I believe that our reality IS what we believe.

So, come with me as I head over to Panama City to be in the amazing environment of fitness, health, ambition, sacrifice and festivity that is Ironman Florida.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Knowing and Believing

I finally believe that I can do this Ironman thang. Yep, I did a century for the first time yesterday, with a 2 mile run afterward and it felt great. I'm actually more excited than fearful for the upcoming race!

There are also some ideas percolating regarding my future endeavors to support athletes and help them reach their goals. Those will likely come to fruition in December, after the boards and Thanksgiving. December is my business closing & opening month :)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Back in the saddle

Well this is an update. With 34 days to go, I've decided to separate my blogs, if for no other reason, that writing is therapeutic. My wordpress blog, found at , is officially diverted. I figure if writing helps me, well, why not really commit? Hmmmm, now for those of you who know me best, committing is, well, the easy part. Follow through (much like my golf swing) is the part where the best laid plans fall apart.

So this is me...
I'm doing Ironman Florida in 34 days. I bought a spiffy new Quintana Roo tri bike, that I am not strong enough to ride, even with tweaking, and oh, to mention, that I HATE EVERY BIKE SEAT I've tried on that darn bike. Dammit, I love that bike. Anyway, I got so fed up while on the Computrainer last week, I said "forget it, I'm so done with being in pain", walked out to the garage, grabbed my road bike off the wall, and left. It felt like I was a little kid again (well, actually better than that, because I was never really carefree as a kid). But anyway, you know what I mean. On the QR I was struggling to get comfortable and pull off 13 mph! I hopped onto my Specialized and did 15mph with very little effort, and that includes stoplights. It's a little late to be making huge changes like this, but I'm not really sure I have a choice - so road bike it is. I actually may leave my old comfy mountain shoes and pedals on it. They are easy, it's fun, and at this point, it's obvious I'm not about image. I can look great on my QR but if I only go 13 mph, that won't get me to my fun run at the end!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009


“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving” - Albert Einstein

Well, we do keep moving. We're now in Texas, and I've started a new job that's kept me quite busy. Still chugging along with the workouts, I'm running 6 today. I had to revamp, as usual, with the program because all I did was run during the move. Biking is on the agenda for tomorrow, and hopefully I'll get a call about a new bike. More to come later...

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Doing your P’s

Yet another gem from Ironman Talk with Coach John Newsom and Bevan James Eyles, who are a tremendous source of motivation and entertainment at

DO YOUR P’s…there are six of them:
Proper Preparation to Prevent Piss Poor Performance

Are you doing what it takes?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Triathlon, Food, Carpe Diem and such

“On your deathbed, you will have unread e-mail in your inbox.” - Alan Cohen
Love this quote! Ahhh, to be able to live in the moment. Huh, that sounds like a neat idea.
Yesterday Greg, Jayda and I (it was Jayda’s first) did the Dunedin sprint tri. It was Greg’s and my best sprint. Lots of fun (minus the sand on the run, come on, enough with the Florida beach runs already - I need some good asphalt path!)!!! Got to see Heather Gollnick in the midst of all of us lowlies. It was great :) I’m starting my new (well, old, really, but I’m going back to it) food plan based on Paul McKenna’s teachings. I just want to learn to listen to my body - I’m sure it knows what it needs way better than my head and heart do. I just have to be quiet long enough to hear it. In conjunction with a good IM training program that includes strength training of course, I think I’ll be able to finally lean down a bit. Alrighty - off to pack the house!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Adapt and Succeed

"Success is the consistent progression toward an outcome of your own choosing. Success is power; power is success."
— James Arthur Ray

The goal of my choosing...Ironman.
The original plan: Arizona. The current plan: Florida

Why? Life.
In less than three weeks I finish my residency, which means to become a board certified emergency medicine physician, I have to take my board exam. It's offered between November 16th and 21st, 2009. Period. Therefore, attempting to plan a race on November 22nd is just plan asking for trouble. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Unless your plan includes certain failure, and I think that assuming I'll be able to schedule the exam with time to race would be disastrous.

So, overnight, literally, my plans changed. But the goal is the same. Thank goodness I'd decided to have a run block because I feel that I can make some leg strength improvements with that. It increased my workouts to about 8 hours per week this week.

It also increased my sense of urgency. No more dilly-dallying. Time to get the training program solidified. Ready? Set? Go!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Next Step

Onward and upward. I'm flying to Houston to find a home. Well, the four-walled variety anyway. Considering home is where the heart is, I have many homes.

But my next step, finishing residency, getting a "real job", moving, paying off "this debt", is right around the corner. I am excited, but I think I'm actually getting a bit grounded. Good decisions. I make better ones every day. As an Iron example, I bought trail mix for the flight (usually it's my license to eat chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate), not as a sacrifice, but as a choice that brings me closer to the Ironman finish. And of course, that is the goal :)

More on goals later...
Gotta fly...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or minor self indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”

— Ayn Rand
Novelist and Philosopher

As I think about today’s quote I realize that “minor self indulgence” is the same as immediate gratification. It is the long haul and long term success that makes us whole.

Today (well, yesterday, since it’s after midnight) I had a great workout FINALLY! Saturday and Sunday I could barely hold my heart rate at or above 110 but today I lifted and biked for 45 minutes at 130ish. I’m following Joe Friel’s strength program & focusing on the bike for the next few weeks with a smattering of running and swimming. Still a ways to go with planning, but it’s a start. Have a great day :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Official- I am IronMoe

Today was my first Ironman Race! It was the Florida 70.3, which is, of course, a half ironman. But to me it is a huge victory and marks the beginning of a new life. Greg and I trained for multiple marathons, half marathons, a Goofy Challenge and a half Ironman, while exorcising some personal demons (or continuing to, in my case!) and during our emergency medicine residency. It has brought us closer as a couple, and has helped us believe in our ability to plan and achieve great things. I am many things, among those a wife, a daughter, a doctor, oh and I am a triathlete.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The official blog is now

I might start to double post - I miss the other blogs I follow here and don't see them as much when I'm on wordpress. Here's today's:

Breaking through

Posted on Saturday, May 16th, 2009 at 8:20 pm

“In the advancement of consciousness there is a struggle with reason that culminates in a rational impasse — in such moments you either back down or break through.”

— James Arthur Ray

Tomorrow is my first half ironman. My goals are to finish officially (with an official time) and have a great time. I will use my day to become a better person, attempt to exorcise my demons while I exercise my legs!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Goofy Champions

Today, Greg and I completed the Goofy Challenge. A 13.1 mile run on Saturday and a 26.2 run on Sunday. I have to admit, it was the hardest physical (and one of the hardest mental) challenge I have undertaken. My finish was great, though. As soon as I could see that finish line, I was off. It was very, very exciting. We got to see quite a few “Goofy” comrades at Downtown Disney tonight. Insanity loves company!!!

The new blog continues...