November 19, 2014

Ironman Arizona & my story.

Many of you already know my triathlon story but it began at Ironman Arizona on Sunday November 21, 2010. It was the day that I stood on the sidelines watching my brother complete his first Ironman. I didn't even really know what an Ironman was, in my mind it was "just a LONG ASS race." (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, followed by a 26.2 mile run) I volunteered that day at a water station called "bike aid." It was at that station that I got a real sense of what triathlon was all about. You see most people volunteer at Ironman Arizona to get priority registration for the following year and they are all die-hard triathletes. Many of the volunteers didn't really understand why I was there and but I told them it was to support my brother who was racing. They also couldn't believe that I really knew nothing about triathlon. After a quick lesson on how to hand off water bottles to cyclists traveling at their "slowing down" speed of 10-12 miles per hour, I was off. It didn't take long to feel the energy of Ironman!

It drizzled that day. We made rain ponchos out of water bottle packaging. I know I look ridiculous.

 After my volunteer shift was over I met up with the rest of the family at the finishline. This my friends is where the magic happens! From the excitement of Mike Reilly's voice, to the music, to the screams and thundering cheers, one can't help but become inspired. It was there that I saw the athletes coming in one by one. They all looked beat down those last 100 yards but as soon as the archway came into view those tired bodies picked up speed, exhausted faces turned to smiles, and as they crossed the finish those smiles turned to tears of joy. It was at that moment I became envious. Something inside of me longed to feel what they were feeling at that moment. Something inside of me said; "do a triathlon." I laughed at the idea as I didn't even know how to swim freestyle.

But I knew I had to change something about my life. I had two young boys and I wasn't feeling like myself. I was still battling anxiety and post partum depression. On a daily basis I had severe doubts about motherhood. I may have looked perfect and put together on the outside, but on the inside I was mentally breaking down.

The day after Ironman Arizona I made a commitment to search for a local sprint triathlon and to sign up for it. I kept with my promise and started months of training. During the training something wonderful was happening, I was feeling normal. I was sleeping better at night and much more relaxed as a mom. The day I crossed my first finishline I felt a rush of emotions, perhaps like the emotions the Ironman athletes had felt. It was at that moment triathlon had sucked me in.

Look at all those spectators!

So exactly 5 years from the day I stood on the sidelines, I will race Ironman Arizona for the first time. In the back of my mind I have considered doing a full Ironman. However my negative thoughts and doubts about myself would always make me shy away. This year when I saw that I could register and race for charity, it was almost like a calling. I have decided to stop all the negative thoughts because I'm racing for charity and if anything can keep me motivated it's the thought of helping others. My goal is to raise $4000 for the Ironman Foundation. 

Ironman Foundation is a non-profit charity that gives back to the community where the Ironman events are held. So for example you donate to my fund and those funds then get dispersed locally. That money is going right back into the communities surrounding Tempe, Phoenix and outlying areas. Here is a recent article about the money that was raised for this year's Ironman Arizona.

On November 15, 2015 I'll be toeing the line with 3000 other friends. Some have said just getting there is the toughest part. It will be a long journey over the next 12 months but I intend to keep my head up, my mind clear, and my heart set on raising as much money as I can for this charity.

If you feel inclined to give to my charity, you may do so here: Crowdrise Ironman Foundation Fund 

Thank you.

And lastly I'll leave you with this inspiring video:

November 13, 2014

White Chicken Quinoa Chili

Here's a "make again" recipe that I came up with this past week. It was extremely easy to make too. The soup makes a lot so you can easily freeze half for a quick easy meal for later. 

Click recipe card to enlarge.

These are the basic ingredients:

If you really wanted to save time you could use precooked chicken from the grocery store. But the fresh organic chicken tasted really good in the chili.

Top with cheese, Greek yogurt and a few sprigs of fresh cilantro. I served the soup with warm corn tortillas on the side.

Do you love soup as much as I do? What are some of your favorites?

Part of the Foodie Friday link-up via Fit Foodie Mama. Check her page out for some other fun recipes.

November 7, 2014

Would you rather?

Here is a running version of the old Would You Rather game you used to play! Go ahead copy the questions and post them on your blog.

1. Would you rather run a 5k or a marathon? I would rather run a 5K. I don't think I ever want to run a full marathon. It seems way too long and I don't think my body would tolerate the distance.

2. Would you rather run in the heat of summer or the icy winter? Icy winter! I can't stand the heat as you read during my Silverman race recap. I would much rather bundle up and keep warm then run the risk of severe dehydration from the heat.

3. Would you rather have new running shoes or a new running outfit? Running shoes! I love running shoes and now that I have discovered ones that I love, I would much rather receive those. My run outfits are not that exciting anyways but give me a pair of shoes and I'm a happy girl.

4. Would you rather run alone or in a group? I would rather run alone. I like running to my time for myself. It's a time when I can gather my thoughts and release my stress. I also like to zone out to my music. If I ran with a group I would feel bad if they had to stop and wait for me. I don't want that kind of pressure so I always run alone.

5. Would you rather run next to someone in a race who tries to talk to you constantly or someone who breathes heavy and grunts? I would rather run next to the heavy breather. I don't want to feel obligated to use more of my own energy by having to answer questions.

6. Would you rather run a race because of the convenience (location, price, travel) or the swag? Swag. I'm a sucker for great swag!

7. Would you rather run a race with a group of friends or by yourself? I like to do races with my friends. I don't run with them because we are not the same speed. But I like to travel with them to the race itself. We usually make a girl's weekend out of our races. It's always a blast to meet at the finish line and celebrate after all the hard work is done. 
8. Would you rather run a PR but result in an injury or finish strong and missing a PR? Finish strong and miss the PR. A personal record can always come later. After suffering my knee injury for several months this season I wouldn't risk being injured again. Nothing is worse then being sidelined for months and wanting to run but you can't.

9. Would you rather eat a big meal the night before or a big meal after a race? I'll take the big meal after the race. My body performs best on a normal amount of food and then I refuel after all the hard work is done.

10. Would you rather be chased by a swarm of bees or a pack of dogs? Dogs. I have a huge fear of flying insects especially bees. I think just the swarm alone would cause me to go into shock and panic. 

Tell me, would you rather....