Friday, December 30, 2011


When I started this blog it was to document my journey so that I could always be reminded of where I started and where I was along the way. During the process I have found that I am much better at capturing the moments in photos than I was in the past, even if it means stopping for a moment to take in the scenery (which you don't have to twist my arm too much to do). Here are some of my favorite moments of 2011 that I managed to capture.

love running with my dog, especially when she leads:)


So many pretty winter sunset runs


our last mountain bike ride before he converted to road only

Palm Springs training camp, refueling at Native Foods


Big Rock Triathlon


Run up the Bump and Grind

Test of Metal Squamish BC


Vineman Triathlon bike start, this course is so pretty


This may have been beginning of Sept, I can't remember for sure but it was a great day on the bike!


San Fran trip with my mom


Afternoon reading on my favorite beach


Sunday morning run at Mission Bay with the 3 day walkers, so Inspiring
I might start wearing a tutu for my races, so FUN!


Still a few days left to make more memories for 2011, get out there and end the year on a high!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Every year mother nature gives us the amazing gift of fantastic weather on Christmas day. Since we are not ones to kick a gift horse in the mouth we get out and enjoy the present. Here are some shots from our amazing day.
On one of my favorite run loops

Bike ride with fantastic scenery

Afternoon Beach walk

'Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky'- Rabindranath Tagore

Is there any better tradition than spending time with those you love doing what you love?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Feats of Strength

Our celebration of Festivus was a huge success and will be a tradition that lives on in our family. Here are some pictures of our evening activities.

First Feat of Strength wall sitting

Next up was standing jumps (extra points for wearing a dress?)
Two foot stick landing required

Me Hearty definitely knows my weakness and he picked the explosive power jumping knowing I have no sense of timing or coordination, but I happily stuck the landing several times.

Since I WAY outlasted him on the wall sit I was the victor.

Let me just say that I think he gave up way early on the wall sit, I mean he wasn't shaking or sweating or anything and he just caved. He told me he knew he couldn't outlast me so he figured it didn't make sense to last another minute and still be beaten. (my tactic of telling him that I could go for 5 mins or more worked:)) The victor of the feats of strength was then required to wrestle the head of household to the ground. It took me 15 minutes to catch and pin her because I wasn't allowed to grab her collar. She eventually succumbed to my supreme domination (but she struggled for a couple of minutes while pinned, she doesn't give up as easily as some people in this house). I am now reigning champion of Festivus for a year. I have a sneaky feeling next year there will be some upper body feats of strength, I had better get training.

Family photo around the Festivus pole
(someone still didn't want to surrender!)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Be the Peace

This time of year everyone seems so frantic and rushed not to mention distracted. Everywhere you go you come across that frenzied look in the eyes and the sense of urgency. It is a shame that a season that represents joy and cheer to so many has become about to do lists and meeting expectations. Instead of wishing for peace this holiday season take time to manifest the peace within you and be the peace of the season. If each and everyone of us did this there truly could be peace on earth. So next time you are waiting in a too long line, or stopped in traffic on your way somewhere use those extra moments to reflect on all that is wonderful in your life. Take a few deep breaths and realize time is a gift and if you are always rushing somewhere you miss all the wonderful little things in the moments. Snow falling, giving you extra work to do, take time to really admire a single snowflake, sit in front of a fire and watch the flames silently, hard not to feel some peace when you just take the time. Take the time to do something that brings you joy and merriment instead of the must do items and you will find the peace everyone is wishing for. Be the Peace.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just me and my Shadow

For a couple of years now I have wanted to mountain bike in South Western Utah. I have heard from so many people how amazing it is. Unfortunately, the times that I have been in that area it has bee 100degrees still at 8pm and I have had the dog with me. When I decided I was going to run the Vegas half marathon it was in my mind that I was only going to be 90 minutes away from some epic riding. I waffled back and forth on whether to add a few days to the trip and in the end I did. I am so glad that I did. The riding was truly awesome and after three days of being in the lights and noise of Vegas this introvert needed to recharge her batteries out in nature with some alone time.

It was a balmy 24 degrees F when I woke the first day but that wasn't going to stop me, okay it did stop me until the temperature gauge rose to 30F, but I was searching for adventure and quiet and it delivered. My first stop was Over the Edge sports in Hurricane Utah to get the local 411 on trail conditions and a map. They were super helpful, thanks DJ! During my two days I was able to get a variety of riding in and I loved it. On my first day I saw a stealth looking rider who seemed to be following me every move.

No matter how fast or slow I went I couldn't shake her:)
Church Rocks loop
The riding in this area is fantastic and I left feeling like I had been to a huge dessert buffet and only been allowed to take a small bite off two plates. But what I did sample was delicious. Flowing single track, super fun bumpy slick rocks, amazing vistas, and oh the peace and quiet.

Prospector Trail to Church Rocks

Virgin River view from Hurricane Ridge Trail

Snow on the trail

All to Myself

I tend to get songs stuck in my head and this trip was no exception. 'Here I go on my alone again, going down the only road I've ever know, Like a drifter I was born to walk alone, Cause I know what it means, To walk along the lonely street of dreams'. Only thing is I was never lonely, cause every time I looked around I saw her beside me, my shadow and we were both grinning ear to ear!

Kiki's Kulinary

Cherry Malt, I had one of these recovery drinks waiting for me back at the car

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Angels

Yesterday I was cruising along on my bike, enjoying another day of great December riding weather in So Cal and really enjoying the base phase of training. I love the concept of early base training, build up the miles and stress the body for physiological adaptations by adding volume but not intensity. The high effort high heart rate sessions will come but for now it is all about being out there and putting in the time. So there I was cruising along with a good friend on one of my favorite stretches of road and bam out of nowhere I had a head on collision. Wham right between the eyes flew a drunken bee and it stung me. Not that big of a deal, except for I am allergic to bee stings. It hurt pretty bad instantly so I knew the sucker had released a fair amount of venom into me, right between the eyes. Stopped on the side of the road with no regard to traffic just frantic to get the stinger out. Luckily, for me Heidi got the stinger out and got me out of the middle of the road. We continued on to the next store because of course like any well prepared person I had no benadryl with me. (note, I did have my epi pen but since I wasn't going into anaphylaxis it wasn't necessary, and it was base training, I did not need my heart rate to reach 200 beats per minute at a standstill). While riding I was okay but I felt the itching beginning in my eyes and ears. My scalp started to tingle but we were moving along and it was tolerable.

Tolerable until we stopped. As soon as we pulled into the store parking lot and stopped I became a lunatic. I looked like someone on a bad trip trying to get the bugs off of me. The itching was so severe and I ripped off my helmet and glasses and was frantically jumping around and scratching my head vigorously. I couldn't stop myself even though I was attracting some attention and strange looks. Luckily, the store was equipped with Benadryl and I promptly dosed myself with 50mg. Now, I have been stung enough times to know that 25mg will take the edge off but not the itching. 50mg will make me a zombie but will take away the itching and keep the swelling to a minimum. Of course, I also know that 50mg means there is little hope of me making it home on my bicycle when we have at least 2 hours left taking the shortest route possible. I got some ice and Heidi made some calls and found me another angel in my friend Cherry to come and rescue me. During this time a friendly man that had witnessed my psychotic break offered up an instant ice pack out of his car first aid kit. I had some ice already so declined but it was nice to have so many helpful souls in the vicinity. It was a 30 minute ride back to where Cherry would be picking me up and since the itching was less noticeable when I was moving we set off. Luckily, all I had to do was focus on following Heidi's wheel in front of me but I could feel that my eyes were starting to get smaller and heavier. By the time we got to the rendezvous point the benadryl was in full force. I was like a drunk. I'm pretty sure that I was professing my love to them over and over and over again. To be honest I have very little recollection of how I got in the car, or my bike being loaded or the drive home. All I remember is that I felt very grateful and that I got home.

Swelling 1 hour post sting
Now one day later I find myself writing this looking through slits, my vision of the world has been narrowed and I am a little hungover from my benadryl induced coma. I am trying to use topical benadryl only today because I do not like the foggy headed feeling and the worst should be over by now, right? The bee actually did me a favor. I have wondered what it would be like to be without my furrow brow lines and now I know. Although, I am not 100% sure because I can't see that well and I think with a botox injection I would still have open eyes and my nose wouldn't be twice as wide as normal. I have heard that a botox shot feels like a slight sting, I can tell you that there is no way I'd pay to feel that! I look more like I went a round with Ali, can't wait for the swelling to come down and the funny colours to appear. Could be a few days before I can swim again, there is no way I could get goggles to seal. Also, I won't be able to wear my contacts for a few more days. Looks like I will have to be creative on my workouts.
24 hours post sting, bee could have gone a little higher to get the full botox benefit:)
I am so thankful that during this holiday season that I have so many angels in my life. I am thankful for my wonderful friends everyday but yesterday I realized how truly blessed I am, and I do love you guys! (even sober I will profess my love for you:))

PS, I now have a stash of benadryl in every tool kit on every bike, in every wallet and purse I own, in my swim bag, in my car, and in my travel kit. I also have an epi pen in all those places but thankfully that hasn't been necessary to use. Me Hearty asked me if I get stung more than other riders, I haven't been stung at all this year until yesterday. I told him that I didn't think so, I just have a horrible reaction and a little bee sting is a HUGE inconvenience for me. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Making Memories

Exactly one week ago tonight I crashed my mom and her friends party and ran the Vegas Strip at night with them in a half marathon. It was a great night and a fabulous way to see the strip. Since I was basically a Vegas Virgin I loved getting to see all the lights and having bands playing along the way. I felt like a rock star, because really, how often do they close down the strip and let it be taken over at night be masses of others with a passion for running. (I'll give you a hint- once a year:))

Heading out to Rock n Roll

It was a fantastic night and even more amazing was sharing the experience with my mom. I love it when we can make new memories to cherish of time and things done together. I am super excited to see how much she has taken to running and how much she enjoys it. Not to mention she is really good at it. It was her second half marathon ever and she placed 4th in her age division out of almost 200 women. Talk abut rocking the rock and roll half! I am one proud daughter.

Alien self portrait, yes I geeked out and ran with my camera

Mandatory pre race high fashion poncho to keep warm

Almost at the finish, just go to the light

It was a little chilly at the end

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Earnestly Ernest

The other day I met a gentleman at the Y who had just finished his workout in the weight room. He was exiting and needed help with the gate because he couldn't maneuver his walker and keep the gate open. He was 98 years young and he had done a workout even though he required a walker to ambulate safely. His name was Ernest and he was one determined guy. (although he thought a phone with a camera in it was 'nonsense').No more I would if, I could if, I should but.... No more excuses cause if you are alive and not living what's the point? I personally am not afraid of dying, it is not living that scares me.

Live with great and sincere purpose.

Kiki's Kulinary

Raw Tostados

Friday, November 25, 2011

Laying the Foundation

If there is one lesson that I learned from the three little pigs, it was the materials that you build your house from make a difference in keeping it standing. With this in mind I have begun my preparation for taking on another IM race. The stronger the foundation, the higher the house can be built and the less likely it will be destroyed under pressure. Or so that is what I am going with.

If you just pay attention to the details when you are in the final stages of building you will have a strong roof but if the foundation that strong roof is sitting on has cracks it is likely to all come tumbling down when faced with the big bad wolf. Therefore, I am paying attention to the details, not rushing things and trying to make sure everything is done right at this point. The cornerstones of my plan are nutrition, recovery, strength, and skill/drills.

I tell all my athletes this and I believe it myself, the time to focus on body composition and daily nutrition is not when you are in the depth of your training. Get into the habit early and those bricks will be nice and solid when you are putting them under the heavy load of miles. Compare your body to a high end sports or race car, you wouldn't expect the car to run on low end fuel, why do you expect that of your body?

It doesn't matter how hard you train and how many miles you do if you can't back it up consistently. So often the recovery part of our sport is overlooked, or we wait until we are tired or feel soreness to take care of ourselves. In order for me to do the mileage and intensity that I am going to do, I need my body to cooperate. (and to be honest it is 6 years older than the last time we did this journey and it broke down then) Therefore, I have gotten into the recovery habit. That doesn't translate into regular napping, although my weekly restorative yoga class could pass as a nap. I have regular body work scheduled. Right now I have ART/massage every other week, and I know there will be times I will increase the frequency.
Sunset beach walks are part of recovery

The course that I have chosen to race on is not a flat fast course. Therefore, strength will be an issue. I knew going into Leadville in 2010 that I needed to work on my strength and I did. I am once again working on my strength. Instead of just hitting the machines in the gym I am doing functional strength work and am doing Pilate's on top of that. Think that a Pilate's class full of retired ladies is easy, keep thinking that, I'll keep it as my secret weapon.

This is the time of year to be working on all my weaknesses and that means improving my form across all three of my disciplines. I think of the skills and drills sessions as the mortar that is holding my bricks together.

Right now my house is barely off the ground but if I continue to stack strong and solid layers upon layers I know that come May when the big bad wolf of Ironman huffs and puffs my house won't blow down.

Kiki's Kulinary

Raw Zucchini Fettucini Alfredo

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Setting Goals

The topic of goals has been floating around here lately. Mostly because it is the time of year when I start having the athletes I work with plan out their next season and establish their goals. It helps me to plan out their training and season if I know what they are wanting to accomplish. My mission is to do prepare them for reaching their goals, not mine. Almost all of them have said to me during this time, 'do you think that this is an unrealistic goal'. Of course, none of them have been. They have set some tough goals that are going to take dedication and work but all are achievable.  Luckily, none of them set a goal for making the 2012 Olympic team, I would have had to put them off to 2016:)

Contemplating 2012

When I set goals for myself I always find that they inspire me through the tough workouts and more often than not get me out the door. I think that it is okay to set some soft goals, those that we are pretty sure we can achieve. It is great for confidence to feel success along the way but the best goals are the ones that you know will take all you have to reach. The higher the goal the higher you will aim and the more growth you will experience. In my own goal setting this year I am aiming for the stars, maybe I'll only make a lunar landing but at least I'll clear the atmosphere:)

'Glory lies in the attempt to reach one's goal and not in reaching it' -Ghandi

Kiki's Kulinary

Chocolate Ginger Macaroons and Vanilla Almond Macaroons

One of my goals is to have a constant supply of these in my dehydrator!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I haven't had a voice this week. I can eek out a few strained words if required but mostly I have been whispering or mute. I don't think I am the only one suffering with this particular ailment. Yesterday when I was at the store to get some provisions I noticed that throat lozenges were front and center.

During this time of forced abstinence from speech I have been reflecting on how often we waste our words. If you were given a limited number of words to say each day and when they were used up you were done how would you choose to spend them? I hear so many people complaining, maybe even bitching or getting caught in a negative spiral of conversation (and believe me I too have been there), but is that the best way to use your words? Couldn't your words be used in more constructive ways each day, instead of harping on the horrible lets all use our words to make others feel loved, make others laugh, share happiness and show kindness.

' Do not speak unless you can improve the silence'- ancient proverb

Kiki's Kulinary

Very Blueberry Smoothie

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bakers Dozen

As of yesterday morning I am signed up for my 13th Ironman. It will be six years since number 12. I may have said at that time, never again, but I probably said that 11 times before so not too much weight should be placed on those words. Who really ever listens to what I have to say anyways. So, in 2012 I will be lining up for Ironman number 13, and I know it is going to be a lucky year. Lady Luck has always shone on me in life. True, she has never blessed me with a windfall from the lottery, but I have never bothered to buy a ticket. It's going to be a great ride to the start line and I am very excited to be back in the fold. Number thirteen is going to be super awesome, cause really the only thing better than a dozen Ironmans is a bakers dozen:)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two Wheeled Lessons

Riding my mountain bike last week I realized that so many of life's lessons are magnified while riding in the dirt. There is something about being out mid week on deserted trails in crisp autumn air and sunshine that just brings it all together. Here are some of the tips I thought worth sharing.

- if you happen to pick up an annoying stick into your drive train and it doesn't go away on it's own in short time, it is TOTALLY worth the time and energy to stop and rid yourself of it before it is around too long and causes too much damage. the sooner you get it out of your life, er drivetrain the quicker it is forgotten and all is quiet and smooth again.

- you go where you are looking so make sure to set your sights on where you want to end up.

- take the time to celebrate the little things. I'm still doing a little whoop whoop every time I go up and over a curb. it's okay to celebrate victories that you have worked hard for, but you don't have to throw a giant party each time.

- if you look beyond the scary obstacles that are right in front of you, you can get through and over them easier. Everything looks way worse and magnified when viewed close up, look through it and you'll be over it without even realizing it. Or you'll crash but at least you tried to get through it.

- you don't have to know where you are going to end up to enjoy the journey there. some of the best rides are with no purpose on trails that you don't know. if you never go into the unknown you'll never know what is possible, think of your life as the world and you are a mini Columbus.

- sticks and stones can hurt your bones, but bones heal, brains don't. (okay, I learned that as a nurse but I remember it often when I see people who don't seem to think their brains are worth protecting)

- if we never go through a rocky patch we don't know how great the smooth flowy trail is, and if approached with the right mindset the rocky patches end up being the most fun

- the mind and body do not have a 50 50 relationship. sometimes it is 100% the mind and other times the body. they don't keep track and hold a grudge. be willing to give 100% in all your relationships, but also be willing to at times take.

- the legs couldn't do what they do without the parts in supportive roles. take care of that which supports you, chamois cream and pedicures, and the support will remain there. don't take care of it and see how much harder it is with a nasty festering saddle sore, being in the support position is just as hard and important.

- once you've cleaned a part of the trail that has always stumped you, you will always clean it. keep working at the hard stuff, it's worth it when you get it, and once you know you can do something, you can do it.

- no matter how daunting or long a task seems if you just break it down into sections and tackle one at a time you will get through it.

-we're never too old to play and wearing pigtails while screeching and giggling like a little girl totally ups the fun factor in life.

- dirt washes off, so does blood. wounds heal and scars are just tattoos with cooler stories. I want to get to the finish line of life looking like I actually drove my body didn't just let it sit in a show room and collect dust.

- the more baggage you try to take with you the harder it is to get anywhere. just ask those guys carrying 30lb camel backs up Columbine!

- the best outcomes are achieved when you approach all situations relaxed and with an absence of fear.

What lessons have you learned on two wheels?

Kiki's Kulinary

Raw Butternut Squash 'rice' pilaf

Friday, November 4, 2011

A Decade Later

In the fall of 2001 my mom was extremely ill. She was down to 80 pounds soaking wet and had to have a feeding tube placed in order to get her body strong enough to handle surgery. She battled from September through to December and it was touch and go a few times. We thought that we would be lucky to have her around for a few more years but boy has she shown us. Ten years after her harrowing health ordeal she is thriving and doing things no one thought would be possible. Not only is she living a 'normal' existence she has taken up running. When she first started running she was cautioned that without a stomach (she had a gastrectomy in 2001) she shouldn't run over 5km at a time. Never one to listen to anyone she was up to 10km in no time at all. Then the medical professionals told her that was as far as she should go. I think that she likes to prove them wrong because this spring she trained for and completed her first half marathon. Now in one month we will be lining up together in Vegas to run a half marathon. I bet she didn't think 10 years ago when she was pushing her IV pole around the nurses station building up from one lap to two that she would one day be trying to better her 13.1 mile run time. Wish her doctors could see her now, and I just hope that they don't tell her a marathon is out of the question. They may have fixed her stomach but they didn't do a stubbornectomy and a decade later she still is unable to hear the words can't and shouldn't!

Kiki's Kulinary

Raw Falafel and Tomato Basil Bisque

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Better Late Than Never

I'm the girl who came to the party late. All that remain on the hors d'oeuvre platters are the garnishes of wilted lettuce and measly sprigs of parsley. The good wine and beer has been drank and we are down to the boxed wine and light beers. I have no excuse for being so late, other than I didn't want to just attend a party because everyone else was going to be there. No, I have my integrity and I don't just follow the crowd, I go to parties because I want to be there and I enjoy the company of those attending. The party I am referring to is the lululemon party. I was first given an invite back in 2000 when I was visiting a friend who lived 2 blocks from the Kits store. She told me how great the yoga clothes were, most comfortable yoga pants she'd ever had she told me. Of course, since she invited me to the party I felt I should make an attempt to attend. Off we went to the store, I did a once through and I left without mingling at all. I just couldn't think of how I could justify spending that on yoga pants (of course, at the time I still bought my jeans at the gap outlet!).  Over the years I have watched on the sidelines as more and more people have attended this party, and I have resisted. Just because everyone else is jumping off a bridge, doesn't mean I have to. Well, I have now jumped and I can tell you it is the best damn jump I have ever taken.

I am finally attending the party, I like to think of it as fashionably late. After seeing women of all shapes and sizes running in Lululemon run shorts and looking fantastic, I took the plunge. Can I just tell you all, MOST COMFORTABLE RUN SHORTS EVER! (sorry, I had to shout!). I have worn lots of different run shorts over the years and these are the bomb! The look good, they stay in place and they are so soft and comfy Both the turbo and the speed shorts. I may have been late getting on board with this trend (in my defense though, I was the first in my class in the 80's to sport the Olivia Newton John headband, so this may balance that out) but I now have drank the Kool aid and I am not leaving this party.

I showed up recently to a run with a friend. Like me she just arrived at the party too, but instead of sporting the shorts she had on a short sleeve run shirt that was extremely cute and flattering. Now my free race shirts are looking a little sad, I am now on the slippery slope and may need an intervention:) (btw family, I'm a size 6 and could use a long or short sleeve). I may be late but better late than never!

Kiki's Kulinary

Cashew Lettuce wraps with Guacamole

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

All Out Poker

Our friend puts on a spectacular show for Halloween totally transforming his 1930's craftsman bungalow into a Haunted house with a night of the living dead poker tournament. We hopped on our fixed gear bikes and headed to North Park to linger in the corners and interact through mediums involving an 'i'.(ipad, iphone, ipod- want to talk to me, text please)

The Hosts

Chess outside

Poker Inside, one of the tables

Terrifying Food

Bubbling Cauldron

Don't mind if I watch do you?

Mood lighting

She was all in and then she was out - a little hot and cold too

When in North Park....

Some of the players were going all in during the tournament but Rob went all out in hosting!