Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I am not perfect. I strive to be perfect. I pretend to be perfect but I am not.

I am human. I make mistakes. I've made numerous impulse decisions which I have later regretted, but it's all a process, this thing called life. Every decision. Every action. It all has consequences. I strive to do my best. I workout consistently. I try to make good, healthy meals for my family.

But perfection I am not.

Occasionally, I will run into people I know at the grocery store. Do you know how many times people turn their carts away from me and ask me not to look in their carts? I am not the food Nazi. I am a simple woman who likes to lead a healthy, but normal lifestyle.

So when I post something on Facebook, for instance, talking about how I am craving a bowl of Captain Crunch or a batch of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, please know I have an ulterior motive behind it. Do I want the bowl of Captain Crunch? Sure, yes, Captain Crunch was the cereal of my childhood and every once in a while I get a giant whiff of that sugary crap and my senses go wild. Do I want it? Yes, but will I give into that craving? Probably not. I have self control. It comes with maturity.

So then why would I post it on Facebook? Because I want everyone to realize that I am just like them. Just because I am an Ironman or an endorphin addict does not mean I don't also have food issues. I struggle just like 90% of the American population. I have to face down demons and win the battle in order to become victorious.

We are all a work in progress. We are all living with the consequences of our actions. Sometimes it's easy to beat ourselves up and berate ourselves over a mistake in the past, but it's in the past. It's time to move on. It's time to stand up, take ownership of our decisions and move steadily forward.

March on, soldier, march on!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Water Water Water

This week I am really focusing on my water intake. I don't know about you, but I have a harder time drinking water in the winter. Why? Because I like my water cold - like bone chilling cold - and I'm already freezing in winter. So this week I am trying to drink a large glass of water before I begin making my breakfast. I figure if I can get 12-16 oz in early I am off to a great start!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Ironman Decision

Throughout most of early 2012, I repeatedly told everyone and anyone who would listen that I would do one Ironman and only one. "One and done", I would say.

By about mid-August, I changed my tune as I began to actually believe I could cross the IMLOU finish line in under 17 hours. I started to wonder where my next Ironman would be. Members of T3 threw out Lake Placid, Wisconsin and even the beautiful location of Cozumel.

But as is my way I procrastinated thinking about it. I mean we are talking July of 2014 at the earliest. I have plenty of time. However, one of the best ways to get a spot in a fast selling Ironman race is to volunteer at the race the year prior to when you want to race. But still....I had plenty of time.

Cheryl would send me texts asking if I had looked at the race venue. I'll look later. I was in complete denial. When asking Cheryl about Cozumel, she was a pretty solid NO. Why? Sharks, salt water, no access to the race course before race day, expense. So it seemed the decision was between Lake Placid, NY and Madison, WI.

Then Chris, the Intimidator, posted the link saying the volunteer registration for Lake Placid was open. Umm, holy crap. I posted a quick poll on the T3 Facebook page asking anyone considering a 2014 Ironman which destination they were choosing. It was fairly even split between Lake Placid, WI and Cozumel.

I wanted to know who was going where for a few reasons. First, part of the reason I enjoyed IMLOU was because of the number of T3 members who were participating in the race. I was constantly looking for a T3 jersey to cheer them on. It helped to pass the time by distracting my mind away from any discomfort I felt.

So, who is going where?
Lake Placid: Chris, James, Pat, Eric, Gene
WI: Joe, Kelly, Tony, Todd, Kim
Cozumel: Christy, Mike, Preston, Jennifer

Strong presence of T3 at IMLOU
The choice of destination seemed fairly well split. A few people were still deciding between 1 of 2 destinations. Obvisously, we were not going to have 21 members participating in one race again. That was a once in a lifetime chance. What will Cheryl & I do?

Hmmm, let's consider the options.

Ironman Lake Placid
Ironman Lake Placid is the longest running American Ironman event beside Kona. Lake Placid was the host city for the 1980 Winter Olympics. The transition and finish line for IMLP are located in the Olympic Speed Skating Oval. Now that is cool!

  1. Kona qualifier. Bahahahah. I know, I know. Have a good laugh. I had to put it out there. 
  2. Two lap mass swim in Mirror Lake with water temperatures in the 60-70s. 
  3. The swim course is lined by a cable about 5 feet below the surface of the water. 
  4. Scenic run course past Olympic ski jumps, along scenic River Road and then along the shore of Mirror Lake. 

Can you say: Mercy? 

  1. Mass swim start.
  2. Two lap swim - must exit water after 1st loop and run on beach for about 10 meters before starting the second loop. Oh my word. One blogger advises spending time learning how to Dolphin Dive. Yah, you think?
  3. When the Ironman site says the bike course is demanding, alarm bells should ring in your head. A two lap course through the Adirondacks with each lap culminating in a 11-mile climb up the "notch" from Wilmington.
  4. AGAIN: Ironman Lake Placid says the run course will "challenge" the athletes. Oh great. More awesome elevation changes.  
  5. July 26, 2014 - A date I don't like. July. Heat. Summer. Blech. 

Ironman Wisconsin
Hosted in Madison, Wisconsin the capitol building is a great backdrop for the incredible finish down State Street. Again, IMWI (otherwise known as IMMOO) qualifies 50 athletes for Kona.


  1. One lap mass swim start in Lake Monona. 
  2. Awesome spectator view from the Monona Terrace. 
  3. Incredible crowd support during the bike course in Verona. 
  4. Two loop run course through downtown Madison makes for a great spectator venue. 
  5. The closest race location...easy access to preview the race course throughout the year and best location for family to accompany us. 
Which is worse: A few big hills or many smaller climbs? 

  1. Extremely hilly bike course with many tough climbs and turns on each lap. 
  2. Challenging run course with multiple hills throughout. 

Ironman Cozumel

Cozumel: One of the top 5 Ironman Swims

  1. Beautiful swim location: 1 lap mass swim start with the first portion of the swim against the current, but ending with current. Water is 84 degrees and will not be wet suit legal. 
  2. Three laps on a flat, paved bike course. 
  3. Three laps on a flat, paved run course past signature Cozumel sites. (I laugh that they point out the course is PAVED.)
  4. Beautiful location to spend a week's vacation after the race. I'm hoping lots of family will want to spend the week after Thanksgiving in Cozumel. November in Mexico...Ole'.
  5. Margaritas. There. Had to say it. You know I will imbibe if I am not in the hospital. 
  6. I've been to Chankanaab National Park twice. It's a beautiful location with clear water to see all of the ocean life. 
  1. Salt water: Do you realize how much water I drink when I swim???? I need to learn to swim like a fish if I'm going to do Cozumel.
  2. In some years the current has been quite an issue for swimmers. 
  3. Not wet suit legal. 
  4. Strong cross winds on bike course. 
  5. Can I really drink the water provided on the course? I do not want to have tummy issues ruin my 2nd Ironman attempt. 
  6. On top of the astronomical registration fee for an Ironman, I am looking at approximately $400 to ship my bike internationally. 
After reading all of the different aspects of each Ironman event, I am still in a quandry. I think IMWI will hold for another year. The big question comes down to: IMLP in July or IMCoz in November. Because I could not decide, I went ahead and volunteered for IMLP at a run station from 5-10 pm which will allow me to see the swim start and still be at the finish line for the late night finishers. I am so excited. I almost can't stand myself. 

So I've bought myself a little more time to decide between LP & Cozumel. I love the idea of Cozumel; however, it would take a major financial commitment as well as dedication to working on my swim for the next two years. 

Someone, please? Help. Take this decision out my hands. Tell me what to do. Coin flip? I can't decide which event I want to do. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Adding Color to my Life

2013 is supposed to be my year. My year for fun, adventurous, healthy races. My original plan was to go Coast to Coast with Disney and run the Disney Land Half Marathon in September and the WDW Wine & Dine in November. Unfortunately, while I was waiting for my friends to confirm we were all in, Disney said you are out as the half marathon sold out in less than 24 hours. 
My reaction, "Wait! Wha...??? Seriously?". Bummer. Disney Land only hosts two half marathons: The Tinker Bell Half which was held in January and the Disney Land Half which is held in September. 

Because I couldn't get into the half, I lost my opportunity to hit my Coast to Coast goal for 2013. With another Ironman planned for 2014, I won't achieve that goal until at least 2015 now. I am heart broken. 
As I set wallowing in my despair, I finally decided I need to get over myself and find something else to focus on for 2013. I already have the Chicago Marathon as a goal - and NO I will not wait for anyone else on that one. I will register the morning it opens on February 19th. I am looking forward to the marathon. Not only is it in one of my favorite cities, it is also my birthday weekend. So I'll run a few miles and celebrate middle age all at the same time. 

I am also already registered for the Muncie 70.3 in July which was turned into a $300 Oly-man race due to the extreme heat last year. Hopefully this year the distance won't be changed because it is my big triathlon of the year. 

It may not be Disney, but it will be fun!

So the rest of my races for 2013 need to be filled with fun, with adventure, with COLOR! I've wanted to do a Color Run since I first heard about them last year. I posted on Facebook that I was looking for some colorful personalities to do the Color Run with this year and suddenly my Facebook wall was exploding. Before I could get locked out again, I signed up for the fall St. Louis Color Run....along with a dozen or so of my friends.

The Color Run is held on September 15th this year. (They do have a spring St. Louis on April 27; however, it is on the same day as Samantha's Senior Prom.) On the 14th, I'll run the Pumpkin Classic 10k and then pack up to head to St. Louis for the Color Run 5k with friends. Oh the colorful, wild adventures we will have.

Let training season begin!

You can tell when it's triathlon training season because my debit card asks for a rest day. I am not much of a shopper until it comes to training gear and gadgets. Then you might as well suck my wallet dry.

And since I got locked out of the Disney Land Half Marathon - that one still stings - I've decided to treat myself.

Last week I ordered two new Dolfin Uglies training suits. For the first time in several months, I'm actually excited to get back in the water. I love Dolfin Uglies suits because they stand up to months and months of overexposure to chlorine and don't fade away.

One of my new training suits
I also wanted to get a back up cap - you know - just in case. Sometimes in a fit of pure joy of getting in the water (yes, eyes are rolling in the back of my head) I tend to get a little over anxious and rip my swim cap. 

Last week I was talking with our friend, Bruce, who is also participating in the swim clinic with Jeff & I. He made a comment that I am a Princess. As a matter of fact, he said, "All you Leber girls are princesses." He went on to say that Jeff treats us all like princesses. Well, I guess if you expect to be treated like a princess you will be treated like a princess. 

So in order to celebrate my new royal status, I ordered the Tiara Swim Cap. Why not? I mean no one takes me seriously in the water in anyway.