Lynde and the Highline

I love making new friends, especially speedy kick butt chick friends! Lynde spanked me at a local 5K race several weeks ago and thanks to her boyfriend contacting me, we met up today for a run. Lynde is super fast and is training for Boston. We have been trying to get together for several weeks and this one finally worked. What fun! I introduced her to the Highline Canal, and thank goodness for that. Now she won’t have to run 3 million loops around Wash park for her long run!

Her run was 17 today and mine was 12. I was excited to meet someone new and excited to see how we would run together. It all turned out quite smashing. I love hearing about peoples lives, how they got into running, and what their experiences with it have been. It’s super neat to listen to where people are headed with their sport of choice, what their dreams are, and how they quantify their goals.


It was refreshing today to run hard. All this long running has left me content with 9-10 minute pace for a long ways. Sometimes I’m shocked that I am able to retain any speed at all. Todays run felt like I was cleaning out the pipes. Lynde has a great base, at a quick pace, she should do wonderfully at Boston. I felt lucky today to hang onto her, chat it up, and enjoy a gorgeous day in denver.

Thanks Lynde, for reminding me today that I can run sub 8 minute pace…for 12 miles…and talk the whole way through it. I can’t wait to run more together.



I went to the doctor today. Dr Phillip Stull of Colorado Orthopedics Consultants took a look. There comes a point when you just want to know if you are dealing with anything structural, or just (I say “just” sarcastically) an overuse injury. X-rays were taken, the knee was inspected, and to my great relief I have an overuse injury.

It was precisely what I thought, but there was always that 10% of doubt. It looks like I am doing the right thing with PT and decreased running. Continuing to run only when I am not in pain is the way to go. If I give it the rest it needs, it will be back up and running for me.

Several things of interest were mentioned in the visit. This is a common injury in pronators, I am so totally a supinator. Also, he sees this injury in people who run 15 miles a week, so I feel a little lucky that I didn’t see this until running 46 miles straight. That’s a good thing.

So what now? More of what I have been doing, getting better, and swimming my fanny off. I have had 2 pain free runs this week so I think I’m on the uphill swing.

Thanks for everyones well wishes! I’ll be back to my crazy self in no time, I’m sure!


Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.
~Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

I’ve been thinking today about opposites. Bad and good, injured and well, training and recovery. Many things that seem like opposites actually compliment each other. How would we know the good, unless we have experienced the bad? How can we appreciate being well if we don’t know the pain of injury? My attitude has everything to do with how much I learn from a situation. I can choose to be stubborn and pained and learn nothing or I can choose to look around, gain perspective and remain open to the lessons that will come.

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.
~Mary Engelbreit

Swimming Hurdles and General Fun

This past weekend was an interesting turn of events amongst the PC crew. In the winter it seems that we always run long on one of the weekend days. I either see on my schedule run Saturday, and bike Sunday, or run Saturday and swim Sunday. To my surprise we had a Ride Saturday and a SWIM Sunday. The ride was a nice and easy 3 hours on the trainer if the weather was blah, and the swim was to be 6000 Meters straight. We started with 3000 Meters straight and the 17 hour training day crew is working up to 10K straight by May. So, Sunday was the monthly installment.


Andrea was so kind to use her wonderful connections and hooked us up with the most gorgous spin room in all of Denver at ICPH. The Penthouse suite is home to a pretty awesome Performance Center and the spin room is some 20 floors up with a 270 degree view of all Denver has to offer. It was amazing. After 2 hours most everyone was DONE, but Andrea, Anthony and I continued to pedal…ah the life of Ironman training. All in all it was a great morning, spent with great training partners, rocking out to some fun tunes. I sincerely apologize for singing at the top of my lungs at times…one of my weaknesses.

Had to take a picture of the three of us left there to pedal for another hour. At least we had each other!


Sunday we had the 6K M swim on tap. It was great to see some of my teammates that I haven’t seen in awhile like Rob, Christy, and Sandy. They seem to be progressing wonderfully in their training!

Then there is the incredibly peppy at 5:15am TYLER. Here he is in his full peppyness (cracking me up):

And don’t forget Beth, she’s always up for a laugh at 5:15am.

Enough goofing around, it was time to start swimming. I intentionally left my buoy and paddles at home Sunday morning. I really wanted to swim well and I didn’t want the allure of tools to get it done. I also wanted to see how I was doing in comparison to previous long swims so I had to go tool-less. I was secretely really excited to see Tyler get in my lane. I knew that Tyler has been traveling for work a lot and I thought that maybe, just maybe, I might get luckly and he might be tired enough that it would slow him down so I could fight my tail off to hang onto him.

We took off at 5:30 on the dot and Tyler, me, and Keith swam one behind the other for a long time. We went out a little fast and after about 1000 Meters we settled into a more maintainable pace. After 1300 or so Keith had decided he had enough and passed Tyler and I in one fell swoop and then proceeded to swim speedily away. Keith is new to the group and I really enjoy training with him, or at least trying too :).

The swim progressed very smoothly. I kept my focus, I kept my pace. The thoughts that ran through my head were completely form based. Keep the abs in, the feet kicking at the surface, and the stroke efficient. Tyler and I would trade off leading and it was nice to both sit on his feet, but also to lead myself at times as well. At 4000 Meters I grabbed a drink of HEED and hit the split button on my watch and went back at it for another 2000. As I was swimming I glanced at my watch and noticed that it said 1:15:10. This got me really excited. The Ironman swim is equivalent to 3800 M, so 200 short of 4K. I was thinking my Ironman pace would be somewhere around 1:15, so to see that I was at that time for 4K was a little exciting. Granted pretty much EVERYTHING is different in the Ironman swim. Your in a WETSUIT, in a LAKE, with a monster in it called OGOPOGO, with 2,500 PEOPLE in your lane. But hey, if I didn’t spend most of my time comparing Apples to Oranges, life would be dull.

The last 2K were spent counting laps, keeping my head in the game, and watching everyone else in the pool get out and go shower. Someday I’m not going to be the last one left in the pool, but alas that day was not Sunday.

When I was done I was a little sad it was over. It’s always nice to look inside yourself, give yourself a little nod, and whisper “Good Work today”. That’s what it felt like. That was the farthest I have swam in one stint, and I look forward to going longer in the future months. Afterwards I rushed home to have breakfast with my family and walked into a house that was yet to wake up for the day. That was strange, I had done such much already and the day had barely started.

Just Being Three

I love age 3. I reallllllly love age 3. Annie cracks me up every day. As time goes on and I learn more about how to parent Annie I am enjoying her so much. I love watching the world through her eyes.

When you are three, a good afternoon is all about wearing a tu-tu, while playing in a tent with your friends.

When you are three luxury dining is chasing after the Um-Pah band while your parents gorge themselves on Fondu.

When you are three getting in 2 hours of skiing is a big day.

When you are three you are a daddy’s girl, true and through

When you are three walking the dog is not a chore

When you are three you make up your own dance partners

When you are three happiness is jumping on a trampoline with pink bear stuffed down your shirt

I am so lucky to be a mother.

The Training Front

It’s been a little while since I actually posted about the status of my training. I always get some great comments and advise when I post training updates that I thought it was time for one. Things have been progressing! The 17 hour group has been making quite the progress and although I didn’t run the 50 miler this weekend I have actually been keeping up with my training pretty well (despite the knee). Knee pain seems to be just the triathlon gods way of telling me to work on my swim, and I have been listening. I’ve been killing myself every chance I can at Masters and it’s actually been a lot of fun. Noell is my lane mate and we have been having a lot of fun annoying the heck out of our other two lane mates. But, we are getting faster, or we at least feel faster.

I have yet to go a week without biking despite it being winter and tomorrow I’m getting out for an outdoor ride since we are having great weather. I have found that I have a love/hate relationship with the trainer, and since every time I try to get on Steve’s computrainer it’s taken, my trainer and I have been getting to know each other better. I have a sweet little set up in the spare room and I have even rigged my iPod to play movies on a little speaker system. So, that’s been progress.

The last change I have made is that Troy and I started an abdominal routine. We do it every day. We started on January 5th and we did the little 8 minute routine for 14 days straight and it was hilarious. I just kept getting worse and worse at it. I was so sore. The next day I was double sore, and then triple sore. But the two of us kept plugging along. Troy on the other hand kept getting better and better at them, darn men! Some days I really didn’t want to do them and Troy would bribe me, that’s been fun! Yesterday Troy spent the morning hours puking up his guts from some phantom sickness so we skipped a day b/c his abs were sore (from hurling). It was the first day we missed!! Today, when we did them I KILLED it. I was so proud and my abs actually felt like they weren’t going to fall out of me at the end. So I think I have turned a corner. One day of rest every 15 is okay. But I’m gonna keep it up. I can feel it in my running, a stronger core, a more upright position, and I know that speed comes from the core. Power to the ABS!

That’s about all that’s new with me. I hope that you all are having success with your winter training schedules. I hope you are finding the time to try something new (like snowshoeing), or you are using any new found down time to reconnect with family members (maybe to start a new athletic routine with them?). If you are struggling this winter don’t hesitate to contact me, I’ve always got a few hundred suggestions of ways to beat the winter blues.

Happy Training!!

Oh, and if you are interested in the nitty gritty. Here’s the training blog.

Catalina Island

Ahhh, we have returned from a nice relaxing get away. Thursday evening we drove to Loveland to drop Annie with her grandparents who were very excited to get an entire weekend to themselves to spoil her. We left their house at 5:30am on Friday to head to the airport for an 8am flight. The idea of driving an hour, to fly 2.5 hours, to cab 30 minutes, to walk 2 miles, to ferry 22 miles, to get to Catalina was just a little overwhelming. There were lots of things that could have gone wrong, but not one thing did. The flight was easy, the cab ride was easy, we picked up snacks at Albertsons before we headed walking to the ferry building with a stop on the way at an Irish Pub for lunch. The ferry left on time, and arrived on time. 10.5 hours after leaving Troys parents house in Loveland we stepped on Catalina Island!

Troy, very happy to be on vacation!

Coming up to Avalon

Troy and Sonja, elated to be in short sleeves!

Our accomidations at the Seaport Village Inn we ummm, islandy? But, they were safe, and ummm, cozy? So, we settled right in. Troy and I didn’t plan to spend much time in the room, we like to explore. The group headed out to pick up race packets. I was able to talk the race director into letting me move my entry to next year’s race. So if anyone is in the mood…join Troy and I next year (I think Troy is going to race next year too!!!!). We had dinner at this awesome place on the pier called Anthonys. I had FISH and CHIPS. Oooh and it was gooooood fish. Boy, living in colorado, that’s been awhile! We dropped off the racers at the hotel after dinner (they had to get their beauty sleep) and Troy and I HIT THE TOWN. I’m totally kidding. We actually went exploring and took a several hour walk into the hills to scope out the fancy houses that were pearched on the edge of some crazy cliffs. Almost everyone in Catalina drives a golf cart, so we were getting a pretty big kick out of all the pimped out golf carts. They are noisy little buggers though! After lots of walking and talking we headed back for some much needed R&R.

Troy and I on the town

Golf Cart parking spaces, HaHa

The alarm went off at 4:30am on Saturday. 10 seconds later Michelle (anthony’s wife) called to say that the runners were almost ready to go. We headed down with the group to the starting line. It was strange to feel the buzz of excitement, everyone looked very ready to go. It was dark and everyones headlamps were illuminating the quaint town roads. At 5am sharp the race director said go and the runners were off. 10 seconds later, Michelle, Troy and I stood there with 15 other people, on the empty streets of Avalon. We headed back to the hotel (a 1 mintue walk) and sort of stood around for a little while talking. Breakfast was in order and at 5:45 we were waiting on the steps of the only breakfast place in town that opened at 6am. Mimosas were in order as well, and by 7am I was feeling a little tipsy :). We decided to head out on a run since we had lots of time to kill.

Me with the runners

This was the first run I completed since the snowshoe race last weekend and it went really well. We ran about 4 miles, mostly uphill to the Wrigly memorial and the knee performed very well. I have been doing my exercises religiously, in fact there was many a laugh this weekend while I paused in a random location to do 5 one legged squats on each leg. Ken (PT) would be so proud!

Wrigly Memorial

Michelle and Troy and a cute little mini

After our run we did a little more exploring, all the while checking in with the race staff to see the progress of our runners. They had the split times at each aid station printed on paper at the finish line so you could keep up with your runners progress. Our boys and Andrea took it out very slow and it was fun to watch them work up the ranks. Soon enough it was time for lunch. We headed to Luau Larrys for nachos and drinks, and I had the BEST pomagranite margarita. Allthough, an hour later I walked out of there tipsy for the second time before noon. We took 10 steps, looked down the street, and saw the race winner coming into the finish line. He finished just before noon! Insane! We talked to him for about 20 minutes and he was just a fantastic dude. Totally funny, and personable! Congratulations are in order to Evan!

Heading up to see the boys

At this point we started thinking about when the boys would come in. They had climbed from 80/81st place, to 40/41, then to 25/26th. We knew they would be in soon. So Michelle, Troy and I headed what we thought was back along the course to wait for them. Well, we got the wrong road and after talking with a guy we got straightened out as to which road to go on. So we retraced our steps and got on the correct road. We didn’t wait too long and sure enough, the boys came flying down this insanely steep hill together. They both looked like they had just run a very long ways, and they both looked like they were not happy about the downhill. We cheered and then booked it to the finish. At the finish line they were very lucid and not passing out or anything. They said that they underestimated the difficulty and that it was really hard. But, they were alive, and quite happy to be done. We shuttled them up to the hotel for showers, rehydration, and rest.

The boys on the last turn to home

Troy and I then headed down to see Andrea’s status. At the beginning of the day we were calculating her pace and thought she would finish very close to the cut off time of 5pm. But as the race progressed, she seemed to really amp things up and the last time we looked at the splits we estimated a 4pm finish time for her. Troy and I started walking back up the course at about 2:45 and figured we would cheer for her around the 2 miles to go mark and then walk back.

Troy and I on the way to see Andrea

This was one of the best parts of the trip for me. Walking back along the course and cheering for the runners as they were in their final mile. Some were doing quite well, most were not. But they were all making progress and since it was downhill they were all still running. One girl, who was quite hot I might add, said this was harder than Ironman. By the look of pain on her face, I believed it! We were about 1.5 miles back into the course when I look up the road and I swear I see Andrea! I start screaming “Is that Andrea” and she puts her arms up, and I go nuts. It was a good 20 minutes before I expected her.

Andrea, KILLING it!

She came running by at a low 8 minute pace and I just started running with her. I threw our bag at Troy and he yelled at me that I didn’t ask to run with her. Andrea said it was ok. I was so excited for her. She looked better than ANY runner I had seen all day. She looked fresh, altert, aware, and pretty much like she was running a 10k. I kid you not. I wanted to cry because she was killing it so hard core. She was passing people like it was nobodys business. She was having a great day. I tried to keep up for about a mile, and then I stopped so she could run it in alone while I took a back way to the finish. She still beat me to the finish and when she was done she looked just fantastic. I was really in awe!

The view the runners had as they turned the last big corner and knew they were close to the finish.

She spent little time at the finish and walked back to the hotel just as Michelle, Steve and Anthony were walking down to see her finish. They missed it! She was too fast. She had finished at 3:40pm, two hours after the boys. Insane. We all changed for dinner and headed out for a great celebratory meal. After some treats from the taffy shop everyone was ready for bed. Boy did I sleep good that night.

The next day after breakfast it seemed the three couples were ready for some couple time so everyone headed off in their own directions for some exploring. Troy and I were thinking that kayaking sounded fun. When we got over to the beach to rent kayaks I started to get an itch to go snorkeling. Troy was a bit hesitent, because the water temp was 57 degrees. But I convinced him. We rented wet suits, snorkels, and flippers and off we went. It was just like my childhood experience at CIMI summer camp all over again. The garabaldi fish, the kelp forrests, the sea urchins. I loved the rhythmic motion of the swells. It was just fantastic. After about 45 minutes Troy was getting cold. We went back in after an hour. But it was perfect, just perfect.

Troy and I are suited up to go!

Orange fish are the Garabalidis

Swimming in the kept forests is eerie, and very cool.

The best snorkelers EVER

Troy Boy with the Avalon Casino in the background (not a gambling casino).

Kelp Princess

We headed to lunch with Michelle and Anthony, back to Luau Larry’s for some more of those awesome margaritas and several hours later it was time to get back on the boat and repeat our ferry, cab, flight, drive back to Colorado. The way back seemed much quicker.

We had a great weekend, it was awesome to be a part of Andrea, Steve, and Anthonys first 50 mile race. I’m hoping it’s not their last. I feel thankful that Troy and I have found two other couples that we really enjoy traveling with and spending time seeing new sights with. The dynamic is great and I am excited to do many more trips with them. Again, I am in awe of Andrea. I have known her for a year and a half and this race was transformative for her. I feel lucky to have witnessed it. It has made me think differently about my own perceived limits.


Okay, the whole “Wahhh…I’m not racing” is totally gone.

Guess where I am going this weekend? CATALINA!!!!

Guess what the weather is supposed to be like?

74 degrees.

Oh my, oh goodie my. Now this is going to be a vacation!

I’m so excited to be part of the experience and to watch my fantastically awesome coach and teamates race thier little hearts out. They are ready, now it’s time for the party!

So, check this out, I get to go here!! Isn’t is just awesome looking, almost like Hawaii or something.

We get to take a ferry over to the island and we get to chill in this quiant little bungalo of a town. Isn’t is gorgous?

And look here too. My view is going to be of that fantastic bay, ooohhh, ahhhh. Say it with me…oooh, ahhh. Yea, you wish I was packing you to come with me.

So, I’m all packed and ready to go and get this, what am I taking? A BIKINI! Yea, a BIKINI, and no lap swimming suit. Nope, no swimming in a pool for me, just beach cruisin’ in (let’s hear it again) A BIKINI. Also in the backpack is A SUNDRESS! Like one that has tiny straps and shows my knees (Thanks Hill). Also packed are short sleeve shirts and oohhh, get this CHACOS!

Yea Baby, I’m going to an island!

Okay, so since I’m not racing and I don’t need to worry about things like Hammer Gel, fanny packs, HEED, life savers, etc, check out the bag I am taking.

Can you believe it, I fit my BIKINI, SUNDRESS, CHACOS, and sun tan lotion in that tiny bag? Who knew?

As you can tell, I’m excited to go and really excited to root for my training partners, chill with my excellent husband, and remember the island that used to be my childhood playground.

Have an excellent weekend, I will try to enjoy it for all of you!!

Hard Decisions

After some days of pain following the first Beaver Creek Snowshoe race this weekend my knee if finally starting to calm down. I have been in PT all week (and all last week) and I’m lucky that the damage is to soft tissue and not anything scary like ACL or MENISCUS! Those words just frighten me.

When you are experiencing pain, and you have a long race coming up it’s just torture. For about three weeks I have felt like my back was up against a wall. It’s depressing, and frustrating. Things were looking much better last week as I went for a 9 mile treadmill run and was in no worse shape than before I started. I was feeling pretty peppy and felt I was up for the snowshoe race. The day after I was back in significant pain, unable to walk normally. I got right into PT again, and I am now experiencing some relief.

Unfortunately time is not on my side. I have 2 and a half days until the 50 miler and I’m running out of time to heal. I know come Saturday I am going to feel much better, and I know (since I’ve been through it 3 times now) that if I were to start the race I would start to feel pain many tens of miles before the finish.

A decision has to be made, and I know that the right one is not to race. Being in pain is depressing enough and I would rather that it didn’t linger for the next several months. There are other 50 milers out there, and there are other years.

So…Troy and I will head to Catalina for some much needed R&R. Troys parents are watching Annie and so it will be good for us to have a weekend off of parenting.

These decisions are amazingly tough. I know I will be standing on the sidelines Saturday, with tears in my eyes, feeling like the dog that got left behind.

Allergic to Running

I’m allergic to peanuts. I’ve been saying it for years. Back in high school, starting in my freshman year, during cross country I started having allergic reactions after some of my runs. The first one happened after a Sunday long run with my friend Heather. I remember it started with itchy palms and then just exploded into the need to get into a cold shower immediately, compulsive (and somewhat convulsive) itching all over my body, my eyes, lips, cheeks and feet swelling up substantially, and a lot of discomfort. I remember itching my skin off as my mom drove me to the ER. By the time they got me in and gave me 4 nice shots in my backside the reaction was calming down.

I had about 6 of these that I can remember in High School. My parents and I tried desperately to catalog what I had eaten. We really searched long and hard and our only conclusion was nuts: peanuts and pistachios. The day I had my first reaction I had downed an entire bag of pistachios (I was a teenager), and several of the other times I had a PB&J for lunch.

But really, the one commonality between all the reactions is that I had just finished running.

My last reaction was when I was 17. For years I carried an EPI Pen and Benadryl wherever I went. Doctors had cautioned me that the anaphylactic reaction I experience could cause my tongue and throat to swell, and that I could loose the ability to breathe if the reaction was bad enough. I had never experienced tongue or throat swelling so I assumed this was a long shot. About 5 years ago I quit carrying the EPI pen as I hadn’t had a reaction in 6 years. I try to keep Benadryl in all my emergency kits and at home just in case.

Last night Troy wanted to get in a 40 minute run on the treadmill in our apartment complex gym. I said I would join him for 20 minutes so that I could warm up my legs in hopes that he would stretch me afterwards. Troy has been great through this knee discomfort and has been helping me stretch after my workouts this week. It’s provided a lot of relief so I was hoping he would indulge me.

I ran my 20 and was giddy giddy giddy. I got off the treadmill and my palms started itching. Then my feet. Troy asked what was wrong and I said “I think I’m having an allergic reaction”. He asked if he should stop running and I said YES. I ran back to our apartment and started stripping cloths along the way to get into the shower. And…what hasn’t happened in 12 years happened. Full Blown. Allegric Reaction. The itching, the pain. Compulsive. Comes in Waves. Miserable.

Troy is on the phone with my parents. Everyone is trying to remember what we did 12 years ago when these were more regular. Right away I took three Benadryl. My dad called our family friend doctor and he said 2 Benadryl and watch the tongue and throat.

And this time, for the first time, my tongue started to swell. And my throat started to swell. I felt like I had cotton in my mouth and it was uncomfortable to swallow. I kept opening my mouth to Troy, asking him if the hole was getting smaller. He shook his head with his normal calm demeanor and told me “I am watching it and we will do the right thing when the time is right”. I talked to him about where the urgent care was and where the ER was. We discussed directions, and we waited. I laid there in the tub and complained about our crappy insurance and that I didn’t want to go to the doctor unless it was 100% necessary b/c I didn’t want to pay our $4000 deductible. If you drive by an ER they send you a bill for $500.

We waited. We watched. I itched. And in time (about 90 minutes) the drama started to wear off. We were able to get me out of the tub and into clothing and into bed. At this point it was really hard to keep my eyes open (I had taken 3 Benadryl). Troy loaded up my iPod with some Podcasts to keep me awake and told me he didn’t want me to sleep b/c he couldn’t keep tabs on my throat. I listened, and had a slice of pizza. I was stoked I could get the pizza down with my swollen throat. Little bites. After another 45 minutes Troy came in and said I was looking better, the throat was not getting worse and I could sleep. I was out before you could say Mississippi.

This morning I look horrible but feel great. My eyes are extremely swollen and I have a lot of scratches, but I can breathe well, I don’t itch, and I am basically back to normal. The strange part…I didn’t have any peanuts or pistachios yesterday. I had very basic foods yesterday, so I am pretty much back to square on with what causes all of this. I do know that I now need to get another prescription for an EPI pen, and I need to resume tucking a few Benadrly into handy places.

Swelling just starting, right after the first bout with the erratic itchies.

Swelling after 30 minutes, and several bouts of the erratic itchies.

This morning, itchies gone, but the eye swelling is nasty.