Three things Thursday

So many concerned friends have been checking in on BC, you are all too kind!!!

1. No broken bones!  BC has bruising and existing pain around his clavicle.   He had an X-ray taken just to make sure there were no broken bones.  Bad swelling and bruising only!

2. It’s no finisher medal, but I surprised BC last night with nine special treats.  At Ironman Canada I bought this cookie cutter and finally put it to good use.

C is for cookie

C is for cookie

3. My diet over a weekend away started healthy and deteriorated each day I was away from home.  I can’t seem to practice will power and stay on track when I’m on vaca/traveling.  I hope to buckle back down and drop the 2 lbs that came home from Arizona with me.

Any tips or tricks you have found to stay on target with weight loss or healthy habits while on vacation?

122.6: When things don’t go as planned

If we are friends on Facebook, you know Ironman Arizona didn’t go as planned this weekend.


BC has trained his butt off in 2013.  This past month, he has experienced interior tibia tendonitis issues (shin area) and took a lot of time off running.  He hoped a running break would keep the tendonitis at bay until late in the marathon.  Late in the marathon never happened.

Let’s rewind.  Saturday morning BC got in the water for a swim trial and checked his bike and bags into transition.


We did some carb loading and spent the day off our feet relaxing since Sunday was going to be the big day.


The 2013 Ironman World Championship just happened to be airing at 2:30 on Saturday.  Perfect for lying low, getting excited and pumped up.  I took an arbitrary photo of us laying in bed watching the race coverage for the blog.  Now, viewing the picture, it makes me nauseated.  I happened to snap a photo of an athlete in the midst of a bike crash.  Awful foreshadowing?


Race morning, READY.  BC wrote his race mantra reminder on my hand.  Look familiar?  Runs in the family.


At 7:00AM on the dot, swimmers were off.  I love watching the swim start at Ironman.  It’s mass chaos of arms, swim caps and feet.  BC came out of the water just under 1:03 and transitioned to the bike.


The bike course in Arizona makes three loops.  Each time we saw him, BC looked strong.  When he passed us at mile 70-ish he yelled that his power meter went out.  Regardless, he was riding really strong and on target to finish the bike SUB 5:00!!

As we waited for him to come through at Mile 111, right before he would finish the bike and start the run, I grew anxious.  If his pace remained consistent (and the athlete tracker indicated it had), he should have passed us ten minutes ago.  Finally, we see him and I started jumping around and cheering.  He screamed, “I crashed, I fucking crashed!”  I froze.  I watched him ride away and observed his bike jersey was shredded and he had road rash on his shoulder.  I panicked and started running towards the transition area to see if he was ok or being taken to medical.

He sat down in medical and gave himself a pep talk.  I think his adrenaline was probably through the roof.

One mile into the run course, I spotted his orange kit and calf sleeves approaching me. I ran alongside him and heard what happened.  At mile 110 (YES, 2 freaking miles from the bike finish) a car pulled out and into the bike course, completely blocking the bike lane.  He was riding at 24mph and  had the choice to HIT the car or swerve and hope for the best.  He swerved, braked hard, the brakes locked and he was thrown from his bicycle.  He rolled for 15 feet and once he stopped moving, BC sat up and was disoriented.  His vision was so disoriented, he thought his sunglasses had been damaged and were sitting sideways on his face… but it was his vision that was altered.  He looked back and the car was gone.  Fellow bikers were behind him and saw the accident happen.  They witnessed the driver reverse, speed off the opposite direction and flee the scene.  The witnesses checked on his wellbeing and then chased down a police officer on a motorcycle near the scene, who was then able to intercept the driver and pull him over.  BC got up, got back on his bike, rode one mile until he saw me and then one more to finish the 112 mile bike ride.

Talking to him as we ran, he said he was in a lot of pain but determined to run.  Our prearranged spectating plan would bring him back at Mile 3.  I waited anxiously.  As he ran by I encouraged him that he “looked really strong” but he was running lopsided.

Mile 7 was the next mile marker where we planned to see each other.   For the first time, he slowed to a walk and expressed doubt about finishing.  He told me, “I don’t think I can do this, I’m in a lot of pain.”  The course was an out and back from mile 7-8 so I recommended he walk the next mile, see how he felt and we could reassess when he got back around the loop.  About 5 minutes later a course support cart pulled up and he was riding inside.  Apparently, the course support saw his bloody elbows/back and asked if he was ok.  He took it as a sign from God.  This was done.

Inside the medical tent, they checked all his bones out and diagnosed him with a mild concussion and bandaged his road rash.  I collected his race bags while he rested and spent 2 hours in medical getting his legs underneath him.  We were able to see our friends finish the race and head home to recover.


Athletes spend MONTHS of their lives, thousands of dollars, blood, sweat and tears to cross the finish line of Ironman.  I’m disappointed an impatient and careless individual took that away from my husband.  He had a good swim, a great bike and was ready for a strong run.  He should have proudly earned his medal with a sub 10 hour finish time.  Fortunately, he only has minor injuries.  His helmet is bashed in and crumpled on the side where he collided with the street.  His jersey is shredded.  His bike is being shipped back to Chicago via TriBikeTransport, so we will assess damage later this week.  The bottom line, all those things can be replaced.  His pride is in tact and I am so grateful he is in one piece.

He completed 122.6 of the 140.6 miles.  Maybe we could have a bumper sticker made that just says 122.6.  Looks like we need a do-over on Ironman #9.

Three Things Thursday

1. Ironman Arizona is Sunday! Travel is always easier in the early hours when it’s for pleasure instead of business.


2. It’s weeks away from Thanksgiving and all the Christmas decorations are up. I love me some holiday cheer but when did we stop respecting the bird? Wait til after Thanksgiving…



3. My cappuccino and misto obsession is raging lately. I think it may be a result of eliminating all caffeine for two weeks in late October. Whatever caused it, these frothy drinks are soothing my soul.


What’s your favorite coffee concoction? Drip, espresso, cappuccino, mocha, lattes?

Learning to swim…. at 32

At age 5, I learned how to swim like most normal kids.   Between the age of 5 and 32 I “swam” a handful of times. I’ve never felt comfortable in the water.  And open water, even Lake Michigan, FREAKS me out.  In that long timespan, I also forgot how to breathe underwater.  I know, pathetic.

Why I decided to sign up for swim lessons:

Holy crap.  I am going to learn how to swim.

Holy crap. I am going to learn how to swim.

- BC and I have a big trip planned and he wants to go Riverboarding.  Basically, it’s whitewater rafting… on a boogie board.  Insane, yes.  Am I one to miss out on a vacation adventure, no.  The river boarding site states you must be able to swim and feel confident in the water.  I can’t swim, I tarzan swim.  I am most definitely not confident in the water.

- I’ve been spinning almost every damn day for weeks since I am on running hiatus.  It’s great cardio and I do enjoy it, but do something you don’t love day in and day out?  It gets boring.  The elliptical does nothing for me.  Stairs and rowing are fine, but boring after 15 minutes.

The health club where I belong has swim instruction, but the class times were not ideal.  Instead, I signed up for adult learn to swim lessons through the local YMCA.  Because I am not a member, it was $196.  That sticker price seemed a little steep, but what do I know since I’ve never taken anything through the Y or participated in aquatic classes?

What to bring to your first Swim Lesson:

  • Wear your swimsuit – rocket science, huh?
  • Bring goggles, your peepers will thank you
  • Bring a towel for after
  • If you have long hair, a swim cap really helps
  • When putting on said swim cap, do it with wet hair.  I lost a handful of hair battling that plastic over my dry hair.
  • Rinse off before entering pool
  • Flip flops.  Germs are nasty.
so official

so official

What to expect at your first Swim Lesson:

My first class I was so nervous that I almost scrapped the entire idea and didn’t show.  But $196 is a lot of money and BC assured me it wouldn’t be bad the first session.  Six lanes and 7 students, we all climbed into the pool.  I was relieved to see they were nervous, too.

We started by bobbing up and down, practicing blowing air out from your nose under water and breathing in through your mouth when you popped above the surface.  Ok, I could actually do that!  Confidence booster.

The students learn how to float.  Belly up, piece of cake.  Tummy down, my legs would not float.  Confidence buster.

Next, we learn how to flutter kick our feet.  Loose ankles, movement only from the knee down, holding onto the side of the pool for support.  This is easy.  Confidence booster.

Once our kick is figured out, we discover hand and arm movements.  Pulling your individual arms back almost in a check mark motion.  Standing in the shallow end, I place my head under water and practice the arm movements.  My arms feel pretty comfortable.  Confidence booster.

Adding the breathing, we move our arms in the water and breathe while placing our faces in the water, pretending to complete a swim stoke.  While I am stationary I can handle the breathing.  Confidence booster.

Now, we try to put those pieces together.  Inside my head I panicked and screamed, “Already?”  Yes, I think my instructor jumped the gun.  Each time I tried to breathe out of the water, I inhaled water through my nose (ouch) or swallowed it in my mouth (disgusting).  I spent 15 minutes trying to ‘put the pieces together’ but I could not get the breathing right for the life of me.  Confidence buster.

That is why there are seven more weeks to practice, learn and perfect!

Practicing individually until the next lesson:

A few days after my first lesson, I settled in to a lane at my gym and practiced swimming laps and breathing while kicking and using a boogie board to float my arms.  This made my breathing easier, less rapid (panicked) and helped me get into a rhythm.  Naturally, when I removed the board and tried to swim with my arms, I began drinking water again.  Sigh.

Trying to nail the breathing I tried a drill. Breathing, kicking and floating my arms on the boogie board but trying to replicate how I was breathing.  It seems I stop exhaling too early as I bring my head up to breath, and then I’m too delayed in exhaling once I look back in the water.  With some practice, I have gotten the breathing down.

This third week, every swim is becoming more comfortable and I am actually enjoying my time in the pool!  I am moving at glacial speed and feel super self concious with other swimmers (real swimmers) are in the pool.  But practice makes perfect, eh?

Week in Review : Workouts

Holding myself accountable since I will be bikini clad in about six weeks. Also, I am increasing intensity to offset no running (no endorphins!) and get my clothes to fit again.

Pure Barre 1 hour
Swim lesson 1 hour

I be swimmin

I be swimmin

Spin 50 minutes

Pure Barre 1 hour
Spin 30 minutes
Swim 15 minutes

pure barre

Spin 45 minutes

Pure Barre 1 hour

Spin 1 hour
Stairs 15 minutes
Row 15 minutes

Rest, glorious rest and a beautiful brunch with BC

heritage cappucino

Tonight is my third swim lesson. I only got in the pool twice last week so hopefully I am comfortable in the water after so many days without swimming.

On Friday, I was so slammed at work that I had to run in order to make it to Pure Barre without being late and missing entry. My foot is still sore from 5 minutes of running. Sigh. Clearly the need for rest from running is really the best thing for me right now.

I am super happy I got three Pure Barre classes in, that 55 minutes is killer in the best kind of way.

Have you tried any type of bar class: Pure Barre, Bar Method? I think it’s going to work magic to develop my weak glutes and hips. If you are a running, it’s worth checking out!

Shoulda woulda coulda

This morning I should have crossed the start and finish line of my fifth marathon.  A brand new marathon right where I grew up (technically Lisle) in Naperville.  It’s a small race and I was looking forward to running Chicago and jumping to the Naperville Marathon a month later.

naperville bib

Instead, this happened.

And you know what? I am ok with it.  Sure, it’s $100+ dollars down the drain.  But my health and the healing of my foot is exponentially more important than one race.

Have you scrapped a race due to injury? Did you feel relief or disappointment?

Anniversary Dinner at The Dawson

A wedding anniversary is a good reason to check out a new restaurant and order ALL the food, right?


Cute hubby

The Dawson opened a couple of weeks ago and I’ve seen a lot of buzz about the atmosphere and food.  It’s located at the intersection of Chicago, Halsted and Milwaukee.  Yep, right next to Funky Buddha Lounge. (Walking past that club just makes me feel old now.)

When you enter the restaurant it’s a cozy but minimalist feel.  Hardwood floors, round light fixtures, dark wood furniture, lots of expansive glass windows, a low profile central bar and tons of seating on two floors.

We started with cocktails.  I chose the Safe Word: reyka vodka, zubrowka vodka, clarified apple, st. germain, cinnamon, lemon and angostura.  It was light and tasty.  BC chose a fancy imported beer, I can’t remember which one.


For appetizers we selected the crispy pork tacos (two served al pastor, onion and salsa creme).  These were awesome, really rich flavor and it has been years since my last hard shell taco experience.


Next we tried the pickled onion rings served with bbq sauce.  The breading was just right, not to heavy but still grease city.  The bbq sauce was acidic and ketchupy but it was good on the onion rings.


Lastly, we tried our hand at spring roll assembly.  They bring a hot dish of water to soak the rice paper and wrap your own choice of orange glazed tofu, thai basil, mint, sprouts, peanut and cilantro.  I LOVE spring rolls and they were kind of entertaining to build at the table but I wasn’t a fan of the mint.  It overpowered the other flavors.


I moved on to Prosecco and ordered the Roasted Chicken for my entrée.  BC went with the Pork Shank.

The Roast Chicken was served over braised endive, calvados-glazed apples and ricotta gnocchi.  The chicken was juicy and well cooked.  The gnocchi was denser than I expected but yummy.


BC’s Pork Shank entrée was so tender that the meat literally fell off the bone.  It was served with a side of pappardelle, oyster mushrooms and seared peach.  I tried a bite and it was awesome.


We ended with the funnel cake which was eaten before I thought to take a photo.  Oops.  I didn’t really care for it, it was topped with raisins and not enough chocolate sauce.  :)

The Dawson was a great scene with solid food and cocktails.  It’s a fab date spot or perfect for a group since they have many larger tables.  After dinner we exchanged cards, no gifts since we intend to buy each other presents on vacation as we do each year over the holidays.  The perfect night of celebration!

What is the best new restaurant you’ve tried lately?  Any good suggestions?

Four years Wedded Bliss

Four years flies by when you are having fun.

wedding- door at capital

Four years ago today, I married my best friend.

umbrella kiss

From the first time I laid my eyes on BC, it was lust at first sight.  I had no idea that lust would develop into a deep love and friendship.

first look 3

My love:  I wouldn’t change a thing.  Each of our experiences, good and bad have molded who we are today as spouses.

first look 2

My admiration for you is paramount.  I respect all you do for our family.



You are a wonderful provider, a considerate friend, a devoted listener, a careful consoler, the ultimate comedian.



I can’t wait for the rest of my life with you.this is love


Three Things Thursday

Three days in a row blogging! This one will be short and sweet!

1. Lululemon is having a massive sale to clear out for holiday merchandise.  I’ve been in need of new sports bras and hit the jackpot.  $48 and $52 bras on sale for $19!!!  I stocked up and walked out with 7 new bras (and a $19 pair of groove shorts).

2. Tonight for dinner I’m attempting a meatless meal on BC.  The recipe: Skinnytaste’s butternut squash and black bean enchiladas.

3. The time change is still throwing me off even though it’s been nearly a week since the daylight savings change.  Sunset so early has me feeling lethargic!

How about you?  Is the time change making you blue?

The long story of my busted foot

Let’s rewind to May.  My right foot is bothering me.  It has been since Chicago ’12.  I ran Vegas on the unhappy foot shortly after Chicago and I could hardly get my shoe off after the race ended because it was hella swollen and tender. Post Vegas, I took a break from running higher mileage and the pain was slight and manageable.

Fast forward to the spring season and amping up my mileage, that dang foot started hurting again.  I visited the podiatrist who prescribed my orthotics; she took an XRay of both feet.  Upon inspection, she noticed my right fifth metatarsal (along the side of my foot where the baby toe meets your foot bone) was funky.  At some point, I had broken the bone and it didn’t heal perfectly.  A small portion of the bone was jutting out and my peroneal tendon that cups the foot was not sitting flush to the bone.  Instead, it was catching/rubbing on the bone fragment.  Exercising poor bedside manner, she simply put laid it out.  “You need surgery to shave down or remove the bone.  If you don’t the tendon will always be inflamed while you run.”

First plea for help.

First plea for help.

I left the appointment defeated, sad, depressed.  But I didn’t listen to her diagnosis or advice not to run.  After all, I had already registered for Chicago!

All summer as I trained, it got worse.  Before you jump on my back, it did start at a tolerable ache post runs.  At the end of August I was in so much pain while running and post running that I took two full weeks off running. When I returned to running… It hurt worse. A smart person would have called it quits and taken measures to heal the injury. But I’m a stubborn idiot. So I kept training but at a reduced level. I did my two 20’s and they SUCKED. But then I felt like, “I didn’t run those two 20 milers for no reason, I’m doing the race!” BC tried to talk me out of it. But I HAD put in (some of) the work. This is stupid and embarrassing to admit… I pictured myself standing on the curb and cheering for my friends….. and it made me so disappointed in myself for throwing in the towel. I decided to push my pride aside and run it knowing that this race wouldn’t be about competing, but merely completing it.

It's gonna hurt.  It's gonna suck.  I was preparing to embrace the suck.

It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna suck. I was preparing to embrace the suck.

Race day arrived and I felt ok until mile 4.  At 14 things went downhill and the wheels started coming off, fast. My gait got funky, kind of limping. By the end I was hardly touching my right foot to the ground due to the pain. I knew the race was gonna hurt but I couldn’t have imagined how terrible the pain in my foot would be. I could not walk on my foot for 3 days post race.

TOTALLY unflattering, but it shows the pain I was feeling in my foot

TOTALLY unflattering, but it shows the pain I was feeling in my foot exiting Chinatown around mile 22

Since the race I saw a highly acclaimed sports podiatrist who specializes in running for a second opinion. After an MRI, she confirmed my fifth metatarsal is a bit jagged. Surprisingly the peroneal tendon was ok. None of the tissue or tendon appears inflamed. What wasn’t ok was my plantar fascia ligament. I ruptured it. Guess that explains the pain, huh?

Do not google image search for ruptured or torn plantar fascia ligament.  Don’t need to see the REAL ligament pulled out from the foot thankyouverymuch.

To heal the ligament I am on running hiatus. It’s making me crawl out of my skin but I really need to heal. The doctor has recommended Platelet rich plasma treatment. I hate needles so this should be interesting. It involves drawing blood and placing it into a centrifuge to remove the platelet rich plasma. That plasma is then injected into my ligament to speed the healing and strengthen the ligament. Ultrasound therapy will also be necessary. If all goes well, I could be back to running in 2014!