EFC Power Log
EFC Power Log is your new internet fitness cafe! We post informative articles and encourage real world athletes to share their experiences with goal setting, training, nutrition, racing and achieving their fitness goals. If your workout is done for the day, kick up you feet, grab the beverage of choice and join Energy Coaching Athletes, Friends and Coaches as we share the latest fitness tips. EFC's Power Log is your source for personal, real life struggles and victories leading to true life and fitness improvements. Welcome to Energy Fitness Coaching Power Log!
Wednesday, May 01, 2013
EFC Athlete Nick Robertson
Nick works in Chicago and lives in West Bend, WI with his wife and 4 young children. The schedule he pulls off is impressive in itself. Add his racing and fast times and he’s in a category of his own. Nick recently raced back to back races and once again achieved top place finishes. Here are some snippets of Nick’s recent log updates…
Iola 15k Trail Race in WI:
Wow, was this ever a challenging track. The entire thing was covered in thick snow—much of it was hard, but there were sections that went ankle-deep and knee-deep, and there was plenty of slipping and sliding. Around mile 5 I thought my spikes fell off because I ran up a few hills with loose snow and my feet kept slipping right away. Also half way through the race a heavy snow storm hit, and it was blowing right in my eyes and it was cold; all this and hill after hill after hill. There was maybe 1 total mile of flat surface—this would’ve been a good snowshoe race.
The spikes worked out well. Most importantly I didn’t hurt my feet or ankles or anything. I went with the 3/8s to be safe, but could’ve easily gone w/ 1/2s.
I’m happy to have finished a challenging course like this and get the season kicked off, but realistically I’ve got the score Iola 2 - Nick 0. This course kicked my butt again. The goal is to come back next year and be in attack mode for more of the race…and to win.
Local ½ marathon the following weekend:
The course was long (I had it at 13.22 miles) and based on my pace, this should’ve been a 1:23:40. So I’m happy with 6:23s. I went out hard to try and hang with the 2 guys that won, but after a few miles I knew that probably wasn’t going to happen. It was an out-and-back and the turnaround was into a heavy and cold wind. I started feeling a little spent as I pushed hard into the wind. I was able to dig in and close strong. It was my fitness that ailed me today. My legs had it and they could’ve probably done more, but my cardio couldn’t match it. In all, I don’t see any reason why I shouldn’t be able to hold a 6:15 for a ½ in the not too distant future.
Well we agree. A 2nd place at Iola and 3rd place a week later is awesome! We love seeing your improvements each month. Your hard work, focus and devotion are bringing in great results. We are so proud of what you are accomplishing and we are excited for all that is ahead.
EFC Athlete Larry Jones
After spending more time overseas for work than home in Chicago, athlete Larry put together an amazing training plan running all over the UK and France. It wasn’t easy to handle such an intense training load with the rigorous travel, but Larry made the most of it with epic runs along the coast. He ended up having a great marathon this April! Here is an email from Larry:
I had a good race today and felt strong throughout. I think I ran a good race. I was very consistent with each mile and I never really hit the wall (besides normal struggle and pulling through).
I averaged 7:28 per mile pace and if the course wasn’t 0.4 miles long! (they changed it the night before due to flooding) I would have been very close to qualifying for Boston. I finished at 3:18:45. I don’t think I could have run a much better race.
Thank for your help in getting me ready for this.
Well thank you Larry for your hard work, dedication and discipline! We are so proud of what you have accomplished and we are excited for all that is ahead.
EFC Athlete Jenny Cotton
Dr. Jenny Cotton trained through this rough Midwest winter and conquered the Big Sur Marathon this April with an impressive 4:35. Busy physician, mother of 2 high school boys and wife of a busy surgeon, Jenny wakes up early and fits in training before the sun comes up. Her commitment and perseverance helped her finish high up in the 50 to 54 year old female age group. She is one tough lady!
Posted by Coach Kelly on 05/01/13 at 07:22 AM
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Sunday, March 31, 2013
We finally figured it out! On March 28th, after 5 months of waiting to get into an allergist, we’ve discovered most of Braylen’s GI struggles are due to barley and almonds. As I suspected, the food I was eating was a big part of the problem. I’ve had numerous allergy tests over the years as I’ve mentioned in other posts, but I’ve never been tested for almonds or barley. Well, I’m allergic to them! So, the protein in barely and almonds does not get broken down and therefore it was passed on to Braylen in my breast milk causing her gas and pain. Although I’m not allergic to rice, Braylen is, and so along with removing rice from my diet and hers and me no longer eating barley and almonds, we both are doing so much better!
The 6 months of various elimination diets never removed almonds or barley and actually loaded me up with rice. It was a painful struggle, and the whole time I kind of figured it was something odd like this. The little bit of Honey Nut Cheerios (almond based) I snacked on now and then, the once a week almond butter (because we don’t keep peanut butter in the house as Rob is deathly allergic to peanuts) and the every now and then bowl of Grape Nuts (barely based) truly wreaked havoc. I feel terrible! I’m so thankful we conquered it and were able to completely eliminate Braylen’s meds. She is now happier than ever!
Although March was one cold month, we made the most of it. We filled this month with Toledo Walleye Hockey games, the Churchill’s ½ marathon, two Easter Egg hunts and a wonderful Easter Sunday together.
• Braylen continues to get more vocal and have more fun every day. We love her little squeals and laughs. Like Brecken would, she seems to stay quiet and take it all in when around large groups of people, but then when she is home and with just Rob and me, she cranks up and becomes extra playful.
• She likes to sit up and be read to and she also enjoys watching her sister run around her and play. Braylen also has fun sitting in the bumbo chair playing the bongos with her sister.
• She is turning into a jumping bean. I remember this with Brecken too. If you hold her under her armpits and let her stand, she’ll start jumping up and down. She absolutely loves her farm animal jumpy downstairs and her farm bouncy upstairs.
• Braylen is rolling all over the living room. She is not crawling, but she’ll roll to the toy she wants and is content to play on her belly or her back. One cute thing she did this month was when she was hugging and holding onto the Lightning McQueen pillow car rolling side to side giggling. She likes to do this with Monkey man stuffed animal too.
• Her favorite things this month might be her mobile and the Little People. She loves to stand on the bed and try to eat the Giraffe light or reach and pull on the color animals that spin around on her mobile. She also likes to stand with Brecken and play with the Little People doll house. Braylen prefers eating the Little People while Brecken enjoys pushing them around in cars.
• Braylen had her first Ice Cream this month. Although it was the smallest amount, she was in love! She was squealing with delight and I couldn’t feed it to her fast enough.
• In all, she is enjoying more fruits and vegetables and pushing the water seems to help her as well. Before the allergist appointment, we did have a minor setback when we re-introduced rice based on the Pediatrician’s recommendation. Braylen really wants real food, so we gave her Mumms (a baby rice wafer). Boy did she love holding it and chewing on it, but each day she grew more uncomfortable and started to struggle once again. So right now, I’m looking for another alternative, but finding a soy free and rice free baby wafer so far seems impossible.
• Brecken is a little sponge. She is picking up everything we say and bringing it back in her conversations.
• My favorite sayings this month are…
o “I missed you all day long” as Daddy says that as soon as he walks in the door from work. And, “I missed you so much!”As that is what I say when I get back from my runs.
o “Mom, what are the hockey guys doing now? Oh, probably taking their hockey gear off then getting dinner, baths, jammies on and going night-night.”
o And I love when she sings! She knows all of Twinkle, Twinkle little star and she totally surprised me when she busted out every word in a song I made up for her when I was pregnant…and now I sing it to her and Braylen when one of them is upset. She also cracked me up when she did her gymnastics song… “Look at me, look at me, I’m a little Braylen, I cry and cry and cry and cry, just like a little Braylen.” And, “Look at me, look at me, I’m a little Mommy, I talk and talk and talk and talk, just like a little Mommy.”
• Brecken loves cuddling with Braylen and she enjoys playing Peek-a-boo with her as well. She likes to be the teacher and read her stories too.
• The only issue we had this month is in regards to sleep. We had a similar issue a couple of months ago where she just does not want to slow down to nap nor does she want to go to bed. It’s normal for a child at this age to want to play and explore, so I’m not worried, but Rob and I are becoming exhausted. I can never get the kids to nap at the same time and then I can’t get anything done in the evening either because Brecken gets back up out of bed and wants to play every night.
• The good news is we are working with her on communication. When she is overtired or frustrated, she whines and has a bit of a temper tantrum. However, when I explain why she is acting like that and give her better ways to deal with her frustration, she really does understand. She will stop and pull herself together. It helps end the tantrums quickly and I can see where it helps avoid them as well. It takes continual explanation, patience and reinforcement, but the truth is, kids this young do understand a lot more than most give them credit for.
• Another neat example is when I raise my voice and tell her to stop doing something. She picks up that tone and pitch and she’ll give it back to me later when she wants something. I find if I stay calm and explain this to her and clarify respect for elders and when mommies need to enforce things with a loud voice, she calmly nods and often gives me a hug. I truly believe she is starting to put these pieces together.
Coach Kel update:
Nothing new to report on my end other than I’m glad to continue to learn more about my own food allergies. I’m much less bloated and I have a little more energy as I continue to improve my diet. I’m thankful I can enjoy wheat and oatmeal and I feel better eliminating virtually all sulfites, rice, nuts and barely.
I still am not getting enough sleep and I just don’t have time for a detailed training program right now. Instead, I’m just enjoying running every day. I did have fun running the Churchill’s ½ marathon (see more here), but I have decided to adjust my goals for this year. Between the kids, my work, Rob’s work and the weather, I’m not going to get worried about race times, precise workouts and specific races. I’m going to use running to stay fit and healthy, mentally and physically.
Posted by Coach Kelly on 03/31/13 at 02:00 PM
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Friday, March 29, 2013
I wrote in my last post…I don’t have specific goals right now. My kids come first and I do what I can do on the run. I continued to state that I’m not sure most others understand so I’ve been doing some soul searching since my last race. The disappointment in my ½ marathon time I picked up from my family led me to rethink things.
This could get pretty deep, but it is a blog, so I’ll try to keep it short and sweet. A quick background includes me going from a successful Ironman Triathlete, Kona Qualifier, top sales rep for Eli Lilly, fitness instructor and triathlon coach in downtown Chicago to debilitating food allergies, a Multiple Sclerosis scare, a move back to Ohio to be near family, a Longhorn 70.3 horrific bike crash, light-flight, broken pelvis to 1st pregnancy, 5 melanomas, over 100 moles removed and now a healthy mother of 2 beautiful little girls. Seriously? That’s one roller coaster, but it’s all happened in the past 7 years.
Although we don’t have a specific explanation for the sudden increase in mole production and melanomas (I see a geneticist soon and it appears it could be a hormonal thing from my pregnancies), we do know I don’t have MS, but severe food intolerances lead to malabsorbtion then nutrient deficiencies and then all kinds of problems snowballed from there!
Through diligent research, unrelenting doctor searches and visits, and lots of trial and error, we got over the hurdles and we were blessed with two beautiful daughters. We went from traveling the country, often flying our own small airplane, training and racing to busy parents whom barely have time to fit in a workout. With all that in mind, I truly do appreciate each and every day. I love being home with my girls and although it’s exhausting and sometimes stressful, I know it’s going fast and soon they’ll be all grown up. Instead of focusing on myself, I want to focus on my family.
For many years, Rob and I were able to focus on our bodies and our performances. Rob ran in college and I taught aerobics. In Chicago we trained for Ironmans and we were always lean and tan. I can’t say I’m vain, but I really worked hard to be fit and strong and I did care about my looks. After my emergency c-section and then having over 100 moles removed, I’m now covered in scars. As a busy, working mother of two young children, I don’t have time to focus on being super fit and strong right now and I’ll never have my young appearance again. But, I know I have the best husband and the two most amazing daughters, and that’s what really matters.
Although I can rationalize that, it’s not always easy. As I’m playing on the floor with my kids and I see all of my scars, it’s easy to get lost in thoughts and think of the past. As I cross a finish line and feel the disappointment of family and friends in my slower times, it’s hard not to want to train more, get leaner, get faster and win again.
As I cuddle my girls to sleep, I often lay there wondering if what I’m doing is right. Am I on the right path? Am I doing what I’m supposed to be doing? I find comfort in a couple of things…
First, I put my faith in God. I do believe Rob and I are doing our best. I know we put our kids first and trust in God to lead us, however, I know we can still do more. We can do a better job in growing our faith and exposing our children to Christ.
Second, I try to apply a valuable lesson I learned from one of my great Eli Lilly managers, Chuck. He seemed to value my energy and passion, but pushed be to slow down sometimes and “Be in the moment.” Chuck had us read a good book called Fish. The message in Fish is about the importance of being present. I so often put so much on my plate, that it’s easy to forget to “smell the roses” along the way. Over the years I continue to work to slow down and appreciate the simple things, especially when it comes to my girls. I have to tune other things out, like the huge pile of laundry that needs to be done, or the dishes that need to be loaded into the dishwasher, or the new moles that are on my legs and instead, just laugh and enjoy my time with them.
Third, I find peace when I know I am giving me best. One of my favorite doctors I called on in Chicago once told Rob and me to select a couple things to focus on and give those focal points your best. He said, you can’t be 100% at everything all the time. I remember Rob and I questioning what he meant exactly. We’ve always operated based on the principles- “There’s no point in doing something if you aren’t going to do it right.” And, “if you are going to do something, give it 100%.” However, now as parents, I think we can understand what he meant. We can’t give triathlon 100% right now. We can’t give our friends as much time as we like. We must give our children our best and Rob must perform his best at work and I must give my best to my athletes. It’s not easy as we are constantly pulled in numerous directions, but we sure do try.
So when I want to train harder or race more, when I want to sleep in or go to bed early, I must respect where I am right now. I’m a mother, a wife and a coach. With those focuses, I can be present, give me best and trust in God.
Posted by Coach Kelly on 03/29/13 at 10:17 AM
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Sunday, March 10, 2013
It’s been a very cold and snowy winter. I’ve been running outside nearly every day. I think the cold weather makes you stronger, but, I must admit, I can’t wait for spring and summer!
Well, today, we got a taste of it for the Churchill’s ½ marathon! With a very strong wind out of the south (about 25 to 30mph) the temperatures hit the upper 50s by the end of the race. Although I loved the warmer weather, the wind surely made this one tough. I was much slower than hoped, but all in all, I’m so happy to be running!
Life is keeping me busy with a 2 and ½ year old and a 6 month old. My days consist of little sleep and lots of cooking, cleaning and “entertaining two kids.” I change about 15 to 20 diapers a day, prepare 3 meals and numerous snacks pretty much from scratch and I eat on the run. I rarely sit down, except to work at the computer, which is pretty much when everyone else is asleep. With that in mind, when I told Rob I was hoping to break 1:35, but I thought 1:37 was more realistic right now, he looked at me as if I had two heads. Remember he is used to running a ½ marathon in 1:11 and without training he’s pulled off 1:22. Plus he works hard to make sure I get to run almost every day, so I think in his mind I’m doing serious training. Well, he then proceeded to tell my family I’d be done in around 90 minutes. (Yikes!)
Well, race morning was typical for me as a mom, not as an athlete. I had a big bowl of steel cut oats, wheat germ and coffee at 7a.m. I thought something tasted a bit funny, but I was in shovel mode and was fixing Brecken and Braylen’s breakfast and tying to fit in time to pump. Before I knew it, family and friends were here and I was packing the jogging stroller with snacks, extra clothes, bibs, hats, gloves, diapers and waters.
One of our family friends was doing the race too, so we left the house with everyone and did our warm up running from my house to the starting line. While we were running over I said…”So, you can see why I’m not a reliable running partner right now and why I don’t have specific goals. My kids come first and I do what I can do on the run.”
I think that sums everything up for me personally, but I’m not sure most others understand. I’ve been doing some soul searching since the race and I’ll write about that soon. But back to this race post…
So we arrived 8 minutes before race start. We made a quick pit stop. I had a queasy stomach. I wasn’t sure if it was race jitters or that funny tasting oatmeal? Well, it didn’t matter, it was time to go. I looked down and did a number check, chip check and to the starting line we ran. The whistle blew and off we went.
The course began right into a strong headwind. I focused on drafting as we rolled up and down some small hills. I think I may have pushed a little too hard at the start. Even though I was able to draft behind some bigger people, I was solo for most of the 1.5 miles into the wind. I did feel strong and smooth, but the wind was cold and powerful. I came through the first mile at 7 even and I was looking forward to the turnaround up ahead. The tail wind was nice and I tried to take advantage of it with a good lean and quick cadence. I came through mile three at 21 minutes and was so happy to see Brecken and Braylen on the side of the road. Next, I cruised onto the bike path and felt a very strong cross wind. I stayed strong and focused until we curved back into the headwind on the south branch. I was really starting to fatigue already, but I did come through mile 6 in 43 minutes, so I knew I still had a chance at a decent time. I focused on my form and kept thinking the sooner I finished, the sooner I’d get to be with my girls. However, crossing Monclova Road, we were stopped for traffic. That was a little frustrating waiting for cars instead of cars waiting for the runners in a race, but it was church traffic and I wasn’t breaking any records today, so I tried to relax and get going again.
As I headed down Lose Road, I really felt the wind. It was very strong and it was taking its toll on me. Mentally I stayed strong, but physically, I was just tired. I also started to feel my yucky stomach come back. Instead of getting frustrated I just focused on my form and thanked God for being able to be out here. So much has happened since I last ran this race in 2006. I appreciate the ability to run more and more each day.
Coming back in towards the finish shoot I saw my family and I was looking forward to holding my girls. As I came in at 1:39, there was an element of disappointment as my family greeted me. They all expected me to be faster. Without much thought, I just picked up both Brecken and Braylen and went right back into mom mode.
I had fun out there and I did find out the wheat germ was off and I ended up having GI issues for the next 48 hours. But at least I made it through the race!
So, I may not be as fast as expected, but I think my priorities are in the right place right now. As I wrote earlier… My kids come first and I do what I can do on the run.
Posted by Coach Kelly on 03/10/13 at 09:38 PM
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Thursday, February 28, 2013
Although this month was filled with ups and downs, things are getting better! At the end of last month, I decided to eliminate wheat, gluten and rice on top of my already seafood, soy and peanut free diet. I made it 9 days! Then, I began adding more foods back into my diet, starting with gluten and then wheat. I did not find our culprit, but I’m pretty sure we do NOT have a problem with Rob’s wheat, wheat germ, or gluten. Thank Goodness! I also know it’s not dairy from my previous dairy elimination, on the other hand, there are sulfites in many dairy foods and I can see a difference when I eat too much shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheese. I get bloated and Braylen is fussier. I have not been able to go 100% sulfite free, so I’ll work to eliminate that next.
However, at this point, I believe we just eat a lot of fiber rich foods and it makes us all gassy. I also think our babies just take time for their flora to develop and for the “kinks” to get worked out in their digestive systems. Because Braylen is doing so well developmentally with her growth, coordination and attention, I am going to try to relax a bit more and just deal with the fussy days without so much worry.
So, the main issue we dealt with this month was Braylen’s constipation. At the start of February she went 4 days without a BM!! She grew fussier and more uncomfortable every day. Too many carrots and sweet potatoes perhaps along with her “lazy” digestive system? Well, unfortunately this has continued and every couple of random days she’ll get backed up. The consistency has been really inconsistent too…from pasty and thick to lose and watery. So instead of racking our brains, Rob and I are trying to let go a little and focus our energy on all the great things…
•Braylen loves to be carried outward so she can watch her sister, her cousins and the Walleye too! Her smile lights up her whole face and her little legs are constantly motoring. She loves talking to her sister and reaching for her hair. She loves attention and eye contact. Whenever someone looks into her eyes, she’ll start “talking” with “Ahh, Ahhh, Ahh.” Braylen loves to be tickled and smooched on the cheeks as well.
•She is very aware of her surroundings and responds to every little noise. She knows the difference between her name and Brecken’s for sure and will always look your way when you say her name.
•Braylen is starting to really have fun in her Jimmy Johnson car and her bouncy. She chews on everything…from toys, to sippy cups and pacifiers too. Although she never really sucked on a pacifier, she surely will chew on the soft ones now.
•Like her sister, Braylen is a “doer.” She knows what she wants and she goes for it. When she doesn’t get what she wants, she’ll protest with the straight arm, straight leg position and scream. She’s not crawling yet, but she is our little “rolly polly.” She loves to bring her toes up to her hands and even into her mouth and she rolls from side to side!
•Her favorite toys this month might be the Kitchen, Workbench and Piggy Bank. She loves when we cheer for her when she puts the coins in the slot.
•Braylen continues to love food! Her favorites might be peaches and green beans so far. She’s also starting to eat cream of wheat, oat bran, apples and apricots. Cutting up pears and apples in the fruit sucker has also been fun this month. Braylen is drinking more and more water and I think that is helping her GI issues as well.
•Today, February 28th we had her 6 month well-check. She is huge! She is now 17lbs 6 ozs and 25 and ¼ inches long. She’s almost a full 2 lbs and 1 and ¼ inch bigger than Brecken was at 6 months!
•Brecken’s imagination and comprehension expands every day! Each day she comes up with more words and sentences. It’s amazing!
•My favorite sayings this month are…
o“Let’s watch hockey. There’s me and you at the game!” (Daddy likes to have hockey games on at home in the evenings.)
o“Brecken loves Spike.” “Coach Casey and Ms. Lauren love Spike too!” (Brecken likes to wear her Spike and Penguin shirts to gymnastics and dance class so Coach Casey and Ms. Lauren can see Spike and Penguin too.)
o“Mom, where’s the Pizza book? I want to read it.” (This is the Lou Malnati’s catalog she is referring too)
o“Mommy says, no more Penguins.” “Trouble Rays…there’s Daddy and Braylen.” (I had to delete a new Team Umizoomi episode with the “Trouble Makers” because it was causing her to want to get into trouble.)
oShe plays soccer games at home, shouting…”On your mark, get set, GO! Freeze…Silly Dance, Silly Dance.”
oShe sings her Dance Class Song…”The Cuppy Cake Song” everywhere. She was even the star at a baby shower singing and dancing for everyone there.
oOther cute things she says include…“I can’t find it,” and “It’s not enough.”
•Another funny thing she did this month is when she learned how to turn the camera around on the phone and film herself. One morning she was leaning over her coloring table and she was saying…”Look mommy, I’m floating.” Well, I was dust busting and just said, “Oh good, just be careful.” After a couple of minutes, I came over to find her swinging on the table filming herself! She is a riot!
•Brecken not only knows how to use the camera and video camera on my phone, but she’s discovered how to call Daddy and Nana too!
Coach Kel update:
My running has been really consistent this month except for a minor setback and 4 days off. I ran on a Thursday evening, Saturday afternoon and then Sunday morning at the start of February without yaxtraxs. Unfortunately there were some icy patches and I think I had to engage more stabilizer muscles in my feet. Each day my feet wore a bit more sore and finally at the end of my Sunday morning run, I really felt a strain in my left ankle and right foot. I took 3 days off, did an ART session, took 1 more day off and then I started back with 30 minutes. I added 5 to 10 more minutes every day and just focused on more core work and stretching. I lost some speed and will admit I’m not where I was, but I’m so happy to still be running! Running is my only outlet. Between the kids, EFC work and house work, this is all I have. I really appreciate being able to get outside and run! I did start back on the CompuTrainer this month and I’ll admit, it’s just not the same. I do not have the love for the bike that I used to. My love is totally for the run now.
Well, my plan is to run Churchills and Glass City ½ marathons, then race the local duathlons this summer. I’d like to target a fall marathon, but I’m not sure which one. If anyone has any suggestions, please let me know.
Besides being tired and muscularly tight everywhere, I feel strong and healthy. Changing my diet for Braylen has helped me bring back in even more fruits and vegetables and eliminate just about every processed food. I’ll occasionally snack on some pretzels or eat a Chicago pizza, but other than that, I eat homemade stuff. It takes a lot of time to make 3+ meals a day from scratch, but I know it’s good for me and my family.
Even though we are exhausted and we don’t get much sleep, I know Rob and I are doing our best and we are so thankful for our family. When our days are crazy and we are eating dinner at 11 O’clock at night, falling asleep on the couch, we do take time to stop and reflect on how lucky we really are to have these beautiful children. We know it’s hard right now, but in a blink of an eye, they’ll be in their teens and busy with their own friends, so we are enjoying these special all be it, crazy times right now.
Posted by Coach Kelly on 02/28/13 at 12:16 PM
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013
5th Month with two
I thought we were over the rough patch, but oh my was I wrong. This 5th month has been incredibly difficult. I’m exhausted and truly at a loss. On January 2nd we introduced the first real foods. Braylen really enjoyed her rice cereal and couldn’t get enough, but I noticed a little rash form on her face. However, we gave her a bath and by the next morning it was gone. The second night she once again gulped it right down. She had been showing signs of really wanting real food and she never hesitated as the spoonfuls were shoveled in. She actually seemed frustrated if we didn’t feed her fast enough. Unfortunately, she once again developed a rash. Along with the rash, she was really struggling all night and wanting to nurse all night long. I wasn’t sure if that was due to the disrupted schedule of the holidays and the Chicago trip and/or the rice, so I decided to back off the rice cereal for a couple of days. She seemed irritable every time we ate. She really wants to eat real food. With that, we decided to add the rice back in, but, once again, she broke out in a rash and the continuous night-time feedings didn’t slow down. Back to the Ped we went. The nurse told us to stop the rice, wait 4 days, then start oatmeal or veggies.
Well, that weekend things escalated and each day she cried harder and longer and there was nothing I could do to comfort her. Monday morning we were back at the Ped and this time he said, “oh I don’t think I realized the extent of your family history of food allergies. Maybe she should see a Pediatric allergist.” A bit frustrated as I’ve been pushing the likelihood of food allergies and/or intolerances in me and/or Braylen for the past 4 months…I left on a mission to figure this out myself. From my research, it seems a baby’s colic is a strong indication for the mother to investigate food intolerance in herself if she is breast feeding. With all of my own GI complications over the years, this makes sense. I then decided to eliminate wheat, gluten and rice on top of my already seafood free, sulfite free, soy free and peanut free diet. So, over the next couple of weeks, I pray that things calm down and we get to the bottom of this!
• When Braylen isn’t uncomfortable she is so happy. Her smile lights up her whole face!
• She’s starting to turn the pages in her books and loves to be read to. She’s reaching, grabbing and pulling toys and really seems focused on things she wants.
• Braylen is huge! On January 14th she weighed 16lbs!
• We moved her into size 4 diapers and 9 month clothes already!
• Braylen loves food! She wants to eat, but we have to go slow due to all of the GI issues. So far she is enjoying carrots and sweet potatoes.
• Brecken’s understanding is expanding rapidly! It’s really neat to see how she puts mommy, daddy, Braylen and Brecken into all of her play conversations with her cars. I can see our positivity is paying off as I hear Brecken say to her cars when they do something…”we’re so proud of you…” That’s a common sentence we say to Brecken after she pays attention and does well in her classes.
• My favorite this month was when Brecken was pretending to get into her play car and drive Braylen and mommy to dance class, she was rushing around, grabbing a bib from Braylen’s room and saying, “hurry, hurry, we don’t want to be late…” Yes, anytime we are trying to get out the door for one of her classes, I’m running around, grabbing things and trying to get the kids ready to get into the car. I can’t believe she picks all of that up!
• Another neat thing she is saying this month is…”The scuba diver takes Nemo to office so he can meet new friends.” She’s putting the pieces together from the “Finding Nemo” movie.
Coach Kel update:
Running is still my goal. I shoot for 6 days a week, but I’m happy with at least 5. Right now, running is a huge stress reliever for me, but I’m still hoping to do the Churchill’s ½ marathon in March and the Glass City full in April. So far, I’m getting in the needed mileage and varied workouts, so let’s hope things continue to get even more consistent. I’d love to add some true core and lateral work back into the mix again too. I know that will help. Right now I just try to “exercise” with Brecken while holding Braylen. We do inner and outer thigh lifts, leg extensions, hamstring curls, squats, lunges and some abs too. Brecken loves it and Braylen enjoys watching her sister perform.
Well, please share any thoughts and suggestions on the whole food allergy / intolerance front if you can and I’ll be back in touch after my wheat, gluten, rice, seafood, sulfite, soy and peanut free diet.
Posted by Coach Kelly on 01/22/13 at 01:52 PM
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Monday, December 31, 2012
By the end of this month, I think we are on the other side of the Peak! Braylen’s struggles almost seemed to intensify this month and then like a light switch, things seemed to dramatically change! At her 4 month well-check appointment I was able to report better news. Maybe it really was just colic? I’m not 100% convinced, but I’m happy she is doing better! Right now, I’m still leaning towards Rob’s wheat. Rob has been getting wheat from a local farmer. We then store it and mill it to make our own bread and pizza dough. I think it may be causing me and the kids some GI struggles. I’m going to continue to monitor things and be back in touch. It’s so confusing because I personally seem to do the best after oatmeal with wheat germ and whole wheat pastas. But after a lot of Rob’s wheat, I do notice I get bloated and a day or two later seem to be Braylen’s fussier days. Well, more to come from me as I remove Rob’s wheat in the next month.
Overall, with the Holidays and a Chicago Trip, this month was exhausting, but fun! We had a wonderful Christmas in Ohio and a fun New Year’s in Chicago. The girls loved all the family time and presents, but the Chicago adventure was tough. It was the most intense trip of our lives. Rob and I had no idea how challenging it would be with a 28 month old and a 4 month old. Along with the young ages, Brecken was a little sick with a yucky nose and post Christmas, her sleep was all screwed up heading into the Chicago trip. So, she ended up being a disaster pretty much the whole car ride and the entire time in Chicago. Add the freezing temps and the need for full snow suits for the kids just to go out anywhere, it was nuts. We had all these goals to spend hours at Winter Wonder Fest at Navy Pier and the Aquarium and we were looking forward to eating at all our favorite pizza places. But, we didn’t really get to do much and by the time we got to eat our pizza, it was always cold. In the end, we are so happy we tried it! However, by the time we got home and unpacked, we were pooped! I think a summer trip will be better. Otherwise, we’re going to wait until the girls are 4 and 6! I do know Brecken did have some fun as she continues to talk about the pool, the pizza, the tall buildings and the Lightning McQueen Store (Disney Store on Michigan Ave).
• Braylen is on fire! I can’t believe how much she is interacting. She is so interested in books, toys and Team Umizoomi! She seems to sit back and take it all in when we are running from one thing to the next and with family, but once it’s just she and I, she becomes a chatter box. It’s so cool!
• She is such a happy baby! Especially now on the other side of the GI woes. Anytime she sees a face, she just lights up! She loves Lightning McQueen pillow car and any stuffed animal with a face. She enjoys tummy time and looking at herself in the mirror. She really is trying to scoot and walk. Holding her up under her armpits, she walked across the entire living room, stepping right foot, left foot the whole way!
• She loves her sister and can’t wait to play soccer and dance just like her big sister!
• As she tries to talk, she continues to blow bubbles and has become quiet the spitter. We got her first laugh this month too!
• She is really into her hands and is always chewing on them. She’s found her thumb, but seems to prefer her whole hand. She also really likes to grab and hold onto something – a finger – a toy – a blanket…
• She is starting to roll from side to side and she likes to look up at the ceiling fans.
• Braylen’s nick name is “Stompasouras” because she gets so excited during diaper changes and when playing on the floor that her little legs and feet get going so quickly her heels stomp up and down. We used to call Brecken motor legs as she did more of a running motion, but Braylen is a true stomper.
• She continues to grow like a champ. We are into some 9 month clothes already! I call her “Chunker Monker” as she is our little Chunky Monkey!
• At her 4 month Ped appt on December 26th she weighed 14lbs and 3 ounces. Almost 2 pounds more than Brecken at 4 months!!!
• Brecken continues to love Lightning McQueen, but she has two new favorite movies. Santa Paws and Nemo. Brecken’s new saying is “Oh my goodness!” It’s a line Quinn says in Santa Paws. And instead of taking cars to bed every night, she sometimes takes Marlin and Nemo stuffed animals. Ahh, much softer to roll over on!
• Brecken loved Christmas, but did freak out and didn’t end up sitting on “Ho Ho’s” lap. She did get her Bugle and Mac Truck for Christmas and she loves them. We did have the best Christmas and it’s been so neat to see her play with all her amazing toys and books.
• Her new move this month is “Swavey!” It’s a hip swirl. She is becoming quiet the dancer and had her first dance recital. It was at the Maumee Indoor Theater and she was amazing. She didn’t miss a move and loved being on stage!
• She continues to cuddle with Braylen and loves to touch her “cheeker weakers.” Yes we end everything with ers and ys!
Coach Kel update:
Running is getting more consistent again. Rob works hard to help make it happen. My dad and mom have helped out a bit too. I really feel strong and I’m happy to have built a huge base over the past year and I’m now averaging about 40 miles per week.
I also received good news from the past four U of M melanoma visits. Although my mole production hasn’t seemed to slow down, the ones we are taking off have not been cancer. I’m up to over 100 spots removed now, but now we can move to less drastic removals in the new year. Please keep me in your prayers and thank you all so much!
Here is to a great 2013!
Posted by Coach Kelly on 12/31/12 at 01:52 PM
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Thursday, December 06, 2012
Another Athlete Success Story to share with you…
We began working with Athlete Nick Robertson last year. Here is a snippet of an email he sent to me in September of 2011:
- I’m 32 and have been running for about a year and a half
- I’ve run 2 marathons; the most recent being last Saturday (3:14:45)
- I ran a 5K PR this year of 17:12
- I ran a 19:59 in the 3.5 mile Chase Corporate Challenge in Chicago
- I won a half marathon trail race in Wisconsin in May
- I am very dedicated to running, but do work a demanding job and have a young family
- I am getting more and more into trail running
- I like running short fast races as much as marathons
- I am starting to get interested in biking and the triathlon just as a way to give my body a break from running
- My future goals are to be able to run year-long without injury; to keep getting faster and eventually run a sub 3-hour marathon; to put together a training schedule that allows me to run a few marathons a year, as well as a number of other 5Ks and half marathons; to start learning the bike and swimming. Once we started talking, we decided to focus on building a big running base, improving running biomechanics and designing a 2 year plan before tackling another marathon. Nick was very patient and he truly followed the plan. We started slow and it wasn’t easy.
Here is a snippet of an email Nick sent in November of 2011:
As far as my running, I concentrated on form: snapping my leg down and using my whole foot. My lower back started feeling sore and fatigued after 1.5 miles on Thursday and after a mile on Friday. It is a little sore today – like a sore muscle after lifting weights. I hope this is just tightness from being inactive and maybe my new running form requiring more out of my lower back than what I was doing before. However, as I told you on the phone, I’ve never had any soreness or pain in my back of any kind over the last year and a half and several thousand miles. Today I also have some sharp pain in the front right part of my right knee. I didn’t notice it hurting before or after the run, but I crouched down to talk to Chet this morning and it was a sharp shooting pain. Running has never caused me any knee pain of any variety. What is going on with me? Again, I hope this is just cobwebs. I am happy to take it slow, but am feeling a bit jinxed. I have been stretching and am super tight. I can’t even do some of the stretches in your guide, like the seated hamstring stretches.
We first addressed “snapping” and worked to think about just dropping the knee to lessen the load and we worked to build core strength and flexibility. Nick lives in WI, works in Chicago and I live in Ohio. So we were not able to connect live, but we were able to work through all of this via phone, email and even video. After a couple months Nick was really seeing the gains. He wasn’t sore, he was much more flexible, he was faster and running with less energy and he was setting PRs.
Nick has been accomplishing his goals, balancing work, family and training and all while having fun!
Here is an email Nick recently sent that says it all… Amazingly, the goals for this year were achieved. You should check out an email I sent you on 11/26/11. I kept getting a sore back after 1.5 miles of running. My goals were to stay healthy for the year, to beat 1:27 in the half, and to beat 38:55 in the 10k.
CHECK! We did that with a 38:04 10K and 1:25 ½ Marathon!
Way to Go Nick! Training smart and following the plan works again! We look forward to another great season with you!
Posted by Coach Kelly on 12/06/12 at 01:03 PM
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Wednesday, November 21, 2012
The insanity continues...Braylen is on Donnatal and Zantac, but she continues to struggle with stomach issues. So, my next step was food allergy testing for both me and Braylen. Oh my goodness, what a horrible experience. The nurse went to draw Braylen’s blood and kept missing her tiny vein. She then tried her other arm and after rooting around in there too, I screamed for her to stop. I held my little child as she cried in fear and pain. After that awful mishap, I decided it was not worth subjecting her little body to that again so I continue to try to eliminate various foods from my diet in hopes of helping her feel better. If this were a more serious problem, I’d push for more specifics...perhaps a Pediatric Allergist and a Pediatric GI Specialist. However, she is obviously flourishing and getting the needed nutrition. Her growth is outstanding and she doesn’t have any blood in her stool. She just seems uncomfortable. It’s a lot of work for me and Rob, but we are willing to do whatever it takes.
My test was a quick blood draw and an outcome once again producing different results than previous allergy testing. I’m allergic to latex gloves, but interestingly, this test came back saying I wasn’t allergic to Latex, so I guess I don’t need to worry about Latex-Fruit Syndrome and Class 2 Food allergies as I was thinking that could be the culprit?? This test also showed a positive for a wheat allergy. None of my other tests have suggested that, so I’m totally at a loss here. I eat wheat 2 to 3 times a day!
If anyone has any advice, please let me know! I’ll be back in touch as I learn more too!
• Braylen is making all kinds of sounds.
• When she is not uncomfortable with stomach issues, she is always smiling! She is really interacting well, responding to noises and really seems to recognize her own name already!
• Braylen is grabbing and reaching for things and her favorite toy this month is Ralphie, a red dog that hangs from her swing.
• She loves watching her sister and being held outwards.
• She does well with tummy time too and is really strong. She’s trying to push and scoot. She also enjoys being held under her arm pits and can take 3 to 4 steps walking forwards with help!
• As she tries to talk, she blows bubbles and Brecken thinks that is so funny.
• During diaper changes, Braylen loves to smile and talk to her Pooh friends on her wall.
• She is getting huge! At the end of this month, we moved her up to size 3 diapers and into 6 month clothing!
• Brecken’s continues to love Lightning McQueen, and instead of playing with dolls or stuffed animals, she plays with cars. Her imagination is expanding rapidly and she has full conversations with her cars. Her cars discuss all things from eating oatmeal to dance moves from dance class. It’s precious!
• Brecken is getting excited for Christmas and she calls Santa, “Ho Ho.” She tells us that Ho Ho will be bringing her a Bugle for Christmas and Mac Truck from Lighting McQueen.
• Her new move this month is a booty shake, and after baths she loves to run through the house naked shaking her “tail feather.” We call her “Streaker reecker.”
• Her new expression this month is “Oh No!!!!” She’ll use it anytime Braylen cries, if she spills something or drops something.
• She continues to love on her little sister, kissing her, holding her hand and talking to her all of the time.
Coach Kel update:
This month started out with Randy’s 10 mile run which was a ton of fun. I was happy with a 1:12 given the fact that I haven’t done any speed work. I also got a bit faster at another local 5k with a 20:40. However, due to daylight savings and the challenges of work and kids, this has been the most inconsistent month of running. I had a very difficult time fitting in runs, but did my best to maintain a decent base and was so grateful for my weekend long runs through Side Cut Park.
I still haven’t fit in much of the way of core or lateral work. But I do continue to stay positive overall and even though it’s very challenging, I’m loving life as a mom. These kids are true gifts from God and I’m so excited for the Holiday Season ahead!
Posted by Coach Kelly on 11/21/12 at 01:50 PM
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Saturday, November 03, 2012
Today was Randy’s 10 miler and the 1k kids race. I’m happy to report my 11 year old niece, Olivia, took home a trophy finishing first for the girls and 2nd overall! She did awesome! Other exciting news to report is that Brecken did her first race! Although she stopped to look at leaves on the side of the path and even went past the turnaround to throw rocks in the creek, she did have fun "running" with her daddy!
It was a beautiful day and we all had a blast! Athlete Jenny Cotton brought home a nice prize for winning her age group and although I got smoked, I was happy with a 1:12 finish, averaging a 7:13 pace. It’s not too bad given it’s been less than 12 weeks since having a baby. The competition was steep with the 2nd and 3rd place overall finishers being women with super fast times of 1:00 and 1:01 respectively.
Next up are some more local 5ks!
Posted by Coach Kelly on 11/03/12 at 02:07 PM
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Friday, October 26, 2012
So in the 1 month post I used the word "intense" to describe my days with a newborn and 24 month old. For this 2nd month I’m going to use the word "insane." My sweet little newborn went from a tiny, sleeping angle to a struggling growing bundle of love. Weeks 5 through 10 have been the most intense weeks of my life. I literally went 10 days without any real sleep. Poor Braylen began fussing every time she had to pass gas or have a BM. This quickly escalated to true shrieks of pain. After that, we couldn’t put her down. She was uncomfortable and just wanted to be held.
My first step in solving the problem was a total elimination diet at the guidance of the lactation consultant. She was convinced it was due to something in my diet. Because Rob, Brecken and I are all allergic to soy, and Rob’s also allergic to nuts and I’m also allergic to seafood, I did believe food could be the culprit. But, we already eat a pretty simple and healthy diet, so going more basic was going to be tough. For 5 days I only ate rice, pears, apples, potatoes and squash. I didn’t dare try rice or almond milks due to the additives and I was true to the bland and simple diet. Not only did Braylen not show any improvement, but I also struggled. I was so weak and tired and it was destroying my milk supply. Finally I gave in and tried some almond milk and I ended up have an allergic reaction and threw up all over.
The second step led us to the doctor. When I went to the Pediatrician, he told me to get off that awful diet and eat well again. He wanted me to get my strength back as well as my milk supply. He was 100% convinced that Braylen just had bad colic and that she needed medication to help calm her digestive system. He explained how most infants’ digestive systems are underdeveloped and many get some form of colic around this time frame. I do remember Brecken’s struggles and her need for Zantac, but I was reluctant to give Braylen such a powerful drug for the lower GI. However, I also didn’t want her to struggle anymore. We administered Donnatal and within 2 days she was making improvements and by the 5th day she was much better. However, the constant nursing to soothe her likely added to another negative development as she began spitting up everything. She started going through 5 to 8 bibs a day, and still wanted to be held most hours of the day…so back to the Ped we went. Braylen had developed GERD and was put on another drug…Zantac.
After much research and prayer, I have calmed down. But gosh, I was so torn. I was willing to try any diet. I was willing to continue to walk around pretty much all day carrying her or nursing her and I was willing to continue to sleep upright holding her, but I realized this was negatively impacting Brecken and it was not going to heal Braylen’s insides. The medication would help and I was so thankful when things really started to settle down.
Although at the end of this 2nd month, things are better, we are still not out of the woods yet. Some days are really tough and I’m still looking into food culprits. My next step is food allergy testing for both me and Braylen. I’m thinking it could be due to my Latex allergy and something new I’ve learned of called Latex-Fruit Syndrom and Class 2 Food allergies. If anyone has any advice, please let me know! I’ll be back in touch as I learn more too!
• October 25th – 2nd month appointment – She gained 2 more pounds weighing 10 lbs and 13 ounces and jumped to the 50% for weight.
• She’s starting to coo and smile.
• She loves watching her big sister.
• Brecken has become addicted to Lightning McQueen. Instead of taking dolls to bed, Brecken takes cars to bed. She loves any and all kinds of cars, trucks, airplanes and trains.
• Brecken is getting excited for Halloween and decided she wants to be a pumpkin.
• She adores her little sister and wants to kiss her and hold her all of the time.
Coach Kel update:
In the 1 month post I wrote: “So this month I’ve accomplished consistent running and next on my agenda is to get my abs back. I’ve lost all the baby weight and I’m happy with how lean I am, but I have a little pouch where I’ve lost my abdominal tone.” Well, with the insanity this month, I have not met this goal. The rice diet and lack of sleep made me pull my running back a bit and there was no time or energy for core work. After I got off the crazy diet, I quickly got my energy back and was able to run strong, but my GI system was in such shock, the first 7 days after eating “normal” again, I couldn’t make it through a run without the need for potty breaks. However, I did come in 2nd overall and 1st female at the Kaylee 5k this year with a time of 20:45. So that was fun.
Well, I’m looking forward to Randy’s 10 miler next and several local 5ks throughout the next couple months. I’m so thankful to be able to run most days of the week! Running and my simple thought process of “Choose your attitude” really helps me stay calm and handle the insanity. Sure I’m not working out as much as I’d like, I’m not sleeping much at all and I’m not able to give any more to anything else right now, but I know this is just a phase and the girls are growing up so quickly. Before I know it, they’ll be in school and Rob and I will wonder where the time has gone.
So my advice this month, do take some time for yourself each day, maybe it’s a quick run, maybe it’s some simple stretches, maybe it’s just a quiet, warm cup of coffee, whatever it is, enjoy the moment and then jump into your busy day with both feet making the most of all the twists and turns!
Posted by Coach Kelly on 10/26/12 at 03:03 PM
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Saturday, October 13, 2012
Less than 9 weeks after giving birth to Braylen I did my first post baby race. I was happy with a 20:45 minute 5k. Not a PR, but it did bring me the overall female win and 2nd place overall! It was fun to be out there and running hard while Rob and the girls as well as his family family cheered me on. Brecken and Braylen saw me go by 2 times on the path and Rob’s dad played the bag pipes. It was a neat time for sure and all for a great cause!
Posted by Coach Kelly on 10/13/12 at 01:59 PM
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Monday, October 01, 2012
Athlete Ford Crane’s Race re-cap and comments within from Coach Kel
The Day Before
I’m sure you all know what it’s like the day before a race…often nerves are revved, anxiety and excitement wax and wane…well, for me, it was different. I was shooting for “PRs and beyond!”. I felt completely flat. There was no excitement, no motivation, what the heck was wrong with me??? (I know…lots – but that’s for therapy).
Well, I gave Coach Kelly a call and we talked thru what was going on. It was good to get encouragement from her and support. I got my head screwed on right (for the race) and I started to focus on the important stuff…my mental game! We talked about taking that “businesslike” approach to this race. We worked through each phase with goals in mind. This helped and soon it was time to get some sleep. I went to bed at about 9pm and slept off and on until 3:45am.
Coach Kel- For Ford, the newness of Ironman has worn off. He’s already done Ironman WI and he no longer had the excitement of hearing “Ford Crane, you are an Ironman.” This year, he wanted to race, not complete the distance. Between a very busy work schedule, a busy family life including an active high school daughter, his cross country running son just going off to college and his supportive wife, Ford took training serious and purposeful. He was on a mission. Ironman Wisconsin was more like business this time around. He trained hard, he trained smart and he trained to race fast.
Breakfast consisted of oatmeal and half a bagel with peanut butter along with some coffee. At 5am I headed down to the race site with my friend Brent and his family. I put my nutrition on my bike, whipped off the previous night’s rain and topped off the tires. Next up was body marking and then I bundled back up as it was 47F. I sat on the Helix with my family until about 6:15am. I was calm and focused. I got my wetsuit on, said goodbye to my family and Brent and headed down to the water. The water temperature was in the low 70s (a little warm – but not too bad). I’ve had some previous issues with hyperventilating and freaking out a bit at swim starts so Coach Kel and I have been working on this all summer. I’ve discovered the importance of a solid swim warm up to relax my mind and body. Once I was warmed up, I headed out to the start.
I positioned myself between the boat ramp (ski jump) and the 1st buoy. The athletes around me were all shooting for about the same time I was (1:05-1:10). It’s was a long 20 minutes treading and floating out there so I had plenty of time to think back through some of my tougher swims like several with 2-3 ft rollers at Sterling State Park after Night Shifts. I conquered them all and I was ready for today’s 2.4 miles.
Before long, the National Anthem was sung. I was looking forward to hearing U2 sing “It’s a Beautiful Day”, but there was some other song playing this time…Oh well…Maybe next time…in my mind I knew today would be a beautiful day.
Suddenly, BOOM the cannon blasted and we were off. I went out steady, but strong. I began a little harder than race pace, but then settled in. I did get hit in the face a lot when I breathed right, so I just stopped on that side for a while. The water opened up for a bit as I headed past Monona Terrace toward the 1st buoy. I found a rhythm and tried to always stay on someone’s feet to draft. Things got bunched up big-time at the 1st turn, so I stayed wide and headed to the next turn hoping that it would open up again. Unfortunately it did not. It was weird how the long straight away back was very busy too. Along with the congestion, I was dealing with the ‘current’ pushing us towards Monona Terrace. I had to sight frequently to stay on target. Somewhere around the 2 mile point I started to get a little tired. I also felt warm. I let a little water into my wetsuit and made the next turn. I was really looking forward to getting on my bike!
As I got out of the water I looked at the clock and it read 1:19 (I wouldn’t realize until after the race that this was the clock that started at 6:50 with the Pros – I actually swam a 1:09). However, seeing 1:19 was a huge blow. I immediately felt a surge of frustration. I knew I trained better than this…I thought for sure I would be faster this year. I couldn’t let the disappointment go and it hung with me all day.
Coach Kel- I can relate to this frustration and it can completely ruin a race. My advice is not to pay attention to time when you are racing. Race day is about going hard and if you give your best, then the time doesn’t matter. Control your mind and don’t allow frustration to ruin your race.
Out of the water I quickly found a wetsuit stripper and then speed up the helix. While jogging up, I saw my family and got a boost from them. I then passed my friend Chris at the top and gave him a pat as I cruised by. Back to business…I grabbed my bag and prepared for the bike. Once everything was on, I was out the door and off to my bike. I grabbed my bike and ran for what felt like a ½ mile to the mount line, saddled up and I descended the helix.
Out of the helix and on to John Nolan Drive, I messed with my GPS. I rode along and just as I was entering the no-pass zone to go under the road I saw my friend Tom Everett. We chatted and rode thru the zone together. He provided good encouragement. Once I was out of the bumpy path and onto the road, I settled in. I tackled the 2 new pieces of the bike course this year; both adding hills and challenges making the course more difficult (in my opinion). I had an uneventful ride out to Verona…keeping things smooth and steady. I kept to mine and Coach Kel’s plan. I sipped water at the start, then added Perform and gradually brought on other calories. I was hydrated and ready to relieve myself on the bike for my first time. Well, the 1st time I did this, someone was too close behind me and he got sprayed (serves him right for drafting). I offered him my water bottle to rinse off and we shared a laugh. Thankfully he wasn’t pissed (pun intended).
The 1st lap of the loop was difficult as the wind starting picking up. I felt like I was either going uphill or into the wind. I was a bit concerned about my average speed and didn’t want to push too hard. Truth was, I was on pace and right where Kelly wanted me. I was ready for all of the big climbs and didn’t get out of my saddle once on the 1st loop (other than to stretch). I was really looking forward to Verona and seeing my family there. I needed another pick me up. I could hear the crowd as I made the turn. I saw my wife and daughter and got a huge lift from seeing them. I came through the first ½ in 2:42. I was ready for the 2nd loop…or so I thought. The wind had gotten stronger and it was taking its toll. I was feeling flat and fighting mental battles about my pace and performance. I kept reminding myself of my training and what Coach Rob told me during a Time Trial he and Kelly put me through. He said I recover well and get back on pace quickly if I lapse. This really helped me win the mental battle and push through the rough patches.
The race opened up a little heading into the 2nd loop and I felt kind of alone on portions. With the wind, I stopped looking at my speedometer and rode based on feel. My friend Chris Drage passed me at about mile 70, but I’d see him again soon. A few miles later on the White Birch climb I saw Chris again riding with Brent Hopson. I chased them for awhile and caught them on the last climb at Old Saulk, about mile 90. I said hey and wished them well as I pushed passed and headed up the steep hill. The rest of the ride was uneventful but windy. I did slow more than I hoped and I was ready to get off the bike, but I knew I still could have a strong day if I could keep it together on the run.
Coach Kel- 112 miles is a long time in the saddle. Ford’s training was more than ready for this course and this distance. He had put some 120+ rides in on the course and in southern Ohio. I knew his real limiter would be his mind. We did a lot of mental training…and it paid off. I was so proud of his improved focus on the bike. He’s come along way and he really rode strong and smart.
I had a smooth transition getting out of the helmet and shoes and into my run gear.
The first 6 miles went well. My pace was on track and I was steady and consistent. I took in water and gels with no issue. However, once I hit 6 miles, I started to feel very fatigued. The temperature rose and I hit the climb of the course. This is where the mental part of my training really paid off. Kelly had preached no walking. She said…’once you start walking, it’s too easy to walk again…and again…’ Instead, she told me to ‘think back on your training, you don’t walk in training and she helped me create mental folders of tough workouts where I achieved success and to draw those out on race day. I did this when I was suffering. It helped keep me going even though I felt terrible. As a matter of fact, one of my best friends (Jim Pool) saw me on the run and yelled out “you look awful”. Nice guy. Lol.
Well, I don’t remember a lot of the run; I was kind of in a grey area. I would focus on my form and just tell myself to push on. I started to walk up Observatory Hill on the 2nd loop, but could hear Kelly yelling at me to run. I probably only walked 10 steps and then started running again.
I also saw my friend Chuck Kreger on the run a lot and he continuously encouraged me to come catch him and to hurry up. I finally caught up to him at mile 20 and we ran together for about a minute or so. He told me to push ahead. I tried to pick up the pace then, telling myself that it’s just a 10K left…then I pushed again telling myself just 5K left…breaking it down really helped. When I hit Capitol Square I just wanted to see the finish line. I pushed on and as I crossed it was not the euphoric finish from 2010, but man was I happy to be done. I held up two fingers for my 2nd Ironman and that was it. I knelt down and prayed a prayer of thanks and then asked the catchers to pick me up. I had given that course everything I had!
Coach Kel- I was very pleased with Ford’s run pace off the bike. I was also very proud of his mental game. He has improved so much this season. Training the mind can be so much more challenging than training the body. Ford trained his mind and body this year and that is why he achieved PRs in all 3 sports. Sometimes taking this businesslike approach in triathlon can make you forgot the fun of it. Don’t let it…step back and look at all the blessings…faster times…stronger body…stronger mind…bigger goals...and more fun. Fun is what you define as fun, so make sure your goals and the path to get there are fun!
The Rest of the story…
I improved in every area from 2010, including transitions. I had told Kelly, I felt underprepared for the run in 2010. I improved by almost 30 minutes on the marathon alone. Overall I improved 42 minutes. I placed 23rd in my age group and 230 overall coming in top 10% in both fields. I had some lofty goals heading into this race and didn’t meet all of them. Having said this, I’ll take a 43 minute PR as a huge success.
Coach Kel- Ironman is not easy. Training for an Ironman is so time-consuming and trying to balance a busy family life and work schedule while logging numerous hours swimming, biking, running, strength training and stretching while staying healthy and injury free is surely a very challenging task. Pushing through all the adversities and fatigue that arise on race day is a major feat. That’s why crossing the finishing line at the race is always a victory! And, stepping back to realize your true achievement, is very important. Ford’s accomplishments were huge! Taking time off his swim, bike and run are impressive and his mental fortitude was outstanding.
It’s not always easy to see how much you improve when you look at the numbers from one race to the other, so remember to think about your growth physically and mentally as an athlete too. Ford is an amazing husband to an awesome and supportive wife, a wonderful father to two busy teenagers and an outstanding employee. His continual improvement at Ironman is his Icing on his Cake.
Posted by Athlete Ford on 10/01/12 at 01:37 PM
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Monday, September 24, 2012
Wow has this month been Intense! I’ve literally been nonstop since giving birth on August 20th, but it’s been absolutely amazing! I’m so glad I thrive on busyness, little sleep, organization and planning!
I’ve had to plan everything – from bath times to nursings to likely diaper changes and more. In order to get out of the house to one of Brecken’s activities, I literally have to start preparing an hour and a half out. I keep one bag in the car with essentials like diapers, change of clothes, snacks and stuff, and I pack a bag for that day as well. So for example, if we are getting ready for Brecken’s dance class, I’ll have a dance bag and start getting the kids and myself ready about 1.5 hours before the time we need to leave. And sometimes that still isn’t enough time! Between nursing, diaper changes, cleaning up spit ups and re-doing Brecken’s hair after pulling her pony out for the 9th time, I finally get the kids loaded into the car and we make it to class! It’s so intense! I’m always sweating by the time we arrive. It doesn’t matter if it’s gymnastics, dance, music, swim, library or soccer, it never fails…it’s always a mad dash!
So, I’ve learned the secret of success - Stay calm! No one is looking at me anyway, everyone is looking at the girls, so if I’m covered in spit up and didn’t get a chance to put on make-up, it’s not a big deal. As long as my kids are clean, safe and having fun, that’s what matters.
When both kids are screaming, it surely wears my patience, but I just take a couple deep breaths and smile. There really is so much to smile about. These kids are so precious and a true gift from God!
I must admit, Running is my reprieve. It’s my way to decompress and be ready for the challenges of every day. I’m so thankful Rob is so supportive and really works very hard to make sure there is 30 minutes to 1 hour nearly every day for me to run outside.
So this month I’ve accomplished consistent running and next on my agenda is to get my abs back. I’ve lost all the baby weight and I’m happy with how lean I am, but I have a little pouch where I’ve lost my abdominal tone. So Triathilates, here I come http://www.energyfitnesscoaching.com/products/triathilates.cfm
Although I truly feel I’m doing my best, I will acknowledge that I do feel bad some times. In order to work, do the basics like laundry, dishes, prepare meals and keep up with busy Brecken, I do leave Braylen in her bouncy or swing more than I would like. I also feel so torn when I’m in the middle of a nursing marathon with Braylen and Brecken just wants Mommy time. Rob’s been awesome at giving tons of extra attention and energy to Brecken when he is home, but I obviously have so much less time for Brecken than she is used to.
What helps me is the simple thought process - Choose your attitude. Every day, every moment, I work to be positive and enjoy all the twists and turns. When things get crazy, I stop and enjoy the moments. I really work to be in the moment with the girls. I’m a good multi-tasker, but I know things go so much better when I just take quick breaks and give 100% attention to Brecken or Braylen, then I can resume other activities more effectively. I also have totally learned to let things go. My house is always a disaster. It’s cluttered with toys and folded laundry, but at least I get to be home with the girls.
The best thing I can do is focus on a few main things. I always provide healthy foods for our family, I work really hard to keep Brecken involved with other kids in various classes and I enjoy doing all her classes with her. I also I love reading stories with the girls. My outlet is exercise and when we achieve these focuses every day, I know I’m doing my best.
I couldn’t do it without support. Although Rob is working a ton, he’s been so supportive. My parents have been helpful too. Brecken has gained a ton of independence this summer and she can now go to Nana and Papa’s for a couple of hours by herself once or twice a week. She also loves playing with her cousins and this independence has enabled me to have some alone time with Braylen or get to the grocery store for a solo, more effective shopping trip.
The Growth and Development in the two kids has been absolutely amazing. Braylen out grew her preemie clothes within the first 2 weeks. By the end of the 3rd week she was out of her newborn clothes, by 4 weeks she’s wearing 0-3 months and she is so much more alert. She is looking around, she loves to look outside and interact with her sister and I think we’ve seen her first real smiles. Brecken has grown 2 inches this August and at the end of the month she was starting to say 2 syllable words and starting to put 2 words together like “daddy home.” And the next week, she started putting 3 words together like “Hop scotch park” and “I love you.” Her comprehension has been above average, but she was a little slower to speak. Well, as I expected, all of a sudden she just started talking in sentences. Literally 1 week after putting 3 words together, she just started talking in sentences. She also went from crying every time Braylen cried to becoming my biggest helper with diaper changes and getting her own clothes off before baths.
Well, we just had Braylen’s 1 month appointment. September 24th, Braylen is 5 weeks old today and she has gained almost 3 pounds in 4 weeks!!! Braylen weighed 8lbs 6 ounces, she grew 2 inches and besides having some extra reflux, gas and spit up from the milk coming out too quickly, she is doing great! Life is so busy, but soooooo good!
Posted by Coach Kelly on 09/24/12 at 05:28 AM
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Saturday, September 15, 2012
Well, it’s been a busy summer of training and racing for EFC Athletes. Summer ended with a big bang for many athletes. We are so proud of all their hard work and accomplishments! A couple highlights and pictures follow…
Athlete Ford Crane set a PR at the Olympic Distance in August and rocked out a big PR and fast time of 11:04 at Ironman Wisconsin in September!
Husband and wife team Larry and Sarah Jones conquered the inaugural Ironman U.S. Championships on a tough course through New Jersey ending in New York this August!
Athlete Glenn Selig raced raced the Triple T in Chicago conquering 3 races in 2 days and then he finished the summer at the Lake Geneva Triathlon!
Athlete Jenny Cotton finished 2nd or 3rd in her age group in every race she completed this August and September! As a busy doctor and mother of 2, she continues to amaze me!
Athlete Nick Robertson rocked out top place finishes in every race he ran this summer, including PRs at various distances! And he’s getting his kids involved too!
Thanks for all your hard work team. Here is to a great Fall!
Posted by Coach Kelly on 09/15/12 at 06:28 AM
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