Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mastering the 40 +

I've spent more than just a few years in the 40's now, and have experienced enough adventures (good and bad) to fill a blogpost on mastering the 40+ in training, racing, motherhood, PT professional and more! I'll be coming out of my 40s in a  few ( ugh over a year) …couple years…, and will be leaving them incredibly stronger, smarter, happier, than I could have ever imagined than when I was starting out in my 40s. Some bumps in the road, and course corrections can knock you down for a bit but lead you to more strength, better opportunities, happiness, than ever imagined.  I confess I am not a gold medal champion at mastering the 40 +,  have failed a bunch, but have gotten pretty good at dusting the dirt off, and climbing higher than I thought possible.

In my late 40s, I can happily say I still love to train, race, toe the start line, challenge myself, sweat it out, make it hurt, and see how far I can go. After so many years of racing,  there is still enough fire in me to get out of bed at 4:30 in the morning to fit in a workout. I might not race as often, or as big of races. I might not go as fast, but I sure try…… and its still fun.
Bettysquad17, gear is here!

*  Sometimes I wonder why, I bundle up to run in the cold grey wind when it scrapes your face, and makes your eye lashes freeze at this point in life, but here's …why. 
Its my sanity, its for me and its often the only time to myself.

*  Sometimes I wonder if working out for just an hour before work is enough because thats all you have, when you've spent years doing double workouts, and workouts lasting for hours on end, but yes its worth it. Im happier at work, nicer to my patients, co-workers and people in line at the store. I have more energy if I've done something, anything first. And in terms of training, and gaining fitness, you can smash yourself pretty good in 1 hr. And luckily at this point in life I've done all the races I ever want that require an extensive accumulation of training hours a week.
coffee required at 4:30 AM

*  Sometimes I wonder why my neighbors look at me weird from behind the steering wheel as I'm running through my subdivision, or at pick up from practice when Im in a bike kit
But then I quickly shake my head and mumble 
"stare-don't care."  My kid is doing just fine on honor roll, killing it in sports, with tons of friends even though I'm out running, riding and doing some.racing. At 40+ you can just not care what the judgers think. 
this kid!!!

*  Sometimes I wonder why I get so sore, and so trashed after big workouts and races. It takes me so long to recover for a huge effort. But then I realize I have to be more diligent than ever at the pieces of recovery that are so important. This I confess I fail at. Maybe I'd do better if I had more time to prepare the perfect recovery food and weekly meals, get weekly massages, take naps (lol whats that), stretch, go to yoga. I can't don't have time for all that because at 40+ there is so much more going on in life!  But I can do better at some of this and am making a huge effort for now,  at least during Boston training. 
found at new massage therapist worth sitting still 60-90 min for

*  But even though I know all that is important for recovery,  staying healthy, injury free and a successful performance I sometimes forget my age, act like a 20 year old and get hurt. Late last summer I was training for a big half marathon. The running was going amazing I felt so strong and was so close to a great race. I did a very speedy 13 mile run on a Saturday, followed the start of CX season on Sunday and 2 all out fast CX races. I felt my hamstring pull a little going over the barriers (because they are my favorite), but still finished race pushing hard, nearly puking.
 I did manage hard long distance track workout the following weekend and nailed the efforts,
LOVE the track
but then was officially injured, couldn't run, didn't do the half marathon and managed just  a few CX races through the fall. At 40+ I should know better, my legs were tight and not recovered from the big runs,  but OMG long runs and CX are so fun.   Still learning at 40+

trying to maintain balance 

*  But I don't wonder about the importance of strength, core staying strong. I preach this every day at work and since having that set back,  and getting into Boston… 
I've been committed to the strength workouts at my gym,  home and in between patients at work. ……whatever I can fit in. It was important in my early 40s, but its essential in my late 40s.  I go to my awesome personal trainer 1 x week and do 1-2 strengths workouts on my own.  Running and bikiing are repetitive  motions in 1 direction. I work hard on training to maintain proper balance between the forgotten and overworked overworked muscles. These strength workouts right now for me are as important as the running. 
 getting strong at the gym

*  But even though I had a lapse in remembering my age and ended up injured and missing a big race, and half assed it through CX season, I chose to chill through November and December,  even myself out, get strong, rest my body, rest my mental toughness, to get ready for Boston training which requires a good deal of mental toughness. Long runs all layered up cold and frozen aren't my favorite, but getting to the starting line of the Boston Marathon and accomplishing something new makes it worth it 
and more strength

*  But even though Im in my late 40s, & might not get all the training, epic workouts, easy workouts, nutrition, recovery, rest, exactly right, and it might take more out of me, 
I am so thankful to still be out there pushing myself until it hurts in my running shoes or on the bike, attempting new races
I'm a mom to an incredible 13 year old who is doing amazing in school, sports, leadership, and wouldn't miss any of it for a minute 
I have a great job in a busy clinic and help people get back to there life, its tiring and demanding, but rewarding.

*  With more miles to run and more time to think, there might be more to come on mastering 40+ in being a single mom, home ownership, and a professional in corporate health care, and chasing new adventures. Lots going on between the ears during all the Boston miles!  

Until then, be strong be brave and be badass every day

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016….in the rear`view mirror

See Ya 2016. You were a good year,  for the most part.

I'm not complaining, but I'm ready for a new improved, shinier, more epic and badass year.    With you 2016,  I challenged myself to try new things, at the same time challenging myself to stop doing the usual and comfortable routine. With that came some new adventures, new fun, new friends, new memories and new goals. Sometimes letting go of the same old routine and dreams, stepping out of the norm leaves room even more.

My favorite accomplishments of 2016 that were new and epic:

Barry Roubaix: my first gravel road race. I jumped in clueless and unprepared but LOVED this and can't wait for more fun in the dirt. This may have been my favorite race of the entire year.
Pro Men stirring it up
Podium / Founders yum

Big 10k:   just a 10k but, definitely the best post race party!  Who can beat a post race party tailgate style! And my graduate school,  Northwestern Wildcats went on to win the Pinstripe bowl this year!
dance party

Jingle cross in Sept!  the most epic mud EVER. Crazy course crazy mud, and so fun! This was such a fun weekend with my PSIMET team, racing, getting muddy and watching the pros from all over the world tear up the super challenging Jingle Cross course. CX racers love mud, I have grown to like it more over the years, but this was crazy, so hard but fun!

Aceeptance  into my first Boston marathon. I spent so many years triathloning and racing and training to qualify for Worlds I never focused on this. But Im in and officially Boston training! Lots of run miles to go, hopefully some more out along this river. Thanks for Jen Harrison my coach keeping me running, and loving it.

Hincapie Gran Fondo: While not a race, this was a team event that left any other training/ event weekend in the dust. Team fun, community service, awesome riding on a hilly course, travel to somewhere I'd never been, and added bonus a photo pic with George Hincapie.
Gran FUN!
Betty Style!

My favorite mom moments of 2016
(i'll just leave it with  top 2)

Watching Jack get 3rd at conference and his team 1st in wrestling. He had an amazing season with 10 wins and 8 pins
3rd at conference

Getting him a guitar for Christmas and hearing him pick up and play songs I recognize while I'm cooking
free concert at home!
But 2016,  you threw some crazy curves at me I wasn't expecting. Thinking you're taking me down one path and before it Im on another.  Luckily I 've gotten good a rolling with changes of course.

Finding out my Dad has cancer put a big darkest spot on you 2016. Little do you know,  he is super strong and fighting it hard. He is the one who taught me how to pick myself up when knocked down and climb higher, fight back and believe. He has amazing Doctors, family and friends. and has made great progress in his fight and I was so lucky to get to spend a good part of the holidays home in Oregon. Being part of this process only reminds me to love hard, laugh hard, let go,  and live life.

No regrets, no looking back, but 2017 is here and I'm also excited for even more new fun, races and adventures.  I have lucky to be spent most of the holidays home in Oregon where I love the mountains green and beauty of the Pacific Northwest. I was able to run, ski, hang out,  and and get ready for and amazing 2017. No specific New Years resolutions for me except to keep moving forward, upward and stronger as I have for the past 3 years. To keep challenging myself to new adventures, stress less, forget fear, and say no to negativity, conquer more, and become more badass version of 2016.

Look out 2017, BettySquad has these amazing sponsors to help up conquer, climb, sweat, get dirty, go fast,  glitter and #doepicshit

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Betty Invasion #GranfondoHincapie

One event I didn't want to miss this year was the Hincapie Gran Fondo. Its not a race, it's an event.  When you can head south in October, meet up with your badass teammates,  hang out, volunteer, ride together and climb, and climb some more and celebrate then end of an incredible season together it's a beyond epic weekend. 

Traveling to races and training camps are fun, yet focused, and out to accomplish a mission.  It might be to get in shape for season, race, qualify, set a PR, prove yourself, beat your friend or whatever the goal might be. It becomes somewhat self focused on the mission of the trip and needing to go to bed early, eat right, fit in work outs, make sure gear is functioning to perfection, bikes checked in, breakfast lunch and dinner at the correct hour all to achieve the goal. All that is fine for the time. But this trip allowed for some epic riding, while having so much fun in more ways than just racing and training. I signed up for this in May and confess many times through end of summer and early fall almost bailed due to logistics, travel, its CX season and missing races, wanting to save time off to go home to Oreogn and whatever else I could come up with. I am so so glad I didn't give it up because it was beyond worth it.   About 20 teammates from all over the world literally descended upon Greenville SC for the George Hincapie Gran Fondo.    It was so fun to meet so many of my teammates in person, ride, volunteer, hang out and celebrate! 

I arrived Thursday afternoon to the Swamp Rabbit Inn., a local bed and breakfast in town that is biker friendly and the most rad set up ever;  perfect for a group of  Bettys arriving from all over the world with bikes ready for some adventure.   The accommodations were so incredible, so comfortable, with everything available for a weekend of fun.    We had coffee in the morning in the kitchen,  wine and pizza post ride in the family room,  packed bikes on the deck,  shared race and life stories at the picnic table, then crashed at night in the most fluffy and comfy rooms equipped with everything needed for a perfect trip away. 

The  Invasion party Thursday night, started off the weekend the hosted by the Hincapie Ambassadors.Thank you to them for setting up a fun meet and greet to kick everything off with an amazing food trunk and Hincapie Fondo wine!   A perfect way to meet up with all teammates arriving to town from all over the country, and world actually.
BETTY INVASION stopped the party

Friday morning TeAMBETTY volunteered for several hours at meals on wheels of Greenville, a local charity supported by Hincapie.  We packed over 1300 hot meals for locals in need, and then delivered meals in person.  An amazing time bonding with teammates and giving back to the community. EVERBODYisaBETTY.   

Pre ride night in Downtown Greenville at Halls Chop house!

Saturday we all descended upon Hotel Domestique ready to ride.   I myself haven't been riding long, and haven't ridden more than about 40 miles since mid summer because I was running and  focusing on CX  but I was excited to check out this amazing ride, and climb and climb and climb some more. OMG I love those hills. And it was so worth missing a week of CX to ride in these hills and experience this.  Because its not really a race, there are rest stops, not aid stations. The first was like a block party! Loud band food, sunshine, in a fun little town in the hills. It was hard not to hang out all afternoon! After this the real climbing started and its been awhile since Ive done some true climbing but I LOOOOOVED it.  More please!  It was so gorgeous and hard not to want to stop and take a million pictures. 



Everyone finished and celebrated at the post race party.  The setting in hills was gorgeous with amazing views, food, and friends.   Until next year.  This is on my event calendar again for 2017. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Its in the air!!!

Its out there in the air floating around like Pokeman.  Its energy, excitement,  motivation, …change…..a new season. You can almost touch it!

Summer's ending….you can feel it even though its still hot humid and muggy, it's everywhere and it's not hiding> the end of summer.  I've been squeezing in shopping for school supplies, new school clothes and fitting in eye exams for 13 y/o who has entered world of wearing contacts.

 Football practices have started, along with hitting  workouts early before carpools …and I have to turn the lights on sooner in the evening. I've even seen the Halloween/ Spirit stores now have their signs up.   And ….cross is coming. Its been a fun summer of running with a few more races to go, but its in the air…..CX season!

Once football starts, and first day of school is just around the corner, my summer is basically done. I love summer,  and live to be outside and soaking up as much of the outdoors as I can, but there is something safe and exciting about a regular school schedule a new year and new season.   The highlight of my summer was my trip home to Oregon which is just about my favorite place ….EVAH!   This trip was extra amazing because my brothers were home with their kids. For part of the trip we had a great weekend visit near Bend celebrating my parents 50th anniversary. 50 years with same love through thick and thin is truly so cool.
Happy 50th

 My Dad is fighting stage 3B cancer. He is doing so incredible, fighting it and coming along just fine. My mom is there by his side driving him into Portland to all the appointments, and treatments making him eat, drink and telling him to stop rest.  While there I went to 1 chemo treatment and met his Dr. who was incredible. I was able to leave feeling much better about his fight and the whole treatment process.
Cancer Sucks

I ran a lot while home, actually the most I've ever run in a single stretch. 6 days in a row with so many amazing miles that added up to more than I've done in 1 week. True runners do this all the time, but I love to bike too, so don't normally run so many consecutive days. However, when in Oregon without my bikes …..it was perfect. I finished feeling strong motivated and ready for more, but also ready to have a date with my bike once I got back home.    My heart is truly in the mountains and outdoors, I LOVE it, and I soaked up as much of the outdoors as I could:   
seen on my run!

hanging by the river



making sure there are no snakes

Olympic Fever is also in the air! The spirit and energy of the Olympics is so contagious. Its hard not to get caught up and addicted to watching. I've gone to work a little tired with an Olympic hangover (just staying up too late/ getting up too early)  Seeing the hard work and dedication is just a little more than motivating!  While I am vey far from an Olympic athlete, Im still so motivated to get out and train hard, push myself and do best I am in whatever I may show up doing. These days running has been so fun and going well. Its been super muggy and hot that can leave you nearly throwing up at the end of a hard effort. Why not give it your all right? I just raced the BigTen10k in the city.

It was such a fun race with very fun post race celebration tailgate style. Who wouldn't want to dance with the mascots post race? 
Wobble with a WildCat, I'm a Northwestern Med School alum!
But the Buckeye was the best dancer!

I finished 2nd in my AG but not quite as fast as I had wanted either from slowing down too much running in the dark stuffiness of Lower Wacker, or just not enough speed, because I've been logging miles for an upcoming half marathon. Cross is coming though and I've been hitting the trails earlier than usual this season, experimenting on mtn bikes, crashing some and playing in the dirt.  


Speaking of Olympics, If you had to pick what event  you'd compete in what would it be?  The roads we take and bridges we cross make us who we are, all the good and bad turns are part of what we become.  I was a college volleyball player, turned triathlete for 20 + years who now loves to run and race CX.  Many miles of biking running (with some swimming ) over the years I still wouldn't pick to be an Olympic runner cyclist or triathlete.  I think my event of choice would be heptathlete, because they train to be the best in multiple events over several days.  Every day I go for gold in being the best  single mom, physical therapist, runner/ Cx racer, homeowner, daughter, sister, and friend. There are gold medal days, and often epic fails. Winning requires getting back up, wiping the dirt off and, lacing up your big girl shoes and trying again.

Friday, June 10, 2016


I've been part of some very fun projects lately that are essential components to great running and racing.   My friend and former fellow co-worker Kathy and I just finished a 3 week Running Essentials series. We taught new runners who are training for the Fox Valley Marathon/ 1/2 marathon some of the essentials for a great training program and race experience.   There are many elements to a great race,  and race season, but as physical therapists who like to analyze the body, and fix or prevent injury we focused on: 

Week 1 flexibility
Week 2 run specific strength
Week 3  efficient form. 

As their mileage increases through the summer preparing them for the race, they are now equipped with stretches, strength exercises and tips on proper run form to help them prepare for a successful race day. Good Luck girls! I'll see you out there!

Even when you do all the proper training, hard workouts,  stretching, strengthening and preparation for a big race sometimes things don't go as planned. Also part of a great race day performance is proper nutrition, rest and mental focus.   I recently raced at the Soilder Field 10 miler. I loved this race and was super stoked to race. I had some great training and physically was ready to race. But the day before the race, I found out my Dad has stage 3 squamous cell cancer. I hadn't slept well, or  ate well for several days waiting for the results, and certainly didn't have mental toughness needed to push the pace I wanted.  Its hard to run fast when your heart is heavy. I walked a bunch, cried a tiny bit , and my body still feels numb, but still finished with a smile and was thankful to still have the gift to run. 

For the past 3-4 years, I have had the privilege of working with an outstanding young athlete who has had great success in her running. I've gotten to play a small part in her development of running and watch her get stronger and faster over the course of her high school career.  She has all the essentials to being a great runner and has remained consistent with working on strength and form in her off seasons with our SEP program at my clinic. Recently she finished 4th at state in the 2 mile with a school record,  was invited to race at the Magnificant Miles track meet in Chicago where she ran her all time fastest mile at 4:51, and will be going on to run Cross Country at Syracuse University in the fall.  Mackenzie has worked on her flexibility, strength, form, she is coachable, dedicated , positive and its been fun to see her develop into a great runner. I wish her best of luck as she gets ready to head off to college.
good luck Mackenzie

Essential to any race is a great post race party. Last weekend my friends and teammates volunteered at the Girls On the Run 5k. This is such a great program getting young girls involved in running at their schools and finishes with a 5k race and celebration. Our job was to face paint their excited and smiling faces after they finished.
#bettysquad  #everybodyisabetty

Summer is really here, my favorite time of year. I maximize as much time as possible to be outside. Some of my new favorite summer essentials to make the most of this super fun time of year.

The new Momentum BettyDesigns+ Rudy Project shades! so fun in the sun!
Betty + Rudy

Hanging on the patio with friends in the evening solving the worlds problems

Beach adventures, a must!
photo credit: breedfreakphoto

Coola sun care!