IRONMAN Boulder 2014

IRONMAN Boulder 2014
IRONMAN Boulder 2014 - Photo Courtesy of Nils Nilsen @N2PhotoServices
former professional couch potato and dorito eater with no fitness background to 4 x IRONMAN triathlete. blogging so you can be inspired to be active in your life! there's no 'can't' - just think of when you will take that first step!

Friday, July 31, 2015


It’s about that time…

IRONMAN Boulder will be here in just a couple days. Last year, I swore I would never do this event again after I practically died. I joked that it was so hot that I was slowly turning into an egg roll. But, after I found out a friend will be getting married the weekend of IRONMAN Wisconsin, which was the event I planned on doing because it logistically and financially made the most sense from Chicago, I had to pick a different event.

IRONMAN Boulder was my backup plan because I have an awesome bunch of friends from the #TriTeamForGood that live there, along with recent Chicago transplants. They generously offer up their homes, transportation to and from the airport, company when I need to stuff my face etc! Thanks to Molly and Andrea for helping make the travels possible; to Jennifer and Scott for providing the accommodations; and, to Khem and Adriana for being my airport transportation! I am really excited to spend time with my Boulder friends… honestly, it’s probably what I’m MOST excited about!

But, there is still a task at hand on Sunday and I am, frankly, really nervous. The dark cloud I had last year because of the swim is gone. So, that’s not the reason. I survived the brutal heat and should be better equipped this year. So, that’s out too. 

It’s because I trained better this year. 

My new coach, Bill Bishop of Bishop Racing, was originally just a recommendation of somebody to see for group pool swim time and private lessons. Long story short, he wasn’t a hard sell and made me WANT to buy more than just group swim time and a couple lessons. Heck, this guy doesn’t even brag about his successes in swimming, winning IRONMAN races etc. I’ll let you grill him some time because I bet I’ve already divulged too much for Señor Modesty!

HIs coaching style and calm demeanor ended up being a great match for me. He knew my training time limitations and whining tendencies - still, he assured me that I could conquer a 70.3 and 140.6 under his tutelage.

The first test was my 70.3 at Toughman Wisconsin in June, where my goal was to be sub-7 hours. I ended up finishing just over 5:45 because of a really great bike and a decent run. I was stunned that I actually did that and could hardly believe it was true. But, the clock doesn’t lie!

His workouts obviously worked that day!

And, I expect that the solid base of fitness I have built will certainly carry me through on Sunday. Yes, he gave me goal targets and he helped me think through a strategy…things I typically don’t like to do because I like to default to, “I wanna finish by 16:59:59 or just a second faster than my fastest time, which was my first in 2012 and was 15:48.”

The fact is that I can do so much better!

And, if I am smart, I can shave a good chunk off of my times. I have to be comfortable being uncomfortable, which is something I typically don’t like and play it very safe. But, I’ll for sure make an effort to add a little heat. It will certainly be a hot day and I am about 5,000 feet above Chicago AND it is an IRONMAN. 

So, anything can happen. 

But, if I am smart, particularly by executing my nutrition properly (especially with my Base Performance Salt!), I am optimistic! So, hopefully the nervousness is actually excitement!

Thanks to everyone for your support and encouragement. Special shout out to Bill Bishop for the awesome coaching this year and to my partner Anthony for his unwavering love and encouragement!

See ya on the other side!!!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Did YOU #RockYourHealth?!?

Did YOU #RockYourHealth at the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago 5k, 10k or half marathon last weekend?!? I DID thanks to Humana!

The way I operate is by having goals. If I have an event on the calendar, I have a target towards which I am working. Every workout has purpose because I need to complete that event. And, not training only leads to misery and/or injury -- we don't have time for THAT!

My targets this year:
  • Toughman Wisconsin - 70.3 distance triathlon, June 2015
  • Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon - 13.1 mile run, July 2015
  • IRONMAN Boulder - 140.6 distance triathlon, August 2015
Doing the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon fell perfectly into my taper to IRONMAN Boulder. I rode about 60 miles the day before and it was the perfect, supported long run the next day. 

But, before I could get to race day, I had to be sure to hit the expo to pickup my packet with the family (they were doing the 10k!) and check out all the exhibitors and sponsors there, including Brooks and Humana. It was really special being at an expo with family because I got to answer so many questions for them that I had when I was new to running. I even helped guide my cousin through a gait analysis that Brooks was doing and helped her pick that perfect shoe based on that analysis!

On to race day... The family and I scored some sweet parking via ParkWhiz and were sure to meet up for a family shot before heading to our respective start lines. In my start area in Grant Park, there were "VIP Bathrooms" provided by Brooks!!! OOOOoooo AHHHhhhhhh... Air conditioned... No line... Nice toilet paper... Running water... Need I say  more?!? That was sweet!

Then, I ran into my friends doing the race and we chatted until it was time for our wave to go. Then, we were OFF! And, that's when I really noticed how humid it was that day. The air was definitely thick and stagnant within the city throughout the majority of the miles. Once we got closer to the lake, though, the air had dried out a bit and there was a nice, cool breeze coming off Lake Michigan

The course was great, had LOTS of spectators, and the aid stations were well stocked for the warm day. Oh, and we can't forget all the various musicians performing throughout. My favorites were the ones blasting techno house! 

It was a fun event to be a part of and I would highly recommend it for anyone to include as part of their training plan or to even race! ON TO IRONMAN Boulder this weekend!
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Humana.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I am officially on my taper down to IRONMAN Boulder 2015! That means that the overall volume is dropping, as well as the intensity. So, going easy for an entire run with no hard efforts in the middle will be fun. Thanks to Humana, one of those final, easy, long runs will be 13.1 miles this Sunday at the Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon. I would love for you to give me a shout out during the race through Humana's Cheer Squad here. It'll be really cool to read your messages in the final few miles to help me celebrate!

I'm really inspired to know that Humana will have over 100 associates participating by running or volunteering on race day. Companies that encourage and rally up folks to do, or be around, healthy activities helps continue to promote active lifestyles. And, with the growing obesity issue - some would argue it's a crisis - in America, we can never do too much in that effort! Humana actually has a goal to see a 20 percent improvement in the health of the communities they serve by 2020! That's an amazing goal and I want to continue inspiring others to become active as my contribution to their efforts!

Because I didn't become active until 2007, which was when I started running, I know what it's like to be really "fat in the head." I like to be an inspiration to folks that can easily get stuck in that rut of just wanting to stay home, veg on the couch and have a bag of chips because they "just don't wanna!" I was able to set my eyes on a goal and turn a really slow run/walk into a marathon, which turned into not being able to swim into becoming an IRONMAN triathlete. So, really, ANYone can do whatever they set out to do with fitness, especially if I did it without ANY athletic background! In fact, I am excited to have played a small role in inspiring family members to become more active and a few of them will be participating in the 10k on Sunday!
This is a reminder that ANY small change is a step in the right direction where you can #RockYourHealth. Make one, small change and set your eyes on a fitness goal. Share that change, as well as your goal, with others. BRAG ABOUT IT! Then, watch it go viral! Go ahead and share in the comments what you are going to change and/or what your goals are - don't be shy!!!

If you need tips, motivation, encouragement, wake up calls etc, I'm here for ya!

Thanks in advance for the motivational words and thanks again to Humana for this awesome opportunity! #RockYourHealth!
This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Humana.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Training SUCKS!

I bet you think that often, right?


I am very "fat in the head" and feel like I'm just lazy. That's why I sign up for events. A good friend said that there are people that "train to race" and those that "race to train." And, I'm certainly the latter because events provide me with a good reason to be active. 

There's that definitive answer as to WHY I'm working out because that event is on the schedule! Then, from there, when I have a workout on the schedule and I'm just not feeling up to it, I think about the possibility of not finishing or missing cut-off times - especially when it comes to swims! (Being cut-off in a race is one of my biggest fears since it actually happened in 2013 after an IRONMAN swim.) THEN, once I'm doing a workout and it just SUCKS, I remind myself that it is more and more "hay in the barn" and I'm building strength.

So, when you hit a rut, feel stale, feel unmotivated, just don't wanna, training just SUCK etc, think about your why. 

  • Are you training for a specific reason? 
  • Are you fundraising to bring awareness to a cause close to your heart?
  • Do you want to finish your first 5k or first triathlon? 
  • If you just want to be faster or fall into that category of "train to race", have you thought about a bigger meaning beyond speedHave you thought about how much you've grown and CONTINUE to grow as you continue to just be active in your life?

I think we can all benefit from taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture and understanding why we do what we do in training and just life in general. It'll provide a fresh perspective and even help us re-prioritize things in our lives!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I'M SICK! And, I haven't done my workouts...

Today is day 10 since I've done a SINGLE workout!

I woke up with the intent of doing an easy, recovery ride for about an hour but I'm just not there yet. 

There's still that heaviness in my chest, still a little congested, and my body is plain tired. (Actually, I'm pretty much always tired, so I need to eliminate that from my list of reasons why not to do a workout.) I'm out of breath at the top of the stairs coming out of the subway. I have a cough that isn't the most productive. There's still some congestion in my sinuses. 

This started about three weeks ago when I felt a LITTLE under the weather. I took a few days off and when I started feeling slightly better, I jumped RIGHT back in with the same intensity as if there wasn't anything that hit me. I was going strong for about ten days until the evening after my weekend of long workouts last weekend. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

What's your MQ score?

Gadgets, gadgets, GADGETS! I love GADGETS!!!

A couple weeks ago I received the Skulpt Aim. The Skulpt Aim is a small device that allows you to measure the MQ (muscle quality) of individual body parts in addition to body fat percentage!

You simply select the muscle you want to measure on the Skulpt Aim device, quickly spray of the sensors on the back, gently press the device against the belly of the non-flexed muscle and BOOM! Your numbers are captured in just a few seconds! Simply repeat on all the body parts you want to measure! Then, you sync the device to the app on your phone and you can analyze (or OVER-analyze) your data!

This is a great device and VERY eye opening. For example, my measurements showed that my legs are beyond athletic and almost SKULPTED! But (WOMP WOMMMMppp), my chest appears to be less than fit and almost in the average range! So, as you can see, it's a great tool that can tell you where you may want to spend a little extra time in the gym!

I highly recommend the #Skulpt Aim!

Monday, January 12, 2015

EnduroPacks Product Review

When it comes to almost everything I get into in life, I can be quite obsessive. When it comes to my health, I've become more protective of my body and the items that I put in it. I read labels closely and do a lot of research. The least amount of ingredients typically is my go-to. Make them organic, or at least non-GMO, HUGE BONUS!

Here's why...

Without diving TOO far into the details, I had some blood work and saliva tests last year when I went to a naturopathic physician. I wanted to discuss options that could get me OFF my anxiety medication AND help me wake up feeling refreshed each day. The summary of the series of visits and tests was that my body was not getting enough rest due to poor diet - likely "leaky gut" - which prevents proper absorption of nutrients. This was likely a huge reason for me often not getting restful sleep and suddenly waking up at 2am with my mind racing. 

Also, although not fried, my adrenals were taxed out and sitting in an "adapted to stress" state, which if not addressed could lead to diabetes, heart disease, and possibly many other things that I stopped hearing because I was in shock. I was in shock because I was, I thought, doing good things by eating as Paleo possible and staying active with my workouts. To hear diabetes and heart disease calling my name BAFFLED me!

New prescription...