Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, toddlers, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something



Do it Yourself

A few days ago, I read a really eye opening article.

A typical morning around here consists of about 23432897 million requests for something, from me, made by the twins. It doesn’t matter if daddy or grandma or freaking Santa Claus were around, it is me they are asking.

Mommy I need apple juice. Mommy I need yogurt. Mommy I need peanut butter. Mommy she took my toy. All before I’ve even managed to scoop the coffee out of the container and into the pot.

Bryan works way over the “full time” number of hours each week and has to add even more than that over the next three. Combine that with pending shoulder surgery that is going to leave him one handed for who knows how long (he can’t lift more than a cup of coffee with his right hand for 6 weeks, at least), and I was beginning to feel a bit overwhelmed.

So, this article.

It talked about this 4 year old who gets up each morning, brushes her teeth, gets herself dressed, makes her own waffle and eats while her mom gets ready for the day. The night before she helps pick out her outfit for the next day. The twins are almost four, so I think to myself this is perfect. It is time for more independence. I will simply require them to do more for themselves. I share this idea with Bryan, and come Sunday night, I am ready to tackle the week.

That is, until reality hit me.

Monday morning rolls around. No one helped pick out outfits the night before because we were all up late at my parents watching the Superbowl, so instead I figure I’ll have them help me pick out an outfit this morning. I have some extra time. No problem. Miles is easy. He wants a t-shirt and we fight a bit over shorts vs pants, but otherwise his outfit is complete in about 2 minutes. Next is Abby’s turn. My sweet Abby. She turns down every.single. shirt or dress suggestion I make. All of them. I literally go through every option in her closet. Finally a little frustrated, I tell her to choose her own. She says no, and sits on the floor. I pick out a dress myself, telling her if she won’t pick one I will, which results in a tantrum because she didn’t want that outfit either.

So this is going well.

Step two is teaching Miles how to make his own waffle. This actually goes ok, and Miles seems excited about the idea of doing this on his own. Except when it comes to spreading the peanut butter. Then he just simply “can’t do it”. I make him try anyway. Abby chooses yogurt and picks one from the shelf, and hands it to me to open, asking for a spoon. I tell her to get one herself. No, she tells me. *sigh*.


After breakfast, I try to catch them and encourage them to get dressed before they start playing, but no luck. I’m pretty sure I ask them to “please put your underwear and clothes on” a dozen times to deaf ears, each request slightly louder than the previous one. Finally I give up before I lose it, lay on the couch and scroll through Facebook for a few minutes, before I end up helping them get dressed. This lady with her independent 4 year old must be living in an alternate universe.*



*I will say that after a couple more days of attempts, each day is getting a little better, so it is a work in progress and I will take it. Abby even picked out her dress last night after rejecting only 10 or so other choices. #winning



I Have A Need for Speed (1/30-2/5)

Monday: cross. 40 minute interval trainer ride/abs. I wasn’t in the mood to deal with a cold pool this morning so I drug my bike out of the living room and did my usual interval ride. 5 min easy followed by 2 min hard gear/3 min easy. Then I played catch up on the ab group I joined and got 4 days behind.

Tuesday – tempo. 5 miles @ 7:35/1 mile CD. Perfect weather, and except for a pathetically slow incline that slowed my last mile down, NAILED IT!

Wednesday speed work. 10x 400 with 400m recovery between each. Goal pace 6:20. It was a warm warm up mile but I stood around talking long enough that it cooled down a bit before the speed part, and I hit most splits between 6:17-6:21. I tried to speed up the last 3 and succeeded at least for 2 of the 3, at 6:09, and 6:06. I have to say, I’m SO EXCITED to see numbers like this, even if it is only for 400 meters.


Thursday cross. Basically a repeat of Monday. 40 minute interval trainer ride/abs. 

Friday rest

Saturday long. 15 miles @ 8:18/mile. It was a chilly and windy morning, and my watch did NOT want to cooperate. A somewhat last minute group got together to run and afterwards I was more thankful than usual. It took 1.25  miles for it to find a satellite, so I’m told told the first mile was the slowest at around 8:50. After that though we kept things pretty steady, even speeding up a bit the last 4 miles. The headwind was awful, and a couple times I found myself falling behind, but I made myself speed up, catch up and stay with them. I have to admit, I thought to myself hmmm, If I can run 15 at that pace, surely I can train to run a marathon….ha. Probably, but not this year. Afterwards, we all met for a MUCH needed coffee and breakfast.

Will run for coffee

Sunday cross. 40 minutes yoga/abs. I had planned an easy run but I was feeling more tired than usual and had a sore shin, so I opted to stretch instead. My chiropractor would be proud.

I’ve also been following a 30 day plank challenge, attempting to come up with creative plank selfies.

Screen Shot 2017-02-07 at 7.20.14 PM.png
Will also plank for coffee -Abby says “mommy is kissing a cup”

Getting on Board

One of the things I looked forward to, when I was daydreaming thinking about the fun things I’d do with my future kids, was sit around the table as a family and play board games.

When the twins turned 3, I bought them the game Candy Land – hopeful but not expecting much. I’ve played the game more times than I can count at work, but always with a kid that was at least 4. When I pulled it out for the twins, they promptly started turning over ALL the cards and placed the pieces wherever the hell they wanted.

I put the game away for awhile, wondering who actually managed to successfully play it with a three year old, since its rated 3-6.

Unfortunately, so many of the cards got lost that I had to throw it away before I could even try again.

Today, I made a random run to Target, thinking maybe they’d be old enough. The twins have really been into “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story lately, so I picked up what is essentially the caterpillar version of Chutes and Ladders. In the car, I told the twins I had a present for them, which of course elicited some excitement. I pulled the game out and Miles asked to see it, prompting Abby to ask where “her game” is.

Yeah, I should have seen that one coming.

Abby is still throwing a fit when we get home and I open the box, while I correct Miles by saying it is for BOTH of them, not just him. Abby still doesn’t want to play.

I don’t want that ONE GAME!

But I set it up anyway, putting together the blue caterpillar for Miles and the yellow for myself, when Abby predictably walks over, sits at the table, and steals my caterpillar.

notice she has the yellow one

We each take a turn, both placing their caterpillar on the correctly colored space. What they won’t do, however is leave it there. Instead, they “walk around” the board. Then, once they figure out the food pieces flip over (it changes the slides), its all over and has turned into a play acting game involving feeding caterpillars fruit.

would you like an apple?

So no, even though the game is rated 3-6, we are NOT at the point where we want to play it as written, however they have spent the last hour pretending to be their various daycare teachers, lining up the kids at the fence and to go outside (FREEZE! LINE UP!), so it isn’t a total loss.

I guess family game night will have to wait 🙂

I Have A Need for Speed (1/9-1/15)

Operation Run Faster continues. With about 7 weeks left to the Myrtle Beach half, its getting close to time to decide if my goal is doable.

Monday – swimming barely not drowning.  1800 meters. It is ridiculous how quickly you lose swimming stamina, especially when you suck at it anyway. I’ve only been sporatic about going since I got my Ironman tattoo, and over the holidays. I considered skipping it agin and just picking back up after vacation, but decided it suck it up and go. It was 30 degrees outside. The water really wasn’t bad as long as you were moving, but after about an hour my fingertips were numb, and it took me the rest of the afternoon to thaw. On the plus side, a fellow swimmer saw my tattoo and said I was a badass, so there’s that 🙂

This pic worked better in my head

Tuesday tempo fail. 6 miles at 7:50/mile. Figuring I had enough weeks of tempo and speed runs under my belt I figured I’d try 6 miles at goal race pace. Well, something messed up on my watch about .75 miles in and my pace jumped from 7:50 to 7:20. I dunno if the satellites were just off, or if I was really running that quickly (I suspect a combo), and then I felt thrown off for the rest of it. Combined with asthma lungs and 32 degrees, this run required a few rest stops and felt much harder than it should have.

Wednesday speed work. 3x (2x 1200) with 2/4 min rest intervals. Actual goal pace here was around a 6:45, but with the half marathon coming up (that I planned to run as a training run but knew myself well enough to know I wouldn’t) I knocked the pace down a bit and averaged between 6:49-6:55. Because SC loves to fit as many seasons as possible in 48 hours, it was 68 degrees during the better part of this run.

Subscribe to purchase our future track calendar – haha

Thursday easy run. 4 miles with stroller. Running snacks! And my kid knows me because Miles asked me 5 min in if I had to pee (I didn’t, but I did later).

Ya’ll – they are heavy

Friday rest day

Saturday Charleston Half Marathon. 13.1 miles @ 8:09/mile. Not a PR but a good solid improvement from my 8:46 average at Sweet Tea. Also, there were yummy Mimosas. Recap to come.

John looks like a pirate

Sunday rest day, since we spent the majority of it in the car.

I Have a Need for Speed (1/2 – 1/8)

Happy New Year, friends! 2016 was a BIG year for me in terms of my running and triathlon goals, so 2017 is going to be boring in comparison. And hopefully faster 🙂

Monday – tempo run. 5 miles @ 7:41 with .5WU/.5CD Typically Monday is my pool day but the twins’ daycare was closed for the New Year holiday and I didn’t feel like it was fair of me to ask my parents to watch the twins for a swim and work both, so I ran. Since the twins were home with me, this run was done on the treadmill. It wasn’t pretty. I did manage to maintain a steady 7:41 with one break to beg the twins to leave me alone and get some water, but an already difficult run was made more difficult when my apparently oblivious kids started asking me WHAT I WAS DOING. I am running. What does it look like? Miles joined me for my cool down, though.

Walk time!

Tuesday – ride/HIIT 25 minute ride/35 min HIIT. It was on the warmer side with some rain expected later. The weather said there was a 38% chance of rain. 1.5 miles from home it starts to rain. WEATHER LIES. I was already out so I turned around once it started to do more than drizzle and headed back home to dry my bike off, and did two sets of high intensity interval workouts with some yoga stretching.

Wednesday – speed. 1 mile, 2 miles, 2×800 with 400/800m recovery, WU and CD – 7.25 miles total. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect speed wise with these intervals. According to my half goal, I needed to run the mile in 6:49 and 2 in about 14:04, then both 800’s in 3:16. I decided to tone it down a bit and shoot for a 7:00 and then a 14:10-14:15, but surprised myself yet again and ran the mile in 6:50 and the 2 mile in 14:06. My 800’s suffered though, with a 3:26 and 3:23, but by then I hardly cared.I ran a 7:06 and 7:01 consecutively and didn’t die, and though running another mile wasn’t happening, it tells me the training is working and I am getting faster!


Thursday trainer 35 minutes AM/ arms and abs 30 minutes PM. I woke up with a scratchy throat. We had some company the night before so could only squeeze in 35 minutes, but that was fine because I hate the trainer. My last kid canceled so I hit the Y and did a set of arm weights, 5 pull ups (3 then 2) and a set of abs including planks. I also did a short and light set of hips. By then I had some nice head congestion but not enough to warrant skipping. Hot chocolate helped a little.

no, the tissues aren’t used

Friday rest day . long run. 12 miles @ 8:18/mile. Faced with the decision to either run with a head cold or try to bear through freezing rain (or 12 miles on Satans Sidewalk) the next day, I medicated up (relax, I took one Sudafed), put my shoes on after work and headed out. This run was easier than the same distance attempt 2 weeks ago, but was still challenging by the end, so still work to do. Though, the cold probably didn’t help. Also, rain likes me because again, even though the chance of rain was 1%, it rained lightly almost the whole run.

Saturday –nothing. I literally did nothing. All day.I cursed my cold.

Sunday yoga. Painful yoga. Starting to feel better, but still pretty tired, it wasn’t my best yoga session ever.

Life with Twins – Three and a Half

My Facebook memories popped up today (well, a week ago, since this has been sitting unfinished since then) with the 6 month letter I wrote to the twins. THREE YEARS AGO. In it, I asked them not to grow up too fast.

Well, they did anyway.

The year of three has been wonderful, frustrating, hilarious, annoying, heartwarming and exhausting. There is a LOT of whining. But they  have also said some hilarious stuff. For example, a few weeks ago the daycare reported Miles had been pushing in class. They figured it was “monkey see monkey do”, but I still had a “talk” with him and told him that we do not push our friends.

Fast forward to last week. I say them “guess what we are going to do today?!” and Miles replies “we are not going to push our friends.”

I mean, at least he’s listening.

We’ve definitely reached the mommyIneedthisrightnownoyesterday!!!!! phase and when I give whatever it is to them, they want a different color, shape, flavor or year off of my life. They aren’t supposed to really have a concept that the world does not revolve around them, and they don’t. I also tend to get asked for things as I’m doing it, and in rapid succession. If I had a dollar for every time someone said “mommy” every day, I could probably quit my job.


They say I love you. They give hugs and kisses and snuggles. They put together thoughts and sentences that I had no idea they knew. They are really like kids now.

At 3 and a half they are finally – almost fully – potty trained. We do still have accidents (mostly when they are too busy to stop playing) and still sleep in pull ups. A few months ago we transitioned from toddler beds to twin beds after I found a great deal on a mom swap page on a set of matching beds. As sad as I am sometimes to see them growing so fast, it is really nice that they are more independent. They can go in the fridge and get the milk out and get a stool to get their own cups. They can take off their own clothes and shoes and put them away (when I can get them to). They can almost dress themselves. And, they bring me pretend cake and pizza. As an added bonus they are old enough to start to understand birthdays and holidays.

Abby is still a pretty independent little girl. She insists on many things on her own like buckling her car seat, putting on her socks and taking off her clothes. (All of this I am more than ok with!) She still really favors coloring and drawing, and is just as happy to play by herself than she is with Miles or anyone else. Her favorite foods are macaroni and cheese, apple juice, chicken and cereal. She loves to have her nails painted and sleeps with anywhere from 3-10 books  (not kidding).

Miles continues to be my sensitive boy. He prefers to still have help with things and likes company more than he likes being alone. He likes to have his hand held when we are going anywhere, even down the stairs.  His favorite toys are still his cars and trucks. His favorite foods are peanut butter waffles, peanut butter and jelly, “green juice” (smoothie), and hot dogs.

Together, they both love to ride their “motorcycles”(tricycles) in circles around the house, cook pretend food, fight (of course), play at the playground and watch Paw Patrol. Oh, and tell me no. Because of course.

So, now I just have to figure out how to not completely overload this post with 6 months worth of pictures…..

  • We took our first trip to Chuck E’ Cheese
  • And another trip to the beach


  • We learn the excitement of snuggling in mommy and daddy’s bed
  • They can be nice…when they aren’t fighting.


  • The fair was a little more fun this year
  • New beds!


  • There was also sprinkler discovery
  • And of course, Halloween
  • No day is complete, though, without some silly faces


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I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 28


Technically, this week is more taper-ish. Although the workout totals are cut down by 2.25 hours, which should seem significant, when you’re already up to 14 it doesn’t feel like as much as you’d think.

I am, unsurprisingly, still tired.

Monday run/swim. 60 minute run/6.2 miles/9:47 (ish) average/64 degrees. Oh hooray its finally COOLER outside! I split my run again and did 2.6 miles with the dog and 3.5 with the twins. I’ve never been more excited to see an average under 10. Seriously. 60 minute swim/2500 meters. I swam faster this time, but thats because I was tired and wore fins for the whole thing (shhh).

Tuesday – ride. 60 minute ride/17.42 miles/17.4MPH/68 degrees. Not much to report here. Still tired so took it easy. This is also the day that South Carolina really started getting panic-y about Hurricane Matthew. My final kid of the day called and told me they were evacuating the next day and wanted to cancel. This turned out to be a good thing, because it took me the next hour to fill up my gas tank and get money from the bank in case we decided to stick it out and lost power for more than a couple days. Schools closed for the rest of the week and I obsessively checked the weather.

Wednesday – swim/ride. 60 minute swim/2400 meters. I got up EARLY for this one, because as luck would have it, the new masters swim team in Summerville kept the pool open JUST for masters swim since everything was closing down for the hurricane. I forgot I need to allot more time for talking though, because I ran out of time and swam a bit short. Oh well.  45 minute stroller run/4.56 miles/9:53 average/66 degrees Although not THAT many people had evacuated by this point, the run still felt a little creepy, partly because it was such a  nice day outside but we all knew what was looming. I think it was Wednesday that the forecasters changed the track where the eye was pretty significantly off the coast. To be on the safe side I bought water, batteries and some non perishables before heading to work that day.

Thursday long ride. 3.5 hour ride/61.24 miles/17.2MPH/64 degrees  I hadn’t planned to do another long ride on a weekday but with the hurricane threatening to strike over the weekend and the next two days off work because most of the southern part of the state was shutting down, it seemed like a good day to get it in. A small group came along. We were supposed to ride 4 hours but the whole ride was windy and it was the worst on the last 20 minutes back to the car where we were going to refuel so we all cut it short. (I did 20 more minutes to make it an “even” 3.5 hours) On the plus side, it was good practice in the wind. I continued to check weather obsessively. By today, the forecast was much worse – the eye was expected to track not far off the coast, though as a Category 2 at least and not 4 anymore. I spent most of the rest of the day prepping by cleaning out the area  under the stairs in case the winds got bad, so I counted that as my missed half hour.

We are either dedicated or totally insane

Friday long run. 2 hour 10 minute run/12.6 miles/10:20 average/73 degrees The pending storm made this yet another hot, humid and sticky run. Apparently those days were not over.

Saturday/Sunday rest days. Technically I still had my quick change workout left but I opted to skip it. The storm started hitting late Friday night through late afternoon Saturday. At one point, they were predicting some possible 100+ MPH winds but I don’t think we ever ended up with gusts that high. I did see where someone recorded about 65mph, and I know we had sustained winds of 30-40 MPH for several hours. Interestingly, areas like Columbia and into Fayetteville NC almost had it worse than we did with the way the storm ended up hitting. It made landfall not far from Charleston. Charleston did of course flood, as did some areas in Summerville. There were downed trees and power lines. Some houses were damaged or destroyed. It was a serious storm but luckily not a Category 4 like Haiti and the Bahamas experienced. We were lucky. We had a leaky window but no other damage. We did hang out under the stairs for a bit but more because it was fun and not because we had to. In the end, I was tired from several days of not great sleep and anxiety about the storm, so I rested.

Hanging out in “Narnia” (under the stairs)

Total Hours: around 11 including hurricane prep (I’m cheating a bit here)

Distance Traveled: 105 miles

Training Thoughts: FINALLY we are at a place where the training hours start to go down more significantly. The hard part is REALLY over. I am hungry still all the time but I am tired of about 90% of food because I’ve eaten it so much.

On an unrelated note, the twins’ Halloween costumes showed up this week which I was REALLY excited about. Miles refused to put his on, so I did.

Nemo grew a bit


I Want To Be an Ironman – Week 27

Peak Week (s) 3 of 3.

You guys,  I am seriously tired. Everything is tired. My pinkie toe is tired.


Monday – run/swim. 58 minute stroller run/5.5miles/10:33 pace/70 degrees. For the life of me I could NOT keep my heart rate down, even using a run/walk. I jumped into nearly zone 4 during the run and could only recover to 2 during the walk, and my zone 4 pace was like a 10 minute mile. For the love of pete. 60 minute swim/2500 yards. I did another workout with alternating sets of drills and 300s. Each 300 got progressively slower. I’m told this is normal.

Tuesday ride/swim. 60 minute ride/16.9 miles/16.9 MPH/72 degrees. Honestly, I’m getting tired of all the workouts. The runs more than anything because of the heat but everything is taking more self talk to get my butt out the door. 60 minute swim/2500 yards. This swim was a bit faster at least, but have I mentioned I’m tired? Because I’m tired.

Wednesday run. 60 minute run (32 solo/28 stroller)/5.8 miles/68 degrees. I actually managed a sub 10 min mile average the first half (9:46) but slogged through the second half with the kids (10:40), because I was (wait for it…) tired.

Thursday long ride. 5 hour (4 hours 53 minutes technically) ride/82 miles/16.9MPH/75 degrees. Thursday is not normally a long ride day, but Tammie, who is also training for this insanity, was going to be out of town this weekend and had to move her ride. Riding this long solo is no fun so I shifted my work schedule to ride with her. I made it home and had 20 minutes to shower and change and leave for work (I made it). It was warmer than originally predicted (surprise surprise) but overall not bad. If I can average that speed for the Ironman I’ll be happy.

Friday – long run. 2 hour run/13miles/10:25 average/67 degrees. Cooler weather seems like its FINALLY making its way here. Tammie and I did a 3/1 run walk after the first two miles. The first 45 min or so was humid and slower, but once the humidity broke the temp actually dropped for a half hour or so which improved our average to a 10-10:15/mile until it started to warm up for the day again. It was nice to not slog through a wet washcloth for once. I celebrated the last long run of the peak weeks by accidentally sending my parents and husband an SOS message when I  was trying to turn my music down on my phone.  Afterwards the twins and I took a cool down walk with the dogs, where I was talked into some time on the swing and they stole my bath.

As it was the last day of the pool season also, we headed there after work, where as usual they spent more time eating than swimming.

Cracker Tongue

Saturday – rest day

Sunday long swim. 2 mile swim/53:25 (thank you current). One of the regular ocean swimmers and members of the Folly Beach Open Water Swim group so nicely put together a simulation (or stimulation, depending on who you ask) swim for the group. It was a nice point to point swim with kayak support and a wetsuit trial. It was salty.

Total Time: 14 hours (including some walking)

Miles Traveled: 129.35


I Want To Be An Ironman -Week 14

This week shall be known as “The Week of SNAFU’s”

Monday – swim/run 60 minute run (some stroller some solo) with 2x 4.5 min Z4/6.1 miles/72 degrees. I did the intervals solo plus a little extra, then took the twins for a short “running snack” to finish up the workout. 45 minute swim/2000 meters After we hung out a home a bit I started to get them ready to go to daycare so I could finish my workout and head into work. I went to open the car to put my stuff in and realized it was locked. I went back in looking for my keys. No luck. I went back outside and peered in the door to realize that they had been locked in the car. Bryan, who had also happened to forget his phone at home that day, had to leave work (after someone hunted him down at the school, because surprise his office calls were forwarded to his cell phone!) and come let me in the car, so my swim got cut short for the day.

Tuesday – ride. 60 minute ride with 3×5 min Z4/18.4 miles/18.4MPH/70 degrees. This one went off without  a hitch luckily, and I averaged about 20.3 for the interval parts of the ride.

Wednesday swim/run. 60 minute swim/ 2500 yards. Not a SNAFU for me personally this week, but many others got their swims cut due to chemical issues at the YMCA pool. Considering they wake up before 5 am for this swim, I could definitely sympathize. 60 minute run with 1x 7.5 min Z4/ 6.39 miles/9:39 average/82 degrees.  Its sad when its been so warm out that 82 “feels like” 88 feels relatively cool. We missed the group pic but I took a couple at recovery drinks (and food, of course) to make up for it.

Thursday ride/run quick change. 46 minute ride/14.27 miles/18.4MPH/75 degrees. 14 minute run/1.48 miles/9:27 average/75 degrees. 

Friday long run. 75 minute run/7.33 miles/10:14 average/73 degrees. I really tried to keep this run at high Zone 1/low Zone 2. I managed to do pretty well until the last mile and a half or so and then I got annoyed and started speeding up a little. I’m going to need to practice more self control for race day here.

Saturday long ride. 3.5 hour ride/61.3 miles/17.4MPH/73 degrees at start. So the group decided to start this ride at 6am in hopes that we could beat some of the heat at the end. Great in theory, not so great in practice, at least not this time. Someone fell before we even left. 5 minutes in and someone had a flat.  20 minutes later someones bike was making a whistling noise. 20 minutes (ish) after that, someone had TWO flats (pothole). All together we ended up with 5 flat tires (among 3 people), 3 falls (myself included), a dropped chain, a funny whistling noise, a bee sting, a overheated rider and a partridge in a pear tree.


My seat issue still isn’t solved, and I was hungry an hour into the ride so going liquid only isn’t going to work so well.

Sunday. rest day. Took the twins to Hilton Head to meet up with an old college roommate.

Total Training Time:  10 hours 45 minutes

Training Thoughts: Oy Vey. (I said this Saturday and someone said they hadn’t heard it said in a very long time haha)

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