Sunday, January 3, 2016

How I spend my days

I read a great article a few days ago from a website called catching days. On her website, on the first day of the month she hosts a guest writer to address the topic:  “How We Spend Our Days.”

The story that was so interesting this month was written by Steve Almond.  I was first introduced to him as a speaker at the Washington DC AWP Conference in 2011.  I’ve read many of his books and articles. He’s hilarious and speaks the truth about candy, music, and family. At the conference he even told the audience how much money he made in a year as a freelancer; it was an audience question. None of the other speakers would say [Cheryl Strayed].

Here is the link to the story:

"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives." Annie Dillard

 The website and story made me think about how I spend my time. When I’m not working, I’m training, outside, reading, writing, and admittedly I watch shows on Netfix (probably too much).
I like my life. I like how I spend my days. I wish for a few things I don't have right now, but for the most part, I get to spend the days how I’d like.
My friends tease me that I’m a homebody. They tease me about making plans. Little do they know that I have to make a plan, I have to have goals, and I need long-term plans or I will be a homebody all year-long.

I like having structure to my day. One of the best things I’ve learned from being an endurance athlete is when you wake up in the morning you must have a plan – a plan of all the things you want to accomplish – then you will most likely get them all done.
When you don’t have a plan – or you don’t list the things you need to do – most likely you will not do them.

This weekend I did most of my plan: I hiked with the dogs, I snowshoed, 

I went Nordic skiing 

and I wrote a blog post. 
I finished a few work tasks. I read a few chapters from The Big Rock Candy Mountain.
I ran out of time to buy and read the New York Times but will try again next week.
I didn’t run.

This is how I spend my days.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Goals – A Year in Review

Swim 75 miles or 132,000 yards, Bike  5,000 miles, and run 1,500.

Swim: 135,056 or 76 miles ! Yeah, I met my goal.
Bike: 2,684, bummer – goal not met.
Run: 802 bummer – goal not met.

As I was planning my 2015 race calendar I thought these were all possible. And, by living in Tucson for the year I would be able to train all year. Well, it didn’t quite work out the way I planned in January. But that is the way life is: things happen, life gets in the way, nothing goes as planned – and it’s OKAY. I still believe in making goals and plans.

I did a lot of really fun things all year: Egg Nog 5K, Ironman Texas, Oro Valley AZ Sprint Triathlon, Olympic distance triathlon in Tempe, Blood, Sweat, and Beer trail marathon in Las Vegas, Mississippi Blues marathon in Jackson, Surf City Marathon in Huntington Beach CA.

I traveled a lot for work: Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and Minnesota.

I saw the Grand Canyon.

And, I moved back to Grand County, Colorado.

It was a very good year!

My 2016 Goals & Adventures are still intact, however I added one more event that I signed up for last night – solo long course at the Steamboat Pentathlon in March.

August – Leadville 10K
November – Ironman Arizona

This morning it was -20 so I am hoping that it starts to warm up so I can start running outside again. I need to figure out a mountain bike and downhill skis for the pentathlon. I have a lot of work to do to get ready for races this year. I’m excited to be back in Colorado and get back into racing this year.

Mostly I feel thankful. Thankful for an awesome family. Thankful for my friends in Colorado and Arizona. Thankful for a fulfilling job. Thankful for my health so I can train and race and see the world. I'm thankful to be a part of the Triple Threat Triathlon Team. And thankful to be a TNFLocal

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2015

45 Days into the New Adventure

After 45 days I finally feel like I’m acclimated. I was able to swim / bike / run inside Saturday and Sunday without my heart exploding.
I’ve been hiking in the morning with the dogs and think it is time to buy some snowshoes. The snow if starting to pile up on the hill above Hot Sulphur and it would be easier to hike up it (and go longer) with snowshoes.


But I’ve also been thinking about skate skiing. This sport would really help my biking but I don’t want to invest in even more equipment. I’m trying to stay as minimalist as I can given the fact that triathlon is gear intensive. But the debate in my head rages on.

I want to take the dogs on bigger hikes maybe try Devil’s Thumb. I’ve never hiked that in winter. Maybe try Vasquez Peak, my adopted trail fro living here before. So many possibilities. 
Winnie running free
I am finally feeling like I’m happy to be here. It was more of an adjustment than I thought it would be. After three years in the desert with two of those years longing to wear hats and gloves, I’m finally living somewhere where hats and gloves are a necessity. I no longer watch shows that take place in cold climates and wish I was there.
Living in the southwest was a great experience and I’m so happy I was able to do it but living in the mountains of Colorado is pretty awesome.  By getting more involved in outdoor activities like skiing and snowshoeing (and not just indoor triathlon training) I’m feeling better about all my choices. 

View from the top of Hot Sulphur Springs, CO
Now for the Goals – 2016 Goals & Adventures:
  • May – Ironman 70.3 St George
  • July – Ironman Lake Placid
  • August – Leadville 10K
  • November – Ironman Arizona
Small races around Colorado to be determined.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Life in the Mountains: Snow & Cold so far

This is my life for the next few months: work, coffee, work, more coffee.
When I wake up in the morning it is usually around 10-15 degrees. I can run outside as long as it's not snowy or too icy. So I'm still figuring out how to train in the cold.

Despite training difficulties and learning a new job, life in Colorado is good.

The dogs are slowly getting used to the cold and now however most mornings they stand in the snow with one paw raised with a pained expression on their face. One extreme to the next they seem to say: pavement too hot or snow too cold.
Which is better: cold, I think. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Moving Back To Colorado & Stegner Quotes

“Let’s not forget who we started out to be, or to be surprised that we have not yet arrived.” Wallace Stegner

I will be changing the header image and the “about” section of this blog shortly. Three years ago I had to change it from the Colorado mountains image to a Southwestern Arizona image. It's currently a picture of Leadville, Colorado, a race I aspire to do in the next few years. 

I will be changing it to a Grand County, Colorado photo in a few weeks. 
I look up Grand County in Googlemaps and find the new house I’ll be living in. It is a short walk to the Colorado River.
Water – Oh I have missed flowing water since living in Tucson. People who know me here have heard the repeated complaint. When it gets to the point of complaining too much it’s time to fix the complaint. So I'm heading back to Colorado, to cold and snow, to the flowing Colorado River. 

Daisy, picture above is from Colorado. I think she is happy to come back. Winnie doesn't know what a river or lake is.

I read the quote above from Stegner for the hundredth time as I look through journals this morning. Journals filled with racing plans, training plan, promises of running 30 miles one week and eating right, promises of hiking in Sabino Canyon and Mount Lemmon. Journals filled with quotes from great stories and books. Quotes to become a better person and quotes to help me remember good times.

The Stegner quote is a truth – I have not yet arrived to the person I want to be.
  • I still want to have an 11 hour Ironman.
  • I still want to have a 5:30 70.3.
  • I still want to finish a marathon in every US State.
  • I still want to be involved in writing, editing, learning every day, and telling stories.
Maybe this change of landscape will help realize a dream or two or three.

Plus I'll get to ride in Rocky Mountain National Park with this guy:

Maybe, then, after realizing some of these goals I will have arrived and be able to say, what a great journey.

It’s been pretty amazing so far.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Augusta Georgia - Getting out of the Desert

One of the favorite things I get to do as part of my job is to travel to places and check out their attractions, restaurants, and hotels.

Last week I visited Augusta Georgia. 

My boss is a former golf pro and I told him I would get him a Master’s souvenir. Ha. I couldn’t even get on the course much less a souvenir. Since I’m not a golfer I didn’t understand the exclusiveness of the Masters and how they fiercely protect their brand. I was only able to get him a golf towel with Augusta Georgia embroidered on it. 

He really wanted one of these. 
It’s okay.

I have some great souvenirs of the trip to share with my blog visitors: photos and memories.
Here they come.
But first I have to admit how awesome it was to be east of the Mississippi River. The temperature both days in Augusta was a pleasant 60 to 70 degrees; there were clouds and a bit of rain – heaven!

First let's talk art:  
This first piece of art reminded me of visiting the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, a park outside of the city. It was like being in a different world. I love the southern landscape
Morris Museum of Art 

Morris Museum of Art

Public Art in Augusta

 Outdoor Fun: 
The Augusta Canal and Dam - outdoor recreation abounds: kayaking, running, biking.

Boat tour of the canal. They have a weekend tour in the early evening with music and drink. We missed that :-( 
The Swamp - Phinizy Swamp Nature Park
Augusta Restaurants: 

Yum Mexican. Can't compete with Tucson Mexican but delicious still. 
I'm not sure why I didn't take more pictures of food and restaurants. It was primarily due to the company. They were so interesting and I wanted to know everything about them. It's so fun to learn about people and to know people who live in these amazing places. I was more interested in talking to them then taking pictures of our food. I will say that I had two amazing dinners. One night at Frog Hollow, with an all regionally produced menu. I had the pork chops. Thick-tender - pretty amazing. And great wine. Always, must have great wine.

The Dam - Savannah River
Why do I always forget to take video? Next time.
Speaking of next time, the weekend following my visit was the Ironman 70.3 Augusta. Athletes were arriving as I was leaving. When I knew I was coming here, I tried to register for the race and extend my trip but the triathlon is so popular it was SOLD OUT. Based on my visit, seeing the city, checking out hotels and the river - the Savannah River - this is a great race destination. I might just be coming back for it next year.

P.S. I walked past James Brown's daughter at the Augusta Museum of History where she teaches music. She smiled at me. The James Brown exhibit was so interesting. He was so driven. I'm listening to his music now.

Training Plans & 50 Milers

Monday’s are so hopeful – a new start, new plans – anything is possible on a Monday.

Today, I started my 50 mile training plan for a March 2016 race. Last week I didn’t run at all – nothing. Traveling for work and fighting a cold kept me from any workout. But it’s okay, I’m fresh and ready to attack this plan. Plus, I’m going to blog more about training (Hal Koerner’s Field Guide to UltraRunning) and nutrition (Hammer based).  

This blog will keep me accountable for hitting training goals.

Plus, I’m moving the Training Widget up in the layout so I can see if I’m finishing the miles I am scheduled to do according to this plan:

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Total
9/28/2015 0 4 6 4 0 12 5 31
10/5/2015 0 4 6 4 0 14 4 32
10/12/2015 0 4 6 4 0 16 6 36
10/19/2015 0 4 6 4 0 18 6 38
10/26/2015 0 4 4 4 0 8 4 24
11/2/2015 0 4 6 4 0 20 8 42
11/9/2015 0 4 6 6 0 20 10 46
11/16/2015 0 4 4 4 0 10 6 28
11/23/2015 0 4 6 6 0 22 10 48
11/30/2015 0 4 8 6 0 22 10 50
12/7/2015 0 4 4 6 0 10 6 30
12/14/2015 0 4 8 6 0 24 10 52
12/21/2015 0 4 8 6 0 24 10 52
12/28/2015 0 4 6 6 0 10 8 34
1/4/2016 0 4 6 6 0 10 8 34
1/11/2016 0 4 10 6 0 3 26 49
1/18/2016 0 4 10 6 0 26 10 56
1/25/2016 0 4 8 6 0 10 8 36
2/1/2016 0 4 12 6 0 28 12 62
2/8/2016 0 4 12 6 0 29 12 63
2/15/2016 0 4 8 6 0 30 10 58
2/22/2016 0 4 5 6 0 10 3 28
2/29/2016 4 3 2 5 0 10 4 28
3/7/2016 4 3 2 0 0 50 -- 59

2016 Races:
1/15/2016 - Houston Marathon

Possibly 3/12/16 Mesquite 50M

A - Races 2016:
70.3 St George