Week Five of Ironman Training: Wind at My Back (and Front) and Peeps by My Side


Heading out on last Saturday’s beautiful, windy 3-hour ride.

Okay people, where did January go? I can’t believe an entire month has already flown by. It seems like yesterday the ball was dropping in Times Square. But here we go….


And HELLO Week Five of Ironman training! As we like to say around here, Keep Calm and Bring it On!

I’ll be honest, last week was a toughie for me–mostly logistically–squeezing in workouts between lots of different obligations–from junior high school visits to mid-week ballet performances and chaperoning a group of international dancers, to driving back and forth to LA twice in one week. Throw in the usual, everyday things and the hours disappeared faster than you can say swim-bike-run.

The circles under my eyes may have grown a little darker last week (also thanks to my damn goggles), but I did get it done. Every single workout. BAM. BAM. AND DOUBLE BAM.

And now I’m looking forward to what this week holds in store.

Here’s my schedule:

Monday: Rest (♥♥♥), gentle yoga am, core & stretching pm.
Tuesday: Run 50 minutes, Killer Kate’s strength & stretch class, swim 600 y, core & stretching pm.
Wednesday: Swim 2250 y, bike 2 hours moderate, run 20 minutes off the bike, core & stretching pm.
Thursday: rest, core & stretching pm.
Friday: Run 40 minutes, swim 2400 y, core & stretching pm.
Saturday: Run 70 minutes, core & stretching pm.
Sunday: Bike 3 hours with some hills, core & stretching pm.

Challenges: The weather got a tad insane last weekend. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like 3 feet of snow falling or anything like that, but we had some gnarly wind and a boatload of rain in a short amount of time (thank you El Nino). It was the kind of weather that took down a massive eucalyptus tree at my gym.

Normally I do my long runs on Saturday after coaching our Coyote kiddos, then do my long bike/run combo on Sunday, but I decided to switch it up this weekend to avoid Sunday’s unfavorable forecast for riding. And boy am I glad I did. Sunday’s rainy run was epic! It was the kind of run that was so ridiculously miserable, it was hilarious. Pelting sideways rain, puddles as big and wide as lakes, and the #*!&% wind blasting. It was awesome Iron training, and even though it was brutal much of the way, I was happy to be handed this crazy gift. If weather like this shows up on race day, I will be prepared.

Ironman Training Rain Run

It was when my phone started beeping a National Weather Emergency Alert that I stopped to see what might be headed my way. It was only a flood warning so I snapped this ridiculous picture for posterity and kept going.


Not surprisingly, I saw more than a handful of runners out there logging their miles, including my Iron friend, Jenni Miller! Go girl. Lake Placid will be no match for you!


Credit: Real Time Runners

Gratitude: I know I’ve mentioned my peeps before, but my husband deserves an extra shout out this week. The support he showered me with over the weekend is something I’ll always remember. First, he changed his plans to go to LA for an important photo/art event he attends every year, so that I could go on a long bike ride on Saturday (instead of rainy Sunday). Not only that, he did all the taxi’ing of our daughter to and from her dance rehearsals and helped her organize a big school project. Then on Sunday after my loony run he had a hot bubble bath waiting for me and a hot, spicy lunch. It was such a sweet surprise. Love and support like this makes this journey all the more memorable. My friend Jenni commented, “Sounds like you have a good iron family!!!” She couldn’t be more accurate. Although I’d change that to a GREAT Iron family. Believe me, I don’t take it for granted!


This is one of my favorite birthday gifts I received this year. Thank you Abraham Family for having my back and keeping me fueled!

Favorite gear this week: While I’ve been training in a lot of headwinds lately, Tailwind Endurance Fuel always has my back. Monica DeVreese, co-owner of Santa Barbara Running turned me on to this over a year ago (thank you Monica) and I’ve used it ever since. I like it because there aren’t a lot of fake colors and sketchy ingredients in it, and there are enough calories and carbs in it to forego additional gels and chomps if necessary. It also happens to be quite yum…as sports drinks go.

Heroes: When I’ve been out running, on more than one occasion I’ve cruised past women who made me feel compelled to holler, “Great job! You are my hero.” Most times I receive bright eyes and an appreciative smile. Other times I receive a quizzical look, like, “Why are you calling me your hero?”

Who are these women, you ask? They are amazing moms who are running while pushing heavy double strollers–up hills, no less– often while trying to manage a dog on a leash. Do you know how hard this is? These women are freaking every day Ironwomen. So fierce. Such great role models. So determined to make health and fitness a priority while still being great moms. Pure awesomeness in motion.

Self Care: Okay, so here’s a question: Why is it so hard for moms not to feel guilty about taking time to pamper and care for themselves? Yesterday was a perfect example. My sweet girl woke up sick. Argh. Nothing major, but still, poor thing. Here’s the guilty part. Before I knew she was sick, I had planned to go to my yoga class in the morning–something I haven’t done in a long time and something I knew my body could use on my “rest day” after a hard week of working out.

I knew it would only be an hour. I knew it would make me a better mom, and I knew that my husband was more than supportive, so why when I got into my car did I feel bad about going? It’s ridiculous. We’re so used to always taking care of others that it’s hard to allow ourselves time to care for ourselves. I forced myself to turn the guilty button off though. Otherwise, what’s the point, right? The class was great, my body felt better, and I left feeling more centered. Aaah.

On top of going to yoga, I also had a massage (one that I had scheduled last week). Again, my first instinct was to feel guilty, but then I reminded myself the only way I’m going to get to the starting line of Ironman Arizona is to take care of myself. So I did. And I’m glad. My child was just fine. My husband was just fine. The world didn’t fall apart while I took care of myself for an hour and a half. Duh. Thank you Stephanie Trager for working your magic once again, and Larry Trager for helping my foot get back to its happy place again.

Inspiration: I came across this article recently from the HuffPost about the oldest woman ever to complete an Ironman–84 year old Sister Madonna Buder–AKA–The Iron Nun. I’m going to take her advice about “just getting up and doing and thinking like a teenager!” Click on the photo to enjoy the article.

Iron Nun, Sister Madonna Buder

“If you don’t think age and you just get up and do and you think you’re a teenager, well, you’ll start to act like one,” she said. “And you also find out that you never get too old to learn new tricks.”

Smile Train Ironman Arizona

Smile Train Update: Our team has raised over $33,000 so far, so kids with cleft palate/lip can have life-changing surgery! Way to go Team Empower!

My goal is to personally raise $5,000, which will fund surgery for 20 kids. Right now we’re at $1,150 (23% of my goal). I’m hoping this week we can raise 2 more smiles. Will you help? All you have to do is click HERE and take a few minutes to donate. Thanks for considering and thanks for your support!

Having you along on this Ironman journey is giving me a big shot of Iron perseverance…something I’ll definitely need to get to the starting line!

If you missed any of my previous posts about how this big adventure started, you can click on the links below:

Kicking off My Journey to Ironman Arizona
Week One of Ironman Training: Believe
Week Two of Ironman Training: The Power of Friends
Week Three of Ironman Training: I Think I Can
Week Four of Ironman Training: Progress




I'd love to hear from you! Leave me a comment and share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s