Thursday, November 18, 2010


I want to take a moment to thank anyone who has been reading this blog. (Anyone? Anyone?) Well if you're out there, whoever you are, I appreciate your interest in Iron Mom and I hope you will rejoin me on this journey in the spring.

Iron Mom is intended to be a training log detailing my journey to compete in the Iron Man. I plan to document my training workouts and nutrition as well as recap any races I compete in along the way. My training season typically runs from March through November and I usually compete in 4-7 races each each year between the months of May and October.

Right now, I am preparing to hibernate for the winter. I'm in what I call my "off season" or "post season," a time when I don't compete in any races and my fitness schedule is pretty routine:

Swimming: 2x/week

Cycling/spinning: 1-2x/week

Running: 3-4x/week

Lifting: 3-4x/week on non-consecutive days

Yoga: 1x/week

Walking: Daily (usually 1-2 miles)

Meanwhile, I will continue writing Triathlon Mom, a less technical blog that doesn't detail miles and ounces, but focuses more on the journey itself--on how fitness goals coincide with life and how I manage it while still raising my family. So please check out Triathlon Mom at:

I hope you will join me here again in March when Iron Mom emerges from winter hibernation ready to rock and race!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cardio Yoga

Today I pushed a little harder in yoga, putting in about 75 minutes of practice this morning, followed by 30 minutes of lifting.

Later in the afternoon, a two-mile walk with Luna completed the workout day.

Breakfast: Usual oatmeal

Snack: Green tea, pumpkin muffins

Lunch: Yogurt and granola

Snack: Pear and almonds

Dinner: Whole wheat pasta tossed with sauteed spinach and garlic in olive oil, topped with wild salmon and raw carrots on the side.

Dessert: Chips (Scoops), melted cheese, glass of red wine + small handful of dark chocolate covered almonds.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Swimming again

Back in the pool after two months off and it felt great!

I can't tell you how many yards I swam, but I can tell you that I worked hard for a full hour. Heart rate was firing. Loved getting such a great cardio workout without pounding on my joints.

Breakfast: power oatmeal (of course)

Lunch: leftover white pizza with spinach and mushrooms

Snack: chai tea and ginger-spiced pumpkin muffin

Dinner: Tofu white chili and spinach salad

Dessert: Chocolate frozen yogurt with homemade granola and raspberries

Monday, November 15, 2010

Trying to fit it all in

Here's what I wanted to do today:

Walk the dog one mile in my Vibrams. Run 1.5 miles in my Vibrams. Run 3 miles in my Kenvaras. Lift for 30 minutes.

Dream on, right? So with the time available to me today, this is what I actually did:

One mile Vibram walk. Two mile Vibram run. 30 minutes lifting.

Trying to get food back on track too. Reintroducing some veggies was a good start . . .

Usual breakfast--power oatmeal.

Post-workout lunch--finished off the rest of the mushroom risotto with almonds and olive oil. A handful of corn tortilla chips, a few dried apricots, four dark chocolate covered almonds to satisfy the sweet tooth.

Afternoon snack--green tea, small dish of almonds, dried cranberries and a few dark chocolate chips.

Dinner--Wild salmon, spinach fresh from the farm topped with broccoli, carrots, goat cheese, walnuts, hard-boiled egg, olive oil and lemon. Yum! Dessert--small handful of dark chocolate covered raisins and almonds. (Yes, I love my chocolate).

And the evening indulgence (and one of many reasons why I work out): Corn tortilla chips with melted cheese and a glass of red wine while watching really mindless television for an hour.

Tomorrow . . . it's back to the pool after almost three months off! Hope to swim and not sink!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rest and ride

Yesterday I took the day off from all the usual suspects. We were so busy attending soccer games and end-of-season parties that "resting" was the only option.

So, while really a rest, I did take a break from working out, sleeping well, blogging, and eating healthy. I don't think I've ingested a veggie in two days and fruits have only made a few token appearances.

Saturday night, I traded running shoes for high heels and paid dearly for it today. Fortunately, I was able to postpone my run until tomorrow and go for a bike ride with my husband instead.

60 degrees and sunny, we covered 30 moderately hilly miles and enjoyed the beautiful fall colors and the mountains on the horizon. Pre-ride fuel was coffee (of course) and a whole wheat tortilla with almond butter and honey. 42 oz water during the ride.

Post-ride fare was a guilt-free feast of my mom's home cooking--grilled scallop and veggie kabob, homemade baked mac-n-cheese, cooked carrots, and dessert of peach pie a la mode.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flying through the day

I'd hoped to run 4 or 5 miles today and lift for 30 minutes. I hadn't done either in three or four days and I'm trying to stick to an every other day routine. (Don't ask me why.)

But, as the day would have it, I was lucky to squeeze in a fast 3-mile run, which I managed to churn out in 26 minutes (thankfully, because the school bus got home at the same time I did) followed by 20 minutes in the gym--two sets of 12 reps for six strength exercises.

Food: The usual power oatmeal for breakfast and green tea. Lunch was leftover three mushroom risotto, heated with olive oil and almonds, and dried apricots and dark chocolate covered raisins for dessert. While grocery shopping, I treated myself to a tall soy chai which gave me a little boost for the run. Water and a handful of almonds afterward. Homemade white pizza for dinner with mushrooms and spinach.

We had a family outing to see a play tonight--Peter Pan. (Smart Pop at intermission. Frozen yogurt when I got home.) Peter Pan can fly, and so can I.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Still she rides!

Sunny, 58 degrees, light winds . . . and a great pit stop! What more could a cycle girl wish for in mid-November?

50 mile round trip bike ride today.

Power oatmeal breakfast.
Pre-ride fuel: Tall Starbucks soy latte and a chocolate chip Clif Bar.
During ride: 22 0z water, Montana Huckleberry (my favorite!) Hammer Gel
Pit Stop: Green tea, yogurt with granola and cranberry bread.
During ride: 20 oz sport drink (case of generic brand was way cheaper than Gatorade)
Post ride: handful of almonds and the 12 oz strawberry Hammer Recoverite that my quads were screaming for!

Snack: dried fruit, whole wheat pretzels, cheese

Dinner: Three mushroom risotto, mixed veggies, vino.

(Disclaimer: I'm no nutritionist, I just post what works for me.)

Now what I need is a good night's rest!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yoga and Luna

Today's workout was non-cardio, but very enjoyable:

One hour of yoga with elements of strength training and a 30 minute walk with Luna.

According to one yoga instructor I practiced with, in addition to a balanced and nutritious diet, all you need to stay healthy and fit is yoga and five miles of walking each day.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Getting it done

Up and at 'em today, no time to waste or procrastinate.

5-mile run, slow and steady. Walked the first .25 to warm up and walked the last .25 because my knees were being a bit disagreeable.

It was a beautiful day, so I took my dog for a 1-mile walk to cool down.

Stretching to follow, but not closely enough. Muscles had started to tighten up before I got to the stretches.

Note to self: Do not procrastinate on stretching!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Simple yet challenging

Today's workout plan was simple: 30 minutes of lifting. Easy, right?

Given the proper motivation, it would have been. However, sometimes I find that the easy things are hard and the hard things are easy. Thirty minutes in the gym? Easy. I can get to that any time--probably after my morning appointment. Well, maybe after I run a few errands. It's such a beautiful day, I think I'll take my dog for a walk--get in some bonus cardio first.

Now the sun is beginning to set on this day and I still haven't made it to the gym for those easy 30 minutes. Harder than I thought. It's the little things that are easily pushed aside and overlooked, even though they are equally as important.

So here I go, to the gym, to curl those weights and crunch those abs. I know I'll be glad I did, but right now I'd sure rather finish the last few pages in my book first . . .

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Finding my stride

Fueled by power oatmeal, a mug of leaded, and the joy of seeing my second fitness column in the local newspaper, I did a one-mile walking warm up before setting out on a 5-mile run.

It felt so good. Plodding along at roughly a 10-minute mile, I didn't set any records for speed or distance--I just loved being out there.

I thought about my friends who were running the NYC Marathon this weekend, and even about another friend who, if I'm not mistaken, is running an Ice Marathon in Antarctica. I tried to tap into their energy and drive. These people inspire me to keep going, to do better, run faster.

I'm a low-tech runner, an iPod being my only standard gadget. Today I enjoyed the random feed of old Van Halen and Jane's Addiction. Today, I also added another gadget: a watch. When I realized I was holding a 10 minute mile pace, I challenged myself to go faster and finished the last mile in 9 minutes flat, completing the 5-miler in 49 minutes.

With no race on the horizon I wonder: How far should I go? How fast? For now, I'm just happy to have found my stride again.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The one that (almost) got away

Today was one of those days that kept slipping through my fingers and I wasn't sure if I'd get my workout in or not, even though I'd only planned to lift since I ran two days in a row--a first since the fracture in July.

My dog is the one that finally got me moving and and it was just the lift I needed to get me motivated for the other lift I needed--in the gym!

So, a two mile walk and 30 minutes in the gym. Not bad for a day that almost got away.

"You'll never regret the workouts you get, only the ones you let get away."

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rest is not a 4-letter word.

I am trying to understand what the word "rest" means to me.

Is it synonymous with relax? In which case, I would, ideally, sleep in and then read most of the day. Maybe go for a long leisurely walk or hike.

Or does it mean get in a workout, as usual, but dial down the intensity factor. To me, these are the days that I do yoga, stretch, walk, maybe some light lifting. These are the things that typically define a rest day for me.

Rarely does a rest day mean getting no physical exercise but focusing, instead, on other productive activities (that are not necessarily enjoyable).

Today started out as one of those rare days. I had the whole day to myself. And, while exercising is usually my means of stress relief, my to-do list at home has gotten so long that I'd return from a run and instantly be stressed again by the sheer number of things I still had to do--and had been neglecting (while I was running).

As soon as the kids were on the bus, I got busy and tackled the piles of paperwork and filing in my office. After three hours, the usual thoughts began to creep in: "You've put in three good hours; you still have time for a run. Maybe eat lunch first, do some more work, then get in a short run. If you run now while the kids are in school, you can always get back to these boring chores while they are home."

Eventually I convinced myself that I'd earned a good, speedy walk for all that I'd accomplished this morning. Plus, my dog kept walking into the office and staring at me like I'd forgotten something. Forgotten her. Forgotten to take her for a walk.

So, while I was out walking, a funny thing happened. I felt great; suddenly more energetic. My motivation level ticked up a notch, despite only a trace amount of caffeine in my system (the white and green tea blend I had before lunch--which was a plate of whole wheat spinach pesto pasta with almonds and olive oil).

I am now happy to report that on my day of rest, I was immensely productive in the morning and still had time to walk my dog for 40 mins and get in that short but necessary 1.2 mile run in the Vibrams that I thought would have to wait until tomorrow.

If I'm lucky, I'll still get to lift before the day's over, too! It's good to have a rest day now and then. ;)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Running in the Rain

My schedule is all over the place these days. Mainly because I don't have a schedule.

The rain was coming down this morning; temps in the 40s. So, I decided to run my errands in the morning and save the workout for afternoon, hoping the rain might taper off.

While out and about, I treated myself to a Caribou Coffee Caramel High Rise (with my lunch of leftover pumpkin bread--lunch of champions, eh?) and even though I went half caf, there was a full shot in that 16 oz cup.

By the time I got home, I felt like I was going to have a heart attack! Any ambivalence I felt about running in the rain (which was still coming down buckets with no sign of stopping) was gone. Why waste a good caffeine kick? Besides, I had to do something to burn it off before I broke into pieces!

So I ran. And it was amazing! I'd forgotten how much I enjoy running in the rain. As long as I've got the proper gear and the streets aren't so flooded I have to hop puddles the whole time (or risk running in soaking wet shoes, which always leads to blisters!) it is such a freeing experience.

And I ran fast. There were no aches or pains, no huffing up the hills, just a pure and simple, joyful run! I'm so glad I got out there today and got it done. Otherwise, I'd have missed out on the highlight of my day!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On task

On task today, no caffeine required, with one hour of yoga and 45 minutes of lifting, though my quads are still sore, and I despise chin ups. The yoga felt good, the lifting--not as much--but it enabled me to enjoy some yummy cranberry-pumpkin bread completely guilt free. (Well, mostly guilt-free.) :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


A rest day.

If you don't count caring for three children, voting, cleaning, carpooling, laundry, running errands, making phone calls, going to doctor appointments, grocery shopping, making dinner, packing lunches and cleaning some more.

And, my sore muscles could have used some light cross-training after yesterday's new lifting workout.

That's what tomorrow is for ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Motivation Enhancement

With no race on the horizon, my motivation is dropping right along with the temperature!

Caffeine to the rescue! The tired, sluggish woman who emerged way to soon from her bed was quickly replaced by a peppy, energetic athlete who was ready to run--no, sprint!--those easy 4.5 miles planned for today.

But before the rush of caffeine to the bloodstream, I went to the gym (in my PJs!) and started doing lunges, the slogan "Just Do It, Just Do It" on replay in my head. I guess it worked because I made it through 30 minutes of lifting, changed into my running clothes, and was so jittery I could barely tie my shoes.

4.5 miles in just under 40 minutes on a bright and sunny, though chilly (43 degrees!) fall day--not too bad for someone who's been benched from running for months on end.
Go coffee!