Thursday, May 31, 2012

Over...and OUT

There have been a couple (well, more than a couple) not so awesome things thrown at me this week but I am trying not to let the negativity derail me...and keeping myself UNSTRESSED has been a huge challenge. I can tell that the stress is manifesting itself physically.

Quassy almost is here and I am getting ready to leave.

I know that this course is going to deliver some hurt, I have know this for two years.
Why do you think I wanted to do this race soo badly? Because of the challenge it presents.
Quassy HalfRev was on my schedule this year regardless and now that I am a member of Team Rev 3, it just makes it that more exciting!!

I cannot wait to see my team mates, I am overflowing with joy to see Sonja, I cannot wait to meet some fellow ponies (those of us coached by the Awesomeness that is Sonja) and I am excited/nervous/ready for this race!

I over-packed (as usual).
I am over-excited (duh?!).
but I am ready.

My Coach has prepared me well, physically I got this. The only component that needs some fine tuning in my mental strength. While I do consider myself mentally strong, I know that I have a long way to go before I am anywhere near where I want to be.

So to mimic one of my inspirations, I have written some words of encouragement on my water bottle.
Chrissie writes her manta on her water bottle and bracelet pre-race and carries the poem "IF" by  Kipling

Kind of ironic that the very woman who inspired me to do just this, is the one quoted on the bottle.

"I had that ugly voice on one shoulder suggesting I quit and take the easy route. But I hate the goddamn easy route, and I know that I can never rest until I know I have given it absolutely everything. So I ignored the pain. I ignored the internal whispers. It was the other voice, the louder one on the opposite shoulder, which gave me the will to continue" ~Chrissie Wellington

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


here's part two of the weekend in pics!
a combo post if you will. wordless wednesday + the weekend in pictures part II and you get this post!

Lola rollerskating--how much fun with THIS?
..and yes, she is what she deemed appropriate roller skating garb...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Weekend in Pictures-Part I

What a fantastic weekend! It was chocked full of awesome for sure.
This weekend was also the last big workouts before Quassy.
By the way, Rev 3 Quassy is NEXT WEEKEND.
So excited on so many levels.

So there was this little 90 miler bike ride that happened-
It was so much fun--great weather!

I left super early and met up with my training buddy, Marc (who did great--he stuck with me for almost 4 hours which is big volume for him)

Pit stop #1 was at Pine Point to inhale my favorite bike food-a Powerbar Performance Energy bar in Cookies -n- Cream! nom nom

The view for our snack break

loving my Quintana Roo cdo.1 

After we left the coast, we did a majority of the miles inland and then hit up the Revolution 3 Maine HalfRev bike course which winds through several farms. We actually had to STOP for COW CROSSING!
I could not get my camera out fast enough to capture the actual crossing but it was pretty cool!

The long gate opens up across the road to stop cars (and bikes) from passing while the cows move from one pasture to the other.
The super nice farmer moooooving the cows.

 Four hours in  and still smiling--this is when Marc and I parted ways and I went off on my own. I was soooo close to 90 miles at the 5 hour mark I just had to do a minute extra to get it :)

After my bike ride, it was time to work!! We have a wood stove and it has become tradition to cut wood and stack it to celebrate the official start of summer (kind of an oxymoron huh?) I affectionately refer to this as the WoodB!tch Workout...I have no idea how many "cords" (nor can I tell you just how much one cord is...) we cut and stacked this weekend but it was a lot!

 My boss, Lola, is a slave driver!

Functional fitness...stacking wood! That is one big pile I made :)

Recovery counts so this is how I relaxed later in the day

I finally got one of those Nook tablet things. 
Immediately downloaded The Big Book of Endurance Training by Phil Maffetone. (Imagine that...)

CHILLAXIN at it's finest-check out the beautiful veggie garden in the background!

This was my view from the hammock. Lola living it up in the back yard, running through the sprinkler.

...and this was my view at the end of the day. I guess an entire day out in the bright sunshine can do THIS to you...

Coon Eyes for sure

Don't forget about my 1BandID giveaway, I am accepting entries until June 3rd at midnight!!

What awesomeness did you stuff into this long weekend??

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reloaded: Lessons from a 2 Year Old

I was looking for a specific blog post this morning when I stumbled across this gem from Oct 2010.

Lola is now 3 (..and a half!!!) and I continue to learn from her each and every day. This is what my beautiful little girl taught me when she was two.

Laugh & Love Often

What can you learn from a 2 year old?
Here is what I learned this week from Lola.

"watch me go! go! go!"
and then she proceeded to go flying head first down the slide with no fear at all! Her entire face smiling.
lesson: don't be afraid to jump in head first!

"I like to rake leeeefs with you"
while doing yard work this weekend, holding the rake upside down and making a total mess of the leaves my husband and I just raked.
lesson: find the joy in each moment, even the not so joyous tasks.

"I'm swimming! I'm swimming!"
on her belly in the bathtub in 4 inches of water-arms and legs going.
lesson: believe in yourself and all things are possible!

"you're pretty Mommy"
She said this last week first thing in the morning with her hands on my cheeks, looking right up close at me-no make up, my hair a mess.
lesson: (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) Those who love you, love you no matter what!

"I can do it all by myself"
as she climbed up the ladder to the slide, her footing slipped and I tried to help & fix it for her. She did not want me to.
lesson: sometimes we have to slip and fall so we know what to do differently next time.

"I missed you Mommy"
when I got back from the gym this morning.
lesson: tell those you love how you feel. often.

Sometimes you can find simple life lessons in the everyday.
What have you learned today?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Win it Wednesday

What are you waiting for?
Enter to win a 1BandID for yourself or a loved one...

tis the season to get OUT and enjoy life.
Be active.
Be happy.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Motivation: Runner 12

Today's dose of Monday Motivation is from John!! 
John just ran marathon #2 in Pasadena yesterday so today is the perfect day to get motivated by his story!

So who is John? 
John is one of my Fat to Finish Line-the documentary participants AND Runner #12 on the Ragnar Relay (Miami to Key West) team. John is also the author of the blogs Project One Five and Runner 12 

This former Marine is SO funny and has such a positive outlook each day. His amazing story and personality also scored him a job with, the very site that helped HIM reach his own goals.
 I simply cannot wait to meet him face to face in January! I have also warned him that I could end up a permanent resident of his Southern California cabana (triathlon paradise!!).

Here is a little bit more about John and his journey to health!

John at mile 26 of the super hot (98*!!) Pasadena marathon yesterday!
Congrats on Marathon #2!!

I was always a skinny kid. I could eat anything and everything I wanted and I still never gained weight. When I joined the Marine Corps at eighteen, I was still stick-thin. In fact, I came THIS CLOSE to being put on double-rations while in Boot Camp to fatten me up. For nearly four years, I ate calorie-heavy food, drank crazy amounts of alcohol, and rarely gained an ounce. I credit a turbo-charged metabolism and nonstop Marine Corps physical training.

Unfortunately, after leaving the Marine Corps, I continued to eat and drink the same way for many years. What I didn't continue was the physical fitness training. And year after year, meal after meal, my body began to change. It was subtle at first, but weight gain was inevitable. I gained a couple of pounds each year, and by my mid-thirties, I could no longer pretend that everything was fine. But I didn't really know a way to turn it around.

In late 2005, a friend surprised me with a 5K while we were together in Chicago. It was my first and I finished, and it got me thinking about my health and fitness levels. I spent the next year off-and-on at the gym and managed to lose a bit of weight. In January of 2007, I was diagnosed with Pertussis. (It's the adult version of Whooping Cough, and yes, I did feel like a 17th century peasant with the Plague.) For nearly one hundred days, I coughed. I could barely move, let alone workout. And even after I recovered, I didn't feel like doing anything healthy. I was angry at having been sick for so long and resigned to a life of being overweight.

And for the next three years, I ate and drank my way to my heaviest weight ever. After I hit 220 pounds, I stopped stepping on the scale. I just didn't want to know. But in June 2010, my annual Marine Corps Reunion was held here in San Diego. For several days, I was surrounded by my Marine Corps brothers and sisters. They were all people who knew me back in the day, and for some, it had been 20+ years since they had seen me. And you can imagine how different I looked to them.

You would be right if you credit them for waking me up from my mental funk. But it didn't happen the way you might think. They didn't make me feel fat or bad about myself. Quite the opposite, in fact. They helped me remember the person I used to be, the young Marine who was fearless and funny and passionate about life. They helped me see that I was still that person; I just needed to reach out and take control of my life again.

And I did. I had been a member of (a free health and fitness website) for over a year, but I had never really explored the site. Now, though, I began checking in every single day. I read articles, took quizzes, joined teams, and started blogging.

I also made a commitment to myself that I would be perfect - yep, perfect - but just until I got myself back under 200 pounds. That meant no alcohol, no fast food, no desserts and no eating out. It meant going to the gym and working out every single day, no exceptions. I knew it wasn't something I could live with forever, but I could definitely do it long enough to drop 20+ pounds.
t worked. Soon, I was down to 198.5 pounds. In August, I signed up for a Bike The Bay challenge and in September, I ran the Marine Corps Boot Camp Challenge. I was definitely on my way. By December 2010, I was solidly in a groove. I had a new lifestyle - eat healthy, be active, repeat consistently. And I was ready for a new challenge. I signed up for a 5K, then a 10K, then a half marathon... and then another! In 2011, I ran two half marathons, the Tough Mudder, the Super Spartan, Bay to Breakers, Warrior Dash, and a Ragnar Relay. My crowning achievement, though, was running the Marine Corps Marathon in October. It took me every bit of five hours to finish it, and I am as proud of that as if I had won the whole thing.

Since then, I have run nearly a dozen half marathons and I have another full marathon coming up. I have found a balance in my life, eating and being active while indulging from time to time in my favorite foods and drinks.

Looking back, I understand why my first attempt in weight loss in 2005 didn't work. I was all about the physical, and I completely ignored what was happening in my mind and in my heart. 
I didn't just eat because I was hungry. I ate because I was sad and lonely and depressed. And that doesn't just go away on its own, no matter how much weight you lose.

This time around, I have worked on more than just my body. Instead of focusing on losing weight, I have focused on an overall fitness plan. I'm a happier person, inside and out, and I am better able to separate the food I need to eat from the junk I was inhaling without thought. These days, I finally get it. And the simple truth is, healthy is the new skinny.


I don't judge my success by my weight. Instead, I think of the miles I've run, the races I've completed, the challenges I have met... and most importantly, the relationships and friendships I have made along this journey.

I struggled along the way. I still struggle sometimes. But I am proof that anyone with a plan and a will to work for it can go from couch potato to marathoner. Join me as I continue to make my life an adventure.

YOU DID ENTER MY 1BandID giveaway, right?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

1BandID-Review & Giveaway

It's been a couple long days of training, working and balancing it all with family obligations and it seems there is little time left for me to play blog on the computer this week.
(though I totally admit to spending as much time as I could stalking my Ironman Texas friends that were racing)

I am happy that the nice weather has arrived in Maine and this allows for more training OUTSIDE. One of the most important things you can do is be prepared for an emergency. Let's face it, when you spend hours and hours outside running and biking it is more of a matter of WHEN it'll happen, not if...

This winter I was lucky enough to meet up with the brains (and good looks) behind a relatively new athlete ID product called 1BandID. 

How is 1BandID different from all the other ID's out there?
Easy...because it's simple.

Most athletes and runners use heart rate monitors, GPS devices or watches while out doing their thing.
The 1BandID attaches right to your wrist worn personal timing/gps/hrm device like a Garmin, or watch!
Just put it on and forget about it. It will always be there with you. Nor worrying about putting one more thing on before heading out the door!!

I cannot tell you how many times I've head out the door without my "other" ID bracelet and not bothered to go back home to put it on. Most of us do wear a personal watch/gps/timing device while training so I found this option very appealing.

I wore the 1BandID on my Garmin (my preferred method of wear since this is what I use 99% of the time).

I wore it on my Polar HRM.

I even wore it on my Timex swimming.

It did not come off, it did not irritate me and I did not even know it was there (except when the pretty pink color caught my eye!)

Don't wear a watch/GPS/heart rate monitor? It can even be attached to a variety of other things like sneakers, bike shoes or aerobars (yes, I put it on my aerobars!!) to provide first responders the critical information they need about you in the event of an accident or emergency.

From the 1BandID website:

Peace of Mind
  • 1BandID gives first responders critical information if you’re unconscious or unable to speak and cannot communicate. Unlike a locked phone, a tucked away drivers license or code that requires logging into a database somewhere, 1BandID’s crystal clear laser-engraved information is right there and easy to read.

I have enough to think about with training-
executing the workout as written by my Coach
make sure all my nutrition is prepped and ready to go
set up my transition if needed that day
plus all the extra equipment we triathletes use
With my 1BandID, I do not need to worry about one more thing.
and THAT, my friends is the #1 reason that I have really enjoyed my 1BandID.
It gives me peace of mind that in the event that I cannot speak for myself, the little pink band on my Garmin will be well seen by emergency personnel and it is always there-no forgetting.
The fact that it comes in pink was a plus.
Plus, when I check my awesome splits, I am reminded about my manta:

BELIEVE...Be Fearless.

I love my 1BandID so much that I want you to have one too. 
And so does Joe at 1BandID who graciously agreed to participate in my giveaway (thank you, Joe!)

So how to enter?? (one comment for each entry)

Mandatory Entry: 

1) Go visit the 1BandID website and tell me-
-what is something interesting you learned about the 1BandID?
-what C O L O R will you get if you win
-what kind of motivation word/quote will you have on your band?

Bonus Entries: 

2) Go show 1BandID some love on Twitter by following them.

3) Tweet about this contest!! Include @MilesMusclesMom and @1BandID in your tweet!! You can earn ONE ENTRY per day for each tweet!! Just come here and leave me a comment that you tweeted.
I'll even make it easy for you-here is a sample tweet you can use

@MilesMusclesMom & @1BandID Have peace of mind while out training & simplify ur day-enter to WIN your own 1BandID at

4) You know you like 'em right? For a 4th entry give 1BandID a like on Facebook!

5) Share the link to this contest with your friends on Facebook or blog!
Same as above, one entry per share per day-make sure you let me know :)

If you want to go LIKE this picture of Lola so she can win me a medal hanger I would be forever grateful to you (but can't grant you a bonus entry!! lol)
You have to like the picture in their album.
There might be a random separate prize for anyone who likes it though...just sayin.

Lola would really, really like to win!!

Contest Details- I will accept entries until midnight on June 3rd, the day I race Quassy. I will pick a winner from all eligible entries once I am able to move or walk upright again. 
Your comment here is your entry, failure to follow directions and leave a comment for each entry will only reduce your chances of winning so please, do leave individual comments. 
If the winning method of entry is found to be invalid, a new will be selected from all other entries. 

Disclosure- The 1BandID was provided to me at no charge and all opinions expressed here are my own. I really do love this ID and I was not compensated in any way for saying that Joe was good looking or for anything else I said or did for this blog review. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Monday Motivation

Need a little dose of motivation today?

How's this??

Me Before and After
Photo courtesy of Katie at RUNS FOR COOKIES

If you have been a reader or follower for a while then you most likely know "my story" but if not or you just want to be reminded, I am sharing a short version with you today. 
Anyway, I went from 
Fat and miserable 
Fit and ecstatic

Over the weekend, my fellow Fat to Finish Line documentary film (go give us a like on Facebook and Twitter, please!!) and Ragnar Relay team partner, Katie at RUNS FOR COOKIES did a team member profile on me.  

Katie has an absolutely amazing story too so please go check it out!!

Over the next many Mondays I will be doing a Monday Motivation post profiling success stories of my FTF/Ragnar Relay team mates, fellow bloggers & friends who have changed their lives and general motivational tidbits to keep you moving in the right direction!! 

Since I took control of my life and my health, things really are sunshine and roses most days. 
This past year has been SO amazing in so many ways that still, some days, I just have to pinch myself. 
But the biggest change is really in my own perception. When things don't go the way I think they should, I try to sit back and relax, knowing that everything happens for a reason. 

So here is your first dose of MONDAY MOTIVATION.
Remember, anything is possible, if you BELIEVE
In 2007, I was extremely overweight (well over 250 lbs at last scale check-I avoided those at all costs) and extremely miserable. I was depressed, lost and miserable with the life I was living. I wanted more for myself, so I sat down and took a long, hard, honest look at the where I was heading. I did not like what I saw and decided that I needed to make some changes. I knew I needed to get healthy, and once I was healthy, I could be a much better person and eventually be a great mother.

In September of 2007, I made a plan and a list of goals. I quit drinking, I quit smoking, and I started exercising. The day I quit smoking was my first time in the gym. I could not walk more than 15 minutes on the treadmill but I kept at it. I went back the next day and walked 16 minutes. I kept going back and doing more. I would see these "fit girls" out running on the roads and I wanted to be that "fit girl" out running! I started losing weight slowly. I was feeling good and starting to enjoy life again. The dark clouds were starting to lift!

Then after a few months, my husband and I discovered we were pregnant. I stayed active through my entire pregnancy and learned about nutrition and clean foods. I wanted to be as healthy as I could for my baby. In October of 2008, after 42 long weeks of pregnancy, I finally had my baby girl via unscheduled c-section. I heard horror stories about post c-section recovery but I felt good and I had new goals to achieve! One week after having Lola, I was out walking every day in the warm fall sunshine with my baby and renewed vigor and motivation to reach my goal of being healthy and being a positive role model for my daughter.

I now had new goals to reach and new motivation. I wanted to be a woman my daughter could always look up to. I wanted to live a life that was healthy and positive. I wanted to be strong-for her and for myself. I did not want to be the "fat mom" and I did not want my daughter growing up unhealthy or to struggle with body image issues. I made a promise to her and to myself that I would do anything and everything I needed to do to achieve a healthy weight and do it in a healthy way!

After fourteen months of hard work (meaning working out consistently and eating real food), I reached my first goal of 100 pounds lost! I learned how to juggle motherhood, how to exercise, to continually make new goals, and live the life I had dreamed about for so long. 

I fell in love with my new healthy and active life. I connected with other moms in an online group for new moms to get support, learn about nutrition, share workout tips and get support from one another. I started participating in local road races and enjoyed this tremendously! Running became something I loved to do instead of a means to an end (to burn calories to lose fat).

My husband and parents gave me a great BOB Revolution jogging stroller so I could run any time with the baby. I was learning more and more about myself and found that I was capable of more than I ever gave myself credit for. I placed at several small 5k's and it just pushed me harder to get better. My family would come to each race and it became tradition for me to get a high five from my little girl just after the starting line. I continued setting bigger and better goals and reaching each one of them.

In 2010, I was ready to challenge myself with something new, and I did my first sprint triathlon. It was love at first swim/bike/run. I smiled the entire time and could not believe how much fun I was having. I ended up placing second in my age group at that first race and could not wait to do more! I vowed to learn as much as I could about the sport and immersed myself in the triathlon lifestyle.

I have since competed in many triathlons from sprint distance to half-ironman distance, which is a 1.2 mile swim followed by a 56 mile bike ride and wraps up with a 13.1 mile run. Next year, I will complete my first Ironman distance triathlon with Revolution 3 in Ohio! 

The journey I have been on the last several years has not only changed me physically (now ~120lbs gone!) but mentally as well. If only there were a way to show the INSIDE changes that occur... I am strong, determined and have found true joy and passion in my life. Each day is an opportunity to be amazing-in big and small ways. I have become the woman I envisioned just four short years ago-and then some! I am someone that makes my family proud and I am a role model for my daughter. 

I live to inspire and want everyone to know that no matter what your goals are, you CAN achieve them. I am now a sponsored triathlete with Revolution 3 triathlon--literally, a dream come true! It is about finding that passion inside of you and chasing those dreams with wild abandon. Once you find that inner fire, that inner drive--there is nothing that can stop you but you!

I am a positive person that is full of energy--every day I have a smile plastered across my face because I cannot believe I am living my dreams...

...and it all started with just one step in the right direction and not stopping. Don't be afraid to take that step.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Wishing each and every one of you Mom's a great, wonderful day.

Without question, THE most amazing moment of my life.
Holding my daughter, Lola for the very first time.
42 weeks of pregnancy
2 hours of surgery
3 1/2 years of smiles
A lifetime of happiness


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chrissie Wellington-A Life Without Limits {2 chances to WIN & CHAT with her!)

I rarely mention this but 
4x Ironman World Champion, Chrissie Wellington and I are BFF's.
ok, BFF might be a slight exaggeration BUT I did meet her last year at a Make-A-Wish Foundation event, I got my finishers medal from her at Timberman AND she tweeted pics of us hanging out. 
Oh, she also wrote on my Facebook page...
Do I really need to drag out ALL of the pictures of us again?? :)

The amazingly tough Chrissie has taken this year off from racing Ironman to pursue other interests, which include promoting her new book, A Life Without Limits.

Meet and greet with Chrissie Wellington

About the book-

In 2007, Chrissie Wellington shocked the triathlon world by winning the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii. As a newcomer to the sport and a complete unknown to the press, Chrissie's win shook up the sport. A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS is the story of her rise to the top, a journey that has taken her around the world, from a childhood in England, to the mountains of Nepal, to the oceans of New Zealand, and the trails of Argentina, and first across the finish line.

Wellington's first-hand, inspiring story includes all the incredible challenges she has faced-- from anorexia to near-drowning to training with a controversial coach. But to Wellington, the drama of the sports also presents an opportunity to use sports to improve people's lives.

A LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS reveals the heart behind Wellington's success, along with the diet, training and motivational techniques that keep her going through one of the world's most grueling events.

I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for this book to come out and found out through her publisher, Center Street, that she would be coming to Boston this month to  do a book signing event!! So I decided to wait until the book signing to get my copy. I have been watching the Center Street website waiting for them to release the location but nothing. So I tweeted them wondering when the info would be posted. They tweeted me back.

NO GO FOR ME :(  BOSTON stop cancelled.
But, all is not lost. 


On Saturday, May 12th (so this Saturday) THE Chrissie Wellington will be doing a live Q&A with GOTRIBal on their Facebook page! Not only can you dish with my BFF, Chrissie

You will also have a chance to win an autographed copy of the book! 
This event will take place at 2pm PST (5pm EST) on the GOTRIbal Wall (not their event page) and ALL are welcome to attend (this means you too, fellas!) 

ALSO (yes!! there is more)

Go check out Iron Texas Mommy's blog! She is also giving away a copy of the book (this contest ends May 11th at midnight CST so hurry!!)

I'll leave you with one of the happiest moments I have experienced, finishing my first 70.3 and getting a hug & my medal from one of my biggest inspirations~Chrissie!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

More Motivation: Eye Candy Edition Part II for the MEN!

Yesterday the post was awesome and all, but I want to be a fair blogger to the male readership

So here are some shots of my friend, Jessi Stensland in all her hotness.
(yes, total girl crush on her)

Crazy, she is as nice as she is gorgeous too.

how hot is that??


super talented athlete too.

Ladies, admit it.
You enjoyed this too :)

Happy Thursday.

In other news:
The QR arrived yesterday. I am off to get her all built and fit.
Tomorrow? Road trip to Quassy to ride/run the race route.