Sunday, December 27, 2009

love this.

If you haven't heard...I'm gettin' married. This seemed appropriate to post!


Thursday, December 3, 2009


why do I let the small things get to me? why?

ok, that's all.

Friday, November 27, 2009

12 hours and 49 minutes make this Ironman

ok, I am going to keep this as short as possible for you all but hopefully give you a good picture into what November 22 was for me. So, let's start at the very beginning.

Wake up at 3AM and get in my 1500 calories. Oatmeal, eggs, fruit, smoothie, pankcakes....anything to get the calories in to set me up for a great day and with my stomach on full. (but not too full)

I then got the drop off from Mz. Fuller at race site so I wouldn't have to walk far. Sammy went with me and we first dropped a few last minute things at my Transition bags, then time to go put air in the tires and pull all nutrition on the bike. This is where something small went wrong. I went to fill up the front tire and air wouldn't go in. As I reached down to make sure the pump was tight enough, my valve extender came off. As I had had very little experience with this, I went over to Sammy at the fence. He couldn't get it back on. (here you can insert tears, a bit of freaking out and then a rush over to the mechanics) I had a wonderful mechanic who took a valve extender off his bike (he wasn't racing) and then put in a new tube for peace of mind, filled up my tire and sent me on my way. I was still worried about that tire, but had to try and put it behind me.

After some deep breathing and some apologizing to Sammy for my freak out (as you can imagine...he felt horrible) I went to make one last stop at the bathroom, stuffed myself in my wetsuit and said my goodbye's to Sammy. I went to the water and waited until the last possible minute to get in the 63 degree water.

The SWIM. It was cold, treading water for 10 minutes in cold water was not fun. I didn't set myself up at the start the right way and so I got a bit off course. I had a rather large cramp in my left calf near the turnaround and had to hang onto a canoe for about 3 minutes. I still swam a 1:20....but I am capable of a 1:10. oh well, must continue the race and shake it off.

This was the best part of my day and I was secretly hoping it would be. When my stress fractures happened in late June and I was left to swimming and biking, I didn't miss a bike workout. No matter what I did not miss my long bikes on the weekends, and I didn't miss the smaller trainer rides that build strength. (I once had to do 2.5 hours on a bike in a hotel fitness center, but I did it) Biking was my weakness at CdA last year and I desperately wanted a better time. In AZ, it is a 3 loop course and so my plan was to be steady and to drink eat, drink. The course in AZ is deceiving in that it is a false flat on the way out and then a speedy entry back into town. Plus, you are guaranteed some wind at some point and we did have our fair share of that. I ate and drank everything on the plan and ended up with a 6:09 bike split. (18.2 mph avg) This is one hour off my bike time from CdA...yes, I said one hour. Apparently, the work I had put in showed up that day! (I did not know this during the race as I did not wear a watch)

The RUN. This part of the IM is what I was most worried about. I had been booted for stress fractures in July/August and was not able to start running any distance until late September when I raced 70.3 Augusta. I had to trust my base training from the winter as I had run 5 Half Marathons. I also had to start aqua jogging, which was not even close to fun. As I took off on the first loop of the run, I actually felt really good and avg'd 10 minute miles, the second loop I felt good as well and avg'd 10:30 miles. A little bit of a slow down but that was ok. Then near the end of the second loop I had an intense throbbing in my left foot, the foot I had injured. My foot was swelling as I had to have people untie and re-tie my shoes 3 times during the final loop. At this point, I knew I could do 8 miles and it felt easier to run than to walk. I pushed on keeping Des's spirit with me. I saw her right before my final 5 miles and that was all I needed....I could do this, I could finish. Crazy enough I ended up with an 11:37 mph average on the CdA I did a 10:37 mph average, so with the injury I wasn't too far off!

As I approached mile 25 I was overwhelmed with the day and how it had gone. At this point I didn't know times as I had raced without a watch. I didn't know a PR was in my grasp, I just knew I couldn't run more than one more mile. So I turned the corner to the Finish and grabbed my niece's hand. As I crossed under and a volunteer took me...she said, Congrat's! You did it under 13 hours! I said...WHAT? and looked behind at the clock seeing 12:49. A 25 minute PR? Is that possible? Is that what I had done? Yes. I fought for it though. I fought hard that day.

It was a great day for Ironman #2....and crazy enough, I can't wait for Ironman #3! (but not until 2011 folks!) Whose IN?

**I will post pictures from this day very soon, I am just waiting for friends to pass them onto me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So thankful. So blessed.

The first of many posts friends and acquired followers. I am headed back on the plane and trying to write down my thoughts from Ironman AZ this past weekend. I didn’t think that the first IM could ever be topped, but this one certainly came darn close. It seemed appropriate in the week of Thanksgiving that this post would thank those that got me to November 22nd, 2009.

Much like the Oscars, if I didn’t mention him first, people would think we were in trouble. Sammy Legge. He played the amazing role of supportive and loving boyfriend + bike mechanic for the second year in a row. Last year we had only been dating about 6 weeks before CdA and so I thought he was just trying to impress me, but no, he was even better this time around.

There were many nights he got my bike ready for a long ride the very next day and many times I would come back from a work trip and he had cleaned, upgraded or simply tuned up my ride. I have to thank him as well for allowing me to attach onto his wheel for a few rides. I trained many miles on my own for this one and so it was nice for him to join me every now and again when his schedule allowed. Let’s remember folks, Sam is wicked fast on the bike, so riding with me is not even close to a workout for him.

It was also an amazing treat to have him with me in AZ! He cheered me on, kept me calm, dealt with my ever-changing mood swings, helped my sister and her family find me on the course, made sure I was getting rest leading up to race day and then helping me walk up and down stairs post race day. I think I will keep him! (I also think he is very happy that I am not signing up for an IM in 2010. And that is a promise. Notice I did not say NEVER….just not in 2010!)

To my Des- I know it wasn’t an easy decision to come and watch the race we had signed up to do together, but it was amazing to see you after my first loop on the bike and then when it all started to hurt. Thanks for cheering, slapping body glide where my tri top was chafing, and for tying my shoes because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get back up! Most importantly, thanks for fighting for a second time. Many lives are better with you in it and I know that there were days where fighting seemed futile. Thanks for honesty with me in the midst of all that! Love you lady!

My sister Shannon and family- I can’t believe the timing of it all. I really didn’t think about it one year ago that you might be in AZ for Thanksgiving week and then it just worked out. I am so glad that you got to see a piece of what I love doing. Well more than a piece, 12 hours worth to be exact! What a special memory to run with my sweet niece, Phoebe, through the Finish Line! That will be with me for a very long time! I certainly wish we lived closer but the times I do get to see you are always worth it!

Mz. Fuller- you are the ultimate cheer leader and friend. Thanks for always offering rescue and support during long rides on the weekend. Thanks for always calling to see how my workouts were going. Thanks for your prayers, humor and concern. Thanks for stopping in to take Eloise out when I needed to get in a second workout and couldn’t make it to her. Thanks for traveling to AZ and being out there to scream and yell! The list could go on….you are such a self-less person and I am so blessed to have you.

Juanita (imagine me saying this as Espanol as I can get) I love it that you live your life with such adventure! Thank you for coming to AZ and joining in on the fun.

Steve Hed- thanks for the amazing HED wheels. It was great to race with such sparkle and flair! I did take an hour off my bike time from last year so I am guessing you know what you are doing. It was a gift I was not expecting and one that I deeply appreciate.

Chrissie (aka Coach Pain)- For the second year in a row you made me feel like a rockstar in the pool and in all aspects of training! You are a great encouragement and a good friend. I know good things are coming for you.

The guys at Jack & Adams-
always there with a word of encouragement. For the help with Tri Bike Transport and the BEST races in the South!
Texas Iron-
For the second year in a row, your schedule guided me through to a great Finish. I wish I could have come to more group trainings but the monthly schedule you provided me was PERFECT for someone that travels a lot. I highly suggest this group for some great training and schedules you can keep forever.

And finally I would like to thank those that I sponsor financially: Ironman North America (race entry fee), Zoot Wetsuits, Louie Garneau bike shorts, Asics shoes, Nike socks and various apparel, Hammer products..... Without mine and several other triathletes money, you would not eat, sleep or be able to clothe yourselves.

Don’t you worry friends, a more extensive race report with pictures to follow but for now. I am so thankful and hungry.

(for those that might not have seen last years report, you can go here to read. This will get you set up for this years report to follow)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

so different second time around

I am sitting at home and just finished packing for Ironman Arizona. Just a few last minute things to throw in my suitcase. Crazy but I can't stop thinking about this weekend and how different it all is. Don't get me wrong, I didn't expect to replicate the first Ironman experience as that 140.6 miles was about me and doing something for myself that I wanted to conquer. I also went and raced with a group of first-time friends. Having Noah and Ed last year in CdA was by all means....some serious hilarity! This time I carry my friend Des with me across the Finish Line, and not in a "sad, she needs my help" kind of way. I just take her with me.

I think about her contacting me last November to sign up with her for 2009. We would celebrate her 40th birthday and her 2 year cancerversary Then January, I got the call. The cancer has returned. I will be getting a stem cell transplant at some point along with more treatment. She didn't say it at that point, but I knew, No Ironman for Des this year. My first thought to be honest, was to totally bail on the race as well. But I couldn't. I wanted to finish what WE had started. You see, Desiree is this special friend and complete bad-ass all in the same sentence. When I met her a few years ago, we simply connected and the memories I have with her up to this point, remain intact. Bike rides, coffee, glasses of wine, walks, runs, camping, one early trip to Houston and one late drive back on the same day. We even share those moments of silence where we simply don't need to say anything because sometimes we all just need a friend that let's us be quiet about it all.

I think Desiree and I have had this unspoken rule that I won't bring up her cancer unless she does. I mean, the cancer is not truly who she is. She is a wife, mother of 3 amazing kids, creative thinker, has great taste in music, has taught me forgiveness and grace...and oh yeah a Boston Marathon Qualifier, Half Ironman Finisher....and now, 2x cancer survivor. Cancer has never changed the core of who she is, one of the kindest people I have ever met. Always looking out for others before herself and walks through life with total humility. (by the way, she will KILL me for publicly writing this) She doesn't know it but those early morning walks we had a handful of times during the last couple of months really meant so much to me. She thought it was getting in the way of my training, but actually it slowed me down. It caused me to live in the moment, and i need that pull back. I am turbo, to the max and those walks with Des were therapeutic and honest.

I guess maybe this post has gotten completely off track from what I intended, or maybe not. About one month ago, Des showed up at the LIVESTRONG Challenge in Austin to run the 5k. This would be the first time she had run any kind of distance post-treatment. As I waited at the Finish Line for her, I was hoping I had not missed her in the Survivor Shoot. And then I saw her. I saw her running towards me and will never forget that moment when she grabbed me at the Finish Line and well, we had a total girly, emotional moment full of tears. It was more than worth it. We both laugh how we have told so many about it, but honestly you really had to be there. And I guess you have had to be along for the journey. The picture below is from the Finish Line. I was so glad someone caught that moment.

I guess here is how it all wraps up into how this is different this time. November 22 is about finishing 140.6 for myself and Des. (she wouldn't let me do it for just her) And when it gets tough, I will channel that hug at the Finish Line, and know I can move through just about anything.

I carry my dear friend Des with me in total strength and Des, if you read all the way to the bottom.....when you are ready, I will be back to take on an Ironman WITH YOU. Your day will come, I completely believe that.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


So I woke up and got the email that my Bib # had been assigned for Ironman AZ on November 22. Yes, friends it's almost over and so the constant chatter and obsession is as well. Hang in there with me for a few more weeks. My Bib # is 2380...I instantly thought...well, Michael Jordan was a childhood hero, in fact, I found my first hat I ever owned in a box recently, and it was a Chicago Bulls 23 is MJ's number and then 80...well, who can resist a good 80s jam? not me!! In fact the 80s accompanied me through a few bike trainer sessions and so 2380 seems fitting to me.

All day my brain has been reeling over Sunday, November 22. I have had many folks ask me...are you ready? are you excited? how do you feel? what time do you think you will do it in? The questions are a bit much right now, because in the taper you have too much time to think. So here are those answers...Colleen style.

Are you ready? Well, I sure hope so friends. I mean, if I'm not, we will see on that day. I know my work travel has been insane, but I have stayed as true to my schedule as possible. There were many long runs done on tread mills and many long bikes done on cheezy hotel bikes in workout rooms...all for the love of this damn sport. i feel ready, but i also have fears that are different from my first Ironman last year. There is more pressure. Will I PR? Will I do my nutrition as perfectly as I did one year ago? Will my mental toughness take over again? Who the hell knows...I am going to approach that day with as little expectations as possible. I am racing this one for me and my friend Desiree who can't join me for this Ironman (I believe she will have her day at some point, but cancer returned for a second time and so she is fighting a much harder fight)

Are you excited? Um,, not right now. I am trying to relax after some stressful work weekends and I am trying to get my bike and bike bag ready for Tri Bike Transport. I am not excited for 140.6 miles of pain...however, next week will be a different answer I hope.

How do you feel? I feel tired but I also feel strong. I had one of best long runs this past weekend and I desperately needed that. I ran 5 miles before the Run for the Water started. Then as I got to the 10 miler that goes through some hilly terrain, I thought...ok, 1 hour 30 minutes is what I would love to see. I clocked in at 1:29:57 folks! What was even better is as I checked my results..I ran a 9:14 first half and an 8:46 second half. My run this season has been different for me with my stress fracture injuries. Could it be though that I am peaking at just the right time? i will choose to say YES! I have not had very many long runs but I think I have had just enought that 26.2 will be there on November 22. Which is fine, that's when I need the leg strength to show up.

What time do you think you will do it in? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! you thought I was going to answer that one? nope. I won't. i know I can and will finish this race....or I will come close to die trying. I will race without my watch (again) and trust by body and how I feel during the day.

2380 folks. November 22, 2009. 140.6 miles. Bring it!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

As we go, as as we go.....

Well, time has passed yet again and rather than another apology I will tell you all what is coming up for the next few, five weeks or so. Tomorrow I head to go race this beast...

That's right a friendly little 1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike and then a 13.1 mile know, a regular day at the office. huh? ok, not really, but this is just a training race for me leading up to Ironman Arizona in 2 stinkin' months. That's right, where has the time gone. This is a race to really get the nutrition right, hammer out those miles and have fun while doing it. I also am racing where my folks live, which will be fun. It's kinda like a hometown crowd, sort of. I didn't grow up there, but at least my folks can see why I love this crazy sport of Triathlon....they've never seen me, one of these.

After that I will return to good old Austin, TX and get myself ready for Austin City Limits, where I will work in a 90 mile ride and long run plus going to see some really great music. This will be my first year without my partner in crime, Stephanie, as we partied it up at the last few ACLs. Alas, she is getting ready for wife-dom and planning a wedding next month, so she is not able to rock her face off with me this year. Hopefully, it can return another year. Sam will be joining me this year and so it will be fun to have a weekend with him.

Then some work trips come my way, Chicago, NYC, LIVESTRONG Challenge in Austin. All good things to wrap up a really incredible year at LIVESTRONG. I love this next month as it has two of my favorite marathons with the Team and our hometown Challenge event. It's not too late to sign up!

One of the best parts of the last few weeks is I was able to sing at Gateway Church. I have really missed singing in the busyness of the season, so it was great to re-connect with people at church and get some time using my gift of singing. I am back in a few weeks....and then will probably not be back until December. gotta find a way to sing more. maybe that's a goal for 2010.

I hope to maybe take some time on this blog to let you all know what I am learning about myself in the midst of some big and small changes.

as promises on that happening.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Shasheen Kudasai!!!

The translation above is Picture Please!! (a little of my Japanese for you) Here are some lovely pictures from the travels of the last few weeks.

me and my niece phoebe...shade shopping

I get out of car and my sister and I dressed exactly alike


me and Jan, the bride. great weekend

Hood to Coast- take 2!

I got back last night from Portland and a really amazing weekend at the Hood to Coast event. This was the second time Team LIVESTRONG took on this 197 mile relay. To read more about the Team experience, you can go to the LIVESTRONG blog Mr. Tom Whiteside, a new LIVESTRONG employee wrote a wonderful blog on this great experience. I think the best way to do this event is to NOT know those who are going to be in your van. It's the second year we have done that and its worked out beautifully both years! I mean, do you really have 11 other friends you could spend 17+ hours with while running across Oregon and then add in sleep deprivation? In fact, we witnessed some teams that had some not so nice confrontations. not with Team LIVESTRONG, it's complete love and friendly competition.

Speaking of competition...the numbers don't lie, so rather than you searching on the site, I will just post for you all to see.

Livestrong1 27:29:14
Livestrong2 28:42:01
Livestrong3 29:43:59

yes, you guessed it. I was on LIVESTRONG 1. And we totally rocked it. Ok, the other 11 folks rocked it. I showed up with a stress fracture and muddled my way through 14 miles. But we still won with 11.5 runners.

Next up...Austin Triathlon this coming weekend.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stay tuned for that....

I am finally getting a few moments to myself in Peet's Coffee in Portland to sit down and catch you all up on life in Austin and all around the US. I wish I had downloaded some pictures from my camera to post here, but maybe next month as we all know I am just not consistent right now in this blogging world. I am going to be posting a job description later for a full time assistant. Basically you will follow me around and will write down my thoughts and random musings and then come back and hit the blog for me. I mean...all 6 of my followers miss me, horribly.

Here is the update on all things Wilson.

The injury. I won't lie, it's frustrating and I am listening to my Dr. I mean who invented stress fractures? How is it that this little tiny break causes such an annoyance in my foot. Plus, you know me...go big or go home right? I manage to get a stress fracture in the ONE place on the foot where there is minimal blood flow which means healing takes FOREVER. I stayed in le boot for the 5 weeks as the Dr. said, went back and he said try some small runs, no longer than 3 miles, and work in the elliptical machine. I did that. It hurts again. I am back at the Dr. next week for some more x-rays to see if this IM is even possible. I might go and swim, bike my little heart out and hop on one leg for 26.2 miles. Stay tuned for that.

Training despite the injury. I could most certainly swim 2.4 tomorrow. I could bike 112 no problem as my cycling miles are up. I have had a small lapse here in August with traveling but September will be a huge month for me as I am HOME IN AUSTIN FOR 26 CONSECUTIVE DAYS. (Sam won't know what to do) It's the run that I am scared about the most. Aqua jogging for 2 hours, 45 minutes has been the longest yet and THANK GOD for Barton Springs or I wouldn't have all those folks to people watch and soak up the senseless gossip. If I choose to race AZ, it will be an interesting day, which is sad because I want another amazing day like in Idaho, so I am not sure what to do. Stay tuned for that.

Travels I have had many. This year due to my job promotion I have gone to all 4 LIVESTRONG Challenges. It has been crazy busy and amazing. We just finished up the 3rd city in the Series, Philadephia. Before that weekend though I got to see my dear friend, Janette get married to Joe Obermueller. They were married in Gettysburg, PA and it was an amazing weekend of seeing some folks I really love from Orlando, (vernon and connie rainwater, todd and beki herrbach, john and debbie blahnik, stephen and leanna those folks) and then catch up with some friends of Jan's in CA (shout out to my roomie, Dorothy) The wedding festivites kicked off with the J&J Big Day 5k, an unofficial/official 5k on the battlefields of Gettysburg. To date, my favorite 5k of all times. Jan's wedding was perfect and celebratory and her parents really put on a great festive party. Oh, and I realized I want a lake house. (Sam, see what you can work out) I will post pictures of that at some point. no promises. stay tuned for that.

After Gettysburg, it was FAMILY TIME!!! I headed down to Virginia and got in some snuggles with my sister's 3 kiddos. The time went by quickly, but I just love it when I get to head to VA and see them. I absolutely dig being an Aunt.

Before Philly I made a brief stop at the Satola household. This family rocks as they helped with the cost of my trip by allowing me to use an extra car they had for the week AND I crashed at their house the night before I headed to Philly for the Challenge. THANK AGAIN Satola' rock. Brian works for the Ulman Cancer Fund in Baltimore, MD. They are doing a Half IM next year called Half Full Tri. Stay tuned for that.

Philly Challenge was such a great weekend. 6500 participants, raising $3.4 million dollars. If you don't know Team Fatty, please go here. Getting to meet Elden Nelson, seeing him talk about the recent passing of his wife but also witnessing the way this man has engaged THOUSANDS of people with one voice and one blog is pretty darn amazing. He said it best when he spoke at our dinner on Saturday night...."do what you love and then make a difference with that." I can't wait to see him again in Austin for the Challenge as Team Fatty goes after raising $1 million dollars over 4 LIVESTRONG Challenges this year. The other plus was I got to meet Ethan Zohn of Survivor Africa (the winner of the Million in fact) as he was our Keynote Speaker at the dinner. I don't know if you know this. I love Survivor and I really liked Ethan when he was on Survivor.

Now, I am in Portland for Hood to Coast....197 miles...the mother of all relays. Don't ask me if I am running until AFTER this weekend. I am not going to answer that now...stay tuned for that. Team LIVESTRONG has 3 teams and we have raised $50k with this event. It's our second year back and we are going to ROCK THIS.

As much as I am bed sick and ready to be back in my own digs for some time....I truly cannot complain. I am living a great life. I get to go all over, meet amazing people in the fight on cancer and watch the grassroots movement of LIVESTRONG grow. In three job rocks.

I am blessed and hope I don't lose sight of that when things get difficult or when it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I promise I will post pictures at some point in the next year.....stay tuned for that.

Friday, August 21, 2009


So the last time I blogged I was in San Jose for the I am in Philadelphia and it is the middle of August. Where does the time go? How come I can't seem to sit down for 30 minutes every now and again to write on this thing? I have had so many good adventures since last time I wrote....I hope to update all of this in the next know in between Philadelphia and Portland and....oh wait, time to go to the LIVESTRONG Village....hopefully I will be back this afternoon???

Monday, July 13, 2009

Do you know the San Jose?

Ok so in RENT it's Santa Fe....but I was in San Jose for the weekend with LIVESTRONG Challenge. It was a good time....I blogged for livestrong today. Check it out!!


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Swim, Bike & Aquajog?

Yes, that is singular shoe. I got a new boot today and it isn't a new pair of Cowboy boots....

I had been having some pain in my feet during running so I finally went and got the x-ray today. I have a small stress fracture on my left foot on the outside. One of the toughest places to get a stress fracture becaue blood circulation is low I am booted up for 3 weeks which means no running or only aqua jogging.

I am not sure I will be quite this svelt in the water...and I may begin to drink heavily because of it....but I will listen because I really want to do this Ironman in November. I can swim, I can bike and I can aquajog. Stay tuned for what I believe will be some really good posts.

Monday, July 6, 2009

oh how I wish TX were a little closer....

My sister has been sending some great summer kids pictures of my niece and are some of the latest. I don't usually post pictures up of her kids, but they are too darn cute and I needed to share. My nephew, Zeke, made the all-star team and so these are of the fun games the family got to attend. What out Major Leagues!! I am glad I will get a week with them in August, as I am the bad aunt and don't get to visit much. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fartlek Tuesday

You know kinda like Fat Tuesday....but not really. Funny that only in Ironman training would you run a Half marathon as a training run on Saturday and be back at it by Tuesday. I recently read someone's race report from their IM and they wrote, "Over the course of the next two years, I set small goals (like running a marathon) to ensure I learned how to run long distances." Small goals like a marathon? Us IM folks are not right. I listened to folks on Saturday morning before the half marathon who had this half as their A race, and I thought...that is so cute!! (and I had a small amount of jealousy)

You might be asking..what is a Fartlek? I imagine saying something to my niece and nephew's while visiting...I am going to run some Fartlek's and they go...ewwwwwwwwww!! For those that want some learning on this fine Tuesday night, let's look at our good friend Wikipedia. Fartlek, which means "speed play" in Swedish, is a form of conditioning which puts stress mainly on the aerobic energy system due to the continuous nature of the exercise. The difference between this type of training and continuous training is that the intensity or speed of the exercise varies, meaning that aerobic and anaerobic systems can be put under stress. Most fartlek sessions last a minimum of 45 minutes and can vary from aerobic walking to anaerobic sprinting. Fartlek training is generally associated with running, but can include almost any kind of exercise.

Oh how I wish my workout was aerobic walking....

I did my 15 minute warm up, feeling a bit tight in the legs and then proceeded on to the meat of the workout:

6 min, 4 min, 2 min, 5 min, 3 min, 1 min. All of these are done full out, sprinting, trying to keep the same pace up for each one...but ALL OUT. If you left your heart and lungs at the workout, you have done it correctly. The rest was 2 minutes in between each hard set. Trust me, 2 minutes goes by rather quickly.

After that I did an easy 15 minute cool down of running and a bit of walking to bring the heart rate down.

Crazy enough, I felt good and that was even after a 3400m swim in the AM!! I kept a really consistent pace and my final 1 minute was a tad stronger and faster than the first set. Yes, it was hot outside, but I really tried to block that out.

Ironman training, month #2 is starting out pretty awesome! I am looking forward to this weekend as I have Friday off so I am going to ride for a couple of hours that day, Sam and I are going to ride on July 4th for about 5 hours and then I have a small brick to do on Sunday!! It's gonna rock...and I don't care if it's hot, this month is about the bike with the Tour de France, 442 miles at RAGBRAI and LIVESTRONG Challenge San Jose!

Racing Against Cancer

new Nike Lance commercial. it rocks.

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

9 Days in Seattle

I left last Friday, June 19th and I am now sitting in San Jose waiting to board my final plane back to Austin. Seattle was a great place to visit and I got to see some really wonderful friends and their new babies, but I am very glad to return to Austin. (Even if it is 106 degrees!!)

My first weekend consisted of my first travel trip for LIVESTRONG Challenge. It went really well as this was our first time in Seattle, having 2600 participants in either a 5k or a bike ride, raising $1 million dollars (and still going up!!).

Then Monday hit, and I slept a bit and met up with some good friends from my days in O-town. Azurae Phelps and Arleigh Willis and the Phelp's new little girl, Juniper! It was really good seeing them and laughing...and of course getting the best recommendations for food in the city. Arleigh even helped me out as she does the no dairy and raw foods thing and so she guided me in the right direction (and not once did she steer me wrong!!)

On Wednesday I boarded the 1 hour ferry to Bremerton, where I got to visit my dear friend Hope and her family. They recently had their second boy, Zephan. The last big adventure that Hope and I had was pre-kids and family when I visited her in Indonesia and she toured me around Bali. I love that girl and we don't get to see each other often, but it makes me feel good that she allowed me a few nights on comfort in their own while dealing with a newborn! Much love Hope, can't wait for my next visit.

Thursday began the second part of my work for the 42 runners came to Seattle to run the Rock n Roll marathon (inaugural). This team has raised about 40k in the fight on cancer and it was such a joy to meet them face to face and continue to hear their stories! I seriously can't believe this is my job sometimes! I travel to great cities, engage and connect with wonderful volunteers of LIVESTRONG and as I did in this event...get the chance to participate and run a little 13.1 mile race!

Race day was Saturday, June 27 and as I headed to the start line to meet some team members, the weather couldn't be more perfect. I have to say, racing in the Northwest is pretty much perfection in the summer! It was about 60 degrees out and the sun was going to be out, perfect for a girl whose last long runs were in 95+ weather and I was sweating by the time I put my first foot out of the door!

As always, I had a plan with this race. To be smart, it wasn't an A race by any means, it was a training run. uh huh, tell that to this type A personality who secretly thought I could posssibly PR. With two days on my feet at the Expo and not much rest time during the week as I did my normal IM workouts that I feet did not show up. I first 4 miles were glorious and the last 9 were so painful that I contemplated jumping off the final overpass we had to run on to the finish. I know, dramatic, but what can I say? that's me. I tried talking my legs to coming back for a decent pace, but there was no PR in site even at the half way mark. I was pretty upset with myself and then I remembered one of my quotes sitting on my desk..."I have failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed." I gotta brush that one off and be proud that I stayed on track with IM training while in a city when that wasn't easy...I even got 2 swims in this week!! One month down on my way to Ironman AZ...

so happy to return to Austin to my own bed, my sweet dog, Sam and friends!!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

week #3....IM training and thinking back

Well, this week's workouts were all tough, especially in this lingering 100+ degree heat. here is what has happened since Sunday...

Monday- FULL DAY OFF!!! and yes, I fully enjoyed this
Tuesday- 3400 m swim in the AM, Splash n Dash in the PM...had a swim PR of almost 1 minute which is what I wanted since last month I did not show up for the swim as normal.
Wednesday- Crossfit, 545 AM, 6x 1 mile repeats at a Half Marathon pace in the PM. (what I celebrated was my last mile was 10 seconds faster than the first!!)
Thursday- 3400 m swim in the AM brick workout in the PM, I did a 5 minute warm up. 20 minutes on the trainer, 1 mile run, 15 minutes on the trainer, 3/4 mile run, 10 minutes on the trainer, 1/2 mile run. (this workout felt good and I felt strong...but super tired at the end.

I have tomorrow off as I travel to Seattle for LIVESTRONG Challenge. I don't plan on getting in a workout but hope to get in a run Saturday morning as I know Sunday will be a wash for workouts since that is event day.

I am not worried as it's still early in IM training and I made my workouts really count this past week. Next weekend I will run the 1/2 marathon at the Seattle Rock n Roll with 42 other folks on Team LIVESTRONG. The goal is NOT to PR this half but to run a solid even pace the entire time and have a good training run. This is not my A race by any means.

This weekend is pretty key for me as I keep going back to my Ironman weekend one year ago. It is crazy to think I was meeting up with my girls from Florida as they celebrated me crossing the line hearing those words...."YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!" If you didn't see the post from last it HERE. and I have to post this picture it is my favorite. The girls that would walk through fire for me and traveled to celebrate a dream conquered! Look for some updates from Seattle....

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Colleen on a hot tin roof....104 degrees to be exact.

So week #2 of official IM training consisted of some rather high temperatures with workouts. I even found getting up early did not suffice at this what I have to look forward to? Here was the run down with temperatures when applicable:

Monday- 545 AM Crossfit
Tuesday- 545 AM swim and 40 mile bike ride
Wednesday- 545 AM Crossfit and a 45 minute Fartlek Run (104 degrees!!!! what the....)
Thursday- 545 AM swim and Texas Iron mini-tri (see below) 99 degrees!!!
Friday- 545 AM Crossfit
Saturday- 80 mile bike ride, 101 degrees at the hottest point...and I started at 615 AM and finished at 11 AM...yes 101 degrees.
Sunday- 1 hr easy run in the AM, 30 min easy swim and 30 min run in the afternoon...100 degrees.

This kind of heat is not supposed to be upon us until August...I don't know if you have ever been around the sweat glands of Colleen Wilson (thanks Dad) but they are not pretty. When I finished my short workouts I looked like I had been in the pool. It's going to be a long, hot, summer.....

This week I am off to Seattle for work which means cooler, MUCH cooler temps! LIVESTRONG Challenge and Rock n Roll Half Marathon...I will be running the Half...a nice, easy 9 min mile pace...not going for a PR, just trying to survive it all.

I have to get creative with workouts the 10 days I am traveling in terms of bike workouts. I found a local YMCA that I am going to have a week pass to, that should help. Not stressed though, I just put in two good and hard weeks and so I can really recover during my time away...

I will be back on the bike July 4th....with a 90 mile ride!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mansfield Dam- most favorite mini-tri!!

So last night is a workout I won't ever try to miss with Texas Iron on Thursday nigts. What I love about the Thursday night workouts is they switch every week keeping it fresh for those of us with a long training season ahead of them. I ventured out to Mansfield Dam around 530, this time with camera as last year I was upset it wasn't documented. We bring everything for this workout since we swim, bike and run. Some of you that know Austin are do you do the bike portion? Where do you run? Well...we go to Mansfield Park and we set up a bike trainer for the bike portion. Hop out the water, onto our bike trainer, Jamie Cleveland then tells us when we are done on the bike and head up onto a 1.5 mile run along this sidewalk...going as hard as you possibly can. It's my favorite. We go through the circuit twice. The scenery is amazing and it always kicks my a good way of course!

Here are some pictures so you can see what I mean....

Jamie waiting for us to come out of the water

group shot on the trainers...can't beat the scenery!!

me working super hard

another group shot, and a beautiful sky!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Meghan's Story

This is Meghan B. I really wish all of you could meet her because she is worth sharing with others. Her friendship is a truly beautiful thing and I love it when her and I get a moment to sit and chat, which isn't enough...but this will give you a glimpse of how real this lady is. Her candid talk on cancer and faith and suffering is worth the watch completely...completely.

Meghan's Story with "This Road" from Northland Media Design on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


National Cancer Survivor's all bless my life richly. here's a song and a tribute...keep on, keepin' on!!

Thomas (my brother) and myself.

Now that you are out of my life,
I'm so much better,
You thought that I'd be weak without ya,
But I'm stronger,
You thought that I'd be broke without ya,
But I'm richer,
You thought that I'd be sad without ya,
I laugh harder,
You thought I wouldn't grow without ya,
Now I'm wiser,
You thought that I'd be helpless without ya,
But I'm smarter,
You thought that I'd be stressed without ya,
But I'm chillin'

meghan brennan

I'm a survivor,
I'm not gonna give up,
I'm not gon' stop,
I'm gonna work harder,
I'm a survivor,
I'm gonna make it,
I will survive,
Keep on survivin',
I'm a survivor,
I'm not gonna give up,
I'm not gon' stop,
I'm gonna work harder,
I'm a survivor,
I'm gonna make it,
I will survive,
Keep on survivin.

robin grasso, (in the front)!!

Thought I couldn't breathe without you,
I'm inhalin'
You thought I couldn't see without you,
Perfect vision,
You thought I couldn't last without ya,
But I'm lastin'
You thought that I would die without ya,
But I'm livin'
Thought that I would fail without ya,
But I'm on top,
Though it would be over by now,
But it won't stop,
You thought that I would self-destruct,
But I'm still here,
Even in my years to come,
I'm still gon' be here.

meg brown

I'm a survivor,
I'm not gonna give up,
I'm not gon' stop,
I'm gonna work harder

week one....are you kidding???

I guess I forgot. I forgot how early the mornings are and i forgot how tiring it can all be. Last year I used Ironman training as an escape from my job (it was pre-LAF) because I was really unhappy in my work environment. Its not the same, work is really feeding my soul and keeping me really busy so to fit in the trainings is tough. Here is a rundown of the workouts week #1.

Crossfit, wake up 5 AM, one hour strength training
Tuesday- Swimming, wake up 5 AM, 3200 m and in the evening a 75 minute ride working intervals.
Wednesday- Crossfit, wake up 5 AM, one hour strength training + a 5k run at the end.
Thursday- Swimming, wake up 5 AM, 3000m and Time Trial on the Bike in the PM.
Friday- Crossfit, wake up 5 AM, one hour strength training. At 1030, a one hour tempo run.
Saturday- 4 hr bike ride to San Marcos, 30 minute run. (5 AM wake up, 6 AM start)
Sunday- 1.5 hr run, 30 min. recovery swim....

Right now I am sitting on my couch, feet up and planning week #2. Only like 23 more weeks of training for IM Arizona to go.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

Carbon Crazy!!! I recently got myself a new road bike. It's last years model, Felt FC, my first ALL CARBON Bike. (I don't have a picture to share here BUT trust me...Sam did this one right. I got SRAM components and its light as a feather) I am now considering an all carbon Tri bike. Don't get me wrong..My Felt S22 I have right now is sweet and has been very good to me. It's partial carbon and has Durace on it. I have coasted through 6 Half Ironman's and 1 Full Ironman with her..picture below.

But the ALL carbon ride is too sweet for words at this point. Too sweet. Now here is what I have my eye on...

If this happens to show up before my Ironman in November...don't be too surprised, because I am in love with this new Tri ride. I have a serious problem.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Two Months...Missing

Where in the heck did two months go? I mean, its not like I was

or sick
or working
or broken-hearted
or sad for family struggling with health
or dealing with my own personal health scare
or watching my friend battle for a second time
or placing 3rd in my age group in a tri (20th overall)
or training for the Seattle Rock n Roll Half Marathon
or training for RAGBRAI, 442 mile bike ride in July
or hiring Tom Whiteside at the LAF
or trying to figure out how to train for my second Ironman with a heck of a lot of travel this summer and fall.
or seeing my best friend lose her dog of 14 years
or started going to Crossfit Classes 3 days a week (you should see my triceps)
or ending my life as a full time bike commuter and buying a car
or getting a sweet new road bike (full carbon and SRAM)
or celebrating a few friends 30th birthdays (old bitches)
or going to a rockin' Indigo Girls show

oh wait...that is EXACTLY what I was doing the last 2 months. Actually it hasn't been all that bad, but I have been out of sorts and very disconnected to my good friend, mr. blog. And I know at least one person has missed me (Brian).

So i will attempt to be back. The crazy thing is I am learning so much, actually too much these days I don't know where to begin. I have written a lot in my journal the last few months but you don't post those things on a BLOG??? you keep all those things private until you die so your genius can make someone else very rich, right?

too much in brain means nothing seems to come I will try to pull the creative noodles from my brain and be back to inspire you all. All 3 of you that follow me that is.

i feel mostly like I need to escape. in a quiet, serene vacation somewhere. I believe art happens when people escape and maybe I am needing to connect to that part of self. i need to sit with my dusty....ok, VERY dusty guitar and just play. I have always thought work hard. play harder....however right now, it is quite the reverse. I am working harder than ever and just playing when I come up for air.

This week started Ironman training...with the schedule in hand and I am already making adjustments 3 days in. good times. Let's hope the flat-er course in AZ will still warrant a decent PR for me on November 22. I can't believe one year ago I was in top shape 3 weeks away from my first Ironman. Doesn't seem right.

Ok....must go watch some So You Think You Can Dance....don't judge.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

an Understanding Heart

I had my very best friend lose her dog/best friend/companion almost one week ago in an accident. In that Andrea posed the question...will we as humans ever be able to love unconditionally as dogs do. I don't know the answer to that as this week has been a tough week. And there is so much to catch you all up on in regards to life, work, play, I am sitting here in my apartment packing for a last minute trip to the East Coast I opened to write in my journal. Out of it fell a card with a prayer my Grandmother had written over 14 years ago as she passed while I was in college. There is still not a day that passes me by where I don't wish for her to be with me again. The prayer reads,

"Dear God please give me...a few friends who understand me and yet remain my friends. A work to do which has real value, without which the world would feel poorer. An understanding heart. A sense of humor. Time for quiet, silent meditation. a feeling of the presence of God and the patience to wait for the coming of these things with wisdom to know when they come."

I feel like she is here with me in this moment knowing I would need to read that.....please God give me an understanding heart...please. In so many facets of life I desperately need this. and if you could send a little patience..that would be great too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dear Blog.....

I am sorry that I have neglected you. I miss you.

Love Colleen

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ironman....take 2

I have started the plan of the Ironman. (and no I did not try to rhyme that) Arizona will be here before I know it (november 22) so right now I am in the base building phase...I was able to get in close to 10,000 meters in the pool again this week and will swim tomorrow which will push me at 12,000 meters. My 100 is getting close to 1:45 which is pretty darn exciting since a year ago to hold a 2:20 was challenging! It is a lot of fun to see the seconds roll down in swimming.

With the new offices at the LAF, it has been a much more enjoyable commute as nice showers do make all the difference! And with it staying lighter out in the evening, twice this past week I was able to get in a 30 mile ride after work. And yes, the love for my bike is coming back! (plus, I am getting a fun new road bike...thanks sam!! and so new bike=new reason to ride) Running has not been comfortable lately as I am having some challenges with that, so as I have learned, rest is the only good thing for that. So no half marathons on the horizon for March and no Boston Marathon...I deferred to next year.

Spring in TX means lot's of fun charity rides in week the KAB and I will do Pedal Thru the Pines, a 65 miler that is one of my favorites. The following weekend is a ride up North, 80 miler. April will be an Olympic Triathlon, the Lonestar. Then i have some work travel so training will have to be creative to keep that strong base. May will be Shiner Gasp 100 miler and Armadillo 100 miler! (back to back weekends which is perfect for RAGBRAI training) Finish out May with Memphis in May Triathlon and Cap Tex Tri where I will do a relay with the KAB.

All in all....a busy busy spring!! But I am starting to get really excited about what could happen with this Ironman!!

I have also decided to raise money while doing this Ironman, I am still trying to decide who that will be stay tuned for that!


nothing major to share here except the Starbuck's Barista has come up with yet another rendition of my name...COLLEEN. Don't know where they got the "i". I think it's one of my favorite things about going to Starbucks is seeing how the hippy chicks will spell my name.

Friday, February 27, 2009

he DIDN'T Run a Marathon... yes, I watch the BIGGEST LOSER and I love seeing the transformation however in the last few seasons it has not been so honest AND what is up with all the product endorsement? I mean, could we stage products into the show that way? Let's look at this weeks show....After being eliminated at the end of Wednesday’s episode, Dane appeared in the where-are-they-now segment, and talked about running a marathon, which he says “was one of the most amazing experiences of my life to run side by side with my wife for an entire marathon.”

But he didn’t actually run the entire 26.2 miles. an actual marathon runner’s blog post that says Dane “and his wife were several miles behind me throughout the entire race, but around mile 17 they got picked up by a van and driven to the end of the course, where they filmed the grand ‘crossing the finish line’ finale with all the family cheering. I’m hoping that they televise it as a half marathon, since I know he ran at least that far, which is truly a great accomplishment.” Insert Colleen's comments, " Yes, it is a great accomplishment BUT Dane said he did the ENTIRE MARATHON himself...and he didn't!!!"

Dane’s wife Carli actually commented on that blog post and admitted they didn’t run the whole way; she wrote, “unfortunatly [sic] this marathon has been a little exaggerated. In this industry you are always on a time frame and sometimes it is out of your control. We had stopped along the way to film at a water station and to make up for lost time our producers drove us ONLY 3 miles up the road. I am sorry if this has offended you in any way, but we are still incredibly happy about the 23 miles we ran. (Colleen: which is not a marathon) We were not listed as completing the marathon. Dane is an honest LDS Dad and I hope that they do say he completed this marathon because had time allowed he would have!” (Colleen: had time allowed? it didn' we won't say that he ran the marathon...cause he didn't)

Not having enough time to complete it is utter bullshit, because three miles is, assuming a slow pace, 45 minutes, maybe an hour. As Dane and his wife cross the finish line in the clip, the clock says 3:53. (it took me 4:04 to do my first marathon), but it’s not like race organizers shut down the race at 4:45 or even five hours. The blogger quoted above says she finished the race at 6:14:59, meaning Dane would have had 2.5 more hours to run those alleged three miles.

If we are going to do a REALITY show...let's state the reality of the situation. Has Dane made huge strides in weight loss and a better life..yes! And for this he should be spotlighted...but don't portray him as running a 3:53 marathon when so many of us work our butts off to do that ourselves? Don't up the Hero anty with him? ugh....I might not be able to watch the show now...

On other Reality news...which is good...I am going to keep throwing out that I want on the Amazing Race reality show. My very good friend Kenny and I are going to apply. Now I see this....Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan will leave his mat behind as he bikes across the United States starting March 28 in L.A. and concluding May 9 in New York.

“I fly over 400,000 miles a year and I figured it was time to stretch my legs. I love to ride so I thought I’d see what this great country looks like up close instead of taking a bird’s eye view at 30,000 feet. In this economic climate, bike riding makes a lot of sense — it’s good for your waistline and easy on your wallet,” Phil said in the announcement.

How can I connect with him during this ride? Just casually show up....ride a few miles with him and get on that damn RACE!!!

Any ideas friends!!!???

Thursday, February 26, 2009


Lance Armstrong Foundation Responds to President Barack Obama's Address to the Joint Session of Congress
AUSTIN, Texas – February 25, 2009 – Today, the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF) released the following statement from LAF President and CEO Doug Ulman, a three time cancer survivor, regarding President Barack Obama's address to last night's joint session of Congress:

"Last night, President Obama committed to renewing the war on cancer, marking a major milestone in America's epic battle with this disease. Like most Americans, he has experienced the burden of cancer himself and he has listened to America's call for action."

"We applaud his commitment to make cancer a national priority and are encouraged by his focus on research, preventative care and healthcare system reform. In recent years, cancer funding has remained static or declined, so we are hopeful that Congress and the new administration will work to reverse this trend."

"As we embark on the LIVESTRONG Global Cancer Campaign on behalf of the 28 million cancer survivors worldwide, we are pleased to see America making progress against this disease. The LAF stands ready to work with the new administration and Congress to turn this commitment into real policy change that improves the lives of people affected by cancer."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I like....

A friend sent me this quote today and I like it...

"Knowing great things about God will help make us ready not to collapse under cataclysmic conflict and personal catastrophe." John Piper

All I can hang on to is that God is in control, I am not, and that's good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Brand NEW Offices for the Lance Armstrong Foundation!!!

Today, Monday, February 23rd, was our official first day in the Lance Armstrong Foundation Headquarters! We had a group meeting at 10 and a neighborhood eatery stopped by with pastries, coffee, smoothies, breakfast tacos...a feast if I might say for the staff to welcome us to the neighborhood! I will post more pictures later this week but the one above is in front and it's the staff with Lance just fresh off the Tour of Cali.

This week we will all be busy moving into our new spaces, but it is great to be HOME!! My bike commute is only 1 mile longer than the old I only bike 4.5 miles to and from work on really safe biker friendly roads! And when it rains, the bus system takes me right there! So I will continue to ride my bike and live the commuter life until I can't take it anymore....with the new office and the showers provided, I am sure i can stick this out longer!

ok...that's all with the building, below is a brief life update!

(On a side note...I had a great 3 day weekend with biking 60 on Friday, swimming and running on Saturday and then biking again on Sunday. Top off Sunday night with an Oscars gathering at Spotts! Loved it!)

Keep Praying for my dear friend Desiree as she enters the third week of her protocol. Below is one of my favorite pics of her and I. It was after she completed Wildflower Triathlon and she wanted to swim in the ocean. The waves were HUGE that day and after we tried to venture out we then saw signs that said, "not safe for swimming" We laughed about that one!

Have a great week....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Recover...that's what I did..for a few days anyway

This week was about recovering and there is no better way to do that than in the POOL!! And I am still in love with swimming!! I have gotten to the pool 3 times this week and will return again on Saturday morning making that almost 12000m that I have swam this week...the most ever. As well, my 100s have rocked it this week as I pulled a 1:46 for a few of my 100s. I can feel myself getting stronger and I know my Ironman swim in AZ is going to rock if I just stay on this course.

I have been enjoying evening spin sessions with Lance, Levi and close cycling buddies. Well, not really but I will tell you that getting on the bike trainer and turning on the Tour of California via the DVR...make the 90 minutes of ez spin go by fast!! I just visualize them carrying me to the Sprint Finish....and of course I over take Cavendish in the end!

I only went running once, an easy 3 mile run after a T3 core class. That's all I will say about that. My legs weren't ready for running quite yet as my hamstrings still seem to have their own zipcode.

Tomorrow I have off as the LAF is moving to our new beautiful headquarters here in Austin,TX!! I can't wait to go into work on Monday morning and be in our new space on the East side! (The office is still only a 4.5 mile bike commute for me, so I will continue my quest to go as long as I can without a car payment!) In having off tomorrow, my riding buddy KAB and I are going to take off and do 100 miles on the bike. Just because. No real reason. Just because we can and because we have the day WHY NOT!!??? Stay tuned for what I am sure will be a funny post. The most I have ridden in the last few months is um, well...40 miles? I think? so 100 should be exciting....and show me just where I am NOT for my Ironman Training. gulp.

Observations in a Hospital waiting room

I am in Houston as I write this. I came with my friend Desiree or Taco as we like to call her for some follow up tests and an infusion at MD Anderson. This is my friend who is fighting cancer again. I have been in and around this kind of situation more than I would want to (and Desiree..I will drive you down ANY DAY you need me to) Today I had some time to observe. I got caught up on some work and opened a book I had been wanting to read for some time and I had several thoughts in my head racing. I sat down and wrote an email to my good friend Brian. He currently works with Team Fight for the Ulman Fund in Maryland and his team is getting ready for a triathlon in May. Here is basically what I wrote:

I am sitting in Houston, TX at MD Anderson with my dear friend Desiree who has relapsed a second time with lymphoma. The first time she fought was two years ago when I met her beautiful face. We were fast friends as we had so much in common. We both try to get the same things out of life and we live for adventure! She has been a close friend, a fellow triathlete and my running buddy. Desiree and I signed up for Ironman AZ this November to celebrate her victory over cancer and her 40th birthday (however she doesn't look a day over 30!!)….she will not be able to race due to the relapse. As well, she has 3 beautiful children. Ages 6,8 and 10…… I am sitting in the waiting room as she goes in to receive a 4 hour infusion. Even though MD Anderson does a lot of things right…being in a hospital for JUST cancer patients will never feel ok to me. It makes it real, it makes me realize just how important it is to eradicate this horrible disease.

The injustice that cancer serves is not fair. And I am angry. I have observed since 9 AM and watched the walks of all those facing treatment, good news, bad news, new protocol…. There is this blank look on people's faces that quite frankly reads nothing because in the world of cancer fighting, you have to be ready for anything and everything. I learned a few things over again...Cancer does not discriminate. Where I sit right now there are young and old, black, white & asian, upper class and lower class. Cancer doesn’t care that the economy is tanking, that fashion week is about to happen, or that we are trying to figure out a new health care system. It doesn't care who is going to win at the Oscars. Cancer doesn’t care if you have 3 children or hopes of having children one day. As active as it is…it has no REAL face. It carries the face of way too many people. There is no sense in who or why it chooses and that makes me angry. Nobody deserves this. I found out today that MD Anderson has to add 600 more beds, my stomach dropped. I mean…they ONLY serve cancer patients, have an entire FLOOR for lymphoma and they need 600 more beds??? Apparently there is a waiting is that so? Cancer doesn't wait..why should patients?

I have been around cancer up close and personal for about 6 years now. Some have I get used to it? No. I don't...and I don't want to...ever.

Desiree...if you read this...I love you, I am proud to call you friend, I will take the trip to MD Anderson whenever you need to go and I will stand in the gap for you when you feel like you can't anymore. You are loved...not just by me...but by so many.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Winter Run Training- Completed.

Yesterday, February 15th officially was the end of 4 months of Winter Run training for Colleen. My goal back in September was starting with the San Antonio Rock 'n' Roll Half, I would complete one half marathon per month ending with the Austin marathon in February. Here are the results:

(NOVEMBER)San Antonio Half: 1:51:40
(DECEMBER)OUC Half: 1:51:57
(JANUARY)Disney Half: 1:51:50
(FEBRUARY) Austin Half: 1:56:01

It as been a goal of mine to get close to my PR of 1:45...and that goal is still on my list. However, I wonder if that will ever come my way? Will I ever get faster on the run? The first three halves were done on flat courses and so I was happy that at least they were consistent....however, I REALLY wanted Austin to be close to those other times since it was a hillier course and well...just because I always have to be hard on myself.

Over the winter I stayed true to swimming at least twice a week and usually would go 3 times. (8 to 9 thousand meters per week) As well, signing up for these 4 half marathons means I will enter Ironman training with at least 13.1 miles in my base training. Basically I trained for San Antonio and my schedule would go as 13.1 at race, rest for one week with a few 3 mile runs, then 10 mile run the following weekend, 6-7 miles the weekend weekend...race time again. A 10 mile run started feeling "normal" to me and I was enjoyin the 90 minutes of running. I certanly know I am in a better place than when I started for Couer d'Alene last year at this time, especially in regards to running and swimming but I still feel like I could/can do more.

Why do I do this to myself??

Friday, February 6, 2009

my friend....update

I won't give names because it's not fair to someone's health to do that on a blog but I believe prayer still works regardless of names. The cancer is indeed back in my dear friends body, and it's back with more this time.

stage iv --which means in bone marrow and they are now going to test whether it is in the central nervous system. It is as serious as it gets. Less than 2% of recurrence cases is in the bones. The prognosis is set at 50%.

Chemo will be rough. Instead of one day outpatient my friend will be admitted for 4-5days each session. My friend will be required to return to Houston for monitoring during off weeks.

Three cycles every 21 days. This is before the bone marrow transplant, which is looking like it might be the more complicated one with donor marrow which increases risk of rejection or complications and is more compromising to my friend's long term health. Still don't know whether this will happen but the oncologist says that is is more likely than not.

Here is how we can pray:

Please pray that my friend will stay strong and can be humble during this process.
Please pray that my friend can have a stem cell transplant rather than a donor transplant.

Please pray that my friend's sister is a match. She is the best chance of a donor.

My friend will be gone a lot. Please pray that my friend's babies stay strong even though they are going to be scared, lonely and worried.

Please pray for my friend's spouse. This is going to be unbelievably difficult for them in maintaining their lives while away from one another.

Please pray for my friends parents who are devestated and are radically changing their lives to be here for my friends family.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

34 things for 34 years

It's one week since I turned 34 and I had a GREAT birthday. I got to work and my friends Dani and Emily had sent me beautiful tulips, then i had a birthday lunch with Emy, Spotts and Frasco. Got back and roses from Sam. There were other surprises from friends later but i won't bore you all...(fuller, thanks for a great birthday!! You are a dear friend!) As people have asked over the last week questions about turning 34 and where I am in life I once again brought back to a place of seeing just how blessed I am in life. So i thought...34 things for 34 years might be appropriate! Most of these I picked from my journal from the last year as it was quotes and the most random thoughts ever. Please publish it when i die. (these are in no particular order..just lessons I learned from music, sports, life, friends, good and bad choices)

1. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. (I know that is a long one...but it's a bible verse that is relevant whether you believe in God or not)

2. I'm doing what I do, and I'll always do what I do because that's what I do.

3. My coming of faith did not start with a leap but rather a series of staggers from what seemed like one safe place to another. Like lily pads, round and green, these places summoned and then held me up while I grew. Each prepared me for the next leaf on which I would land, and in this way I moved across the swamp of doubt and fear.

4. The movie High Fidelity always makes me feel better.

5. Singing really loud to old school Indigo Girls is something I don't ever want to grow out of.

6. Loving someone is truly a choice. A choice that is worth making whether it be heartache or true love in the end...I will always choose love.

7. there are certain barriers that will always make us stronger.

8. When things are tough and life seems unbearable, sign up and volunteer for a cause that is giving to those less fortunate than you. It will always bring you back.

9. Be the change you want to see in this world.

10. I thank God every day for Radiohead, Jeff Buckley, Brandi Carlile and Annie Lennox. Their lyric and meter makes me smile.

11. Always give yourself multiple chances to attack the problem.

12. Eat more vegetables. just because.

13. make shopping lists, if you don' always come back with way more than you need and nothing to make a complete meal.

14. what you do with your life matters.

15. cancer sucks.

16. When I went from entertainment to non-profit work, I am always brought back to music. Always.

17. i really love triathlons...they push me and it is a great escape for me.

18. contentment is being satisfied with WHAT I HAVE.

19. surest form of failure is seeing out the approval of everyone.

20. saying Thank you is really important.

21. Forgiveness is hard, but we must do it.

22. God will speak to you through interruptions.

23. Faith is a lump in the throat and faith isn't cheap.

24. Take a risk...I have found that the risks usually end up being those things in life you have always wanted to do...for job at the LAF!!

25. Practice does make perfect...(especially in swimming)

26. the truth does set us free!

27. Oreos and Chocolate milk really do turn a bad day...good.

28. Happiness in relationships is each partner's ability to adjust to things beyond his or her control.

29. And love is not the easy thing
The only baggage that you can bring
Not the easy thing
The only baggage you can bring
Is all that you can't leave behind (God Bless U2)

30. Decide to grow, not get my way. it doesn't have to go my way for me to be a happy well-adjusted person.

31. no one can take away your power to choose- and that includes your attitude.

32. the tongue has the power of life and death. (that's actually a bible verse in Proverbs...but once again...whether you believe in God or not, applicable to life)

33. I have lived a very full and rich life and I am young...don't stop now..keep moving in that direction. Leap and the net WILL appear!!!

34. when all else fails, put the iPod on, hit shuffle and walk....walk until you can't remember why you started this process.

That's it friends....the list for 2009!! I love it that my birthday is at the end of January, just after all the craziness of what I will resolve to not do this year!

Take a deep breathe. Tell someone you love them every day. Hug someone even if they don't want you to. Laugh a lot. And challenge yourself beyond what you think is possible for you.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sharing is Caring......or is it?

Let's look at what the dictionary, good old Webster, says about Sharing, shall we?

To use or enjoy something jointly or in turns
to receive, use, experience, etc. in common with another or others
divide something equally

In riding my bike to work today I thought maybe, just maybe I had gotten the word Share wrong in my vocabulary...but once again, good old google clears it up for me.

And then I thought of the old bible verse: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

huh? not so much for me this morning on the way to work mr. buddy in the red pick up truck. What I received from you being that you tailed right behind my bike and honked....and folks I could have touched his car at one point....and then proceeded to drive so close to my left side when you passed (still honking and yelling GET ON THE SIDEWALK). The pass knocked me off my bike with your lovely side-view mirror. (I was on Barton Springs Road where there is a BIKE LANE!!!!) Well, that kind of receiving is what I could seriously do without. Here is where I thank James, the gentleman who stopped when I fell and helped me get up and was my witness and had the license plate number of said pick up truck.

Here is where sharing comes full circle. I proceeded to call the police, and they showed up about 10 minutes later, James and I SHARED the license plate number, make and model of the car and told Officer Carey what happened.

He then called in the number and took off in the direction of the red pick up truck.

I guess sharing is caring afterall.

(it's my means of transportation right now folks, unless you want to purchase me a car....I will follow the rules if you will..SHARE THE ROAD!!!!!!!!)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Please check your kids homework

(Here's the reply the teacher received the following day)
Dear Mrs. Jones,
I wish to clarify that I am not now, nor have I ever been, an exotic dancer.
I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out of every shovel we had, and then I found one more in the back room, and that several people were fighting over who would get the last shovel. Her picture doesn't show me dancing around a pole. It's supposed to depict me selling the last snow shovel we had at Home Depot!!
From now on I will remember to check her homework more thoroughly before she turns it in.


RAGBRAI route!!!

A hilly 442 miles in July in we come Team LIVESTRONG!!!!

Ironman AZ, a different reason to race

My dear friend that has been diagnosed with cancer again was the one that would have raced alongside me at Ironman AZ this year. In fact, it was going to be a three-fold celebration. Her 40th birthday, her first IM and 2 years since her cancer diagnosis. Because she won't be able to race with me...for a brief moment I thought about not going this year, that she was truly the reason why I had signed up.

As I headed to the pool last night and pretty much swam out of anger that she is going to have to fight again, bone marrow transplant and everything else that comes with it, I decided I HAVE to go and do this race.

I will train my ass off (let's hope so anyway, I would love for it to get smaller) and I will kick 140.6 miles in the teeth for my dear friend. I will carry her with me in each mile and I will remember her fight. As we say here at the LAF...

We believe in life. Your life. We believe in living every minute of it with every ounce of your being. And that you must not let cancer take control of it. We believe in energy: channeled and fierce. We believe in focus: getting smart and living strong. Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything.

In fact in our Challenge series the line we use is: your participation will be one more powerful weapon in the fight against cancer. Go Ahead. Pick a Fight.

For my friend...I will do just that.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dear God, please be with my friend...

Why we all have our stories, a message today made my heart sink.

A beautiful wonderful friend of mine
runner and athlete extraordinaire
wife & mother of 3 children

She received her second diagnosis of lymphoma today. Yes, she beat it once about a year back and it has returned.

Please heal her a second time....


Read this entire story and then cheer for Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl this weekend...I just CAN'T cheer for the Steelers...

In a supermarket, Kurtis the stock boy, was busy working when a new voice came over the loud speaker asking for a carry out at register # 4. Kurtis was almost finished, wanted to get some fresh air, and decided to answer the call. As he approached the check-out stand a distant smile caught his eye, the new check-out girl was beautiful. She was an older woman (maybe 26, and he was only 22), and he fell in love.

Later that day, after his shift was over, he waited by the time-card clock to find out her name. She came into the break room, smiled softly at him, took her card, and punched out, then left. He looked at the time-card. It said, “Brenda.” He walked out, only to see her start walking up the road. Next day, he waited outside as she left the supermarket, and offered her a ride home. He looked harmless enough, and she accepted. When he dropped her off, he asked if maybe he could see her again, outside of work. She said it simply wasn't possible. He pressed her, and she explained she had two children, and she couldn't afford a baby-sitter, so he offered to pay for the baby-sitter. Reluctantly, she accepted his offer for a date for the following Saturday.

That Saturday night he arrived at her door only to have her tell him that she was unable to go with him. The baby-sitter had called and canceled. To which Kurtis replied, "Well, let's take the kids with us."

She tried to explain that taking the children was not an option, but again not taking no for an answer, he was insistent. Finally, Brenda brought him inside to meet her children. She had an older daughter who was just as cute as a bug, Kurtis thought, . . . then Brenda brought out her son, in a wheelchair. He was born a paraplegic with Down Syndrome.

Kurtis looked at Brenda and said, "I still don't understand why the kids can't come with us?"

Brenda was amazed. Most men would run away from a woman with two kids, especially if one had disabilities - just like her first husband and the father of her children had done.

Kurtis was not ordinary - - - he had a different mindset.

That evening Kurtis and Brenda loaded up the kids, went to dinner and the movies. When her son needed anything, Kurtis would take care of him. When he needed to use the restroom, Kurtis lifted him from his wheelchair, carried him, and brought him back. The kids loved Kurtis. At the end of the evening, Brenda knew this was the man she was going to marry and spend the rest of her life with.

A year later, they were married, and Kurtis adopted both of her children. Since then they have added five more kids.

So what happened to Kurtis the Stock Boy and Brenda the Check-Out Girl?

Well, Mr. & Mrs. Kurt Warner now live in Arizona, where he is currently employed as the quarterback of the National Football League Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals will play in Super Bowl XLIII (43) this coming Sunday.

It should be noted that in 2000 and 2002 he also quarterbacked the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowls XXXIV (34) and XXXVI (36). He has also been the NLF's Most Valuable Player (MVP) twice and the Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player once.

Warner's case is as instructive as it is well-known. In 1994, after being cut by the Green Bay Packers, he found himself working the nightshift at a Hy-Vee grocery store near his alma mater, - - - that noted football factory known as Northern Iowa. - - - By February 2000, he'd won a Super Bowl ring and the first of his two MVP awards. (Kurt led the St. Louis Rams in defeating the Tennessee Titans, 23-16 in Super Bowl XXXIV, 30 Jan 2000.)

Warner first went to the Super Bowl with the Rams as an improbable success story, a former grocery bagger and a graduate of NFL Europe and the Arena Football League who'd gotten a starting chance with the St. Louis Rams because of an injury to starter Trent Green. He returns to Super Bowl XLIII with the Arizona Cardinals at age 37, as perhaps an even more improbable reclamation project.

"There were plenty of [times] when I wondered if I would ever start again," Warner said Tuesday. "There were moments when you were just thinking about starting and getting back in and playing and playing well. The Super Bowl kind of gets pushed to the back burner."

Warner said he thinks he showed his new teammates from his first practice with the team he still had something left in his arm. But he had to prove himself to a new coaching staff when the Cardinals fired Dennis Green and hired Ken Whisenhunt before the 2007 season. The club had drafted Matt Leinart in the first round in 200to be its quarterback of the future. But Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm said Tuesday that the new staff had an open mind about Warner when it took charge, and Whisenhunt ended up going with Warner as the full-time starter after Leinart broke his collarbone in the fifth game of the 2007 season.

"Kurt has always been a great player," Grimm said. "He was the MVP in St. Louis, so you know he's a good quarterback. When you get around him, you realize what type of person he is. He's a great person. He works at it. He's a great leader for a lot of young players. The experience factor is there. He'll get on the young guys if they're not going their job."

"With this season and in 1999 with the Rams, when we were in a similar situation, those are probably the two things that I'm gonna take with me more than anything when I leave this game," Warner said Tuesday. "It's not gonna be about touchdown passes thrown or games won. It's going to be about being a part of two organizations that nobody expected anything from, and being able to be a part of them taking a run to the Super Bowl, exceeding expectations, and changing perceptions."

AND THE REST OF THE STORY: Today when Kurt, his wife, and seven children go out to eat he has one of his children pick out a family eating at the restaurant. Kurt then tells the restaurant staff he is picking up the tab for that family's dinner, anonymously. He remembers the days he was working nights in the grocery store and feeding his family on food stamps. Makes it hard not to root for Kurt Warner and the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII, doesn’t it?