Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Well I thought I'd add some humor/randomness to my blog to lighten the mood and share with everybody part of my training you may be unaware of.

For those who have ridden, you already know. Your nose runs. Even if you don't necessarily have a runny nose or sickness that day, your body decides to release it's mucous. I think it has to do with drinking lots of water when you're cycling and thinning your mucous... and going fast. And cold temperatures.

Most people resort to the infamous "snot rocket". Many runners do this as well. I quite frankly have not yet mastered this art. Upon attempt, usually I just get snot on my face. SO I pretty much just don't do it! I just wipe it on my gloves. Which is basically more gross :)

My loving fiance, however, is a master of the snot rocket. During runs, it does not affect me. However, during rides, I usually am fortunate enough to catch his snotspray. At first I was like, "WHOA, your snot just sprayed on me! SICK!" But now I'm just kind of used to it. After a year of training, there are certain bodily things that just don't gross me out anymore. That being said, I could really care less if I'm riding behind Rob and get snotsprayed.

HOWEVER, today a complete stranger decided to snotspray me. So bad that I had the spray visible all over my sunglasses. Here's what happened:

It was a beautiful day in Seattle (FINALLY), so the Burke Gilman was hoppin. I'm coming up behind some dude, not passing him but riding about maybe 10 ft behind him (not drafting... pretty far back). He turns around, sees me, and then releases his snot rocket! I was like, ummm WOW! Not cool.

So I passed him. Wiped off my sunglasses. And that was that. And the rest of the quick ride was golden, and I got to ride on my exciting new red-rimmed tires!

I promise, I won't write any more weird blogs. Unless someone pantses me again!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Strength in Christ

So it turns out when you taper, you have more TIME. Wow! Which means I have time to blog. I have a lot of thoughts/fears/emotions going on in my head this week. And time and time again, God continues to give my soul peace. And joy. I wanted to take some time in a blog to give a "shout out" to my God.

For those who aren't aware, we are made and loved by an AWESOME God. He has shown me his unconditional faithfulness and love throughout this life HE has given me. And this year has been no exception.

In Christ alone, I find my strength. I wanted to share a verse that has been essential for me to cling to throughout my life, and will definitely be said over and over again to myself on this upcoming Sunday. It's a bit "cliche" in the verse world, but it speaks the Truth. I can do all through Christ who strengthens me. Amen.

And now I'd like to give a "shout out" to the YMCA Sharks... and my parents! When I was a wee lil chap in Hot Springs, AR, my parents (or Mr. and Mrs. Butler) would drive me to swim practice at the Y, where I would swim many laps and get fed m&ms or gummi worms during the workouts. Now the m&ms have turned into gu shots and gummi worms are now clif bloks. And now that hand-me-down speedo is a wetsuit and I will unfortunately be swimming in some wavy water instead of that pool. That being said, thanks to Coach Sha, Coach Andy and my parents for introducing me to the water at such a ripe young age! All those swim meets have brought me to where I am today. So maybe I should not thank you... but be upset with you, Mom and Dad?! ;)

Here's an old school pic, circa 1992 at a YMCA swim meet.

And lastly I thought I'd share a glimpse into the *start* of my packing. Just getting things going, as we will be in C'oeur d'Alene in exactly 48 hours from now! My packing list... well it's pretty extensive... and according to Brian, the only thing I forgot to put on it was the kitchen sink!

Anyways, that's about all I've got for now. Just wanted to give God some glory on my blog, because truly He should be glorified in all this. Also, thanks to my family, fiance and friends who are being so supportive and encouraging to me right now! You've been so supportive of my heart for Uganda and for how and where God has called me. I really appreciate y'all, more than you know.
Time for sleep. Good night!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TOP TEN & Mileage

Highlight: raising funds for Uganda Vilage Project!
This is a picture of me with dear friends in Uganda.
This is a gomes dress; it's not dri-fit, but should be!

Lowlight: the infamous "wetsuit kiss".
Oh so painful!

Well 10 days to go! I figure now is a good time for me to reflect on the ten most memorable moments of the past year leading up to now. Here goes: top ten memorable moments/experiences, both good (highlight) and bad (lowlight)! In sequential (chronological) order...

10. Lowlight: Waiting too long to re-fuel post-run prior to Jen's bridal shower, slicing my finger and then proceeding to pass out in the loving arms of Jen Chestnut and Stacy Rydell. Lesson learned: ALWAYS eat immediately following a work-out depspite future brunch/food in store.

9. Highlight: An 80 mile ride to Snoqualmie falls (almost) and then a run loop around the lake on a nice Seattle Saturday. After this ride/run, for the first time in all my training I really felt the confidence that I CAN be an Ironman. Until then, it seemed out of reach.

8. Lowlight: Realizing that Perpetuem (a carb + protein powder used to make a fueling drink mix) does NOT settle well with my stomach. 3 trips running to the restroom in one spinning class :)

7. Highlight: Rob asking me to marry him after a 10 mile run at Discovery Park! That is a MAJOR highlight ;)

6. Lowlight: Getting pantsed while enjoying a nice sunrise run at Greenlake. Showing travelers on Aurora my bright white booty = not an expected training day.

5. Highlight: a beautiful 9 mile run on the coast of Monteray, California. Hard to beat that!

4. Lowlight... well, these are lowlights: having to wake up at 4:15 on many morning when the rest of the world is sleeping! OR having to stay up late to train and sacrifice time with Rob, Rob/Megan/Molly or my friends.

3. Highlight: My first 100 mile bike ride, which happened to be on the Ironman race course on Memorial Day Weekend in CDA. AND God sent me an angel, Lou, who lead me on the course so I didn't have to follow the sparse directions/map. God is so good.

2. Lowlight: Serious "wet-suit kiss" after my first swim in Greenlake in my new (sweet! -- thanks Shawn Lucas) wetsuit. The picture speaks louder than words.

1. HIGHLIGHT: Exceeding goal of $5,000 for Uganda Village Project! Woohoo!! Currently around $5,600 has been raised, thanks to such generous and loving friends and family. This makes my heart so incredibly thankful, humbled and inspired.

So, that's that. Highlights got me through, and lowlights either provided growth/challenge/endurance OR humor! Either way it's a win-win. Or as Michael Scott would say, It's a win-win-win situation.

Current mileage, with 1 week left of training:

Swam 219 miles
Biked 3,500 miles
Ran 738 miles

Grand total of 4, 457 miles trained so far!

I guess that gives me a bit of some comfort going into race day; I know I gave this training my all and my body is ready for the test!

And a fun fact is that when adding up my time spent in training, it is over 370 hours (conservative value), which is about 15 and a 1/2 days of training straight.
That's all for now. I'm going to *try* to fall asleep by 9:0o so I can wake up for a sunrise run!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dear Diary

I have been more diligent with this diary than I have been with any other diary in my entire life. However, I did not write my secret, most exciting deep and dark secrets. Nope, I wrote what I did to train every single day that I did. Definitely not exciting but, here's why:

6 days a week for the past 9 months, I've been following a training schedule. I knew when I started that I had a pretty big task at hand. Showing up on race day is easy, but preparing your mind and body for the race is not easy. At all. I knew that I needed something to hold me accountable to my trainining and track my progress. The simple act of knowing that I got to go home and record my miles gave me reassurance that I was doing everything in my power to prepare myself for this Ironman.

So that's what I did! I recorded everyday whether I swam, biked, and/or ran. I also recorded the time and distance of each. The diary also has spots for nutrition, energy, etc. but I didn't fill that out usually. However, one day I did calculate how much nutrition I needed to sustain my bike and run that day. Over the course of an entire day (breakfast, fuel during training, and dinner) I ate 5,000 calories! Kind of crazy.

Anyways, so here is where I am currently:

215 miles of swimming
3,395 miles of biking
718 miles of running
And only 2 weeks until race day. As in, in 2 weeks I will be currently on that race course. Praise the Lord! This year has been quite the year. It's been fun training (well sometimes), but at the same time it has been lots and lots of sacrifice. Many times when I would have much rather gone to spend time with my family, fiance or friends, I had to train. Sometimes in the cold rain, ha. I knew God called me into this Ironman for a reason, and I've given my all to prepare myself for the race and to raise money for the work coming out of UVP. My prayer is that my sacrifices and hard work will be worth it come June 27th! It's been quite the journey experiencing God sustaining me through this and I can't wait to cross that finish line.
Also, in one HUGE way, my sacrifices are already are worth it and I haven't even raced. There is still 2 weeks left to go, and I am continually humbled by the funds donated to UVP. Currently about $5,500 has been raised. THANK YOU to all of you who have donated! I can't tell how how joyful my heart is to think that what is being done here is going to impact many people in a BIG way across the world in Uganda. Wells with clean water, safe water education, sustainable nutrition education/initiatives, obstetric fistula education and surgeries... the list goes on. I love the power of a group of people coming together behind one great cause. Sincerely, thanks to all have supported Uganda Village Project!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Let the taper begin!

Riding the bike course in CDA over Memorial Day Weekend

Rob and me in front of Lake CDA

This is me being bored on I-90 as we strolled at 3 mph. We could have biked home faster than driving. Well maybe not :)

What I eat before and during my workouts. Oddly enough, I'm still not sick of chocolate gu!
This is where you can find me during late nights or rainy days. Joined by my fiance sometimes, which is great!

Well, the race is now only 20 days away and I get to start tapering down my workouts. I've been awaiting this beautiful taper for the past 8 months, and I've finally arrived. The past month has been the peak intensity of my training and I'm excited to slow down a bit. I've had some long training days amidst my travels to California, Idaho and my fave state down south... Arkansas!
3 weeks ago, I enjoyed my training runs along the beautiful beaches of Monteray, CA. I left behind my long spandex and running gloves at home and enjoyed running in shoes and a tank top! It's been a rough spring in Seattle. It was a great change of pace, scenary and climate. And the beaches, hills and sunsets were absolutely incredible.
The next weekend I headed to C'oeur d'Alene in order to prepare myself for the bike portion of the race. This weekend called for my longest ride, so it was the perfect opportunity to ride the course, which is highly suggested. After some major frustration at a detail-lacking course directions page and lack of road signs, God blessed me with an ANGEL, named Lou, who let me ride along him. We rode the entire course, and now I know the task at hand! It was quite hilly and a bit challenging but definitely scenic. And FUN! The climbs allow for some fast downhill speeds approaching 35 mph. After 100 miles, I called it a ride! My first centennial ride. A happy moment for me!
Then I ran a quick 2 miles. Felt great. So hopefully the remaining 24.2 will feel as good as those did. Right. All in all it was a successful day. I made a new friend, Lou, who has raced before and gave me some good pointers. I also got to finish the ride with Rob, which was the perfect way to end the long day. Being in CDA got me excited for what is to come.
Last weekend I was in Arkansas, so my trianing was skimp. However, I did some training in advance which helped. Rob and I rode the South Lake Washington loop, which always makes for a fun ride. We had a sunny day to enjoy Rob's birthday and then enjoyed some delicious salad, pizza and gelato from Tutta Bella to replenish our bodies.
My one training sesh in Arkansas took place in good ole Eastgate II, and left me a sweaty (and apparently stinky according to my mom) mess. Man, I miss that Arkansas HEAT! But let's just say I'm glad my run I'm about to take will be in about 68 degree weather...
Otherwise, my preparation has been lots of reading from a triathlon book and lots of making lists for the big race day to come. So much to plan and prepare for.
And now here I sit with less than 3 weeks to go. I only have 15 hours of training this week, and it will cut down over the next 2 weeks. The bulk of it is over, praise the Lord! I feel blessed that God has kept me strong, motivated, inspired and dependent on Him.
Furthermore, I feel blessed to be surrounded with such generous and loving friends and family who have been supporting my fundraiser for UVP since day 1. Thanks to you, I have reached my goal over $5,000.... and am well over it... and it's still climbing! God always exceeds my expectations. I have no words to express my thanks to you. This will be the crank inside my body on June 27th. A sincere thank you to all who have supported the cause and myself through words, prayer and financial support.
And if you haven't donated and still want to, it's not too late! http://ugandavillageproject.org/racing-for-relief
Alrighty, well off I go to enjoy a 12 mile run. Until next time!

Monday, May 10, 2010

110% HEART

I went to a documentary titled "Running the Sahara" a couple months ago. It's the true story of three men with one goal: to run across the entire length of Africa's Sahara Desert. They ran roughly 50 miles a day for over 100 days... all the way to the Red Sea in Egypt. Absolutely ridiculous!

Well the documentary was very impressive (and funny) -- you should watch it if you are at all curious. There was a lot of interviewing and commentary from the runners. When asked how one can do something so challenging, one of the runners commented that doing this sort of thing is "90% mental... and 10% mental".

While I am not doing anything near as imcomprehensible as runnning across the Sahara Desert, those words have definite truth in what I've been facing in my training. As race day approaches (less than 50 days away), the workouts get longer... and longer... and longer! And I can say that I am as mentally exhausted as I am physically. It takes a lot of will power not only for the long weekend days, but for also for those workout sessions that come after a long workday.

Last weekend consisted of a 2.5 mile swim followed by an 81 mile ride on Saturday. Then Sunday was an 18 mile run broken up with a 15 mile ride after mile 11. This definitely was a physically challenging weekend; I can vouch for the fact that weekends like those take lots of will power and mental strength. I've found that what I put my mind to, my body can accomplish. I've also found what drives me deep down. My heart: God in me and being my strength as I Race for Relief.

So this brings me to this realization... it definitely is 90% mental, 10% mental.... and 110% heart. I learned at Camp Ozark growing up that we are to give 110% to all that we do. 110% heart. And what gives my HEART that energy and passion and what drives my mind is GOD. Christ alone has given me the heart to do this, the mental capacity to do the trainning and the strength in my body to get to this point.

So for me it's 90% mental, 10% mental AND 110% HEART!

Doesn't really make sense mathematically but it makes sense to me :) And the cool thing is I can apply this to the training, to the future race day, and all aspects of life. It's amazing to experience God in my life as He intertwines my heart for Uganda, UVP & His people with my passion for fitness. He really knows what he's doing...

That's all for now. Back to enjoying my "rest day"!!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

3, 270

Ugandan woman and child with malaria net.

Ugandan woman with child at a Uganda Village Project Family Planning & Safe Motherhood Seminar

The first clean water drops from a shallow-well.
3, 270

That's the number of miles trained so far. Phew!

105.7 miles in the water
2,601 miles on the bike
563 miles in my running shoes

And if you multiply 3, 270 x 10,000 that is the population of Uganda. 32.7 million

Now here are some more numbers/stats that explain the reason why I am a part of Uganda Village Project and why I am raising money for this organization.

51% -- Probability at birth of not surviving until age 6
76% -- Ugandan population living under 2$ a day
50% -- Ugandan population living under 1$ a day

11, 772, 000 -- # of Ugandans not using an improved water source. This means 36% of Ugandans do not have clean drinking water. Over 1/3 are at risk of water-borne diseases. According to the World Health Organization, the objectives of a safe water plan are to ensure safe drinking water through good water supply practices, which include: 1. Preventing contamination of source waters, 2. Treating the water to reduce or remove contamination that could be present to the extent necessary to meet the water quality targets and 3. Preventing re-contamination during storage, distribution, and handling of drinking water.

UVP's Healthy Villages program supports these goals through the following methods: 1. Protected shallow well construction, 2. Installation of community level chlorine dispensers, 3. Improving hygiene awareness and behavior change through education and 4. Providing access to household level safe water storage. UVP strives for sustainability through local community and government resource contributions and expertise.

12, 792, 759 -- # of reported malaria (thousands go unreported) in 2007. Uganda has the 3rd highest death rate from Malaria in Africa. According to the Ugandan Ministry of Health, malaria “currently poses the most significant threat to the health of the [Ugandan] population.” Between 25 and 40% of outpatient visits at health facilities in the country are for malaria. For Ugandan children, malaria is the primary cause of death. Pregnant women, the elderly, and HIV-positive individuals are also extremely vulnerable to the disease.

Uganda also has the third highest rate of fistula in the world. You are now likely saying, what is fistula? I am going to take some time to describe this, as it is a huge problem in Subsaharan Africa and most of us are unaware of it's reality. If I hadn't ever travelled to Uganda, I would remain naive.

As a young American woman, I do not have to be concerned with fistula. However, if I grew up in Uganda, I may have unwillingly been forced into a situation where I was giving birth at the age of 13. That is 1/2 of my current age! I may at this point in my life already have 5 children and given birth to them in settings we could not even imagine having a baby. I may have died during childbirth, or if I survived I may have a continual fistula problem that takes away my ability to live a full life. I could be ostrasized due to the outcomes of my labors and experience a daily lack of confidence, employment, community and health.

Virtually unheard of in wealthier nations, obstetric fistula (Latin for hole) is an affliction of the very poor, and is predominantly caused by neglected, obstructed labour. If the obstruction is unrelieved, the baby usually dies, the prolonged impaction of its head against the mother’s internal tissue resulting in a fistula. The loss of the baby, the persistent incontinence and rank odor that follows, along with many other possible complications such as infertility and chronic infection, may all conspire to isolate the woman from family, society, and employment. Though a simple surgical repair can mend most cases of obstetric fistula, most women go untreated, afraid to admit to the condition or too poor to afford the repair.

Through UVP's outreach to traditional birth attendants and other healthcare workers in the Iganga district, we have learned that there are widespread misconceptions about obstetric fistula – that it is uncurable, and that it is caused by a sexually transmitted infection. UVP works to combat these misconceptions through birth attendant education, through community educational outreaches, and through community drama group performances about fistula. Drama groups are a natural source for education on health issues, and are commonly utilized by Ugandan village communities.

In order to repair women with fistulae, UVP partners with Uganda Childbirth Injuries Fund. We first identify women with obstetric fistula though a number of avenues – village outreaches, health center referrals, radio shows, and simple word-of-mouth between women. We then transport women bi-annually to “repair camps” at Kamuli Mission Hospital, where they are repaired by surgeons from Uganda Childbirth Injuries Fund. In Uganda, all hospital patients must arrive with a friend to feed, attend and nurse them, and so we also transport one attendant for each patient. After surgery, UVP transports the women home (an important step, because if they go home by motorcycle taxi, or walk long distances, they risk re-opening their healing fistula).

I wanted to share this information with you so you can see a glimpse of one piece of work that Uganda Village Project is doing in the Iganga district. Recently I have been reminded of what a blessing it is to be a woman in America -- To have a job. To have the freedom to make my own decisions. To be able to choose when I want to bear children. To be able to choose who I marry and be in a loving and genuine relationship. To feel respected and loved as an individual. To have a healthy body, healthy enough to compete in an Ironman.

Furthermore, I have 2 sister-in-laws who recently gave birth. Both of them had a long day of labor, with 1 of the babies (Molly) being positioned not ideally for birth. If that happened in a third-world country, the outcome would most likely have been bad for mom and baby. This horrible and unnecessary outcome is a reality for many women in Uganda and Subsaharan Africa.

All this to say, if you decide to partner with me in Racing for Relief, you will be joining a cause that is fighting for sustainable fistula education and treatment in communities in Eastern Uganda. You will be a joining a cause that is rolling out education programs to decrease cases of malaria in the Iganga district. You will be joining a cause that is drilling wells and implementing safe water strategies so that more people will have access to clean drinking water, just like we do.

I have less than 2 months left with still $2,000 more to raise to hit my goal of $5,000. Every single donation helps and will make a difference in the projects named above. A sincere thanks to those who have already contributed. If I can raise $5,000, over $35 will go towards UVP for every mile I complete in the Ironman! I am so excited to run this race and hope you will join me in it.

Visit http://ugandavillageproject.org/racing-for-relief to make a tax-deductible donation UVP.

I truly appreciate the support, and I absolutely love thinking of the positive outcome that will result from all this training. All thanks to YOU!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

No pain, no gain.

Always Running - Women's Open team
Mt. Si Relay Run

After the races.

No big deal.

No pain, no gain. Such truth in that statement. I took off for my ride early last Saturday morning. I was going to follow the path of the Always Running group ride to Fall City. I was hoping my ride that day would be at least by 60 miles, but ideally more.

It was 36 degrees when I left my house, with a windchill of 31. Add more wind to that (I usually ride between 15 and 22 mph) to create my very, VERY frozen and throbbing fingers. Let's just say the pain was bad enough to force me to stop at Starbucks only 8 miles in. I thawed out my digits and enjoyed a hot cocoa and scone. An hour later I took off again, as the temp had risen to a lovely 38 degrees.

From there on, the ride was great! I rode and rode... and rode... almost all the way to Snoqualmie Falls, where I was to turn around so Rob could catch me sooner than later. It was a great ride on the Sammamish River Trail and then through Fall City and back. 88 miles later I was back at Greenlake. And dreading the run to come. Deep down I wanted to keep riding and go 112 miles... because why not? But I knew I had a hard Sunday run ahead of me, so I stopped myself and biked into the drive of my house.

I threw on my running shoes, ate a banana and chocolate gu (yep, that's right!) and hit the lake running. My legs were JELLO. That's a tough transition. Finally by mile 3, my legs were feelinng quasi-normal. By the time they felt normal, my run was over.

So all in all a really great workout. The perfect boost of confidence I needed right now in my training.

And then the pain came. Again. Not frozen fingers but frozen legs. My loving fiance graciously escorted me to Greenlake where we icebathed our muscles. For ten whole minutes. Ten looooong minutes. The cold water helps to decrease inflammation in the muscles and speeds recory. Again there we have it. No pain, no gain.

But do not fear, there is still more to come! Sunday morning I woke up at 4:15.... PAIN! ;) I ran with the women's team of Always Running in the Mt. Si Relay in the Snoqualmie Valley. And lucky me... Tony so kindly assigned me to legs 5 (6.5 miles of uphill) and leg 10 (anchor). So good to me!

Turns out it was a really fun day. I had fun meeting new people and oddly enjoyed pushing myself up a big hill and then again to the finish line. My temporary pain in my extremely fatigued quads was TOTALLY worth it when I was presented with that beautiful 3rd place ribbon. Looks just like the ribbons from St. John's Track and Field days :) I mean, what a prize!

And topping off the great weekend was a delish dinner with Rob. It included veggies, fresh fish, and toasted sourdough bread. YUM. And then I hit the bed hard!

And now I've finished my post-work powerbar. Time for Greenlake...

Friday, April 9, 2010

T minus 80 days!

Jambo (the way Ugandans say hello)! I'll start off with a couple of pics. I figure I must put in a picture of the most epic run of my life! At the end of a 10 mile run at Discovery Park on March 13th, Rob dropped a knee! And my mouth dropped. And we are getting married!!!!
BUT most workouts aren't that exciting. And probably will never be ;) Usually they are about like this. Me on a trainer at L.A. Fitness going for miles but moving nowhere... well at least moving to the beat of some Michael Jackson or featured artist of a spin class.

Now time to write. Hello my long lost blog. Turns out when you are training for an Ironman, planning a wedding and busy being a resident... you don't have much time to do things like blog. But here I am :)

Well, the good news is I haven't been pantsed again! Praise the Lord! Bad news is that I got really sick last week and only worked out 3 times in the whole week :( BUT more good news... I'm better and back on track!

Here are my most recent tallies as of last Sunday, April 4th.

6 months of training has lead me to:

88 miles of swimming
2, 121 miles of biking
464 miles of running

I guess it seems like a decent amount of mileage put in so far... but the thought of waking up in less than three months to do an Ironman still is quite an incomprehensible thought. My feelings & thoughts about this whole thing currently are a nice little combination of fear and excitement. Luckily, I tend to be more excited than afraid. Yet in all reality, I have those moments where my stomach turns into a huge knot when I think about the task at hand. Moments of fear take over my whole body when I'm on a bike with a huge stomach cramp and thinking... 112 miles... and THEN a marathon. It seems impossible.

But thanks be to God, it's not. What reminds me that I can and WILL be an Ironman is knowing God has me in His work for a reason. He reminds me of why I'm doing this: His people in Uganda. Friends in Uganda who will have clean water. I mean CLEAN water that is CLOSE to their homes! Water that will not take life away but give life and hope.

And... people in Uganda, in far away villages, will be provided sustainable means and education that will empower them to live longer and healthier lives. I've experienced and seen the fruits of the work of UVP, so recognizing that and hoping in what's to come... is powerful. Powerful enough to get me to train like a madwoman. Powerful enough to take away my fears.

So, that's me as of today! I'm ready for a weekend ahead of a loooong bike ride in the sun and some running in a Mt. Si Relay with the Always Running crew. Should be good times!

And if you haven't checked out the Racing for Relief website, you should! Spread the word about Uganda Village Project and to those who you think may be interested. I only have 3 more months to promote His work and the amazing work of Uganda Village Project!

OH and one more thing I would like to annouce to the world, to God and His people. I am giving up drinking diet coke. WOW. That is the heart of an Ironman. No more cool, crisp, rejuvinating diet cokes at 3:00 in the afternoon when I'm getting that wave of tiredness. Instead I will have water. I decided I need to be more hydrated for my workouts -- they are getting long and intense. And water is free and we have it available :) And it will better prepare my body for race day! Ok, I said it. Now you can all hold me accountable!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Full Moon at Sunrise

If you happened to be on Aurora by Greenlake at around 7:30 last Friday morning, you may have caught a glimpse of my BOOTY!

So, I took off for a quick 6 mile jog before work. Nothing out of the ordinary -- 2 laps around the lake I know and love. I left my house around 6:45 as the sun was rising and Greenlake was looking beautiful as the sun reflected off its still waters. I don't run with earphones or music these days, so I was enjoying my run and time of reflection and prayer.

I was about 5 miles in and really feeling my pace. I was on the outside trail of the lake and had just passed the crew/boat house and started to run beside the magnificent 99. When all of the sudden, before I have time to react... a man is right behind me and PULLS MY PANTS DOWN! That's right. He pulled my spandex running pants down to below my knees. My buns exposed to the world!

True story. So, I yell "OH MY GOSH!!!" as I'm pulling my pants up (alongside 99, mind you) and idiot/creeper man yells "OH **** I thought you were somebody else" and took off sprinting the other direction. Sprinting. My mouth was wide open as I watched him fade into the distance.

So, there I was. Pants pulled back up and confused/shocked... and well, continued with my run. That man better thank his lucky stars my ninja fiance did not see that. I wish SO bad he did! I hope that man goes to sleep every night knowing Rob is hunting him down...

I kind of just assumed this pants-ing man was just a normal man (yet obviously lacking proper judgement and decision making skills) who assumed I was his girlfriend or friend and thought he would be funny and play a practical joke. Turns out he could indeed be a creeper, so I'm actually going to file a police report.

So, there you have it. The adventures of an ironman in training! Let's hope that's the last time my booty makes an appearance on Aurora :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Bike Rides!

Thought I would document some fun and scenic rides I've had over the past month thanks to the BEAUTIFUL weather.

Last week I was on the Centennial Trail in Lake Stevens, but unfortunately no photos. I think it was the farthest I have ever ridden - 50 miles - not even 1/2 of the race distance! Scary but I guess I trust the training schedule... and my body... and the good Lord....

Back to the rides. A couple weeks ago, Rob and I headed out to La Conner to enjoy wide open roads, sunshine, barns, daffodils, and the potent aroma of cow and horse dung! We had a good time and ended up getting in about 41 miles and finished just in time for sunset. We topped off the evening with a short run and some delicious pork tacos with Seth and Tana. Thank you, Rob!

daffodil field
about to take off
Watch out for tractors. And share the road! ;)

Going back further in time...
The first "spring" ride was a beautiful Sunday a few weeks ago. I took off with Rob and Phil... a little nervous I'd be playing catch-up with the boys, but it was indeed a good time. We headed to South Lake Washington and then across the I-90 bridge. We followed alongside I-90 for awhile and then turned around and hopped onto Mercer Island for a quick jaunt. Then we headed back and enjoyed some Arboretum action before riding up through the UW to get back home! I was definitely leading the way the whole time ;)

In the Porch basement before we took off.
Phil's doin the gu!
Rob owned the camera.
I-90 bridge - so fun

Align Center

This pic makes me laugh bc I look serious.

Well, that's all for now! We shall see what this weekend brings. I've really been enjoying riding (and running and swimming) and thinking of the funds that have already been donated to UVP and the changes that will happen because of that. Thanks to you out there who have already donated. You are amazing. Webalee!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Water = Life

UVP works with locals in Safe Water initiatives.
This is the beginning of a well project.

This was the prior water source.

Children play a big part of fetching water.
Friend in Ibulanku
We got to dive into the well festivities

At the well I got water from daily
Pumping for water will make you strong!

I think it's safe to say we all know we need water to live. And we all do not have it. Roughly 40% of Ugandans do not have access to clean drinking water. Globally, 1.1 billion people do not have this access, with 1.6 million people dying every year from water-induced diseases.

As I am constantly refilling my water bottles with cool, CLEAN water, I am reminded of the work that requires getting water in Uganda. As I run around this city and see the beautiful lakes and Puget Sound, I'm reminded of the heat and red, dusty dirt roads leading to Ibulanku with an occasional 'water source' (a small pond, often filled with disease-causing bacteria) every now and then off the beaten path. As I'm running around Greenlake, stopping every couple miles to grab some fresh water, I'm reminded of the women carrying large yellow jerrycans full of water that I would pass on my runs through the village. These women and children would walk miles to wells or other water-sources to gather water for drinking, cooking, and cleaning. AND they would balance it on their heads! Check this link out for more facts:


While some children may have had the opportunity to go to school, many are required to fetch the water instead, which can be an all day chore. And this water that is retrieved is often times not clean, thus causing many diseases. Life-taking, water-borne diseases.

Uganda Village Project is actively involved in empowering members of communities with the resources and skills required to build and maintain wells for clean water accessibility. This video from Uganda portrays the power of safe drinking water.


Almost every day in the village, I went to the boar-hole to get water for drinking and cleansing. After fetching the water, I used a UV light and a tablet to clean it and rid of bacteria. Villagers do not have that resource, so UVP is also playing a role in making the well water clean and safe to drink. I have experienced a water-born illness first hand, as I got dystentary after ONE run-in with unclean water. I can say honestly that without the resources to be able to get to a hospital after just 12 hours with the sickness, I could have been one of those numbers lost to the results of water-born illness.

I write this so that you can join me in awareness of this global problem and join me in the efforts to rid of it. Please know that if you do donate to UVP through Racing for Relief, your funds will be going to projects, such as our Safe Water project, which will make BIG differences in the lives of many.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

My training program

Golden Gardens

Many people ask me if I follow a specific training program. The answer is yes, indeed I do. Otherwise, I would be way too overwhelmed to figure out how to go about preparing for race day. I'm following an online program:


I am currently wrapping up week 18 and am 1 month away from entering Competitive Season. Yikes! But so far I'm loving the training and enjoying the new challenges the weeks are bringing as June gets closer.

I do miss training sessions on occasion, but I am pretty disciplined. Passion for UVP and fitness... coupled with the desire to cross that finish line combine to create the perfect inspiration to do my workouts!

In terms of swimming... on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings you can find me at the LA Fitness pool with my water bottle, a pull bouey, and a gu at around the lovely time of 5:00 or 5:30. Making that first move to hop in the pool is always the low-point, but getting in that water is like medicine for my body and takes me back to my days as a "shark" at the Hot Springs YMCA!

My weekday rides are done on a stationary bike I clip into at the gym, and I am generally accompanied with my workout playlist or a spinning class. Highlights of my list include Eye of the Tiger, I'm Every Woman, and Eminem's Lose Yourself (for a hill climb). So far the farthest I've ridden is 65 miles, but hopefully that changes soon! My weekend rides are outside, weather permitting. Luckily Seattle is experiencing Spring right now so I'll be out there tomorrow :)

My runs take me all over. My newest run takes me across the Ballard bridge and then across another (uphill!) bridge into/onto Magnolia which provides AMAZING views. For those unaware of how incredible Seattle is... FYI, it's incredible! Last weekend I enjoyed many bridges, hills, views of Mt. Rainier, views of the Olympics, boatyards, lakes, and sunshine during my 13 mile-er. Then, there is also my standard Greenlake sunrise run that steals my heart every time. Today I ran to Golden Gardens and the Olympics were out in all their snow-capped glory. God's creation is magnificent.

Maybe I'll see you out there...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Lessons learned

Thought I'd open with a pic
One of my many french toast plates
Usually it's a double stack, though :)

4 months of training down, 5 months to go!

First of all, for those interested (probably only my mom), here are my tallies so far: 61 miles of swimming, 1, 235 miles of biking, and 293 miles of running. Phew.

Looking back on life since I started training, I can see that I'm being challenged in many ways. I have been tested and am growing stronger physically, but even more-so I have been challenged spiritually and relationally. It's a fun, but sometimes overwhelming task trying to balance training with the many other blessings I have in my life.

But God only gives us what we can handle. Right? I hope so. Processing through my life makes me realize my balancing act is a result of many blessings: my residency, this training, my fam (growing by the minute!), my friends & core group, and my boyfriend. Lots of goodness to try manage, but so far, so good. Some occasional tears and fears now and then, but that's life. And without challenges we can not grow stronger.

Let's recap just a handful of lessons I've learned:

1. Always assume you will need gu or a snack during training... so pack it for the workout!

2. On that note, always eat something within 30 minutes after a workout, or else ... (see prior post)

3. Always check that you have a house key before taking off for a run! My excitement for a beautiful greenlake sunrise run last week swiftly turned into me being locked out of my house. But thanks to "ninja" Rob, I snuck back in.

4. Stretching your IT-band out is apparently very important. Otherwise, when somebody just simply touches it (on the outside of your quad/thigh), it feels like they are violently punching your leg.

5. Chaffing is a very real issue. Bodyglide, here I come!

And last but not least, the main thing I have learned: Apart from Christ, I am nothing. But with Christ, I can get out of bed at 4:45, work hard as a pharmacist and resident, lead my core group girls, make the most of my relationship, be there for my friends, have time for my family, and run that extra mile.

"For in Him we live and move and have our being."

Acts 17: 28

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Man down!

Yesterday I went to a bridal shower for one of my best friends, Jen Hovee. It indeed was a blast and included a 5 minute session of me... on the ground!

So, this is what my usual workout routine looks like:

Meg eats
Meg works out (and often eats during it)
Meg eats (a lot!) again SOON after getting home

Yesterday was different.

Meg ate
Meg ran

... and then I came home, showered, dried my hair, did some laundry, made Jen a card, and then was out the door in no time and heading to Mercer Island... extremely ready to eat some bridal shower BRUNCH!

Of course, we do not eat right as we get there and most are content with just chatting and drinking their delicious drink. Meanwhile, I am eyeing the beautiful food table hoping somebody will say "dive in!" When that finally happens, I am more than ready to eat. I'm ALMOST through the line, when I accidentally slice my finger as I'm cutting my bagel in half. Blood proceeds to spill onto my hand, bagel, and plate. Whoops! So, I sit down, look at my finger and the blood and realize I'm getting light headed. Then, Jen proceeds to tell me I'm profusely sweating. So the bride-to-be escorts me into another room where I essentially fall/lay on the ground... definitely almost completely fainted!

But thank goodness for dear friends like Jen and Stace who lovingly hand-fed me chocolate-covered strawberries to bring my blood sugars up and me back to life!

Lesson learned: ALWAYS eat immediately post-workout, no matter what kind of rush you are in, even if a large tasty brunch is promised you!!! You never know what will happen that could delay that food entering your mouth. And watch out for sharp knives! Combination of needing food + blood = not good :)

Ironically enough, my brother, Rob, ended up in the E.R. with twelve stitches in his hand from a sawing accident while installing a dishwasher. Not a good day for the Melchiors kids! I wonder if anything happened to Keith...

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Ibulanku friends

Below are a handful of pictures during my time in Ibulanku when serving with Uganda Village Project in the summer of 2008. I will take some time over the next few months to share some memorable experiences. For now, some photos will have to do.
my ugandan family one of my favorites
always crowds at the well nutrition & medication safety seminar
hung out with these kiddos every day!
beautiful girl enjoying sugarcane
my best look... the gomes
waiswa with tim's teddy
this girl was named Happy =)

Bringing you up to speed

Well, here I am sitting on my comfy couch wrapped up in a warm blanket, sipping on Good Earth tea, and relishing some precious down time. As of today, I am officially finished with 1/3 of my triathlon training. So far, so good! My body is still in one piece, and I am more than excited to start raising money for Uganda Village Project. My official fundraising page on the UVP website will be up shortly, but for now I will get this blog going.

When that alarm goes off at 4:45 or 5:00 in the morning (more often than not), what gets me out of bed is the thought of my friends in Ibulanku and the work of UVP... and of course the thought of that finish line waiting for me on June 27th. God has faithfully brought me to this point, and I can not wait to see what is in store for the next 6 months.

You have missed out on my accounts of the last 3 months of training, so I will bring you up to speed. Luckily, I'm super-cool and have been diligently filling out my "Triathlete's Training Diary." Up to this point (just finished week 12 of 36 weeks of training), my totals are:

44 miles of swimming
908 miles of biking
213 miles of running

There you have it.

Now you can only imagine the number of loads of laundry of sweaty workout clothes that have resulted from those miles! AND top that off with my increased caloric intake involving LOTS of peanut butter, clif bars, bananas, pancakes... and banana pancakes, bagels, pasta, and of course a variety of weird sport "foods" like the infamous Gu -- with my most recent addition being jelly belly's 'sport beans' (that one goes out to my mama, lover of jelly bellies). It's been quite the experience :)

This is my first EVER blog post, and I think it is time for me to wrap it up. I will leave you all with a quote that is inspiring me in my training and helping me to run with perseverence this race marked before me:

"Before you accomplish something, you must expect it of yourself."

So that's what I'm doing. And doing so by the grace of God.