I spent the last week in San Jose at training “camp.” I’ll go ahead and call it camp because I guess that’s what it was, but really it was “Camp-O-Fun”. Or really, maybe “Man-Camp-O-Fun”. Yes, Michelle and I got to go to man camp. There was a lot of man-wheel (my favorite).

Before I get going into it, I want to highlight two podcasts that I did last week in case you missed my posts on Facebook or Twitter.

One: Michelle and I were on Jim and the Other Guy. We are episode #34 and we just had fun. Jim’s podcast is great because it’s light hearted, people are having fun on there, and it’s not overly serious. PIC and I talked about silly stuff and being moms, and just loving the sport.


Two: I recorded a Podcast with Tawnee Prazak on Endurance Planet as well. This one is a bit more into the nitty gritty of triathlon, my progression in the sport, some of my thoughts about the sport, and some nuggets about motivation. I’ve had a few emails that people are really enjoying this one, so maybe you will too.

So, enjoy those if you have a long ride on the trainer, or a boring commute to work! Onwards!

Camp! I hooked up with a great group in the bay area this week for a multiday block of training and it was a blast. The group was mostly men, although the few of us women really bonded as well. When lots of men are involved, lots of work gets done.


I like training with guys, I’ll tell you why. When you are in the middle of the work, they just work, no tears, no judgement, no falling off the back in shame, they just work. In fact, every one of these boys just about ripped themselves to shreds over that week and they were so happy to do it. They have pride and they don’t let others see them suffer because they don’t suffer, they just keep their head down and work. They were like Labradors….happy go lucky, hard workin’ mo-fos.  When the day is done, they have an easy time letting it go. Training with boys is EASY on the psyche. Nobody judges. Nobody complains. Everyone just kicks ass. I don’t think a single person out there had a bad day, not one.


Also, being a girl who trains with the boys, at first they are kinda nice to you. They treat you like a chick, because they don’t know if you are one of “those” kinds of girls. But by 48 hours in, I just blended into the bunch, they forgot I was there, and they had no problem talking about their balls. It was great. I like it best when I lose my girl status, and just become one of the bunch. Once that happens I really feel like I can work my ass off.

If you are familiar with the San Jose area, we climbed Sierra and Hamilton on back to back days. It was awesome, 150 miles with like 15K of gain in two days. Each day was a race to the top of Ham, and I just ditched the power, ditched the HR strap, focused on feeding the machine, and RODE. There was a lot of time spent climbing on my own, but I can’t recall really thinking about anything other than doing work and being happy. I had my phone in my pocket and I would play songs on the climb out the speaker. It was fun passing people and they would laugh because they could hear the music coming. 


My favorite was riding with Darren and I’m just gonna say he “might” have known the words to a Brittany Spears song. MIGHT….I can’t say for sure. My favorite photo of the whole camp is this one. SEE, this is what I dealt with folks. Really happy dudes who totally dig training.


When we weren’t swimming biking and running we were laughing and playing around being silly. I went off the high dive at the pool and got lots of water up my nose. Headrush! I have a long way to go before I can do a flying squirrel! Prisoner ESCAPE!


Michelle and I went on a date night. Hahaha! Punk Rock Racing took us to the Sharks game. Actually he took me twice, once with Michelle on date night and another night for fan appreciation night with Jim Lubinski. That was especially awesome because Jim used to play PRO hockey, so I learned a lot that night….like what icing is….

Michelle’s and I’s date night ended a little badly with a 24 hour bug for her. But on the up side she got to recoup with my mom tending to her. Which I must say, my mom is the ultimate nurturer.





Interspersed between Sharks games we did a lot of eating! Whole Foods baby! It was great to get to know Gui more on this trip. He has recently been bestowed the honor of being on Team Timex. So you know he’s a bad ass. I must admit it’s inspiring to be around someone so young with such a zest for progress in the sport. He works so hard and kinda feels like my little brother after this trip. You can follow his blog here. Also, he works for Google, so you can ask him anything and he knows.


Towards the end of camp we did a 3 mile TT on the track. It was really fun because I did one on this same track the Tuesday after the Death ride. The track is long. I keep trying to convince everyone of this! Every time my Garmin beeps at the same spot on the mile and I SWEAR that 12 laps is 3.1 miles. My Garmin agrees, so if you run on this track in San Jose then guess what, you are faster than you think you are. I’m calling it a 5K. I know it is, I feel it in my bones, and my Garmin agrees. After camp I ran 20:28 I think. I could be off by 5 seconds either way but that # sticks in my mind. I was happy with that after the Death Ride and where I was at in my training. This week I ran 19:05. I’m super happy with that. If it’s a 5K…and I’m saying it is, that would be a PR. What was even more amazing was getting lapped on LAP 5 by Jim and Stephen. Yea….LAP 5!!! Again, so awesome!



Of course, after the 5K on the track I ended up like this for awhile. Thank you mom for the sweet set up with the recliner desk and what not. I need to get this for my house. At that moment in time…life did not suck!


I just have to extend a huge thank you to everyone that pushed me this past week. It was one of the best training weeks I’ve ever had, not just because of the work that was done, but because of the attitude of the workers. Everyone was always ready to lend a helping hand, pats on the back were abundant, “good jobs” said often.  I also had some great conversations with pro athletes, with elite age groupers who want to be pro, with elite age groupers who don’t wont to be pro and with a coach who’s been in the sport 30 years. I got a lot of different perspectives and it really helped to hone some of my own feelings about the sport and my place within it.

Good stuff people! Train Hard! Have Fun!

As a wise man once said….It’s just EXERCISE!

Self Acceptance Fairy

It was several years back, I was out on a run, and it was one of those where the time just flies by because my mind was wandering. These runs are like therapy and you can’t make them happen on demand, you just have to take them when they come. I had one of those and I remember coming home and thinking that if I was a fairy, like a tiny Tinkerbell, with a wand, who can run around and make magical things happen, I would be the fairy of SELF ACCEPTANCE.



Coaching athletes it’s one of my jobs to constantly remind people that they are okay, they are loved, they are right where they need to be, everything will work out, etc. And I find that it’s very easy to be honest with others in this way. It’s easy to support others in their endeavors and to believe in them and accept them for who they are, good, bad, and otherwise. It’s easy to tell them when they need to work harder, or that they are working too hard. And I can do all that without judging them as people. I think a lot of us would say the same.

But then turn the tables. Can you do all of this with yourself? I can’t! I will admit that it is easier for me to support others than support myself. It’s easier to accept others flaws than my own. I seek a level of perfection that I do not require of others (and some would say that I require a high level of perfection of those around me). When it comes to me, I am so much harder on myself than I am on others. What the heck is up with that?

Why do we feel that negativity towards ourselves is productive?

Let’s take the athletes flaw of compulsion as an example. Do you know someone who has to get the workout done at all costs? If it’s on the training plan, they are going to make it happen. If they are coughing, or their calf hurts, it doesn’t matter, it’s on the plan.  And when they are in this mode, thinking about whether it’s a good or bad decision for their health is put on hold. This comes from negative thought patterns and avoidance of what they perceive as failure.

“If I don’t check every box I have failed”

“If I take a day off I will lose my fitness”

“I missed yesterday, so I have to make it up today”

Sometimes athletes in this mode are waiting for coaches to pull in the reigns. But coaches are not around 24/7, they expect humans to be smart like humans. I EXPECT my athletes to seek health. They hear me preach it day in and day out. Coaches who don’t expect this essentially are treating you like dogs or horses and those are the coaches you see living with their athletes, controlling their every move. If you see sport as a metaphor for life, a vessel to learn how to live a happier more fulfilled life, then you need to act like a human and keep health in mind.

Compulsion comes from fear of failure. Almost all our our negative behaviors that take us on a detour from the path of health are based on fear of failure.

One of the best things you can do for yourself in this short life you have, is to convince yourself that FAILURE is part of a HEALTHY life.

However….lets explore this a little more…

I once heard that our brains are inherently negative. We spent literally thousands of years trying to stay alive in a world where there were many daily threats. When we heard a stick break in the forrest, we could either think “Oh someone wants to play,” OR “something is going to kill me.” The negative thinkers were most likely the ones having babies down the line. The negative brain remains today as a way to protect us. It uses the experiences of our lives to prevent us from making future mistakes, preventing future pain, hardship, and or death. Thus it develops triggers, on purpose, to steer us away from perceived future pain/death.

In todays world, the negative brain is just not as functional as it once was. Actually, it’s functional in one area, but not in another. Our level of physical safety is at an all time high, sure, we use the negative brain on occasion but honestly, it’s rare. Most of our current triggers are about avoiding future emotional pain. They are keeping us not from death, but from failure. (See above: failure is part of health)

I think an important part of self acceptance is understanding that our negative brain exists to try to keep us safe and that it’s each individuals journey in life to determine whether it does just that. I personally have found that while my negative self keeps me physically safe, it also limits my potential. Have you seen the new kids movie The Croods? The entire movie is about this concept and it’s literally one of my favorite movies of all times. Plus there is a sloth named Belt, so the movie has to be awesome!


Have you ever heard of the concept of hunger and nutrient density? When I was learning to eat healthy, and I forget where it came from, but this concept was presented to me that if you don’t eat a variety of nutrients you will continue to be hungry. The body seeks certain nutrients and until it gets them, it will continue to want to eat to find them, especially if it is deficient.

Well, listening and being compassionate towards your negative self is like that. If you continue to try to shut down your negative brain without hearing it and acknowledging its warnings, then it keeps repeating, it’s not satiated. But when you recognize that these voices are simply trying to protect, then the need within is met and you can take heed and move on. The trigger has served its purpose.

If you can listen to your negative self, if you can understand that it’s merely a warning, and not a roadmap, if you can be aware enough to recognize that it fears failure and that failure is okay, then guess what??

Here comes my fairy moment….

That my friends IS the definition of SELF ACCEPTANCE.


I went ahead and made it bold for you, go ahead and reread it.

And on that note, the path to inner peace and joy is exactly that, it’s a path. It’s not a destination (nor do you want it to be, because I’m pretty sure it’s 6 feet under ground).

IronFamily Observations

Ironman training is in FULL EFFECT. This is the 9th time I’ve been through this and each time I learn a little more. This installment has required entirely new levels of efficiency since Troy is training too. I take the days, and he takes the morning and nights. I generally get Saturday, he generally gets Sunday. I train 2.5 hours to his every 1, he eats 2.5 calories, to my every 1.

So, a few observations this go around:

1.) We need huge amounts of training fuel. 18 bars will last about 5 days, and energy drink needs to be purchased in $100-$200 lots. We totally go through it. Chomps, blasts, gummies, etc… we need lots of different kinds so I’m pretty much buying these ANY time I see them. A LOT of them.

2.) Freezer Meal Parties. Thank you Michelle Ford for becoming a Wildtree rep and letting me crash most of her parties. At one point I had 37 frozen meals in the freezer (and I fit it all in the freezer side of our refrigerator). We are down to 8 meals left, and there are 6 weeks to go. I will need to crash more parties STAT. These have been the biggest lifesaver because most of them are done in the crock pot so we just put one in each day and there is food ready when we need it. Hot food. There is something about training that makes you want HOT food that smells good. Between these meals and our weekly door to door organics box we barely have to go to the store (usually only at 9pm for cookies and ice cream).

3.) Leftovers. I will admit that the biggest fight Troy and I have gotten into during this double Ironman situation is over leftovers. I thought it would be about who trains when, OH NO, that’s been fine. But if I come home from training and I’m hoping to eat the leftover fajitas and Troy has eaten them, and I’m starving…huge blowup! So we had to sit down and have a heartfelt conversation about leftovers. He was under the assumption that if it’s in the fridge it needs to all be eaten ASAP. I had to tell him that leaving me lunch is a sign of love. Now we are on the same page. He eats the leftovers, but always saves me some so I don’t lose it.

4.) Uncle! Sometimes we just have to call uncle. Troy and I have both experienced this. When it was just me training my training was priority and now that there are two of us, sometimes we can’t get everything we both need done. Sometimes, we have to bag it. I think this is what keeps triathlon marriages together. Both people need to be priority and sometimes training has to get ditched. In the long run, it all works out. It helps that Troys training schedule is rather loose, so he moves and shakes depending on his mojo. But I have lost my motivator. He used to really shove me out the door when I was stalling, and now he’s like “Maybe you should nap and I’ll go train.”

5.) Feelings! Troy totally knows how I’m feeling. He’s feeling the same way. I thought this would be a problem, but actually, this time around when I talk about being tired or just wanting to go to bed, I don’t feel bad anymore, because he is like “I totally agree.” His empathy for me and my empathy for him have really gone up and that’s been good for our marriage. I have felt less bad this go around than any other. We are both happy to be able to go to Brazil and being in it together just makes me smile.

6.) Sharing successes. This has been another awesome perk. We share our training successes so much more with each other. He had a breakthrough in the pool the other day and called me the minute he got out. I finished a big session and went straight to him for kudos. Also, we have really contributed to each others athletic success so much more than ever. Now we are in the pool with each other pushing one another, and it’s all for the same goal. The other day he wasn’t getting on his bike when he should have been and I told him “I don’t want to come back at midnight to pick you up, you better get on your bike.” We literally sat there and laughed for 5 minutes over that one.

7.) Laundry. Barely happens, and forget folding.

8.) Annie. Her life has really been minimally impacted in a negative way. She’s in swim school two nights a week and has lots of homework, so sometimes she’s busier than we are. This morning, Troy was traveling for business, and I meet with my trainer at the gym (Jen) at 7am. So I got up at 5 and packed everything up and then woke up Annie and she came and lifted with me. Jen gave her all these exercises and she had so much fun. Annie also gets lots of extra time in the swimming pool because most of Troy and I’s workouts are longer than her swim school, so she plays afterwards (just like she’s doing as I write this). So Annie doesn’t really see or notice any changes. I’m really happy with the lack of impact to her.

All in all, things are going really great. I am so darn happy this year. I’m having so so so so so much more fun. I’m enjoying my training to the n-th degree and I feel so much more well adjusted this year. Sure I still have my freak outs, but all in all this year is a 180 from last. I think a big part of that is having Troy in it with me. I’m so glad we are an Ironman family and that we teach our daughter daily to chase her dreams, to work hard, to have fun, and to be healthy.

2013 Oceanside 70.3

I have had this race on my bucket list since I started triathlon. San Diego is the birth place of tri and I can see why! Also, I went to UCSD for my undergrad, and save for a wedding about a year after I graduated, I haven’t been back since. Well, I have been missing out! This coming week being Annies spring break I decided to bring the munchkin. Mom and Dad flew down from San Jose to make the trip complete. Oh how I wish Troy had more vacation days!


The day before the race went fantastic, I felt good, had fun training with Ron, but I did get a flat on my tubular at the end of our ride. Crap! This is where mom and dad and Nytro Multisport saved me. I called the guys at Nytro, Chris I believe, let them know what happened and they made me feel totally at ease. My parents drove down and dropped off the wheel, and an hour later, they were done and had taped on a new tubular. I’m speechless at the great and quick service. Love this shop (and I haven’t even been there). Thank you big time to ma and pa for doing my dirty work while I was able to sit by the pool with Annie and relax!

Pre-race logistics…Oceanside is a course that is tough to get your head around. Steep learning curve for the first timers!


Race morning I was a little nervous. I was trying to do a new breakfast but just couldn’t get it down. Mix1 kinda went out of business, so I need to find a replacement, and let’s just say I’m not there yet. Also, my daughter was asleep next to me (where she spent most the night elbowing me in the ribs) and she was so peaceful. I just stared at her, and reminded myself that I needed to be not just a good but a great example for her, both on and off the court.


Mom dropped Ron and I off at T2 at 5:10am and it was go time! T2 set up, ride bike to T1, set that up, walk around nervous like, run around nervous like, wait for your wave to go off. I was literally 50 minutes after the PROs, which is fun when you get to see them all come out of the water. But sad too because they have crossed the line before you are even off the bike. I also ripped a big hole in my freak…doh!


After a nice little chat with myself, I started to get excited, to get my game face on. I realized that I wasn’t fearing anything. I was ready. I wanted in that water, I wanted to see where I was at. They let us in, we swam over, I tried to figure out where to line up, and in the process off went the gun. I was in a good spot, got off the line well, got clocked a few times, clocked a few ladies. Relatively damage free.


The first thing I noticed was how awesome the water was. I was prepared for cold temps but I found them to be positively perfect. Refreshing, and cooling. I must say, I hit my groove. I just had a really successful swim. I swam straight, I focused on the form things I needed to focus on, and I was in control. The biggest difference was that I felt STRONG. I have put on 10+ pounds since Kona, and I’m loving every one of them. I’m leaving the lean to the gazelles, embrace the strength!.

At the end of the swim you can see the clock and you get really excited. It was a fast swim for everyone so seeing that I was swimming a 27…..and then 28 made for a sigh of relief.

Out of the water and onto the bike. Transition was long, but I made my way through quickly and got into it. Soon after transition I was told to “GO AFTER IT” and I took that to heart. Today was the day for boldness, after all, I have NOTHING to lose. No ego that hasn’t been crushed in Kona, no expectations to uphold from myself or others. There was only opportunity in my hands. The bike is mostly on Camp Pendleton, so you aren’t allowed to drive the course. It was 100% sight unseen. Once I got going on the bike and I felt my legs under me, I could tell they were there, I just decided that I was going to put to use my new strength, my new muscles. I rode and I rode hard.


I figured Christine was first out of my AG from the swim, so I was looking for her. Plus, she’s one of my FAVORITE new friends (Coast Ride bonds you) and I just wanted to see her familiar face. She’s getting married in two weeks, so everyone wish her a happy wedding. Found Christine, that rocked, also found Rebecca Travis and let me say she kept me HONEST out there. We definitely used each other for motivation and it was all so positive. I like that. Two thumbs up for her. Also I heard her chew out some boys for sitting on my wheel, now there’s a girl after my own heart. Boys on my wheel, totally allowed in training..not allowed in racing!

Huge thanks to Quintana Roo for the new Illicito. It was my first race on the new frame, and it was good for the fastest amateur bike split. Major ups to QR!!

My legs were under me, so I went for it. I wasn’t letting up until I hit the wall. Coming into T2 I felt fantastic. I heard my parents and Annie cheering up a storm and I was on. I decided to put on socks and so Rebecca got out of T2 in front of me.

I took off and I was on. I felt good, I felt solid, and I was holding myself to 7 min pace. I slowly caught Rebecca and I just knew I was in the lead in the AG and the amateur race, mom confirmed this. I just had to hold on. I calculated time gaps. I had this, just had to run a lot of 7s. I run 7s all over this earth. I had this.


And then I looked down and I ran an 8min mile? What’s happening? Oh no. Okay, limit damage. I start running through my calorie count. Then I start cussing. I’m low, I’m bonking, I’m REALLY bonking. I dig out my emergency gel with caffeine. I get that down. I go to coke.

And I only had one choice left. Fight for every inch. The girls were coming, and I was not firing on all cylinders, so I just fought for every inch. It wasn’t pretty but my mind was strong and I was going to limit any and all damage that I could. Rebecca went back by me and gave me tons of love and support to hang tough. With about two miles to go Kendra went by me as well. I fought with all I had at the moment, shoving down the coke, trying my best to limit the carnage.


The finish could not come soon enough. I found that line. Yet another line, another line in my life that I crossed, totally exhausted, exhilarated, and feeling so raw and vulnerable that I can barely look into the eyes of those around me. Putting yourself out like that, fighting for every inch, coming into the finish totally spent and dog tired is HARD. It takes recovery from both emotionally and physically. I went for it, spent all I had, and I came up a tad short. Did I give a shit about that…hells no.


About an hour after the race, after many cups of salty recovery drink (thank you med staff) and a large lemon aid, I’m sitting there cheering for everyone still out there doing battle with the course. I’m looking at the ocean, the blue sky, I’m hugging on my daughter and sitting next to ma and pa, and I was just overcome with JOY. You can take the dog out of the fight, but not the fight out of this dog.


My fitness is where it is, my nutrition needs some tweaking. All of it is very early season (blah blah blah). I have (or can get) help with all that, but the FIGHT, you can’t buy that. You gotta make that, it comes from inside, and you can really only appreciate it after you lose it for awhile. The fight is back in this girl, like a shark, I tasted blood out there, I glimpsed greatness, and although all the accolades belong to others this weekend, I found my fight, and it aint going anywhere.

3rd AG, 3rd Amateur, 4:48:17, swim 28:05, bike: 2:37:40, 1:38:05


Congratulations to everyone who found their own greatness out there. Keep pushing, keep smiling, keep appreciating the fact that you are capable enough to compete. I know I will!

Thank you to: KompetitiveEdge, Quintana Roo, Amrita, Punk Rock Racing, and NUUN. Also a huge thanks to SOAS for their love this weekend, such a great group of women!