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

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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!!