Oh The Drama…Ups and Downs

Now that I am succeeding without fear in my scuba class (4 of 6 classes complete), I did my run test after it around 10:45pm.  This is a 5k to see how I do vs. a month ago.  My lower back hurt and I felt like I was stuck at a slow pace I’d been training at for low HR training during the warmup.  First night trying my headlamp also.  Kenny saw me on the way out the door and said he was going to bed.

First mile I just tried to pick it up vs. the warmup and when I heard it was 8:57, I was psyched!  Middle part always the toughest so stayed steady and tried to pick it up at the end.  I was afraid when I passed our house the lights would be out (total deflater as it would be truly me all alone in the middle of the night next to a bunch of woods containing who knows what!) but they were not.

Results below – took off 1:30 off my time with 8:46 pace!  YES!

Week of 12/17/18 Week of 1/23/2019
Avg HR 156 159
Max HR 169 169
Avg Pace 9’12” 8:46
Time to complete 29’39” 28’08”
Rating 3 (1 is best) 3 (if I slowed pace after, could have run a lot after)
Conditions 33F, neighborhood loop 3.2 miles, after work 39F, started at 10:45pm, neighborhood loop, did 10 min warmup. Each mile is a bit faster. (8:57, 8:43, 8:42)
SPM 155 Avg 157



Race Schedule 2019

New Bedford Half Marathon                Sun Mar 17  CMPLT  2:28:09

WOD Clovis                                                 May 5

Boston Spartan sprint 5k OCR              May 11

3.97 mi, 1:23:17 (3x burpeed)…20:54 pace, 16/117 age group 50-54, 324/1821 female, 1483/4516 overall

BoneFrog New England 6 mile OCR    May 18  6.38 mi 2:23:23,  3200’elevation, 19:29/mile moving pace

64/311 everyone, 3/10 age group (50+), 11/94 females

Tough Mudder                                           June 29

7.5 miles, 3:47, 719′ elevation, 12:59 moving pace.  Tons of waiting at obstacles, rain.  Did 5 miles earlier to get my weekend mileage in

Boston Spartan Super 8 mile OCR x2   Aug 10

1st 8.39 mi, 2:34, 18:38/mi , 13:52 moving, 850’elev. Open: 1029/4532 overall,133/1641 women, 4/96 age group.  Wore Salomon Sense Rides and got blister.

2nd 8.17 mi, 2:36, 19:06/mile, 15:12 moving.  This is funny as it felt like I was running faster than the first loop!  Changed shoes to crappy Inov8 road beatup Flites.  Had some cramping and had to run heel first.

Ragnar VT Trail Relay 26 mi total         Aug 16

23 miles, 13:19 avg pace vs. 12:35 goal , ran this order: 3.2,4.7 (ran first 2 together than ~5 hr wait), 4.7 (then 8 hr wait),3.2 (middle of night then 5 hrs to sleep before getting ready for: 7.2 mile loops , started 9 am fri and ran until 10:45am sat.

  • green (3.2 mile): 12:41 my leg pace (38:58 with Teresa, 39:20 me)
  • yellow (4.7 mile): 13:25 my leg pace (1:06:01 w/ Donna, 1:02:54 me with calf cramping)
  • red (7.2 mile): 13:46 my leg pace (1:39:07 me alone)

Spartan Ultra Killington 30 mi OCR     Sept 14

  • DNF, timed out at pipe lair at 6pm cutoff:  25.6 miles, 12,141′ elevation gain, 11:48 hours, 27:21/mile avg entire race
  • pace:  1st 17 miles 25:11, last 10: 31:11 (threw out transition mile)
  • Mile just after death march 33:00 min
  • Per athlinks: Out of those who made transition 84/130 total (261 started) 1/1 age group F50-54 (4 started) 9/17 female (58 started)

Tarc Fall 10k                                   9/28

  • 1st in age group, 1:08:48, 11:17/mile

Stone Cat 50k                              Nov 2

  • I am an ultra runner!
  • 4th from Last
  • 16:27/mile average
  • 8:25:04, 2287′ of elevation
  • HR 147 avg (high)
  • Ran with cold, had super tight hips
  • 32F start and around high 40s end

Spartan Fenway Sprint 5k                        Nov – Cancelled due to hurt leg

Squat Fail

It started with me peeing my pants during a jump rope warmup – a few times despite repeated trips (had written “runs” but that just didn’t seem right) to the bathroom.  A few years ago during some squat workout, a friend around my age was laughing about how squats always made her pee her pants and I was so happy that I was not alone.  For middle age women and apparently sometimes for those younger who had kids, this is an issue we deal with.  I live in fear of heavy squats for this reason.

I did a squat/bench strength retest yesterday and failed at finding a max at both.  In squat, the main reason was my lower back hurt and I felt very unstable so stopped. Am I living in fear or is it a valid reason?  I will do 400 air squats anytime and put in longer term work so I’m thinking its not that I’m mentally weak.  Darn that Goggins for now planting a seed (perhaps unintentionally) that anytime I don’t almost kill myself like he does that I am not pushing hard enough…..

In bench, I did more than I ever have 3@105 lbs but started to feel a torque on the recovering shoulder so stopped there.  Then the WOD was 5x 9 burpees over bar/6 cleans/3 presses for 3 min each with 1 min rest.  Also a decently harsh workout for the shoulder so I did with 55 lbs and smoked the burpees!  This was an eye opener that I am not 100% back quite yet.  Got home and did 75 min on the bike trainer to do a bike retest – was pretty tired even during the warmup but did the work.

Another day today – am trying to leave work “early” around 3pm so I can do my run test before scuba class and be in bed by 10pm.

Honest reporting, clean eating and doing the work,



Finding Time and Back Update

I got home last Thurs Jan 17 around 8:30 after two previous late nights at scuba class and working out and just ate and went to bed.  What is the right call to make?  Missed my workout but got sleep.  Maybe it was to quit working so late and make myself the priority but not sure I can do that 100% of the time.  Thurs my boss came by my desk looking tired around 4:30 and several sales teams asking me for packaging of our new service offerings so I stayed to come up with the “We’ve Got Your Back” set of services… The night before I had scuba class from 6-9pm and went running after until around 11pm in the cold.

End of week 5 on Jan 20 and a few observations/changes to make:

  • Need to get in the 5-20″ meditation daily.  This hasn’t been going so well.
  • Need to do better with grip strength practice.  Cleaned up basement so can make the rounds down there with the plates when I have a bike workout.
  • Need to ensure daily 20″ of mobility to fix this back – this has been going pretty well and my back definitely feels better than it was but is still pretty sore.  I haven’t had the searing pain in the two spots in my lower back I’ve had before but it still spasms and I’m afraid to wear high heals at work because of it.
  • Has been really fun changing gears and going from a heart rate (HR) zone 2 to 4/5 in practice.  HR2 sure seems slow and my mile times are over 12 min when I am doing that but with a fast cadence, easier to practice the Pose running, which seems like it takes effort still but feels more natural than it did at first.
  • Significant improvements in left shoulder.  I did 3 pullups last week with the briefest pause and no assists.  Slight pain after so I’ll stick with 3 this week until it goes away after.  Deadlifts, squats, push presses no pain at all anymore with increased weight almost weekly.  DL started at 150 and went to 3×10@185.  PP from a hard 45 to 60.  Squat from 65 to 105.  Bench from 65 to 3×10@85.
  • Huge learnings on technology and its issues.  Realized I need my bike fitted so am on the schedule at FitWerx in Peabody.  See last post!
  • My physical therapist couldn’t help but laugh when he saw how inflexible my hamstrings are – see pic at top where I am now staying totally square when stretching hams and can’t even bend over with straight back as I’m already stretching – putting the pipe behind me keeps me honest.  We’ll see where I’m at in a month or so.
  • Pose running:  Still easiest to feel the foot plan and heel kiss while running against a pole but faster cadence and keeping ankles loose helps too.  Huge differences between left and right legs in difficulty of lifting my foot.
  • I am doing really well at the crossfit WODS now with better aerobic capacity and the longer workouts.  Except for snatches, I’m doing the workouts and they are still so much easier than they used to be.

I think the answer for workouts vs. work may be the lunchtime workout.  I like my mornings – I will try to do some meditation and mobility in the morning.

I also just hit a new low weight of 138.8… I think those abs are in there somewhere !!


Finding the time but it’s not easy – loving the workouts, singing super loud in the basement during the bike workouts and loving the silence during running, trying to not the let the buttonwood hill take my soul!

A lot of talk and haven’t really done $%^& yet but putting in the work so far and trusting in my coach.

I also did great at the 2nd scuba class and didn’t feel uncomfortable at all in scuba gear.  I was facing my fear, walked in and told the instructors I was determined to work on my underwater breathing (my current hypothesis with the panics is that I am afraid I don’t have lung capacity) and their response was “good thing you don’t need to hold your breath!”

Failed at the Lindt vs. ence photo tonite as I ate two Lindt balls at Marguerys house before being thrown out due to politics…these were the Lindt balls I gave her as I couldn’t have them in my house without eating 10-15 at a time.

Not perfect but determined.





Mental Toughness

Treading water for what seemed like an hour, the diving instructor put us to a stress test to see how comfortable we were.  First, we had to test our buoyancy and hold our breath, stop kicking and just see if we were a floater or sinker.  Probably 10 secs of holding breath – terrified me although I can swim decently well when I am by myself.  Then we had to lie face down breathing to the side (which I know how to do well) to use least effort in case we were conserving energy – another terrifying exercise.  Then we had to use arms and bob up and then shoot down underwater a few times.  I secretly touched the bottom a few times to lesson the fear – feeling guilty.  I do not understand the panic in a group situation when I can do any of these things alone without issue.

Brings me back to the mini triathlon over 10 years ago where we had a very short swim in a pool and I choked – had to dog paddle my way through – couldn’t breathe.  That incident I may never understand.  I need to put myself in this type of situation and prove to myself I can swim with others around.  Kenny has me holding my breath to prove I can hold it (OK – 45 secs and 30 secs on 2nd try).  Then do the same with face under water and lastly doing it sitting on the bottom of the pool – a fun thing for the weekend….you can find me at the Nashua Y with my snorkel gear on Sunday.

So, because of this I’ve b,een doubting if I am mentally tough or not.  How can someone be tough yet panic in a pretty inocuous situation?  My conclusion – also after listening again to David Goggins’ audiobook – is that mental toughness is continuing to try even if you fail.  It doesn’t mean you are never afraid of anything.  It means you go back.  It is grit.  And that I know I have.  So I’ll be back in the pool tonite for class #2 of 6, practicing slow breathing and relaxation techniques, as I sit on the bottom of the pool in my scuba gear for the first time (and then doing an hour run in prep for the Ultra afterwards around 10pm!).

Also, I was in the top few of my crossfit box yesterday for the WOD which included 100 box jumps and the same # of reps for abs.  I started out one of the last (due to a weakness with the assault bike) but am good for the long haul and finished first in the class.  For the first time I was hopping up and down off the box fairly easily.  I also hit under 140 lbs two days in a row which is significant.  Leaning down and toughening up!


Fu***** Goggins – 4030 pullups in 17 hours

I know I’m always a little late to the party and just found out about this guy David Goggins – ex Navy Seal and Army Ranger etc.  I was listening to him on a podcast and then heard a few things that blew me away and now I’m a big fan.  One is that he did 4030 pullups in 17 hours – that is one of the things that made my jaw drop – never thought anyone could do this.  It, like the Iron Cowboy who did 50 ironmans in 50 days, makes me want to think bigger.

Watch the video below….. This guy Jesse Itzler had Goggins live/train him for one month and it is about the things he had him do.  The motto is basically you have to do things that suck every day.  One of things that made an impression is that there are long races with several folks on a team doing relays over very long distances and Jesse met him because he saw Goggins doing it alone 🙂  Message is real – we hold ourselves back mentally.  I remember when I thought 150 wallballs was a crazy amount and now I do it all the time.

So I’ve organized our company to see how long it will take all of us to do 4000 pullups.  A guy is bringing a pullup bar tomorrow.  My preference was to have one in the main doorway to cubeland and you’d have to do one to enter but I think we’ll put it on a conference door adjacent.  Strict form only, hands under or over but no kipping allowed.  Whiteboard to track folks….

I did 80 last night with blue band and 80 pushups last night as I have to get back to doing regular pullups!  This will also selfishly help me get to that goal if I can train during work also 🙂

Also, got Kenny motivated last night – he is working on getting jacked and back in shape also.  Look at this back!

img_2757  IMG_0463.JPG

Ride on (you Zwifters know what I’m talking about!)




Priorities…250 days until the Ultra

End of Training Week 3 Jan 6. 250 days left to train for the Ultra.  Watching Youtube videos of people finishing the Killington Beast got me out of bed during my last trip to Phoenix and down to the gym out of fear.… people saying that they couldn’t imagine having to do double what they just did…I say there is no hard race, just bad training 🙂 and I remind myself that I do best in the long, grueling type of events.  My old friends didn’t call me S.A.D. “Self Abuse Director” for nothing!  Below is a “memo” I found from high school from my buddy Dave who would find me running alongside the road in sleet storms during High School…


Went back to work Wed Jan 2 and immediately had to organize logistics to fly to JFK and commission our part of a microgrid system Thurs and Friday.  I’ve got customers calling our CEO about impact to the larger project.  The cover picture shows two of our battery systems on top of the future TWA hotel at Terminal 5, JFK airport. Nowhere else I’d rather be on a cold night at midnight than testing and looking at oscilloscopes!  (this is really true – it is fun and I love my job)

img_2681 img_2648

Last time I was down there on the Turner construction site, I got in trouble for not having my OSHA 10 so I spent 6 hours on Jan 1 doing the training, 5 hours Jan 2 and another 2 Jan 3 before passing my test 30 minutes before getting on the airplane!  Admittedly, I could have done a better job doing that over the holiday break.  I had a fantastic break through – just back from 3 weeks on the road and loving every minute of being at home with Kenny and his family.

So, I missed 3 days of my training because of this.  I also had brought all my lunch meals for the two days and got screwed up leaving them in the construction trailer and while on the job site roof, they bought food around 10pm for everyone and I ate a chicken parm sub – definitely NOT in my nutrition plan.  TOTAL FAIL.

The truth is I could not have worked harder though and work was the right call this time.

I am determined to breakthrough this maintenance phase I’ve been in since June and make some real progress in getting leaner and stronger.  Here are my STARTING Pics from this morning.  If I don’t start losing fat, I am dropping macros next week:

Comparison from over a month ago below – I have gotten way stronger arms (as viewed from the front anyway) since I’ve been able to lift more but not much different.

For now, I’m back on track with workout done today, food prepped for the week and a plan to help with my back issues.  I HAVE TO FIX MY LOWER BACK SORENESS!  I made a posterior chain workout routine and had my physical therapist take a look/comment on it.  I’m working it and hoping to make some progress…It’s still hard to put on my socks every morning!


Clean eating, honest reporting and en route to badass and an ultra finish,



A Journey in Professional and Personal Continuous Improvement

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