For The Lady Cyclists

Brain Pickings has dug up a list of 41 “don’ts” for female bicyclists from an 1895 New York newspaper, and they are downright breathtaking in their amazingness. Here are some of our favorites:

Don’t be a fright.

Don’t faint on the road.

Don’t wear a man’s cap.

Don’t wear tight garters.

Don’t criticize people’s “legs.”

Don’t wear loud hued leggings.

Don’t cultivate a “bicycle face.”

Don’t wear laced boots. They are tiresome.

Don’t imagine everybody is looking at you.

Don’t go to church in your bicycle costume.

Don’t wear a garden party hat with bloomers.

Don’t chew gum. Exercise your jaws in private.

Don’t wear white kid gloves. Silk is the thing.

Don’t ask, “What do you think of my bloomers?”

Don’t use bicycle slang. Leave that to the boys.

Don’t let your golden hair be hanging down your back.

Don’t allow dear little Fido to accompany you.

Don’t scratch a match on the seat of your bloomers.

Don’t discuss bloomers with every man you know.

Don’t scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first, she will run.

Don’t appear to be up on “records” and “record smashing.” That is sporty.

Don’t discuss bloomers with every man you know. DON’T DISCUSS BLOOMERS WITH EVERY MAN YOU KNOW.



Flu Shot Strength

I looked down at my arm, willing it to relax while she finished prepping my skin for a flu shot.

Next the nurse commented on my Ironman tattoo, the small red IM logo high on my right arm near where she planned to stick me.

“What is that?” she asked with a true sense of wonder.

She wasn’t expecting tattoo at all, or something Ironman related, which made me smile. I love surprising people.

I looked back down at my right arm smiling inside and out, grateful for so many things like:

  • good health care,
  • strong muscles, and
  • the chances to use those beautiful muscles each day.

Questions for You:
Do you get a flu shot?
– What’s your favorite muscle?

I’m Lovin’ It!

I’ve now been ‘signed off’ from Mickel Therapy having had my last session last month. I have all the tools to help me stay well but can always ask for help if needed. I still get tired some days but not ‘crappy CFS tired’ where my system starts to shut down and I have no option but to take to my bed. I reckon I am getting tired because I am doing so much more now compared to what I used to (not) do!

I’ve been training 5 days a week, 2 swim, 2 bike, 2 run, doubling up a run with a swim or bike. Not long distances but harder sessions as I can now push myself more and not pay for it afterwards. I’ve had a breakthrough in swimming after telling my cousin (who used to be a swim teacher) that I just wasn’t managing more than a length at a time of front crawl. She told me I was trying to go too fast and to slow it down as much as I could. Result! I can now do 800m (with a few 10-20sec rests), it may not be great technique bit it’s a step forward!

I’ve entered the Jenson Button Trust Triathlon in August which is a supersprint, I love Jenson Button so will be hoping to meet him……..along with 500 other participants 😉  My long suffering other half will be happy to accompany me to this event as he is a motor racing nut. He is very supportive of my madness(!) and a very patient person – he has to be, given  that  am so slow!!

Onwards and upwards 🙂

How Saying The Words “I Am A Runner” Will Change Your Life

On Friday, a friend of mine shared one article from our local newspaper.  It was about a local woman who chased down a criminal while she waited for the police to arrive after he had broken into her car.  She said to him “You may as well stop. The police are coming. And if you are going to run, you better run fast and more than 3 miles because I’m a runner.”

Initially, I thought her response was quite ballsy coming from someone who’d run a few 5k races and taken up running just last year.  The more I thought about her statement though, I couldn’t help marveling at her commitment to her identity as a runner.  She didn’t say “you’d better stop, because I’ve run a 5k before” or “you’d better stop, because I run sometimes” or “you’d better stop, because I can run 3 miles.”  No, she said “I am a runner.”

Then it hit me.  That’s it!  That’s the secret sauce.  That’s the 1% shift that determines who feels entitled to reach for the stars after getting off the couch, rather than retreating to a life of lethargy with bragging rights.  It’s a switch inside your brain that you control by simply making a profession to yourself and to others.  Someone who says out loud, “I am a runner” or “I am an athlete” and believes it, makes it clear that they are committed to this identity.

It takes real courage to make that proclamation.  I mean after all, when you say you are a runner and you are a size 16, people may snicker behind your back right?  Yes, that is a good possibility.  By the way, I started calling myself a runner after I completed my first 5k.  I didn’t know any better.  Back then I thought of a 5k the way I currently think of an Ironman.  It was the end all, be all of athletic accomplishment.  So when I did one, I proudly took my place within the subset of people who call themselves runners, even though on the outside I resembled nothing of the sort.  Now, I’m suddenly convinced that this kind of ballsiness or in my case ignorance can propel people into the stratosphere of confidence.

After 5k, then what?  “Well I’m a runner.  I better do a 10k.  Serious runners do the 10k distance, right? Am I just a runner or am I a serious runner?  Oh I’m definitely a serious runner.”  Then what?  “Half Marathon…”  Then what?  “Anything…Anything-I-decide-to-do.”

Friends and family who’ve witnessed my own transformation from couch-spud to endurance junky have asked me how they can do the same.  I used to say “simply put one foot in front of the other”.  I thought that if they would just get started, they’d surely fall in love with running the way I did.  What’s not to love?  I realize now that my advice has been incomplete.  Now, I’ll say “just put one foot in front of the other and believe you are a runner!”

Desert Adventures

Hello, GO TRIbal!

I hope everyone is out and about…enjoying running and bicycling (or whatever you may be doing!) outside. The sun is warm and cheery in Montana. Last week was Spring Break for the University of Montana. What an exciting week! I spent my Spring Break in Moab, UT with three amazing friends. We spent the week riding bikes, climbing, running, canyoneering, and camping with the sun on our faces and sand in between our toes. The rock there is music and color to my soul. The landscape is calming, yet intimidating. The shapes never end, and the shadows and rays of light are a constant aesthetic candy stonre. Here are some photos from the trip: Have a great day…because you deserve it! Go play in the sun!

Follow Your Bliss

Like many people, I’ve been watching the Olympics this week.
As always, I find myself enthralled by the swimming and cycling events.

Is it because I am a triathlete and these are “my” sports?
I think not.
Although, I will watch the marathon, but no other running sports.

I have watched cycling and swimming events for as long as I can remember.

As I cheered for Taylor Phinney this week, I thought about how I had watched his parents, especially, his Mom, compete in 1984.





I never told anyone, but I wanted to be Connie Carpenter.
I followed her races, bought Bicycle Magazine, and browsed what today we call “Bike Porn”

Funny thing is, I didn’t even own a bike!
But you gotta admit this one is “pretty”

Today, a mere 28 years later, I find myself happier than I have been in “I don’t know how long.”

I even own 2, count em’ 2 bikes.

Swimming, biking, and yes….running!

not Connie Carpenter competing in the Olympics

Of course not…

But, the person I always knew I was supposed to be.

Why I <3 Exercise

So many people don’t get the appeal of a good, hard workout. They don’t understand the endorphin rush, the sense of accomplishment in looking in the mirror post-workout to see the “hot mess” that you are, or the satisfaction of utter physical exhaustion. I get it. It takes time. Takes putting your mind and body through all of the above quite a few times before you truly understand that these are gut wrenchingly beautiful moments. And maybe the sheer fact that not everyone “gets it” makes it all the more beautiful. It makes it something that is “yours” that no one else can duplicate.

And that my friend is why I love exercise. Because no matter who you are or what type of exercise you do, you get something almost magical out of it. Ok, maybe magical is a stretch – I know there is nothing magical about tight IT bands, black toenails and green chlorinated hair …………. Or is there? They do tend to show up completely out of nowhere!

Take my last week, for example. If you read last week’s blog  you would see that I was feeling completely stressed out. Not knowing which way to turn or what my next move was. Here I sit 10 days later with a body that is completely exhausted. Last week I taught 4 spin classes, trained with clients (I like to do the workouts alongside them. If I expect them to do it, I had better be able to, too) and did my own workouts, too. My body is completely exhausted, but my mind and emotions are completely revitalized and rejuvenated.

Body wants a nap … Mind says “Hello World! What ya got for me this week? Bring it on!!”

And that is all thanks to exercise! I dare ya, go kick your own ass on some workouts and feel the magic!

You Know You’re Raising A Fit Family When…

  1. Everyone in the family has clothing made with DriFit.
  2. The kids request protein shakes for breakfast.
  3. Creative play includes working out, races and going to the gym.
  4. Your kids greet the childcare staff at your gym with as much affection as they give their favorite aunt. 
  5. There is a laundry basket for darks, for whites and for sweaty workout clothes.
  6. There is a designated workout area in the house (and the playroom doubles as a workout area when necessary).
  7. Everyone in the family has a “finishers photo” on the mantle.
  8. When you and your partner work out at the same time you consider it a date.
  9. Your gym bag doubles as a diaper bag and vice versa.
  10. Hearing “you stink” isn’t intended to be derogatory, but rather a statement of fact, even a badge of honor.

Thanks to Twitter I got an additional item, which I loved:

–You have to initial all the race shirts so you know whose laundry pile to put them in.

Any of your own to add? How do you know you’re raising a fit family?

Monday Madness At Master’s Swim

I could barely finish the main set, which was 1 x 500 (FR), 2 x 250, 5 x 100 (choice), and then 4(50 BS, 25 FR, 25 choice). There was some more but I had to leave by 7:15 (we start at 6:15).

One thing I know is that I swim better if I eat something before I go. And believe it or not, I didn’t use to take the time to eat anything because it was early in the morning (5:15) and I just wasn’t hungry. I always took time for a cup of coffee but often didn’t eat anything. Mistake!

Since I don’t have time for a bowl of cereal, I often a bar of some sort. I don’t really want to eat a sports bar per se, partly because they’re rather expensive, so I sometimes settle for cheaper forms of quick energy, like Fiber One bars.

They actually taste pretty good and yes, they are made with sugar but our muscles use white sugar pretty much the same way they use maltodextrin (sugar in sports bars), especially in high intensity activity.

Homemade sports bars are actually the best way to go – more on those later. But for now, getting something in my stomach that is high in carbohydrates makes me feel much better than when I don’t eat anything.

Other pre-swim snacks I eat include yogurt, half bagel with light cream cheese, homemade muffin, or biscotti with my coffee. Something is always better than nothing. Pretty profound statement, eh?

Another way to keep your energy level up during master’s swim is to keep a water bottle filled with a sports drink at the end of your lane (but that just makes me have to pee so I forego the fluids during master’s and just make sure I eat before I swim!).

Tomorrow is my run day and because I’m only running 45 mins, I will have a glass of juice and a banana 30 mins before my run. That works well for me. Because your liver glycogen stores are pretty much depleted when you wake up in the morning, you need some carbohydrate to get you going.

Sure, you can run without eating anything but I can guarantee one thing: you’ll run faster and/or longer with some carbohydrate in your system. Juice, fruit, handful of Cheerios, whatever – just eat something with carbs in it about 30 mins before heading out the door.

More ideas coming soon!

8,424 Hours

Recently, I won a free entry into the Leadman125K.

That 125K breaks down to  a 1.6 mile swim, 68 mile bike, and an 8 mile run.
It has me thinking…
How did I get here?

When I step into the water on March 31st, it will be 8,424 hours after the day when I dipped my toes into Lake Mead for my first ever
Sprint Triathlon.

8,424 Hours
351 days
11.5 months
Just 14 days short of One Year.
better yet…
Just 2 years (or 16,848 hours) after I stepped into a gym as an overweight, out of shape 50 year old woman.

Did I step into that gym thinking about doing something like this?
You’ve got to be kidding…
I stepped into that gym almost anticipating defeat.
But I made a deal with myself.
Twice a week. Just 2 hours a week.
Surely I could do that.
For 4 months that was about the extent of it.
Then I added a spin class once a week.
Then I decided to run a 10K.
Then…another one.
Then..I bought a bike.
Then..Leadman 125.

Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, I’m looking at an event that could take me the entire 9 hours allowed.
Working out and being healthy has gone from…
Cuz’ I need to lose weight.
Cuz’ this journey is just too much fun