Sunday, August 30, 2009

Breakfast on the go

As you train for a marathon or long distance triathlon, it will become necessary for you to eat before a workout. For me, this is sometimes a difficult task. Who wants to wolf down bacon and eggs at three o'clock in the morning? And let's not get started about what a number that will do to your tummy -- digesting and running at the same time do not always mix.

So I've started taking Ensure. Yep, the "old lady" drink that you find in the nutrition aisle in the drugstore. Ensure is a complete nutrition meal replacement shake. It's easy to drink and will power you up for a long training day. I've been drinking the dark chocolate flavor and I have to say, not bad. It's just like drinking a 10 ounce glass of chocolate milk but with more benefits.

This strategy may not work for everybody. But so far, I like it for me. It keeps me satisfied and is EASY. And easy is good.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Reason or Excuse?

My thoughts are spinning today, like wet clothes in a dryer. This weekend's crash has made me rethink so many things, the first one being, 'Is this worth it?' I mean, maybe I should take up knitting.

But as I rode, swam and biked alone this week, instead of in a group setting, I knew that yes, it IS worth it. There is something about the bubbles that tickle your legs as you dive into a pool. I enjoy running in the dark hours of the morning as the sun turns the sky from black, to purple, to pink and then to blue. And packing Clif bloks and Accelerade as I prepare for the five hour ride is not something I dread, but something I look forward to each training day.

However - the best part of doing what I do - is doing it with friends. There is no better way to get to know someone than by spending hours next to them on a long run. Saving stories for the 20 miler is typical Runnin' Ladies' style. We hash out teenage issues by sharing thoughts, ideas and opinions. Then rally together as friends as one of us deals with a tragedy.

In three of the races I completed in 2008, there were deaths during the event. Spudman, Tour de Phoenix, and the Santa Barbara Triathlon all left family members in shock as their loved one, physically fit and healthy, started a race they would not finish. And no one thought that Saturday's 1000 Warriors Race would leave one of our own in the hospital with broken facial bones and breathing with a respirator.

Yet we count ourselves "lucky". Lucky that Dave Collins is alive and stable and will most likely make it out of this okay. Lucky that we are strong enough to compete and fit enough to consider doing something beyond the limits of our physical capabilities. Lucky to have friends that stand by us and bring us out of the darkness that at one time or another creeps into all our lives. Haha, it's all kind of screwed up if you think about it. But we don't do this alone. We do it together. Lucky for us.

So I will continue to race. Because I am one of the lucky ones. Yet I still wonder if I am a ticking time bomb and my time is coming soon. It has now escalated to "several" friends who have found themselves in situations just like Dave -- giving the thumbs up and winking an eye to let doctors know 'I'm still in here.' Miraculously the body heals. And the memory forgets. And we get back on the bike. So for today, the accident becomes the reason to continue and not the excuse. Let's hope that is the right decision.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I read today that the graduating class of 2013 has never known a world without the internet. Or Cartoon Network. Or cookie dough ice cream. They've never had to look something up in a card catalog or wait for the evening news to find out what was going on in the world that day.

Which makes me all the more determined to kick it old school! I KNOW my kids wouldn't understand the reference to go home when the "street lights came on." I'm sure they've never ran in the irrigation at the elementary school. Or burnt a bug with a magnifying glass. Okay, that's gross. But I hope I teach them that life is not so "instant". There are days which seem slow yet minutes that pass by so quickly. I'd like to take those minutes and teach my kids to look at the stars, read the morning paper, and dig their toes into the sand. I want them to know what it feels like to have your chest burning as you cross a finish line, or swim to the wall without taking a breath.

Take advantage of those moments. Or they will fade away.

Tonight, I'm gonna dust off the frisbee.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I could not resist...

These are so funny. I can't stop laughing. I especially love the Ultramarathon one. You can youtube the Brooks Superfans to see more.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Skinny Genes

Let's face it, I am not the person who should be giving weight loss advice. I was born with this body --

But advice I can give is about goal setting.

As a youngster I delivered the weekly Pennysaver newspaper. One of the first goals I ever made was to take my paper route money to Short Stop and buy a different candy bar each week until I had tried every brand. (I never said these were lofty goals.)

Then in fifth grade, after watching the perfect attendance winners at the Edison school assembly, I decided I could do the same. Again, small and simple was my MO. I achieved perfect attendance in fifth, sixth, and many other grades throughout my high school years and beyond.

Exercise has been a different story. I was not blessed to be a gifted athlete by any stretch of the imagination. When I began running, sometimes the goal was making it to the next light pole or mailbox without stopping. I ran my first 5k with a friend who coaxed me to the finish line with extreme patience and encouragement. (Thank you, Leslie). And my first century ride was completed with the help of a nice husband, fellow riders, and family at the finish line.

I've come to realize, with every goal I make, that doing something difficult, something that sounds unattainable, CAN be done through small, baby-step goals. The body is a remarkable piece of equipment and it will do what you make it do. Your only limitation is your imagination. To get what you've never had, you must do what you've never done.

So enter a race. Join a gym. Do something hard. Set a goal that will get you to a finish line.

And Dream Big.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Athlete Elixir

Chaffing. Not a pretty word. No one wants it. No one talks about it. But dang it, it happens. I've been using Aquaphor for all that kind of stuff. Saddle sores, dry lips, underarm rashies. I know I know. You don't want to hear about it. Just throwin' it out there for ya. Good stuff.

From One Booklover to Another

Since I have been training for Ironmans, my reading has dwindled. But summertime is different. Summertime means beach reads, and park reads, and steal-away-and-close-the-curtains-to-the-heat reads. So I come to you with another book of choice.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is an excellent novel about the hired "help" of the households of Mississippi in the Sixties. It's a debut novel from Stockett, which always amazes me -- the talent that is locked in the minds of these awesome storytellers. The book follows some very lovable and believe able characters that draw you in immediately and let you dive right into their complicated lives.

Amazon: Set in the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962. The budding social activist begins to collect stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts. Enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who's raised 17 children, and Aibileen's best friend Minny, who's found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers, the book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.

Anywho, I loved it. I'm always grateful to friends who pass along a good book recommendation to me.

But remind me to buy a Kindle.
Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True