Ironman Santa Rosa 70.3 Training and Other Wandering Thoughts

I knew I would come back eventually, even if it was to just air some thoughts weeks before my first half Ironman, Ironman Santa Rosa 70.3. I’ve been training for this race for several months, first building up the base fitness, and right now I’m working on some peak training weeks since I only have about 7 weeks to go before the big day.

And an Olympic-distance tri is stuck in there too–about 3 weeks to go till that. I’ve already run three races this year, a 5K, a trail 10K, and a half marathon. I’m happy to report that I’ve PR’d at each distance. Yay!

Honestly, if you would’ve told me 35 weeks ago that I would lose 20+ pounds, enjoy training for hours on end, and only wear spandex unless it were a special occasion (like, say, my anniversary), I would’ve been skeptical. I’ve always liked exercising, though. I’ve always liked being fit, but I hadn’t had the actual drive to get there or reach for a huge, scary goal. I was so undisciplined that I floated around, kind of keeping up running fitness, but not really making progress. I don’t know what got into me over 8 months ago. Something sparked a thought: “You can do this. Why the heck not?” Maybe I was just tired of making excuses for myself. Maybe I knew there was more in me than I was giving.

I had a breakthrough of sorts today after an hour on my bike trainer followed by a 2.25-mile transition run at a moderate pace. I thought about how just a few months ago, I couldn’t have done what I did today at the effort I sustained. Not even close. That in itself is worth it to me. To be able to continue to improve, to give more effort, to share a passion with others, is a blessing.

I’ve found that consistency is key to all this–in any goal anyone sets. If you make more workouts than you miss–or if you take more steps forward than steps back–you will improve leaps and bounds. Again, I was skeptical. No way could I could achieve the goals I saw others achieve. But I learned persistence and relentless forward progress pays off. I won’t achieve the goals I see others achieve. I will crush the goals I was brave enough to set for myself.

Is my training perfect? Not at all. I’ve missed workouts here and there. My swim has taken a couple backwards steps lately, but even with anxiety about that, I know I’m putting in the work to achieve my goal.

Choose a big, scary goal and do the work. You will be blown away by what you can do and your own awesomeness.

Am I nervous for my first real triathlon season? Absolutely, but I’m so excited. This year will be the best year ever!

What are your goals for the year?


5 Favorite Calorie-Burners

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Chobani Simply 100. All opinions are always my own.

Do you know how easy it is to burn 100 calories? Pretty darn easy. Here are my five favorite ways to quickly burn off some extra cookies. (Not that I eat cookies a lot or anything…)

  1. YOGA: I love yoga so much that it’s part of my everyday routine. Only 20 minutes of yoga can burn 100 calories. A more vigorous practice will burn more, of course. Here’s a great routine to torch some calories:

2. COOKING: About 30 minutes of cooking will help you burn 100 calories. The recipe below will take you approximately 30 minutes to prepare and cook–and it’s delicious! From BLACKENED FISH TACOS WITH AVOCADO-CILANTRO SAUCE

3. RUNNING: About 10 minutes of running will help you burn 100 calories. You can also walk for 20 minutes. Easy peasy.

4. SWIMMING: Since swimming is a full-body exercise, it doesn’t take long–only 10-15 minutes, depending on your pace–to burn 100 calories.

5. CYCLING: No surprise that this is a fave since I’m a triathlete… 15-20 minutes of cycling at a moderate pace will do the trick.

Bonus! Jump roping! I love jump roping, and if you use the routine at, you can burn 100 calories in 10 minutes. Also good: HIIT. 🙂

The list above is just a start, so here’s a chart from Chobani Simply 100 with some more possibilities (and better calorie counts, I’m sure).


While we’re all trying to burn a few extra calories, it’s helpful to have a good snack, and Simply 100 offers a great option, FYI.

So, let me know how you’re planning on being a little healthier in the next 6 months.

My First Trip to Germany (Part 1)

Okay, so this post is a long time coming. Some of my friends and family will be pleased they actually get to see pictures. 🙂 Back in November 2014, I was able to meet my husband in Germany for the last three weeks of an “externship” he had with a German satellite company. Es war fantastisch! (It was fantastic!)

Germany Part One -


We were able to visit so many awesome places–and my German language skills actually came in handy (I’m not fluent by any stretch, but I can get by). We went to Berlin, Munich, Heidelberg, Mainz (my favorite), Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Dachau, Dieburg, and Darmstadt, which was our home base and where my husband worked.

First Germany Trip |
Getting ready to take off–or I just landed. No idea


To try and postpone any jet lag, we went into Frankfurt after my flight to Germany. (The flight actually was great; I slept a little but had the whole row to myself, and they had awesome movies to watch.) We walked around the city and went to a cathedral that had been rebuilt on the inside. The outside was really impressive, though. We also walked by the Main River (pronounced like “mine”), which separated the “big city” from the quaint row homes. I loved it!

Frankfurt 2014 |
The first place we visited in Frankfurt! So cool!

And we also got a bagel and drinks at a big shopping mall. All in all, it was a great start to a great trip. We visited Frankfurt again later in our trip when we went to the Frankfurt Weihnachtsmarkt–a lovely, lovely festival.

Frankfurt 2014 |
Frankfurt’s Weihnachtsmarkt . . . Eating Delicious chocolate-covered fruit


Known as the city of science, Darmstadt is a quaint medium-sized town. We stayed in a long-term hotel, kind of like a Residence Inn, but older and . . . German–dark woods, plaster walls, and German TV. Breakfast was provided in the hotel’s “normal” annex and was scrumptious. I could totally eat meat, bread, and cheese every day for breakfast. We also enjoyed an assortment of jams, sausages, muesli, quark, and other treats–YUM!

Darmstadt 2014 |

While in Darmstadt, we enjoyed museums, markets, and the town square, which happened to be decorated for Christmas and was the location of a little Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market). We took the bus–which was always prompt–everywhere we needed to go. German transportation is a whole lot more reliable that what we’re used to, but of course I welcomed that fact. Even though one time I was yelled at by an angry bus driver. Good times.

Darmstadt's Weihnachtsmarkt |
Darmstadt’s Christmas market

Since Darmstadt was our home base, I got acquainted with the different delicious foods and shops in that marvelous little town. My favorite food I tried–and which I haven’t been able to find in it’s purest form–is Döner, or Döner Kebap. SO STINKING DELICIOUS. Think of a gyro and double the deliciousness. I feel sorry for you if you don’t like gyros by the way…

Delicious! (source)

My favorite way to eat Döner is in pizza form… I don’t have any pictures of the pizza I ate, just the restaurant we went to. My mouth is watering just thinking about it…

Darmstadt 2014 |
Döner PIZZA!!!

Anyway, add pretzels (Brezeln), Spätzle, and the best sausages in the world to the mix, and you’ve got an idea of what I enjoyed on my trip, not only in Darmstadt but in Berlin, Munich, Nuremberg, and Heidelberg. YUM!

I sure am talking a lot about food… Such is who I am. 🙂

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my German adventure coming soon.

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Bis spaeter!

Have you ever been to Germany? What’s your favorite German food?