Wednesday, December 30, 2009

For Garrett

“Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more”
Anthony Robbins quotes (American advisor to leaders)

I have decided that for me, this year (and I hope every year to come) must be about more than me, when I tri, or run, or even breathe, I would like to do it in order to make a change in the world.

Today's guest post is by my best friend, click on the link below to read her post and learn her story.

Renee and Garrett's Story

After reading consider making a donation here:
For Garrett

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


So, after yesterday's whiney post I need to redeem myself because I really do hate whining! So, today's post is all about rejoicing. Here are the wonderful things that happened this year that I am amazingly, humbly and eternally greatful.

*My family is just plain awesome. My daughter is smart, funny, well behaved (sometimes too well behaved), athletic, and gifted in many, many ways. My son is also smart, funny, only sometimes well behaved : ), and is just like his handsome and witty father. My husband is the love of my life. I married my best friend and I love him more and more every day.

*My greatest health ailment is that I have celiac disease. I don't have to take medicine, I can totally manage the disease through self discipline. Nothing I can't handle.

*I am blessed to be a part of an amazing sport. I truly love triathlon. I get to coach other athletes to realize their dreams. I coach the wonderful triathletes at JMU, a job that brings me lots of joy, and lots of training partners : )

*This year I was chosen as one of almost 800 applicants to be a part of Team Trakkers. I can't express how amazing it is to be a part of a community of other triathletes that lift each other up and support one another. Plus we get cool free stuff : )

*This year we moved back home to Harrisonburg. I love living in a smaller town and feel a greater sense of community there than in Roanoke. We are close to my parents and my in-laws, which to many might sound like a nightmare, but to us it is a wonderful gift.

*I sit in my sister's house writing this while I am down visiting my new nephew that I was so blessed to help welcome into the world a little over a month ago. I am once again reminded how precious, beautiful and amazing little babies are. Having said that I am also greatful that my babies can feed themselves, dress themselves and put themselves to sleep!

Tomorrow's post . . .Renew

Monday, December 28, 2009

Reflect . . . .

As the year draws to a close I would be remiss not to post a 'year in review'. Luckily I am a big believer in race reports so my aging brain doesn't have to work too hard! I think the one word that sums up my triathlon year is . . . whiney. Yep, it's an ugly word and one of my biggest pet peeves, but I was whiney, and not in a small way.

I should have known it was not my year when the year began with a 3 week stint of the flu. What can I say, when I fall, I fall hard. On minimal training I ran the Shamrock Half Marathon with my best friend Renee, which was her first half marathon. The whole weekend was an experience, we gathered in VA Beach with our two other best friends from high school, we were known as the "fearsome foursome". It was a well earned name : ) It was nice to run with Renee and focus on friendship and fun rather than the clock. I highly recommend the Shamrock race weekend, it is very well done and a super flat course. I loved nurturing the inner run goddess in Renee and would like to make sure I do something like that every year - this year Vicky and I will do the Shamrock and we will run together. Now I just need to talk her into the pre-race massages that we did last year . . .

The next big race of the year was the FLA 70.3 race - a race I SWORE I would not return to EVER, but again, Renee and Scott were going and it would be their first half iron - so off to the house of mouse we went. All I will say about that race is that, once again - I will NEVER return to that run course again. The swim course was long, my nutrition didn't sit well on the bike and the run, well - that is a small glimpse into what hell must look like. See, what did I say - whiney! Bottom line is that it was not a great day and again I repeat that I will NEVER do that one again!

Once the season got into full swing I started working timing for SetUp Events. It is a super fun job and I loved going to all the races. I hope to do more timing this season, but maybe a few less races, the every weekend travel got to be a bit much and I got no trainig done.

So, foolish me decided that what I needed to motivate myself was a big race. Not able to do anything in moderation I signed up for Beach2Battleship Irondistance race. Assuming that would get me off my butt and training again I took the plunge and registered. Whoops. Turns out all it would do is make me whine about my lack of training. And still not train!

I did the race on about as little training as one can do and still finish. I ended up sick race week, which probably should have been taken as a signal to maybe cut my losses and bag the race. Nah, not me. I did that darn race with a fever and whined about it afterwords! Ack, I hate going back and reading the whining in my posts, I can't even imagine what my husband had to endure!

So, that brings me to Nov. and Dec. I spent most of my time whining about not working out when the real reason I didn't get my workouts done was simple . . . I didn't do them. You know that hind sight 20/20 thing - yeah, I'm sitting here looking back on the year and realizing that I really needed a year off. Instead I tried to push through and make excuses for my lack of enthusiasm. Instead I will say with all certainty, what I did was really take a year of much needed r&r. Hopefully it was enough to re-charge my batteries and I am ready to jump into 2010 with lots of gusto.

Tomorrow's post . . Rejoice

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Kindness of Strangers

So this has nothing to do with triathlon training, but since it's the reason I probably won't get training done today I'm gonna write about it!!
This morning my 10 year old had to have her 5th set of ear tubes put in. You would think by now it's old hat and we could do it in our sleep. Not so. One bad experience at the Roanoke hospital and she is terrified of the procedure. The actual surgery went fine but we had a rotten anesthesiologist and nurse and that experience has stuck with her ever since.
She was pretty nervous because I had to prep her by explaining that at RMH I couldn't go back into the OR with her while they put her to sleep. (At the Outpatient Surgery center in Roanoke they allowed me to be there with her). SO, she was very nervous - it must be a frightening thing when you are 10, old enough to understand what they are saying, but still a kid. Looking around the pre-op area there were all old people, alot of which were having eye surgery so they had one eye taped shut. Just not normal looking for a 10 year old!
Our wonderful nurse as just as sweet as can be. Turns out she knows my mom - it's a small world! The anesthesiologist came in and we told her about A's anxiety. She was so sweet and arranged to let me come back with her. The nurses explained this is not common practice there and the Dr. was definitely going above and beyond. It made the world of difference. The whole procedure was a positive one for A (and her mom too!), and she is home now eating chocolate ice cream.
So, for today no training on tap - instead I'll be doing my #1 job of being a mom :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Working on my lists . . .

As 2009 draws to a close I am working on my "What I want to accomplish next year" list - notice I didn't say "Goals for 2010" That didn't work for last year, so this year we will try a new approach. I'll get my goals post done over the next two days, for now that is much higher brain function than I am equipped to produce. After 3 days of being locked up in the house with the kids and almost 2 feet of snow I am reduced to one word answers, eating yummy gluten free gingerbread cookies by the hand full and naps.
I'll just leave you all with my beautiful pictures of our 100% homemade gluten free ginger bread house. (See sidebar recipe links for the WONDERFUL recipe I used!) I even made the templates, which would explain the questionable structural integrity of the house - but it will be fine, I used so much royal icing that house is NEVER coming apart!!
PS - Eli is doing great on his gluten free diet and we have seen improvements already in his behavior and stomach. I know it has to be the gluten free diet since he is about to explode with Christmas joy and he hasn't been able to play outside all that much since he has had a fever on and off for 4 days.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Parenting is tough business

This is me lately. A few months ago we put my 7 year old on a gluten free diet because he was generally out of sorts and having gas that would clear a room. I mean it was BAD. We had to make no farting at the dinner table rules. I would have written it off as a 7 year old boy thing, but he came home excited that he had only had to fart once during school one day. So, we went gluten free with him.
He was not happy. This was also an expensive endeavor because I was buying all the fancy gluten free food to try and make it easier on him. In the end he didn't like many of those things anyway.
After 2 weeks his gas was much better, so we did the check and gave him gluten again to see if that changed things. It didn't - right away. It was so much easier to let him eat school lunches and all the yummy things he liked. We were able to deny the antsy, agitated behavior as holidays. When the gas came back I was starting to see. Then last night the following conversation went on at bedtime:
Eli: Excuse me
Me: Oh my gosh - what in the world did you eat child?
Eli: Nothing, I didn't even have Doritos. (Doritos really send his intestines into a spiral)
Me: Does your stomach hurt?
Eli: My stomach huts a lot mom.
Me: (all in my head) bad mom, bad mom, bad mom for being lazy about putting him on a gluten free diet again. Crap.
So, head out of the sand, Eli is going gluten free again. This time I am going to try cooking things myself instead of relying on pre-made things. Good thing Eli wants to be a chef when he grows up!

Monday, December 14, 2009

NOTHING in moderation . . .

Those that know me (and love me anyway) know that I am not one that does anything in moderation. I leap feet first with full gusto into almost everything I do. I generally like this about myself and thinks it pays off, most of the time.

Where the problem lies is that I also fully embrace - feet first and with full gusto the less than positive things in life when they come into my orbit. Right now my orbit is a little out of whack. Right now the stresses of life are bearing full weight on me and I don't know that I am handling them as gracefully as I would like. Scratch that, I know I'm not handling them at all how I would like. Instead I have entered what we will call flaming plane crash mode.

Take this weekend for example. Friday night I made Chocolate Carmel Chex mix. AND homemade Gluten Free pizza. This should have in theory been a weekends' worth of food. Not for flaming crashing Kati. Chex mix for breakfast on Sat. finished off what was left of the batch. I'm not proud. THEN I went out with some freinds on Sat. night. I don't usually drink more than a glass of wine here and there. I had 3 glasses of wine and some mixture of mojito rum - by Sunday my body HATED me. Then we went to a birthday party. At a wing restaurant. With wings. WTF?! I don't even really like wings. Now I know that my body REALLY doesn't like me eating wings. Cap that all off with a box of milk duds in the car and THAT my friends is Kati in a fiery crash.

So, now here I sit munching carrot sticks and celery, chugging water and trying to detoxify my body. The stress is all still there, but none of it can be controlled or changed by me so I'm gonna have to learn to somewhat peacefully co-exist with it somehow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

My traitor family . . .

We are a summer sport family. We bike, we frolic in the waves (yes, I said frolic), we swim, some of us even attempt to surf. In the winter we move said outdoor activities indoors. We bike on the trainer, we swim in the cool bubble pool and we don lots and lots of cold weather gear and run outside.

Now my family has gone all snowy on me. One little snow here in the valley and moving closer to the ski slopes (however small and fake snow blown they are) and everyone is all gaga over skiing. Last year for Christmas the kids got swim bags, new goggles, cool shammie towels . . . you know, mini me gifts. This year it's all about ski and snowboard lessons, ski goggles, snow pants.

I don't ski. It seems perfectly rational to me to NOT get on two slippery little sticks wearing stiff boots and go out on even slippier snow straight down a hill. Where are my little breaks to grasp onto to appease my inner control freak? Plus four little words . . . SNOW DOWN YOUR PANTS!!

Now I have to figure out how to still hang out with the family without actually skiing. AND how to deal with this cold and snowier climate (yes, it's only 2 hours north of where we were, but darn it, it is colder and snowier!!) while still actually getting outside to run.

I have decided I will not give into the peer pressure of the family to ski. Instead I will indulge my coffee goddess and take wonderful ski and snowboard pictures while sipping warm coffee in the lodge. SO, added to my Christmas list will be a really nice and really large TO GO coffee mug and a good pair of trail running shoes. I tried to run in the snow without trail running shoes the other day - not such a good thing) I am going with the Saucony Pro Grid Exodus or Grid Canyon. I'll give a full review after Santa drops them down the chimney!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Why I tri.

Among my triathlete friends there is no great question about why I was out in the snow on Sat. running. Because that is what I do. It is the me, of, well, me. I can hardly remember the Kati before she decided to run her first 5k. I am so much happier and healthier. Ok, well not always healthier, but in the bigger picture I am healthier!

I love to race. It cures the nagging and maybe a little overactive competative bug that lives inside me. I also love the hoopla. Even at the small local races when you come out of the water there are spectators there cheering you on, looking at you like you are a rockstar! Don't even get me started on the bigger races where thousands line the finish chute yelling and cheering you on. It is amazing.

Racing only lasts a few months out of the year and while I love it, racing is not the 'thing' that keeps me going from year to year. It's the community. I love being part of the crazy, shaved legs, way too much gear and gizmos triathlon communtiy. When I am on the interstate and pass a car with a tri sticker I always have to honk and wave. They might think I'm crazy, but I don't care - they are my peeps!

In Roanoke we had a loose knit tri club that gave me the one on one, local community feeling. The YMCA was also a great place to feel a part of that community. I loved seeing my training folks as I roamed the halls. There was rarely a swim workout that passed without seeing someone I had trained. I miss that.

I love living in H'burg. I love almost everything about it. Except I miss my tri community. I don't think I have the energy to put into starting a tri training group here at this point. I am starting to work on growing my business and that is a start, but here when I swim it's just me, swimming. When I am out running, I'm just out running. I am coaching the JMU tri club and I absoulutly love that. It is one of the highlights of living here to me, but alas, JMU is somewhat of it's own town so I don't get to see my JMU tri kids much. Now they are all engrossed in finals and shut up in the libraies, no one available to go play on the back country roads on their bikes with me.

All of this is what excites me so much about being a part of TEAM TRAKKERS. We had a confrence call yesterday to learn more about the TRAKKERS product and the REV3 race series. I once again felt a part of a community. My communtiy is a bit more spread out now, we have team members as far as Hawaii! But through blogs, twitter and the Team First Endurance page we can get connected.

I still hope to connect more with the local tri community. I look forward to finding some swim friends and even bringing some new triathletes from H'burg into the sport. For now I will rely on my old Roanoke folks and my online Team Trakkers folks to keep me headed out the door during the cold snowy winter months!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

All I'm ask'n for . . .

Seriously folks, I don't have many vices. I'm not one of those celiacs that sneak a little pizza every now and then. Since my diagnosis I have purposefully eaten gluten ONCE. I had the stomach flu already and there were Thin Mints in the house - I figured if I was sick already . . . I've almost cut out all dairy, I avoid sugars (except the occasional candy for dinner break down right around Halloween time : )

Anyway, back to my vices. I've been known to have a glass of wine every once in a while - that's the extent of my drinking. I don't smoke. I have had fried food twice in the last 6 years. I exercise almost every day (except after an Ironman, in which I take three to four weeks of sluggishness off and don't feel guilty at all - well, I feel slightly guilty, but I'm working on that!).

My vice - coffee. All I'm asking for is that I have my warm and wonderful cup, hmm well four cups a day. I want to wake up to the sweet aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Is that asking to much? I don't want to have to drive to Greenberrys (which is wonderful coffee by the way, I just want mine while I am still in my jammies!!), I don't want to clean up leaky coffee all over the counter - I just want a coffee maker that works. Please, pretty please. Big sigh - off to the store to return broken coffee maker #2 (this week) with dreams of a hot cup of fresh coffee tomorrow. Please. . .

Friday, December 4, 2009

Your First 5k

On New Years Eve my group of 15 (or so) 5th graders will run in the Generations Crossing First Night 5k. For most this will be their first 5k race. All will have run a practice 5k (this Tuesday during our regular practice), but there is something magical and fabulous about your first 5k race.

I decided to run my first 5k while pregnant with my son. I was overweight, on restricted activity and miserable. I swore I would run my first 5k by the time he was 1 years old. I ran the Nags Head Woods 5k. At the time 5k seemed like an awfully long way! I think my time was around 34 min., but I remember getting to the finish line and feeling so PROUD and elated. At the time I had no idea I would continue on to run marathons and Ironmans, then and there that 5k was long enough! I think I went home and registered for my first triathlon within the next month. But it all started with that 5k.

I can't wait to see the girls cross the finish line. My guess is some will cross and swear never to do THAT again. My other guess is that most, if not all will, at some point not only run that far - they will run much, much more. Some will go on to become track stars, some will go on to run cross country, some might not become runners again until they are grown up. Whatever they end up doing - for that one cold and fabulous night they will be rock stars!

So, tell me about your first 5k and share words of wisdom that I can share with the girls this Tuesday when they embark on their practice 5k!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Here are 10 reasons why you should register for the Inaugural New River Valley Triathlon:
1. It is the ONLY pool swim tri in the VA Triathlon Series west on Lynchburg
2. The Vally Corporate Relay Challenge gives bragging rights for a WHOLE YEAR!!
3. The event is run (and timed) by SetUp Events - a first class high quality race production company (oh yeah, I might kinda work for them, but even so, they are a top class company!)
4. Just LOOK at this beautiful, flat, grassy transition area!!
5. A beautiful run along the New River on a path through Bisset Park.
6. Much of the bike route either has a designated bike lane or wide shoulder. Good to excellent road surface.
7. The race benefits the Mental Health Association of the New River Valley, Inc..
8. The distances are just right for a beginner to get their feet wet, AND for an experienced triathlete to really open it up and see what they are made of!!
9. Radford is a beautiful area to visit with lots to do, go for a race, stay for a weekend!!
10. My personal favorite: Anne Giles Clelland, the most enthusiastic, wonderful and creative race director around!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


My fabulous partner in GOGIRLGO crime Diane had a wonderful blog where she counted down various things. I love to borrow a great idea, especially on a Tuesday that I am half brain dead from morning swim practice so her is mine:
TEN things I’m thankful for...

1. My kids - even when they make me crazy they are amazing kids
2. My friends, I still have the same 3 best friends from high school - how cool is that!?
3. My family, they stress me out sometimes but they are a GREAT family
4. Being back in H'burg - I just love living here
5. The ability to run, bike and swim daily
6. My job, I love, love, love coaching
7. Jammie pants - seriously - I flannel, fleece, whatever - I just love 'em!
8. Coffee
9. Gluten free food that is getting better all the time
10. Last and certainly not least, the love of my life - my wonderful husband

NINE things I do every day...

1. Run, bike or swim
2. Kiss the kids after they have already gone to sleep
3. Sit down for a family dinner
4. Call one of above mentioned best friends
5. Tell my kids & husband that I love them
6. Drink coffee
7. Check email, facebook and twitter - I'm a social media junkie : )
8. Eat a bowl of corn grits
9. Watch TV - I am also a tv junkie!

EIGHT things I love about Triathlon ... (I had to change that Diane!)

1. Sense of accomplishment
2. The endless possibilities
3. Sweating
4. Variety of the workouts (I cannot imagine just running every day!!)
5. The sense of community
6. Bragging rights
7. The size 4 jeans ; )
8. The pain - I love the pain!!

SEVEN things I enjoy doing...

1. Swimming
2. Biking
3. Running
4. Racing
5. Reading
6. Traveling
7. Coaching

SIX things on my ‘to do’ list for 2010...

1. The American Triple T
2. Have a successful marathon run - I don't yet know if that will be at the end of an Ironman or a stand alone marathon, but darn it, it WILL be successful
3. DC Breast Cancer Walk in honor of my Mother in law
4. Pay off debt
5. Travel to Costa Rica!!
6. Get a tri training group going in H'burg

FIVE places I want to visit...

1. Costa Rica (yay - going in Jan!!)
2. Australia/ New Zealand
3. Alaska
4. Hawaii
5. Tahiti

FOUR things that drive me nuts...

1. Smoking
2. Overweight Physicians
3. Dishes left on the table (it's just not that far to walk!!)
4. Loud eaters

THREE smells I like...

1. Coffee brewing
2. Paul
3. My own sweat while I am working out - afterwords it's gross, but I love the smell of a good sweat being worked up!

TWO things I find difficult...

1. Giving myself a break - I might be a teensie bit competitive and a wee bit hard on myself
2. Math - still after all these years I wince when my daughter has a math question!

ONE thing I want...

1. World peace - I just don't see why we can't just all be nice to each other!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

2010 Race Planning

The 2010 race season is right around the corner so it's time to start planning things! There are those people that can plan things out on a whim but I am not one of those people, nor do I usually coach those people. Even if you don't know your detailed 2010 race schedule, at least choosing your "A" races for the year is a great way to start things out right.

So, what is an "A" race? These are your priority races - the ones you really want to focus your training on. For these races you will taper, and the rest of your seasons' races will be tailored to prepare you for this race. For example:
For 2010 I have 2 "a" races, The American Triple T in May and Cedar Point in September. My 20 week training plan for the Triple T will begin Jan. 1st. Until then I am in the off season. To prepare for this I will do the Rev3 Olympic race in Knoxville. Funny thing, I have done 3 Ironmans, 3 half Ironmans and countless (really, I mean countless!) sprints - but NEVER an olympic! Crazy! However, the Triple T has back to back Olympic (separated by a few hours) distance races. Eeek, better get a few of those under my belt!

After Triple T I will switch over to training for Cedar Point. I haven't yet decided if I will do the full or half distance there. If I choose the half I will choose a few other Olympic distance races in June/July/Aug, if I go for the full I will probably train through the summer months and won't do much racing, maybe a half marathon and a century ride to support the training schedule.

So, for now I will run, bike and swim when I want, do some good old fashioned weight training. For me the off season is about resting my body and spirit. I need a little bit of time where I am not putting the pressure on myself. Now, if I could just get my food under control so that I can avoid getting too squishy!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


As I sit here in my nice quiet-kids-in-school-living room I am beginning to think about the holidays. Is that Thanksgiving is just days away? No, it's the Santa-threw-up-in-here Christmas decorations everywhere!! We were that family this year that begins Christmas before Thanksgiving has even come and gone, but hey, we will be gone for Thanksgiving this year so we went ahead and took advantage of a quiet Sunday and put up all the non-tree, indoor decorations. Didn't realize there were many of those? Ha, come and see our 26 (only a slight exaggeration) nativity scenes, many Dept. 56 houses, and various Chrsitmas nick nacks and the 3 (count them 3!) dancing, singing, jiggling stuffed snowmen (although one is a turkey). This is what we will add this year, oh yeah - we are those people, you know the ones that buy that crap that makes you ask yourself - who buys this crap?

So, all of this Christmas cheer is forcing me to wonder - how am I going to get my eating back under control (5 days on the road, 2 of which were spent at the hospital with my AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL NEW NEPHEW!!!), begin my off season training after 2 full weeks of sluggishness AND handle Thanksgiving travel, 2.5 weeks of kids at home and prepping for a Jan. trip to Costa Rica? AAAAAAAHHH!!!!!

So, the plan is simple, 3 x a week of running, 2 x a week on my Computrainer doing the 20 week performance improvement program, 2 x a week of weights and swimming whenever possible. As for eating, I have decided to reduce my expectations of myself and just do the best I can. Rather than aiming to be totally dairy and sugar free (hell, it's my Birthday on Friday and I want CAKE, it will be a gluten free cake, but it will have SUGAR and BUTTER!!!!), I will be dairy and sugar free when I am at home and can control my meals. Otherwise my tendency is to slip up, followed by going totally over board (as proven by the empty bag (not sleeve, a whole bag) of Rolos in my car, sitting beside the 3 empty Diet Mt. Dew bottles. I don't really do anything in moderation : ) So, moderation is my key word this season, well, that and birthday cake : )

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Team Trakkers

Big News! Over the weekend while I was helping my brand new nephew (who is by the way beautiful and perfect in every way!!) I got the GREAT news that I was chosen to be a member of Team Trakkers! It is an incredible sponsorship opportuntiy and I am super excited to be a member of a team as well.

Along with Trakers, a real time GPS tracking product that is brand new they have partnered with other really cool companies to sponsor the team. After we sign our final contract in Dec. I will post more about the other sponsors.

This also means I get to go and do the cool REV3 races this year, which I will go into more detail about later in a long winded rant about why I am staying away from M-dot races in favor of other race series this year!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day one down . . .

Well one day of clean eating is done and it wasn't bad at all. The lentil soup was delightful! I toasted some of my favorite gluten free bread which also happens to be dairy free and free of refined sugars. I'm not sure that fits exactly with clean eating but I needed some carbs at that point! I was not sure how the morning was going to go this morning because I love (and I mean LOVE) my corn grits with real butter and plenty of salt. I sucked it up and added maybe a little extra (read: heaps) salt and they were just fine. I could actually taste the grits : )

I am also very much looking forward to working out again today! I have taken a few days post IM off but now it's time to get back in the water for a nice easy swim. I'll be swimming with my dear husband today, so I am guessing a lot of my swim time will be spent looking at his swim stroke to try and improve it. I can't help it, it's what I do - every single time I swim laps I watch people's swim stroke and critique them in my head. A few times I have had to fight the strong urge to stop strangers and correct a inefficient stroke. Today's swim:
500 warm up easy
8 x 100 drills - 25 swim, 25 drill: side kick, scull, breathe on weak side, breathing pyramid - repeat
5 x 100 Easy, build, easy, hard :05 rest
500 cool down back, breast & free

Short and easy, no paddle work for another week - next week I'l pick weight training back up too!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Changes are a brew'n . . .

I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am also tired of having sub par races because I seem to ALWAYS get sick before my big races. SO, after reading a blog post by tridudes I have decided to make some dietary changes in the Derrick household.

After being gluten free for almost 5 years the whole cutting out gluten thing has become second nature. When folks ask me what I miss most I really don't have much. Feeling SO much better on a gluten free diet outweighs the taste of bread in my mind. Now I think it's time to take a hard look at the rest of my slack diet and try to change a few more things in an attempt to actually have a healthy immune system.

Really, a virus that my daughter kicked in 24 hours (and my husband never even got) took me a full week to recover from, in addition to wrecking havoc on my IM race. I'm tired of being known as sickly and am willing to make some culinary sacrifices to be a healthy person again! First things first, out goes the dairy and sugar. I don't do milk anymore, I have substituted light soy milk successfully, but I have been known to eat a serving or six of cheese in one sitting!

As for the sugar, it's time to step away from the kids' candy bowl and pick the carrots back up again. My focus is going to be simple, I am going to eat whole foods. I have the time to cook at this point in my life so why not stop getting the pre-made processed crap? I am also hoping that giving up the processed stuff will be easier on the pocket book as well. A lot of the pre-made gluten free foods are just outrageous!!

First stop - lentil soup for dinner! I am baking a pork loin that will be part of the lentil soup tonight, (but subbing pork for beef broth) then make pork BBQ tommorow night. Homemade pork bbq and homemade fries . . . mmmmm!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Runner in search of a marathon . . .

I swore after the Disney marathon that I would NEVER do a stand alone marathon again. But then again during the bike leg of Beach2 Battleship I swore I would never ride my bike again. Clearly I have a flair for the dramatic : )

All of a sudden I am finding myself with a hunkering for running a marathon. So, here my search paramaters - it needs to be in late Dec., Jan. or Feb. It needs to be fairly close so that I can do it CHEAP. And finally I would like it to be flat to rolling. I want to have a successful marathon - scratch that, I NEED to have a successful marathon.

Thoughts anyone?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Beach2Battleship Race Report

Excuse the epic race report - so much to tell and heck, it's my blog so I can make it as long as I want!!
The race week began to go downhill when I started to run a fever on Wed. I assumed it was a sinus infection - I think I was wrong about that. I rested on Thurs. all day as best I could when getting ready for an ironman (and getting two kids ready to stay with their grandparents for the weekend!) Paul and I left of Friday am at 6am for the 6 hour drive - it's amazing with 2 kids how exciting 6 hours alone in the car can be! I was feeling good that morning so we were able to enjoy the ride and a little time together to talk. After arriving we went to packet pick up and got my shirt, bag and nifty wrist band. From there we went to drop off my bike. Being there early paid off, I got a great end spot on my rack!

As usual we went to our hotel and I hopped in bed for the rest of the day! (about 4pm on) Bedtime didn't go as smooth as I would have liked as the room above us, and the room on each side had construction crews. They weren't being unreasonably loud or anything, but at a cheapo motel the walls are thin. SO, we moved rooms. Then the air didn't work in the second room. SO, we moved rooms. Finally settled I got to sleep around 9:45, woke up at 1:30, then finally got back to sleep at 3. Not the best way to start the day but it was what it was.

Up at 5 and out the door by 5:30 - the morning was lovely. Not too cold, quickly got on the shuttle to the beach, and the sunrise was amazing - probably the best part of the day!! I got in the water to fill up the wetsuit and get my face wet and it felt great. 67 degrees was the official temp, it felt wonderful!
The swim start was a running mass beach start. Aside from the bumping and crowdedness of the swim it was simply delightful. I will say that there was a pretty strong current so my time was about 15 min. - 20 min. faster than normal IM swim time, but with the fever I had been running my motto for the day was "ZONE 2" so I just took it easy and enjoyed the water.
2.4 mile swim time: 52:38
I ran out of the water and had the wetsuit stripper unzip and pull the top down on my suit, but left the legs and booties on for warmth since there was a 400 y. run to T1. I took the time in T1 to completely change clothes so that I wouldn't be cold on the bike. I put on my Oomph! tri shorts, my Team G jersey, my Cannondale arm warmers, Paul's FAB sugoi R&R compression socks, toe covers on my shoes and a throw away ear warmer. I was on my way!!
The first 50 miles of the bike were delightful. I felt o-k, I was getting passed like I was standing still, but I was using my mantra "zone 2 will get me to the finish line" I was sipping my HEED and water and loving life. Then the fever came back. I guess the am Tylenol wore off but I just started to ache all over, my head started to hurt and it got hard to swallow. Boo! Miles 50 - 70 weren't fun but they weren't too bad.
At mile 70 the headwind started and I was just unhappy, that's where Garrett stepped in. For those that don't know about Garrett read his story here, it is worth it. I race for and with Garrett each and every race I do. A guy in a bright green jacket rode by and said "Hey, who's Garrett?" (I was wearing my Garrett's Wing's jersey) I told him and he said, "I know he is here with you today." Chills, tears and a deep breath. O-k, I can HTFU and finish this thing.

About mile 85 I went to the dark place. I was going to quit the race, I never wanted to ride that damn bike again, heck I didn't want to ever do a triathlon again. I guess my green jacket guy stopped for a pit stop because there he rode by again, while he passed me he yelled "This one is for G right?!" More tears, chills and a little more HTFU. Oh yeah, this isn't all about ME.
Got to the mile 110 marker (and a big bridge darn it!) and couldn't wait to get my sore tush off that darn bike. My butt hurt, my neck and head hurt, my hands and arms were achy from the fever and my tummy was all done with the sweet of the HEED.
My chain fell off at mile 111.5 and I had to stop and put it back on. Cursing and greasy I handed my bike to the volunteer and headed into the changing tent unsure if I was going to drop out or run.
112 mile bike time: 6:33 (plus 10:00 in T1)
I guess it was peer pressure but everyone else was changing into run stuff so I did too. Before I knew it I had on my running shoes so I decided I might as well try - you know in "zone 2." First 3 miles were fine, I was alternating a run / walk - not too fast but I finished 3 miles in 34 min. so I was starting to think I might just see 12 hours on that clock at the finish line. I was slowing down and walking more because of stomach cramping and potty stops(this is where I started to guess maybe I had a virus, not a sinus infection.) Around mile 8 I decided I was going to have to quit. I promised Paul that if I felt really bad and the fever was back I would stop. I was there.

This is where stubborn kicked in. I started to see people from the Half Ironman walking to their car with their finisher medals. Darn it, I had to have the medal in order to wear the shirt. I've never had a DNF, ever. I looked at my clock and saw that I was only at 10:30, I could walk really slow and still finish. At the turn around (13.1 miles) I saw Paul and he saw UNHAPPY Kati. He asked the question . . ."well, are you going to take it easy or do you need to stop?" I said I would finshdamnit! (all in one breath and through some tears)

That's when I found my friend Ron. Ron is a firefighter from CT who had been sick with bronchitis for 3 weeks and was forced to walk too. So we walked. That's when I started to have fun again. My motto changed from "zone 2" to "it is what it is!" We walked 14:30 miles (which at 5'4" is pretty darn fast) and talked and cheered everyone else on. I told Ron about Garrett and why I race. Ron said "well Garrett obviously sent me to you." Yes Ron, I think he did. If Ron hadn't been there I might not have made that 13 mile walk, if I did it certainly wouldn't have been a 3 hour half marathon!
Paul met me at mile 23 and walked with me for about 1.5 miles. (horribly against the rules, but he was really just walking back from the car and just *happened* to be next to me : ) He ran back to be at the finish for pictures and I caught back up with Ron. We ran the last mile in together. I finished that damn race and got the damn medal and in the end the day wasn't about zone 2, it was about perseverance and remembering what was important to me. Final finish time: 13:47 - still a PR by 17 minutes.
26.2 mile run time: (ugh!) 6:04
Special thank you's: My wonderful family, who support me in more ways than I can verbalize here! Garrett, who always gives me the wings to get where I am supposed to go. And Ron, who dragged my little legs along at a power walk to a PR!
As always I am humbled and changed by the experience . . . and of course already thinking about what's next so I can redeem myself!
(My daughter started complaining about tummy trouble on Sun. pm, by Monday am she had the same symptoms - low grade fever, stuffy head, tummy trouble . . . I guess it was a virus. At least I am feeling better today and can care for my sick little girl!!)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gear Junkie

There's nothing like going on a bike ride with college students to realize how much gear I have! Today was the 'trial run' of my bike clothes for Beach2Battleship this weekend. A little late I know but it's so hard to know what the weather will be like this time of year. SO, the key word for my bike outfit is LAYERS!
I can peel 'em off like a bananna! I will wear a (old and disposable) set of ear warmers under my helmet, my VERY favorite TEAM G bike jersey, my fab-U-lous Cannondale arm warmers, a throw away dri fit shirt on top of the jersey/arm warmer combo, maybe my light cannondale vest, my oomph! tri shorts, Paul's super comfy sugoi R&R compression socks & warm and fuzzy toe covers. Sheesh, that's a lot of gear to put on, I'm guessing my t1 time will be a little long!
Truth be told Paul and I have a little bit of gear obsession. We really do have one of everything, hmm, well two of everything : )
I feel at ease with the race this weekend, I'm not physically prepared but I am mentally ready. I'm ready to rise above and conquor the pain!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Back on Track

Whew - that was a rough weekend, but now it's time to move into happy race place. My aunt is in the hospital and working with a new Dr. and I am working on having faith that she is being taken care of and will be better. My negative worry will do nothing to help her so I am choosing to have positive hope. *exhale*
Onto happier blog things! Today I will write about those nasty little bike limiters. I know all about these. I am that chick on the bike that gets a great lead on the swim, only to hit the bike and first the fast people that are crappy swimmers pass me, then the people that I look at and go WTF? HE/SHE is passing ME? (usually followed by murmuring curse words under my breath), then my the 70+ old men pass me, followed by the blind athlete on a tandem bike, and pretty much everyone else in the race. I am getting better on the bike - I am up to only half of the WTF athletes passing me. Maybe this year it will only be the fast/crappy swim folks! (see positive thinking!!)
I do absolutely believe that biking is a cumulative sport. Over the years you build strength and experience on the bike that one season of heaving training or all the right coaching can't make up for. The tricky thing about biking in the off season - at least in VA is the weather. To a certain extent my advice to you (and myself) is to buy some good winter cycling gear and suck it up. On the days when you can not get outside here are my thoughts on off season bike training:
*focus on speed over distance. There is plenty of beautiful spring outside time to build the miles back up, for the winter think less miles - more pain.
*speaking of pain - the trainer is a great controlled environment to work lactate threshold sets (or if you train with power max power sets!) You can really focus on pushing that l.t. up by doing those great repeat sets at or just above threshold.
*there is still skill to be had in the winter! The trainer is also a great place to work on your bike skills. Unclipping one leg and doing one leg drills - great for strength, but even better for seeing where you might have weak spots in your pedal stroke.
*cadence work - I don't believe that one cadence fits all so I won't say that everyone needs to be working on having a cadence of 100+, but on the trainer is a great time to experiment with some high cadence spinning and see how your legs respond.
*strength - look for a good off season cycle weight workout and DO IT! Your pedaling will thank you come race season!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Rough Days

I was supposed to post on Friday about bike limiters, but that will wait for tommorow. Today - race anxiety! Where to begin? First, overall lack of training. Yeesh - but that is in the past, so we will move onto this week.
Friday I was so tired I got on my bike, then got off my bike and took a nap. Seriously - then I just walked around like a zombie all day. Sat. I drove up to DC to help my aunt that had surgery. Things didn't go as well as planned and her pain meds have not been doing what they needed to do. So, a trip to the ER and a night of getting up constantly to check on or give pain meds to my poor aunt who was just feeling awful. Anyway, I'm headed back today w/ 3 days of complete inacticity and totally exausted and completely stressed about how my aunt is doing.
Not so good for taper rest. All done whining - here's to a better Monday right around the corner.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Off Season

As the leaves have started to fall here in SW VA the tri season draws to a close which means it's time to start thinking about the off season. The WHAT you ask? I know plenty of folks that train the same year round and do just fine - but I also know plenty of folks that train exactly the same over the winter only to hit June with major burn out OR injury. I do firmly believe that everyone needs to have an ACTUAL off season.
So, what DO you do in the off season? I encourage my athletes to do two major things in the off season: first, do something different and second, focus on your limiters. Never run a half marathon but always wanted to? Off season. Had your eye on the local master swim group but haven't taken the leap? Off season. How about a trail run? Think outside the box and find something fun a different that you will look forward to!

Limiters are a whole different issue. Take a really honest look at your last season race results. It is usually pretty easy to identify where you could stand to improve. For A LOT of triathletes that means hitting the pool. I highly encourage all triathletes to have a coach (swim or tri) look at your swim stroke. If you swimming in a swim meet and doing a 50 - 100 y. sprint it's all about power and speed in the water. HOWEVER, if you are a triathlete the swim becomes about not only speed and power, but also efficiency. You want to get out of the water with energy left for a bike and run. So, find a masters swim group, hire a coach, get yourself filmed in the water and fix that swim stroke!!
Tommorow's blog: working on those bike limiters!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Seriously Coors?

I have to preface this post with the disclaimer that as a celiac I can't drink beer so maybe this new 'invention' is a really great thing and I just don't appreciate it. I doubt it.
I was driving E. to school this morning, we didn't walk to school because - hello - I melt in the rain, when I hear a new Coors commercial on the radio. There is a man who is very distressed that he doesn't know if his beer is cold. The announcer comes on to reassure him that if he is drinking Coors he will be fine because the mountains on the can turn blue when your Coors is "as cold as the Rockys". I hate to ask the obvious question, but can't you feel when your beer is cold? I wonder how much Coors spent on developing the color changing can? I wonder if your can of Coors now costs a few cents more because the fancy mountains on the can change colors?
Then the crazy liberal wanna save the world in me wonders what would happen if Coors took that color changing money and gave it to somebody that is trying to cure cancer. I am sure the Livestrong Foundation could find good use for that money. Heck, I am guessing the local food bank could put that money to good use. Do you think people would stop drinking Coors because their can doesn't turn blue when they take it out of the fridge?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gluten Free Breakfast(s)

There seem to be two types of morning exercisers - those that MUST eat before they workout, and those that CAN'T eat before they workout. I fall in the first category. (plus I really like having two breakfasts!!) Tuesdays are easy for me because I get up at 5:50 and have some gluten free waffles. I have tried a lot of gluten free waffles, but I like the Van's mini waffles the best.

Toasted with a little bit of butter (REAL butter, none of that fake stuff, just a little though!!) I have an hour and a half of coaching swim practice for the JMU tri club then I swim. Perfect amount of time to digest before my swim! After the swim I come home and have my SECOND breakfast! I love training!
This week I tried something new. I almost always eat corn grits & egg whites for breakfast. (At least 5 out of 7 days a week) I found a package of Hodgson's Mill Gluten Free Apple Cinnamon and Flax Seed Muffin Mix at Walmart (sorry Diane!!). They had a pancake recipe on the back and I LOVE pancakes so I tried it.

I have always hated those muffin mixes with fruit pellets. What in the world in in the fruit pellets? These have two great things - real apples and flax seed. I have not made them as muffins yet, but as pancakes they are an acquired taste. No way I could pass them off with the kids, but for me they were fine. I love knowing they are healthy with whole grain and fruit and that outweighs the slightly funky taste. (having said that there was some butter and syrup involved!) Not light and fluffy but enough like real pancakes to make me happy!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Beach2Battleship Goals

I guess it's time to end my denial and accept the fact that I will be doing an Iron distance race in less than 2 weeks! I was in such denial that I didn't make hotel reservations until a week ago. In my own defense my sister is due to have a baby a week after the race and I promised that I will ditch the race to be with her if she's in labor. I also got a case of poison oak that was bad enough that I emailed the RD to see about changing over to the half, only to email him back 2 days later and claim insanity brought on by massive doses of prednisone.
So, it's time to set some goals for myself. The bottom line is that my training has been pretty S. A. D. sad for this race. There are a million reasons I could give why I wasn't able to train, but the bottom line is that I didn't. So, that leaves me with what am I going to strive for on race day?
As I said a few posts ago I am all about setting both internal and external goals. I tend to focus on the internal goals more, those that are under my control. External goals are those that you don't have any control over. For example - placing in my AG is an external goal because I don't have any control over who else is registered OR how well trained they are for the event. So, here goes on the goals for this event:
1. I want to enjoy the race. Last year at the IM Louisville I went to such a dark place and wasn't able to have fun. I know that at some point during the day I will go to the dark place, but this time I want to do a better job of fighting back from that place and going back to the happy place.
2. Swim: I want to go sub 1:00 for the swim, with the current this should be pretty easily doable.
3. Bike: Hmmm - this is the place where I haven't trained anywhere as much as I would like. I would like to take the bike fairly easy and nail my nutrition plan.
4. Run: At IM Louisville '08 I hit the wall and then the wall beat me again and again for about 16 miles. At B2B I want to run the run - and not in that "I think I'm still running but why are all those walkers passing me?" kind of way. I would like my watch to read nice little 10's every mile.
So, there goes - the clock will read what it will at the end and I will finish the race. Fingers crossed for beautiful weather and strong legs!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Race Report - Race to Beat Breast Cancer

I am such a huge fan of writing race reports. It gives you a chane to reflect on what you did right, what went wrong, and hopefully will help you do better next time. Vicky and I walked down to the rec center about a half hour before the race. There were a few survivor testimonials before we headed outside to line up. About 10 min. before the race start the rain started.
Mistake #1 - my zensah compression skirt does NOT do well in the rain - it apparently stretches A LOT and becomes very heavy
The course is 2 5k loops - other racers were doing 5k and you couldn't tell who was doing what, so as I'm trying to keep up with people we reach the second loop and they turn off- leaving me with another loop to do! On the first loop while it was raining sideways (wind + rain = sideways rain) my shins and calves were really tight. I think the wet roads (plus wet leaves) and lack of traction was making me use my feet and calves more than usual.
I pretty much split almost every mile at exactly 8:08 - I would have liked to be about 10 sec. faster per mile, but I guess that gives me something to work to next time!!
Mistake #2 - It ws COLD afterwords because we were soaked to the bone! Sitting around wating for awards in wet clothes was brrrrrrr. - next year bring dry clothes if it's raining!!
All in all overall time was around 50:20 & place was 1st in A.g. (30 - 39)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Race to Beat Breast Cancer

Yay! Tommorow is race day! I don't often do running races, not because I don't enjoy them, I just don't usually have the time! The race is put on by the Rec Center, which I LOVE because they support so many great programs, and the race benefits the Breast Cancer Center at RMH which I am happy to support because they take care of lots and lots of people, including my mother in law.
So, I am really hoping to have a PR tommorow - which shouldn't be hard since I don't think I've ever run an actual 10k before : ) So, external goals are, as always to bring home some hardware. Internal goals are to break 50 min. and never give into the pain. (I'll post later on goal setting and internal and external goals.)
Afterwords we are having the JMU tri club over for pancakes - I don't know if Paul will make gluten free pancakes for me, but I won't subject everyone else to gluten free pancakes!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Public Service Announcement #1

O-k, so I've been know to get on a soap box or two so today we'll call it a Public Service Announcement because that sounds less bossy. Yesterday I went out for a nice bike ride by myself in the country. I have been suffering (and I mean suffering) from Poison Oak over the last two weeks which seems to have been re-invigorated by an allergic reaction to shrimp on Sunday night. Yes, I am a medical freak - lets move on.
I'm riding up a lovely hill that I ride regularly when I become short of breath. Then light headed, then really short of breath. You know that horrible I'm gonna pass out feeling? I had it. I quickly pulled over and crawled off my bike to the side of the road. My first thought was - I don't have my Road ID on. I got my phone out as quickly as possible and called Paul. Thankfully I didn't pass out and laying down on the grass for a few minuites got things under control. Paul came to pick me up and although I felt crappy for the rest of the day I was relativly o-k.
Here comes the PSA. Even though I had my cell phone had I passed out in the road it would have done me no good. With my Road ID if I was out cold Paul's number would have been the first thing whoever found me would have seen.
So, my PSA is simple - take ID with you, whether you are out walking or biking or running. A cyclist was hit and killed in our area a short time ago with no ID. For days the news was reporting about his bike, his wedding ring, his jersey. What a horrible way for a family member to find out about an accident.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My Superhero

My friend Diane (I feel like I should give her a good name since in her blog I am named Ironwoman, I'll work on that for you Diane!!) and I are leading a running group for 5th grade girls. This isn't just your average track group!! We have 25 fifth grade girls - and they are WONDERFUL!! We are using a program called GoGirlGo , which is a program of the Women's Sports Foundation. We have adapted it a little to make it work for our girls but the basic premise is that we meet with the girls twice a week for 12 weeks and talk about all that icky girl stuff they are starting to have to deal with. At the end of the twelve weeks they will all run the Generations Crossing 5k AND be better equipped to deal with all that girl gunk.
I am the coach type, I know lots of great running games, all the info on how to run correctly, how to build endurance etc. Diane is the wonderfully creative one that comes up with great journal ling activities for the girls. Here latest activity gave me my blog idea! The girls assignment was to create their own super hero. (we were talking about bullying) Here's mine:
Ironwoman (what else?!)
Mission statement: To bring strength and confidence to other girls & women.
Powers: She is able to spread feelings of joy from person to person. She is also able to share her super strength with others in small helpings. She can run super fast, is super strong and can breathe under water.
Weakness: Irongirl can easily get sick so she has to weigh the benefits of being around others and touching other people at the risk of getting ill herself.
Sidekick: Irongirl works on many different teams and often teams up with other super heros to do good deeds.
So, who is your superhero?!