Long overdue

Way behind in posts again.
After some self contemplation, I think I have an idea of what’s going on.  My source of motivation for exercise and staying fit has changed.  In the beginning, my desire to chart with gadgets how I progressed with fitness compelled me to get out on the roads everyday and condition my body to tolerate walking/running via “couch to 5k” at first – just a simple mile without stopping to walk, to running up to 3 miles. After I finished my first 5k race,  I had the feeling that this was something I wanted and needed to do over the long haul. I thought I might be able to run and race further distances. So, I needed to delve further into the ‘culture’. This included research and reading, finding running sites and blogs, challenging  myself to improve by incorporating various gadgets and calculating and ruminating how I could use the data to self-hack myself into a better runner, re: athlete.  I also started my own running blog, and this furthered my  dedication and motivation. I needed content to write about. It was fun, and as long as I was progressing, it held my interest. Then came the challenge to change the way I was eating. While inquiring about my sister’s quest to eat healthier and improve her running, I started reading about being in a state of nutritional ketosis, and how that could benefit me as a runner, and help me with my sugar addiction. I ended up loosing the last stubborn 10 pounds I had been carrying for years, and I was back to my high school weight. I felt great, and although my running took a hit for a few months while adapting to using fat as fuel as opposed to carbohydrates,  I gradually made my way back. I was eating less, but more nutritionally dense – my brain fog diminished, and my memory improved from what I thought was from the ravishes of menopause. My interest in resistance training returned. I was stronger, healthier, and blood work confirmed it.

Then, at the same time, after several failed relationships, and a few years of changing my mindset on how to be content, self-sufficient and independent as a single woman, I took a chance on taking a guy up on a request for a date. He had given me a choice, and I chose a bike ride. I’m thinking a slow, minimal distance ride – less intimate than dinner or sitting across from each other in a coffee house.  It ended up being close to 40 miles, and I was brutalized. I thought for sure that I was not the type of girl this triathlete was looking for because of my lack of athleticism, or the bike I was on, or any of the other self deprecating thoughts that had crossed my mind as I struggled trying to get my bike back again into my mini cooper after the ride was over.
Long story short, things have progressed in many aspects, and I’m finding tremendous pleasure in completing longer and longer rides on my new bike.  It seems instead of wearing gadgets  I’m now RIDING a machine that has me tapping into physical strengths and confidences I never knew I possessed. As long as I stay on the bike instead of falling off it, or god forbid getting into trouble in traffic,  it’s certainly a wonderful way to get fit while limiting injury. Not that I’ve turned my back on running – I have signed up for Cow Harbor again, but it will only be my 2nd race this year. And I’m really quite ok with it.
So, I’m evolving a bit, certainly as an athlete, and motivation and impetus are also not the same for me as in the past. I think this is why I’m not needing or feel compelled to write so much anymore. My runs are to socialize, or to stay on top of current fitness levels. Yeah, I guess I’d like to run faster or longer, or be at the top of my age group.. but it’s more of a passing hankering than anything that drives me. With so many other things changing in my life, I don’t need to add the pressure of competition. Or so I tell myself. Now I’m using Strava, because it compares previous sections of any given course with hundreds of other riders/runners who have done the same segments. AND it will sort by sex and age. And I’m newly fascinated again.

Really now..who am I kidding?

I’ve listed some of the runs or rides I’ve done in the last 2 months, and just for shits and giggles I’ll leave the blurbs unedited. I tag each event in Garmin Connect to help remind me what I did, how I felt, so I could write about it later. Some of it won’t make sense to you, but that might make it fun. Let your imagination run wild. (reverse chronological order. Too lazy to cut and paste)

Aug 17th

attempted cow harbor route. turned too soon for whole route. above 70 and humid. did not recover enough from previous bike ride.

Distance: 3.46 mi
Time: 34:08
Avg Pace: 9:52 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 239 ft
Calories: 249 C


Aug 16th

w/JC. he says I’m getting stronger.. more sustained riding, later start, warm conditions. need more fluid. thinking of a group ride

Distance: 38.10 mi
Time: 2:41:58
Avg Speed: 14.1 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,140 ft
Calories: 1,199 C


Aug 13th

don’t remember much of this (it was a run on ‘the course’, actually a pretty good pace/time)

Distance: 5.41 mi
Time: 52:41
Avg Pace: 9:45 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 291 ft
Calories: 381 C


Mon, Aug 10th

With SIOR! Great run, felt great, able to talk and run, did the hills well but thought I ran faster. SIOR said pace was good?

Distance: 7.71 mi
Time: 1:18:31
Avg Pace: 10:11 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 319 ft
Calories: 532 C


Aug 9th

cycling, felt great, able to sty on JC’s wheel longer, hill repeats, moores, snake, felt strong! 2 days carbs, 3 days lifting

Distance: 37.99 mi
Time: 2:44:34
Avg Speed: 13.9 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,428 ft
Calories: 1,076 C


Sat, Aug 8th

Babylon Running SIOR, K  and ER.  packed dirt. cool under the trees, around the lake, starbucks, gadget talk with K- so good to be running with them again! Humid.


Distance: 8.89 mi
Time: 1:25:31
Avg Pace: 9:37 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 35 ft
Calories: 612 C




Aug 6th

difficult getting started, forced myself. cool, slightly breezy, felt I had a pretty steady pace, but still felt sluggish. gut issues again. Had to cut it short. 1 cup bpc, some water

Distance: 5.85 mi
Time: 55:11
Avg Pace: 9:25 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 89 ft
Calories: 322 C

Aug 2nd

On the Emonda. felt a little stomach sick. probably dehydrated. new shoes. gears different. mid cervical strain


Distance: 23.17 mi
Time: 1:42:43
Avg Speed: 13.5 mph
Elevation Gain: 890 ft
Calories: 1,025 C






Sat, July 26th

furthest distance yet. He keeps me going. Exhausted, but in a good way. Swimming after. At least I’m not grumpy anymore.

Distance: 52.57 mi
Time: 4:19:30
Avg Speed: 12.2 mph
Elevation Gain: 1,257 ft
Calories: 1,677 C


July 25th

(this was a brick. Run, then ride)

tired this morning. bpc, didnt drink enough water before. warmer, some humidity. not feeling well, went to the bathroom 3 times, once before the coffee.

Distance: 5.33 mi
Time: 53:49
Avg Pace: 10:06 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 319 ft
Calories: 423 C


forgot to turn watch on. add 3 miles. tired from running the hills after the course run. wind, but dry. took post home.

Distance: 13.82 mi
Time: 59:03
Avg Speed: 14.0 mph
Elevation Gain: 523 ft
Calories: 495 C


July 23rd

cool, humid. podcast. HR too high again. good avg cadence 1/2 BPC, glass water. New goal: 45 mins.

Distance: 5.38 mi
Time: 52:44
Avg Pace: 9:49 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 320 ft
Calories: 423 C


July 21st

warm and humid. podcast. had to walk several times. prepare for Cow H! 1/2 bpc 1 big glass of water before. HR monitor did not work for some reason

Distance: 5.37 mi
Time: 57:47
Avg Pace: 10:46 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 298 ft
Calories: 444 C


July 18th

(this was attempting Snake Hill. I ended up riding it 3 times!)

stopped after first loop b/c of rain. the hill never got easier. how did I run out of gears? and goose.hill.sucks.

Distance: 11.02 mi
Time: 55:11
Avg Speed: 12.0 mph
Elevation Gain: 546 ft
Calories: 392 C





July 16th

like a fall day. kept HR low, worked on breathing. BPC only Left lateral knee pain.

Distance: 6.17 mi
Time: 1:00:18
Avg Pace: 9:46 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 92 ft
Calories: 505 C


Sat, July 11th

Part 1 jc. felt sluggish to start, decreased caloric intake last 2 days.  stopped at Pete’s. got warm quick , low humidity. beautiful boat community. Deli’s crowded. walked up SNAKE HILL!

Distance: 19.69 mi
Time: 1:30:53
Avg Speed: 13.0 mph
Elevation Gain: 842 ft
Calories: 635 C

Part 2 ride back. rider chatted me up. Lost jc. no falls! Beach and lunch. great day

Distance: 23.28 mi
Time: 2:11:43
Avg Speed: 10.6 mph
Elevation Gain: 807 ft
Calories: 861 C

July 9th

early start kept heart rate low, humid, but cool breeze, 108.6 lbs garmin battery low. podcast no coffee, just water before,

Distance: 5.87 mi
Time: 1:00:26
Avg Pace: 10:17 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 56 ft
Calories: 413 C

July 7th

took it slow. warm and humid. slight breeze. better heartrate per leg turnover

Distance: 3.02 mi
Time: 29:49
Avg Pace: 9:52 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 41 ft
Calories: 218 C


over and out.

As humble as.. @ironcowboyjames

Sunday, July 5th
Part Two

He first brought this guy to my attention probably about a week before the first of 50 consecutive Iron man distances in fifty states.
His name is James Lawrence, and he calls himself the Iron Cowboy.  I believe he holds 2 Guinness  records, and when I tell you this man is humble, down to earth and dedicated to the cause he is running for, you should believe me. The cause is childhood obesity.  He has 5 children of his own, all fit and just as laid back and sweet as he is, and this is part of what drives him.  You can read his full story on the website.


Looking at the calendar, he would be closest to us July 5th.  It’s easy enough to get there.. why not run with him? We were amazed each day as he suffered with injury, equipment failure, nutrition and sleep deficits, yet he continued to cowboy on. We would discuss,”how did the cowboy do today?’ Each reading our own information from different sources. “Did you hear about this?” ” Did you see this picture?..” It kept me in awe and him motivated in preparation for his upcoming Tri.

A plan was made, so after our bike ride we headed out in search of the cowboy and the 5K.  We were warmly welcomed by JC’s  childhood friend and his wife. His friend ran with us as well. We waited in the parking lot where his support team, family and friends and other admirers like ourselves waited for him to show.  After his 112 mile bike ride that day, he went out to start running so he could get to bed at a reasonable hour and stay on track.  By the time he come running into the lot, he already had 7 running miles under his chest strap. As he got closer, his son ran out to him with a toy, and James’ attention to his son never wavered. He never looked at the crowds, never got up from being eye level with his boy.. waited for a good 4-5 minutes until a son was finished with what he had to tell his father. At that point, he stood up and welcomed us all, while being handed his next meal.  I managed to save the Periscope video of his conversation with the group. I think it’s important to get a feel of what he’s about.

There were 53 of us running with him. We ended up going to a local school and did the majority of the run around the track. J mentioned that he was glad for it, it was easy on his legs.  And he couldn’t get enough of the whole event. He spoke to the support group, spent time chatting them up on the track, then more when the run was finished.  J’s friend managed to get my bib signed by the cowboy after we had gotten into the car. I had forgotten while we had our picture taken with him, then I felt badly going back out to bother him again. Mike offered to do it, and I acquiesced.. it made me pretty happy. Mike said James’ wife went and got him a marker, because “you can’t sign these bibs with a pen”.. I tell you, they are all the warmest, kindest people.

We ended up dockside at a great restaurant, managing to see the Iron Cowboy’s small running group all lit up like Christmas, running back into town. He had to finish the marathon by 11 pm, to get enough sleep to start his 7:00 swim the next morning in Rhode Island, number 31.

It was a long day and a late night. But it’s a great memory – the human spirit and it’s body’s ability to endure.
Cycling lessons first part of the day, life lessons at the end of the day.   How lucky am I?

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Please donate to the Jamie Oliver Foundation.


Distance: 3.45 mi
Time: 37:16
Avg Pace: 10:49 min/mi
Avg Speed: 5.5 mph
Elevation Gain: 39 ft
Calories: 282 C