Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire

omg-omg-moments-28947388-800-554 (1)OH. MY. GAWD!!!!  What have I done?

As some of you may know, my company has a domestic violence awareness initiative where we use our book, Remarkable Courage, as a vehicle to break the cycle of domestic abuse.  It’s super cool and is making a huge difference in our community and you can get more info at www.remarkablecommunities.com if you’re interested.

So, what does this have to do with swim-bike-run?

Well, during one of our recent brainstorming sessions, we decided that organizing a 5K run would be an awesome way to raise money for local organizations who provide resources and healing to the survivors of domestic abuse situations.

And, as the resident runner/athlete (and I use those terms in their broadest possible sense), I am the obvious choice to be the Race Director…



I am a hot mess on my best day and the organization that is required to pull this off is not my strong suit!!

But, truly, it is an awesome idea, and the running community is so strong here in Florida – I just know that if we do it right, it will be a huge success, so of course, I said “Let’s do it!”

overwhelmedI am absolutely certain that my inability to say no to a challenge is surely the result of damage sustained by my mother dropping me on my head when I was an infant or some other trauma!  WHAT. THE. HELL???

Oh sure, I’ll just organize a freaking inaugural road race in my spare time.  Right!!

Anyone know of a Couch to 5K Race Director Plan I can look up?

The more I peel away the layers of this particular onion, the more I just want to cry!  I had no clue how many moving parts there are to a simple 5K.

This is a reminder to be more grateful and show more appreciation to the people involved in the races in which I actually participate!

So, in addition to my job, and training for my black belt test, and swim-bike-running, and being a mom, and a partner, I guess you can add “Race Director” in too.

(God, someone hand me a paper bag to either breathe into or throw up in)

We have our first committee meeting this morning to get the wheels turning.  I think I have some great people on this committee – people with BTDT knowledge.  Hopefully, they can make me look good!

Meanwhile, anyone know how to get on the City Council agenda?

(God, shoot me now!!)

It’s My Tri-versary!

tri-versaryAhhhhh!  I am happily back home in Florida today!  I’m not exactly sure what cruel joke the weather Gods are trying to pull up in Virginia, but when I left yesterday morning, the thermometer in my car said it was 23 degrees!!!  23 Degrees – Fahrenheit – in mid-April!!!  That’s just nuts!!

Today is my one year TRI-VERSARY!!

Yes, I know that’s not a word.

It was one year ago today that I decided to register for and train for my first triathlon.

It’s amazing when I think back at how far I have come in this past year.

I was 20-ish pounds heavier.  My bike was in good shape, but I couldn’t swim 100m and I couldn’t run a mile!

Endless_Summer_Triathlon 2013-07-13 028Since then I have competed in a Sprint-Distance Triathlon, an Olympic-Distance Triathlon, 3 5Ks, and a half marathon.

I have committed to running a marathon in the Fall, a Half-Iron Distance Triathlon next April, and a Full Iron Distance Triathlon in November, 2015!

These are things I could not have even fathomed even considering a year ago.

And today, I know it will be a long, hard road, but I have NO DOUBT in my mind whatsoever that I can accomplish each one of those considerable goals – just putting one foot in front of the other.

Keep moving forward!

So, Happy Tri-versary to me!!

patchAnd, to bring you up to date on news from karate land, I had my “Come to Jesus” talk with my head instructors at karate on Tuesday night.

It was not as bad as it could have been.


  • They were very complimentary of my knowledge of “the book” – I know the belt material for every belt thusfar better than most people.  YAY!
  • Grappling is good.  YAY!
  • They were pleased with my physical conditioning.  Thank Goodness for triathlon training!!
  • They were happy with my foot work (this has been an issue in the past, so I’m glad all those miles of C-steps I’ve been doing for the past year or so paid off).


  • I am not a commanding instructor.  I have self-confidence issues.  I have difficulty correcting my peers.  Uh, yeah… I know…
  • nervousMy hand positions are too “feminine.”  Okay, fair enough.
  • My self-defense is stiff and somewhat robotic. This is a big one.  I will be working on this like crazy between now and July 26th

So, all-in-all not so bad.  I have my marching orders and I can make it better.  So I will!

T-minus 100 days and counting!!






Enter the Dragon (Or Not)

mpkks_dragon_by_rakuraiwolf-d6z6q7pFor the past week and a half I have had the wonderful opportunity to travel back to Virginia for the sole purpose of immersing myself in Kempo Karate with my friends at Mike Petersen’s Kempo Karate School.

If all goes well, I will test for my student black belt on July 26th – just a little over 3 months away.  Karate belt testing is no joke – it’s very physically and mentally demanding and lasts for HOURS.  All I know about the black belt test is that it makes normal belt testing look like a walk around the block.

It’s very intimidating.

Most people who start training in karate do not make it through to black belt.  I made the decision when I started that I would see it through as far as I possibly could.

There have been many obstacles along the way – the largest of which was our relocation to Florida.  Of course Deb is a 3rd degree black belt in Kempo and she trains me with the blessings and guidance of our head of school.

There are advantages and disadvantages to this arrangement.  The advantages are fairly obvious – I get one-on-one instruction and feedback and focus on my material and requirements.  The disadvantages may be less obvious, but they have proven to be considerable.

I train with only one person – one body type, one style of attack and defense (even when she tries to mix it up), and I know Deb so well that I can pretty much anticipate what she will do before she does it.

GIFSec.comThis has been a problem in previous tests – a partner of different size, style, timing, etc., and it rocks my world.  The “parts” aren’t where I am used to them being – targeting suffers, timing is off.  I know the move well enough, but it comes across sloppy.

It is also very difficult to gain instruction opportunities.  Deb does a fine job of mimicking a new student, or a student who has just been promoted and has yet to see their new belt material, or the student who is a week away from their next belt test, or the student who just can’t quite make their body do what their mind wants it to, or the kid with ADHD, but it’s only one at a time – NOTHING can prepare you for instructing a class containing all of the above – other than just DOING it!

So, this trip has allowed for some great training opportunities, some awesome instructional opportunities, and yes, an opportunity for my instructors to evaluate me and see if our system in Florida is working.

Tonight – my last night of classes for this trip – I will receive feedback on where I am, my strengths and weaknesses, and what I need to focus on during the upcoming 3 months.  I am very intimidated by the conversation that is coming tonight.

And at the same time, I can’t wait!!

I know I am ahead of the game in some areas and WAY behind in others.  It will just be nice to see if my perception is correct or if I’m just way off.

Stay tuned…

My Top Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Food Finds

GFCFEarlier this year my 11-year old son was diagnosed with a disorder caused by the overproduction of the amino acid glutamine in his brain.  It manifested in erratic behavior and an exacerbation of his already “obsessive-compulsive” personality.  One of the things his doctor suggested was a gluten-free/dairy-free nutrition regimen.

At the time, Deb and I had been eating essentially GFCF for several months, so it was not a struggle for us to get Josh on board.  He has been eating GFCF for 3 months now and has adjusted so well to his new “normal” – he reads labels and is proud that he can take control of what he puts in his body.

I am a firm believer in cooking from scratch.  I don’t use a lot of processed foods; however, when it comes to packing portable lunches  for the three of us, sometimes it’s just not feasible to pull out the portable cooktop.

I fully admit that I am a newbie in the GFCF world, but I though I would share my top GFCF supermarket finds with you all (in no particular order).

Nabisco-Rice-ThinsNabisco Brown Rice Thins – Delicious, crunchy, substantial crackers that come in a number of flavors.  Josh’s favorite is the Sea Salt & Black Pepper.  Great with peanut butter or lunch meat or shrimp or just by themselves!

probar-coreProBar Core Bars– Trying to find a GFCF protein bar that has adequate protein and doesn’t taste like dirt is a trick.  I have probably spent the better part of Josh’s college account buying and testing bars only to get the “Ewww” face.  While checking out at my local health food store (shopping trip to buy more protein bar samples), I saw Core bars in a display, checked out the label and bought the 2 flavors that were in stock – Cookie Dough and Chocolate Peanut Butter.  Josh tried both and gave them both a hearty two thumbs up!  I also tried them – WOW!!  They are GOOD!  I buy them by the case online.

tofuttiTofutti Sour Supreme– Dairy-free sour cream?  Yep, and I can pronounce all the ingredients too!

almond-milkSilk Pure Almond Milk– Meal Replacement shakes, Recovery Shakes,and Protein Shakes are a mainstay of our daily nutrition regimen, and although you CAN mix the shakes with water, they leave a little something to be desired.  Plus, they just don’t stick with you nearly as long.  Silk Almond Milk is just the ticket!!  It provides some richness and satiety that you just can’t recreate with water.  And at 30 calories per cup -it’s AWESOME!!

Amys-Kitchen-vegan-GFCF-pizza-2Amy’s Rice Crust Spinach Pizza – Josh’s major lament when it comes to his new lifestyle was that he couldn’t have pizza. However, a quick scan of our local Publix freezer section led to the discovery of Amy’s brand pizzas.  While they are not all GFCF, we did find a spinach pizza with a rice crust and soy-based mozzarella and ricotta cheeses.  Josh declared it yummy and ate the whole pie!

applewoodSmokedUncuredCenterCutBaconMaverick Uncured Applewood Smoked Center-Cut Bacon– Without a doubt this is the BEST bacon I have ever purchased in a store!  Nice thick (but not too thick) slices.  Wonderful flavor.  Perfect for free-day breakfasts.  It’s not cheap at ~$8 for a 12 oz package, but it is so worth it!

chicken-nuggetsApplegate Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets– What kid doesn’t like chicken nuggets? Well, Josh is no exception, and these GFCF nuggets are just the ticket.  I dare you to be able to tell that they are GFCF.

Multigrain2Rudi’s Gluten-Free Multigrain Bread – I’m not gonna lie, this bread is NOT very good cold – it’s very dry and crumbly and well, yucky.  However, this bread makes some of the best TOAST I have ever had – gluten-free or not!  I would buy this bread for toast over any bread out there – PERIOD!  Good stuff!  Crispy on the outside, moist on the inside.  Perfection!

quinoapastaAncient Harvest Quinoa PastaI’ve blogged about this pasta before but it is so awesome it’s definitely worth another mention!  Again, I would choose this pasta over any whole wheat or white pasta any day of the week!

Hope this post gives you some ideas for incorporating more GFCF foods into your food plan!


It has just come to my attention that today, April 2nd, is in fact


In honor of this momentous day, I give you the following:

55 Peanut Butter and Jelly Recipes

How to Make the Perfect Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

10 Ways to Use Peanut Butter

Top 10 Unusual Uses for Peanut Butter

Uses for Grape Jelly

Have an AWESOMELY Happy Peanut Butter and Jelly Day!!