Did it Work? – My Half-Ironman on Keto

It had been nearly two weeks since my race. Plenty of time to think of what went well and what didn’t. What I would change, and what I would do the same.

I wanted to do this race on my terms, my way. It was a bit of an experiment on myself in a way. I wanted to do the race entirely Keto… no carbs or sugars whatsoever. My training had gone well staying fat adapted, so why wouldn’t my race?

So the big question is…. Did it work?


I hate to admit it, but no… I don’t think it did. I felt just as crappy during the run as I did last year, but I had far more sugar/carbs last year. So I can’t base my run on lack of carbs, but I think the bike really suffered.

As I mentioned in my last post, I wasn’t too far into my bike before noticing my muscles just were not responding as well as they have in training. They were tired and achy and didn’t want to push up the hills.

A friend who was also doing Keto started introducing carbs back into his diet in the weeks leading up to the race and he had a fantastic race! So I reached out to Danny Vega from Ketogenic Athlete, a podcast that we listen to regularly.

I explained the whole scenario, and he agreed I should have introduced carbs back into my diet in the week leading up to the race and then took in however many carbs I wanted to on race day.

The reason is, because I am fat adapted and my body uses fat efficiently, I could also have benefited from the quick carbs since I would be using both fuels… fat and carbs.

For races under 2 hours long I should not need carbs.

But I am stubborn and have to learn by doing most often. So now I know that the next half Ironman I do will be utilizing carbs as well 😉

Am I Sticking With Keto?

Absolutely!! I don’t believe there is only one way to eat to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but this has been the only way of eating that has me feeling my absolute best.

The Ketogenic Diet was first developed in the 1920s as a way to treat drug resistant epilepsy. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins introduced this way of eating for weight control.

Today, we know there are more health benefits to following the Ketogenic Diet.

-Recent studies show that ketones in the body can improve cognitive ability in people with Alzheimers. Studies are also being done to see the effects that ketones have on Parkinsons, MS, and other neurological disorders.

-People with severe migraines (not related to tension type headaches) have found relief on the Ketogenic Diet without the side effects of a lot of the pharmaceutical options.

-For people without major health issues, the Ketogenic Diet can help:

  • lose weight
  • improve memory
  • lower blood pressure
  • eliminate cravings

Many people claim that the Ketogenic Diet is impossible to stick to long term. That it is way too restrictive. This may be true for some people, but I have been eating this way for 6 months and I have no problems with it.

Maybe not having as many options in the food I eat makes it easier. I did best in my exercise regime when I had it planned for me by a professional that told me exactly what to do every day.

But what I love most is that I do not crave bread, or sugar, or chips, etc. I do not feel like I am “white knuckling” it, just hanging on until I can eat crap again.

I feel FANTASTIC! I have even energy throughout the day.

With the exception of hormonal zits once a month, my face has cleared up.

So What I am Saying Is…

If you have tried so many diets and nothing has worked for you, give this a try! You don’t know until you try, and give it an honest months effort. Then you will know!

There are a lot of people out there who are still pro-low fat eating. But obesity, cancer, heart disease…. none of these things have decreased since the introduction of the low-fat era!



Educate yourself. Do your research. Look up studies. Get blood work done before you start and a few months in if that makes you comfortable. Buy books.

I have 3 or 4 Keto Diet books. They give good explanations on why this diet works for many people, but also have many delicious recipes!!

My latest is a buy from Costco, by Leanne Vogel (a Calgarian), called The Keto Diet. She lays it out plainly, and has some fantastic recipes! *To all the Trim Healthy Mamas out there, I found some of her recipes very similar to some THM “S” recipes, with some tweaks “Iced Tea Lemonade Gummies”, “Toasted Coconut Marshmallows”. Eating mostly “S” recipes is very similar to eating the ketogenic way.

So, What’s Next?

Well, in a week and a half I will be doing the half-marathon at the Willow Creek Wilderness Walk/Run in Fort Macleod. That should be interesting given my serious lack of run training.

But I am looking forward to doing a lower key, fun, local event!


June 9 – Ladiesfest with Kiera (8 km)

June 16 – 83 km bike “Hope with every Pedal” for A-T







Ironman 70.3 St. George -The Result

I finished the race. I have never been so glad to cross the finish line of an event as I was on Saturday. My skin was fried and my lungs hurt, and I was the very last person from our group of Southern Albertans to cross that line. But seeing my family and friends along the finish chute made me so glad I pushed through to the end and did not quit!

Race Day Morning

I actually slept OK the night before the race, which is sometimes hard to do. We were up bright and early at 4 a.m., and left for Sand Hollow Reservoir by about 4:45. I ate my eggs and bacon and drank some Powerade Zero. This is what race morning looks like at an Ironman event!!

I was actually fairly calm all morning. I stood for 45 minutes in the porta potty line up (There were at least 20 of them, but the lines are always long!) and then started laying out my bike stuff.

All the athletes have to be out of the transition area where the bikes are before 6:45, so at about 6:15 I started putting on my wet suit. I think this was the first time I actually put it on all by myself! John or someone else has always helped me.

And trust me, even though I weigh 25 lbs less than I did last year, it is still like stuffing a sausage. And I didn’t see John trying to get my attention from the sidelines… he wanted to help but apparently I was too focused on what I was doing 😉

Swim Start

Waiting to start the swim was almost an hour long. The Pro’s start at 6:45 and 6:50 I think (Men and women start separate), and the age groupers start at 7.

While I was waiting, I just prayed for help to stay calm in the water. I felt relaxed as the line into the water slowly moved forward.

I met an 18-year-old girl from Arizona, who is graduating this year and wanted to celebrate by doing this event. She was so nervous for the swim! She has done triathlons before but never this distance. Her Dad was beside her trying to keep her calm, but you could see the panic in her eyes.

I started talking to her and told her I am always nervous before the swim too. She was worried about not finishing the swim in the 1 hour and 10 minutes allowed. I said I have had to do breast stroke for a big part of the race before and still finished in time, so not to worry.

When I looked her race # up after the race, I seen she finished the swim in great time, but sadly did not finish the bike. It is a TOUGH course!

I LOVE the way they did the swim start this year. It was a rolling start based on ability. So the fastest people start right at 7 and they let 3 people get in the water every 3 seconds. This spaced everyone out more and solved the problem of fast swimmers swimming over slow ones, or having their swim time slowed because they had to navigate around slower ones.

(I am in the blue swim cap, on the left)

This is especially awesome for people who aren’t as comfortable in the water, because you know everyone around you is similar in ability! The volunteers on the paddle boards and kayaks also pay close attention to the slower swimmers, in case someone needs help.

I felt comfortable in the water from the moment I got in the water. That was very strange for me but I embraced it gladly! Before I knew it I was at the first turn bouy.

I can’t really say why it went so well for me this year. I didn’t get a lot of swim training in, and didn’t even try out my wet suit until 2 days before the race.

During the swim, I was writing this blog in my head… I anticipated the rest of the day going as well as the swim was going…lol! But I was also remembering John telling me to breathe however I was comfortable, even if it wasn’t what I had practiced in the pool. Sometimes I took a breathe every 4 strokes, sometimes after 3 strokes, but mostly I took a breath every stroke.

I was also remembering Kathleen telling me to finish each stroke all the way until my hand comes out of the water. I remembered Alfredo telling me to think about where the water was on my head… if it is on my forehead, my head is too far out of the water. (Which, after watching the video John took of me starting, was probably most of the swim, but I did remember to tuck my chin in a few times)

All of these tips helped me!

I came out of the water feeling very positive and happy with how things had started out!

I finished the swim in 51:40, which is 8 minutes faster from last year!!

My transition to get on my bike took 4:52 which is a minute and a half faster from last year.

The Bike

I got on the bike in a great mood. I love biking!

I forgot that the first section is all chip seal… pretty rough road and hard to find smooth surface area. That was OK though, no different from last year.

Very soon after starting there is a short hill a bit of a flat and then a long hill. My muscles were burning on the long hill, which had me a little concerned. This wasn’t the toughest hill on the course, and it wasn’t going quite as smooth as expected!

A few days before the race I did a hill climb and felt great. I really don’t know why my muscles weren’t happy, but it was still OK. I was still enjoying it, and didn’t get any flats… which is a bonus considering how many people were along the road in the first 5 miles fixing a flat!

John and the kids were at the usual spot on Red Hills… I love knowing that I will see them there!! It is such a boost, even though it is just a quick wave and no stopping 🙂

The rest of the bike was pretty uneventful. As I was getting closer to the Snow Canyon climb, I decided I was going to get an energy gel at the last aid station before that climb.

Up until this point, I had been drinking Powerade Zero with 2 scoops of MCT oil powder. I also had bacon with me and baggies with coconut oil in them. So I was still 100 % Keto.

But before starting the race, I knew if I felt like I needed some quick sugar energy, I was not opposed to taking it. Plus I have never been able to eat straight coconut oil very easy, but everything I have read is that it is quick energy for a fat adapted athlete.

Anyways, about a mile before the aid station, I decided to try the coconut oil… and it was delicious!! I have no idea why I have hated it every other time I have taken it, but I enjoyed both the flavor and the texture this time!

When the aid station came around, I really needed to use the porta potties. But so did 8 other people! I decided I could hold it and kept going, forgetting about the gel.

Part way into Snow Canyon, I knew I was going to need more energy to get up this climb and took another Tbsp of coconut oil. But I should have taken more, because….

Snow Canyon beat me again.

I made it so close and it was literally the last 50 meters or so before it levels out that I simply could not turn the pedals anymore. GRRRR!!!

This was so frustrating because I had trained so consistently on the bike, but obviously I still did not incorporate enough hill training to be strong on this course.

But after this is a very fast 10 miles downhill back into town. This is so fun!!

My bike time this year was 3:37:08, about 17 minutes slower than I had hoped for, but about 5 minutes faster from last year. I should be happy with that, but considering I had a lot less weight to push up the hills and trained more, I was disappointed.

My bike to run transition was a long 11 minutes… last year was 7 minutes and I had hoped to be faster this year. But I decided to put on my compression socks, and I spent a few minutes in the porta potty.

The Run

I was still feeling positive at this point, but it was so hot. And my hamstrings and calves were feeling pretty tight from the bike ride. I started out running but this quickly turned to walking.

I should have been able to run at least a good part of the first bit… it is a false flat, so a little up hill, but if I got a rhythm going it would have been fine.

I think I started mentally turning off in the first 2 miles of the run. The sun was beating down, no shade anywhere, and the climb up Red Hills seemed harder than I remember.

Most people run the risk of getting dehydrated in hot weather while running. My mouth was so parched I drank at every aid station, and had some more water in my fuel belt for between aid stations. (There is an aid station every mile, so I shouldn’t have needed even more fluid). And I had to pee at every second aid station… this is not normal in 35 degrees!! Lol

If it wasn’t for all the bathroom breaks I would have broken the 8-hour mark 😉

Also, I forgot to bring anti acids with me, and by mile 4 or so of the run, I kept burping up hot stuff. I just wanted to throw up because I knew I would feel better, but I couldn’t seem to do it. I normally will run all the downhill sections, but I had to stop a few times even on the downhill because everything kept coming up.

Nearing the first turn around, I knew John and the kids would be there. I wanted to put on a smile and pretend it was OK, but I felt horrible. To make matters worse, John had got my run splits from the first couple of miles of the run, and it wasn’t good.

He told me I should probably try pick up the pace or I might not make the cut off time. I was mad. Even though he was right, I was not in a good head space to hear that. I told him I didn’t care if I finished.

(This picture is of me sulking like a 2-year old because John told me what I didn’t want to hear… hindsight always gives me better perspective 😉

When I came to the second turn around which is in the same area, John said Becky had texted him to tell me she was cheering for me… I told him I didn’t care. Sorry Becky, at this point I didn’t even care if I finished the race!! LOL But thanks for cheering us all on!! 😀

Even at mile 10, with 3 miles to go, I told myself I didn’t care if I didn’t make the cut off time of 8 hours 30 minutes. I didn’t have a watch on so I didn’t know how much longer I had.

But then I remembered the shirt.

Ironman brand has a huge marketing ploy. They take all types of clothing, put their name on it and sell it at the Ironman events. Not a bad thing but I usually refuse to spend extra money for these things.

But a light purple long sleeve tshirt with a hoodie had caught my eye … the style I like, and a colour I like, and on the back is the M dot with all the names of this years participants. I bought it and my name is on it, but race etiquette is that if you don’t finish the race, you don’t wear the shirt…

And I love the shirt.

So I started running cones down Diagnal Street. Run 2 walk 1 or run 3 walk 2…

I was so happy to see that finish line, that despite the horrible half-marathon, I had a smile on my face coming down the finish line….

And I said I will NEVER EVER DO THIS RACE AGAIN!!!! At least for a few years….he he.

My run time was 3 hours and 18 minutes… 10 minutes slower from last year 🙁

Total time was 8:03:39, 1 minute slower from last year. That doesn’t make me happy, but being done triathlon training for a little while does make me happy!! I will take a break for a few days and then start with weights and running again as the half-marathon in Fort Macleod is coming up at the end of the month!

I want to say a huge thank you to John and the kids. In my opinion, it is just as hard being a spectator/support crew as it is doing the actual race. They were up at 4 in the morning, spent the entire day in the hot sun getting hauled from place to place, just to wait forever and see me for a few seconds. John is so awesome at staying positive, and buying the kids milkshakes, and being so supportive. I can honestly say I never do as good of a job when he races…

I get grumpy and irritable and may even whine a little.

When I finished the race, he already had my bike and the rest of my gear in the van ready to go. Even though I didn’t improve my time at all, they were all so proud of me… it even brings tears to my eyes as I write this. Thank you and I love you guys!!

It is also so great to do this kind of thing with a group of people you know. I can confidently say next year I will be in the cheering section for whoever decides to do this race… but I will not be doing it. I have it here in writing. Hold me to it. LOL!!!

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So close….

As I write this, I have 9 full days before race day… it is getting so close! The weird thing is I am more nervous about it than I was last year, and I am better trained and weigh less!

Last year I just wanted to finish. I just wanted to survive.

And the goal still remains to finish the race. There are a lot of things that can happen during a race to prevent a person from finishing…

-panic attack in the water

-getting punched in the face in the water by another swimmer (accidentally of course;)

-really adverse weather

-a bike malfunction that is not repairable roadside

-crashing on the bike

-severe muscle cramps

-heat exhaustion

You get the idea. Sometimes there are things outside of a racers control that prevents them from finishing the race.

So the first goal is definitely to be able to finish the race.

But having trained more consistently and weighing 25 lbs less than when I did St. George last year, I have higher expectations for myself.

This is my results from last year:

Swim – 59:17

Swim to Bike Transition – 6:14

Bike – 3:42:33

Bike to Run Transition – 6:57

Run – 3:07:36

Total Time – 8:02:37


I Can Do Better

I believe I can do the swim in about 55 minutes or less. I have not done as much swim training as I had hoped to, but what I have done, has gone well. The biggest thing will be to stay calm in the water and keep moving forward instead of doggy paddling.

Actually my real plan is to get in the water at the same time as Al, and have him “pull” me… he usually finishes in a respectable time so should work out good for me ;D… LOL!

I don’t know if I can improve too much on the swim to bike transition time. The wet suit strippers help get the wet suit off, but then I have to run over to my bike, (a little wobbly from being horizontal for an hour), change my shirt (I like to wear a bike jersey on the bike… just feels more comfortable), make sure I have my water bottles secure, put my helmet on, bike shoes on, and then take my bike off the rack and run to where I am allowed to get on my bike.

Oh yea, and make sure my wet suit, goggles, swim cap, ear plugs, etc, are all put into a bag with my race number on it so volunteers can bring it to the finish area.


I want to take 22 minutes off the bike and finish in 3:20:00. Even though I have not done any outdoor bike rides this year yet, I have worked hard on the trainer.

I LOVE biking. But last year I had to push my bike up part of Snow Canyon. I was not trained well enough, and didn’t have a granny gear. I still don’t have a granny gear, but I think I am better equipped to make it up there this year!

(Snow Canyon is the picture at the top of my web page. I keep it there not only because it is incredibly beautiful there, but also as a reminder of what I am working towards!)

Then after being grumpy about the walk of shame pushing my bike up a hill, the fast downhill into town was not fast at all. The wind was very strong and was almost pushing me over on the bike, so that I had to pedal going downhill!!

So if conditions are better this year, I don’t think its unreasonable for me to be able to finish in 3:20.

I think I can drop the bike to run transition down to 5 minutes. After putting my bike on the rack and making sure my helmet and bike shoes are in the appropriate bag, I change out of my jersey into a technical t-shirt. Again, this takes extra time, but I like a fresh shirt to start the run to prevent chafing.

Then I put my socks on and my runners, put my visor on and grab my race belt, if I am using it. Still undecided, but I am thinking I can put a salt stick in there in case I get cramps, Advil in case I am really sore, and maybe little baggies of coconut oil in case I feel I need some quick energy from fat.


The hardest part is running off the bike. It feels unnatural and weird in the legs to run after pedaling for 3+ hours. So my first goal for the run is to run the first mile without walking at all. (Lofty goals, I know… ;D)

Right now the forecast for race day is a high of 32 degrees Celsius. I am hoping I can finish before it gets that hot, but it is indescribable how hot it actually gets up on the red rocks. There is usually not a breath of wind out there, and we run on a road that is surrounded by high red rocks. It feels like a sauna!!

That being said, my first priority is to stay safe, and not over heat. So even though I want to run a lot more than I did last year, I won’t risk heat exhaustion to do it.

I will walk if necessary but I want to complete the run in well under 3 hours… preferably 2:45. But considering my lack of run training this is pretty lofty for me.

All these goals puts me around 7:20:00 finish time. I would be OK with that!!

But whatever happens on race day will happen. I just hope I enjoy the day and finish with a smile!!

I will leave you with this video to see what is so great about St. George, Utah!



My First Brick Workout…..EVER!!

When it comes to triathlon, a brick workout is a very good thing to be doing regularly. A brick workout is where you do a bike workout followed by a run, or a swim followed by a bike. Since the order of triathlon is swim, bike, then run, it is good to get used to the way you feel started the next part of the triathlon.

I have been doing triathlon for a few years now, but this past Saturday was my first brick workout ever!! I have never done one, simply because I am usually too lazy to. I have been told many times how good it is to get used to the feeling of jello legs when you start the run.

When starting the run, my legs will have been used to biking for 3+ hours. It is a weird feeling to have to run on those legs and you can even feel off-centre a little. Kinda the same as when you come out of the water after being horizontal for an hour (less for most people) and then having to run up a ramp… I tend to run like a drunk person out of the water!

Anyways, Saturday I had the time and desire, since it was nice weather, to try a brick. So I did a 2 1/2 hour bike and then went and got my running shoes on and did a 1-mile run.

A 1-mile run isn’t very far considering race day it’s a 13-mile run off the bike, but it’s usually the first mile that really, really sucks.

I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially with my ankle issues, but it was fantastic!! Ava biked beside me and chit chatted the whole way which made the mile go fast, but I actually felt great! I kept analyzing how I felt, whether I could feel ankle pain or not, whether my legs were tired… but no complaints.


I haven’t run very far lately, and not even sure I will run far before the race. I am too worried about aggravating the ankle. If I do that race day it’s fine, but keep it healthy until race day!

Last year, the furthest I ran before the race was 7 miles, and I was 25 lbs heavier. Not that it is recommended to do that, but it shows that determination and encouragement from the support crew does trump training sometimes!!

Its just not as fun. And my goal is to have fun.

But if I come off the bike happy, I will finish the run happy. No lofty goals, just enjoy the race more than last year 😉

17 Days Until Race Day!!

I just have to share a picture of me after a swim… this picture was taking at least 20 minutes after I finished my swim, and probably closer to 30 minutes after.

I always had issues with goggles either leaking or else so tight they felt like they were sucking my eyeballs out of my head.

John was using Aquasphere Vista googles and suggested I try them, I have been using them for most of the time I have been doing triathlon, but the worst part is that they are so suctioned to my head, the marks stay for a long time!! Lol!

I have been told to loosen them, but I always press the goggles to my face to make sure they don’t leak so I think they will leave marks either way!!


I don’t miss a lot of foods in eating the Keto way, but I do miss sushi (the non-raw fish kind). I don’t really eat rice, though occasionally it’s fine. But this past week I found a recipe for keto friendly sushi and I had to try it!

Instead of rice it uses “riced” cauliflower. I had picked some up at Costco last week, so it was perfect timing. The recipe called for cooking the cauliflower first, but I was too lazy and wanted to eat it sooner rather than later.

So I kept the cauliflower raw, and mixed it with cream cheese. I had Nori sheets from about 6 months ago, so they were a little dryer than their normal dryness and were starting to crumble.

But I was determined.

I very carefully spread the cauliflower/cream cheese mixture onto a sheet of Nori that was still mostly whole. Then I added small strips of cucumber. The recipe called for avocado at this stage as well, but I didn’t have any and didn’t want to run to the store, since going for avocado meant I would end up spending over $100 on other things I suddenly remembered I “needed”.

I had prepared all of this on a piece of saran wrap since I don’t have one of those bamboo sheets for rolling sushi on. I carefully rolled the cauliflower/cream cheese mixture and the cucumber up, trying not to roll the saran into it.

Then the hardest part was letting it chill in the fridge for a few hours to firm up, so it didn’t fall apart when I cut it.

Finally, I got to eat it. It was great!! I will totally make this again, except buy the avocado, since I love avocado, and it is such a great healthy source of fat.

The Stupid Scale

I really can’t tell you what my real weight is at this point, except that I am in the low 150’s. That silly number fluctuates so much from day to day, I don’t know what to think.

Last Saturday morning I was 151 lbs. I was happy.

Monday morning I was 154 lbs. I was frustrated because my weekend was excellent as far as working out and food choices were concerned.

This morning I was 153 lbs. I stepped on the scale this afternoon after sleeping (On night shift last night) , and I was 151.5 lbs.

So no clue what I actually weigh, but whatever.

Just makes me grumpy when it flip-flops like that.

But I am still excited for race day in 2 1/2 weeks!!

P.S. I finally figured out how to get those silly Fitness Singles ads off my site… I think.  Hope it worked!!  

Categories: Uncategorized

Live Life On Purpose – We Are Only Given One

We were reminded again this past week how quickly our lives can change. The tragedy of the crash involving the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos hockey team and the semi has deeply affected people around the world. In a world that seems so cold most of the time, it is heartening to see so much compassion!

It is also a reminder never to take our lives or our loved ones for granted. Each day we have together is a gift!

We all need to live life on purpose. Stop being a spectator in your own life and start being a participant! That can mean different things to different people, but definitely be proactive in things that are important to you!

That is partly why I participate in triathlon, running, biking…. because it makes me feel good and energetic. I like working my muscles, I want to stay fit, and I want my kids to be inspired to stay active through their adult life.

But I definitely feel guilty too. Especially around this time, when I am only 3 weeks out from the race. My bike rides are up to around 2 hours, I need to go to Lethbridge or Claresholm to swim, which is altogether at least 2 hours out of my day, and now I am needing massages and physio for tight muscles and other things.

That combined with working does take me away from the kids a fair amount. I am working mostly nights so I am home more often during the days, but kinda foggy at times.

And when I am home, we are making sure all the school work gets done. We definitely don’t see grandparents and siblings as much as we would like! And fun activities as a family haven’t been in abundance lately either.

But I remind myself this is for a short time. After the race at the beginning of May, we can go into chill mode.

My workouts will be shorter and more relaxed, the kids start swim club (which they love) and as it warms up (Because we know it will….) we will start mountain biking, hiking, and making trips to Waterton again.

And besides, the kids are so excited for going to St. George! They love it there so much and are disappointed the years that we don’t go!

Massage and Physio

Last week I went to a physiotherapist to see if we could figure out why my ankle is being wonky. He found the giant knot in my calf, which I knew about, but thinks the problem may be a nerve. The knot in my calf could be giving this nerve issues on its way down. So he gave me some exercises to try and I have been using the TENs machine on it. (Electrical nerve stimulation.

I go back to physio on Friday for a follow up. I went for one run last week and took it easy. I could feel the pain a little and had to stop and stretch my calf a few times, but hopefully its on the mend!

Today I went for another massage. It is costly, but I feel it is so necessary right now!! I just can’t seem to massage my muscles good enough on the foam roller at this point. And it just feels so good! I just need to stop scheduling Costco after my massage… that definitely needs to be pre-massage as it is stressful to go shopping there!


So I just did one little half hour run, a couple 2 hour bike rides, and this morning I did 1900 m in the pool. The swim felt really good today! Once I got into a rhythm, it seemed to go fast. I actually got so in the zone I almost hit the end wall a few times!!

Even though I don’t generally love swimming, I am thinking about joining the Masters swim class that Fort Macleod Swim Club is doing this summer. Maybe with a little instruction, I might start to really enjoy it!

What I am REALLY looking forward to doing after St. George, is getting back into Crossfit. I like the variety of the workouts and the strength training. I think on my body frame I can stand to lose another 20 lbs… but I never want to be considered scrawny or skinny!

The Scale

The scale went down and up this week, but settled back at 154 lbs, so no change since last week. This is to be expected and I don’t mind. I am still happily following the Ketogenic Diet, and it isn’t a struggle at all.

I very rarely crave any food that is sugar or carb filled, but I still enjoy my wine, which has a bit of both. This summer will be interesting with camping and day trips, but I think with a bit of planning, it will be very doable to stick to the plan!

24 days until Race Day!!

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What Are Your Health And Fitness Goals? I Have Suggestions!

I talk a lot about myself on here. I have many fitness and health goals, but I want to know… What are your health and fitness goals? Do you have specific goals? Are you waiting to shed some pounds before going to the gym or signing up for a race?

I am here to say, don’t wait! So often, especially as women, we wait for the day we will feel comfortable enough in our own skin to get out there and try new things.

The problem is… that day doesn’t always come! The weight might not come off soon. Circumstances in your life may come and take opportunities away.

It can be so liberating to get out of our comfort zones!! It is scary, it can be uncomfortable, it can cause a whole range of feelings that you are not used to. But in the end, it is likely to be exhilarating!!

The first race I ever signed up for was the Moonlight run in Lethbridge many years ago. I did the 6km, and I did not think I ran very well. Looking back it was my fastest 6km Moonlight run to date!! 😉

I don’t remember doing very much after that until John got into triathlon and running. I was whining one day about him always going out running with other people, and his response was, “Come along!”

I didn’t want to embarrass myself and I was overweight… What would these people think of me? I was sure I would feel like people were laughing inside because here was this fat chick pretending to run.

One thing a person learns very fast in the southern Alberta running community… EVERYONE is welcome!! In fact, people are so friendly and excited when a person begins their running journey. Seasoned Runners love to give tips on what to do and what not to do when you first start running!

I took a Learn to Run class at Runners Soul and that was probably the best thing I did. It made me feel successful and it made me feel like I was part of the running community!

I started signing up for more races and started feeling more confident in my abilities. And if I ever had questions, John or someone else would have answers for me!

The thing about races is that they are FUN! You can make it as competitive and/or as fun as you want to make it! It is so much fun signing up with friends, though have a plan on whether you will be doing the race side by side, or simply both running/walking the same race… this can prevent some hurt feelings!

Local Races

Some people may not be aware of local races in the area so I thought I would highlight a few that I have done. These are Saturday races except for the Little Souls Marathon, which is on a Wednesday evening.

1. Willow Creek Wilderness Walk and Run – May 26, 2018

It has been a few years since I have done this one, because there is a womens run in Canmore the same weekend that I have been doing for many years. But I decided it was time to stay local this year and do the half-marathon right here in Fort Macleod!!

This is a fun, relaxed race, with some people enjoying the competitive aspect of it, and others simply out for the enjoyment of being part of something organized that raises money for local benefit!

Willow Creek Wilderness walk/run is such a great race for people who have never participated in a race and want to test the waters on what it is like, and for people who like running trails and some gravel.

And the volunteers are fantastic!


2. A-T Walk For A Cure & Bike Ride – June 16, 2018

This fundraiser in honor of Randy Van Hierden and Alex Olive, is a fun family oriented event. There is a 5 km walk, or a choice between a 50km or 80km bike ride.

I used to participate in the walk with my kids, but in the past years have joined the bike ride as I love to bike!! But my kids really want to do the walk again, so I think this year we will try to do both….

This is always a fun time for entire families. There is a silent auction, pony rides, childrens play area, petting zoo, face painting, coffee and donuts and a buffet lunch!

To learn more about what A-T is and the research that is being done, check out www.atcp.org.



3. Ladiesfest 8km – June 9, 2018

Ladiesfest is a great, women only, race in Lethbridge. This is a fantastic race to sign up for with you mom, daughter, sisters or friends… especially for a first race!

This is an event to promote women’s health, fitness and well-being in the community.

This race starts and ends by the Lodge, but runs through the river valley… so yes, a big downhill in the beginning and a rather good climb to the finish, but it is so worth it! When you cross the finish line you will receive a flower and chocolate, and then can head inside for a delicious brunch.

Kiera and I have been doing this one together for a few years now, and always look forward to it!

It may already be sold out, but keep an eye online, as people will sell their bibs if their plans change before race day.



4. Coulee Cactus Crawl – June 2, 2018

If you ever wonder if you would enjoy trail running, this is the race for you to test the waters… along with 4 of your closest friends 😉

This is a 20 ish mile trail run through the coulees of Lethbridge. It can be done solo or on a team of up to 5 people, but if you have never run the coulees, I highly suggest doing it on a team!

Each leg of the race is anywhere from 5-7km and are all challenging! I love trail running, even though I have never been really great at it, I still enjoy it. I just make sure that I am on a team that is not concerned so much with the teams time, but more concerned about making it to the beer and tacos waiting at the finish line!!



5. Little Souls Kids Marathon – May 30, 2018


If your kids are under the age of 12, and you would like to introduce them to running, the Little Souls Kids Marathon is a great way to do that!

The kids will run 40 km over 4-6 weeks and then run the last 2 km with all the other participants.

A suggested timeline with distances to run each week can be downloaded from runnersoulevents.com. This can be such a great way to teach kids to break down big goals into bite size pieces and therefore accomplish great things!


If you are interested in running events in Lethbridge, just check out the Runners Soul Events page for a brief description and registration details!


Back to Talking About Myself…

Well, another uneventful week, especially since I already posted about the first three days last week!

I didn’t try running again after Wednesday, but I have an appointment with a physiotherapist this Wednesday to hopefully figure out whatever my problem is, and hopefully fix it!!

I am not expecting great things for the run on race day, but it would be rather awful to not be able to finish the race because of wierd ankle issues!

I did a Ramp test on the bike this morning, which is another way to measure FTP. Trainer Road will send me the result of that hopefully tomorrow or the next day. I have done the 20-minute FTP test a few times, but I just am not confident that it is totally accurate for me, as my target power for rides seems a little too easy!

I was down 1.5 lbs on the scale this week, so am currently 154. I feel good and will need new clothes soon! Though I am impressed that my clothes are versatile enough to have endured a difference of 22lbs… lol!!

Anyways, I hope to see many of you out at some local races coming up!

One of these days we should be able to safely run outside…. right?






The Health Benefits of Massage Therapy – And Reached 20 lb Weight Loss!!

Usually I can get a post written at least by Tuesday night… but this week has gotten away from me!! As busy as it has been, I managed to get in for a massage today, and it was absolutely fantastic!!

I do not go for massages often, but now that my training has increased, my body is feeling it. There are so many benefits of massage therapy – its not just for relieving aches and pains, though it is great for that.

Anyways, last week I had so much tension in my neck and shoulders, I decided it was high time for a massage and booked an appointment with Anna at Lethbridge Thai Massage.

Anna does an awesome deep tissue massage that also includes some elements of traditional Thai massage. From what I understand, Thai massages are generally done on a mat on the floor, and includes kneading and positioning to work with the “energy flow”.

Well the deep tissue massage is on a regular massage table, but for some of it, she gets on the table to do different stretches and even gets her knees into my tight hamstrings…. it is seriously fantastic!!

And like this picture, she also does the hands, which feels surprisingly good! I never thought of tension in my hands, but I definitely felt tightness in there while she was massaging it.

I have only ever had Anna as my massage therapist at Lethbridge Thai Massage so I recommend her, but there are two other therapists there as well and they have a long list of services they provide. It is a little pricier than some other places, but worth the treat once in a while.

On their website and on the door when you walk in are the words “100% non-sexual”….

Now, before going to this place, I have never gone to a Thai massage place. But now I am pretty sure I will never go to a Thai massage place that does not have this explicitly written….

…. Because apparently it is necessary to make that clear!


Is It Worth It?

If you do not regularly go for massages, there are so many reasons to make it a regular occurrence in your life.

1. Massages can help improve your immune system. Having a massage stimulates the lymphatic system, which is the system that helps your body get rid of waste and toxins.

2. Massages can lower high blood pressure – at least for a little while.

3. When you have a massage, endorphins (those feel good things) are released. According to livestrong.com, this can “help to decrease anxiety, provide pain relief, improve mood and enhance a person’s state of well-being”.

4. Having a massage can help you sleep better!!

And if you are an athlete, a deep tissue or sports massage can help release muscles that are protesting the amount of training you might be doing, and can prevent injury or treat an injury you may already have.

Deep tissue massage can also relieve delayed onset muscle soreness…

So I have booked two more massages before I go to St. George, and one for the week after I get back from the race! Though the one after the race won’t be in the 24-72 hour window that I will be the most sore, it is still bound to help me!



Weight Loss







Well, in the weight loss world, I am a turtle loser….S-L-O-W. But I am also proof that if you just keep plugging away at it, the weight does eventually come off!! When I stepped on the scale Monday morning, I was 155.5, which is 20.5 lbs lost since November.

Most of my adult life I have been around this weight. The only time I weighed less was before I had my gallbladder removed in my mid 20s….and that was because most things I ate besides dry crackers would make me violently throw up!!

So I am at a pretty exciting point where the scale is concerned! I continue to not enjoy weighing myself, but I am internalizing more and more that it is simply one tool I can use to measure my progress.

My next milestone will be getting to the 140’s. At the rate I am going, it will be another month or so before I get there….but that is OK!

Last Week

Last week was pretty uneventful. I had a swim and a couple of bikes and didn’t run once. I ran today and after 9 minutes on the treadmill, my irritating ankle/calf issue showed up. I couldn’t run anymore, so thought I would get on the stair climber.

It felt great and was a good workout, until 15 minutes into that, same issue started.

I need to book a physio appointment, because if this shows up during the race, there is the danger of not finishing because I have a hard time putting any weight on it!

Anna massage my lower legs really well, but I could still faintly feel it walking around after that, so it is obviously something I need to get looked at.

I did paint all day Saturday so I figured that was a good enough arm workout 😉

I haven’t made any early morning gym trips. I don’t know why it is so hard for me to go before work. I know if I got all lunches made the night before and had my stuff ready to go, I could easily go run for half hour, come home shower and be at work on time.

But I just don’t want to.

I like to drink my coffee, read, and enjoy the only half hour to an hour of quiet in my day. I hate to give that up, but I should be now, if only a couple times per week!

Oh Yea…


I had a glass of wine and 2-3 squares of 90% Lindt Chocolate every night last week… and still lost weight. So I will probably not give those things up any time soon!


Moonlight Run Recap… and the Rest of My Week!

I followed through with my plan… and ran the Moonlight Run! To be completely honest, in the days leading up to the run, I hoped there was going to be bad weather so I would have a decent excuse not to run. I was just getting really nervous! It had been so long since I did an actual race on my own, and one that I knew I wanted to do my best to see what time I could get.

But I haven’t done a lot of run training in the last month or two. It has been sporadic at best, and I had not run at all since the outdoor “run” that I ended up limping home from a few weeks ago.

So I didn’t know what to expect…

Race Day

Saturday morning I was busy doing all the regular Saturday morning stuff… laundry, dishes, more laundry, etc.

I suddenly remembered I would need to pick up my race package in Lethbridge. I didn’t know if I could pick it up right before the race, so thought I better pick it up earlier.

So I made plans to go into Lethbridge just after lunch to do that. But, as often happens in this house, plans quickly change.

John and Kiera have been looking for a vehicle for her that fit her budget for a while now. She turns 16 in a few months, and wanted a vehicle before that so she could practice driving in her own vehicle.

Well, they found a deal on something she wanted…. in Medicine Hat.

So with some quick time calculations, we figured we could pick up the race package, sign up Kiera and her friend last minute for the Moonlight Run, do a “quick” drive to Medicine Hat to buy the vehicle, and be home in time to change and drive back to Lethbridge for the race….

Well, we did manage to get all that done Saturday afternoon, and the good part was I was too busy to be nervous! We got back home at 6:30, and left for the race at 7:00. The race started at 8, so I got there in plenty of time 😉

On the way to Lethbridge, I watched a You Tube video on how to tape my ankle with KT Tape, just for a little extra support. I also wore compression calf sleeves, hoping all this would help me not have any issues!

The 10 KM

As always, right before the run started, my stomach was in a bundle of knots.

I started thinking about what I had eaten during the day. I actually don’t remember what I ate, besides a dry Greek Salad from McDonalds (didn’t check the bag before leaving McDonalds….no fork and no dressing), and 3 creams in my Tim Hortons coffee.

I know I ate something in the morning, I just don’t remember what.

Was it enough?

When the horn sounded to start, I just tried to relax and settle in to an easy pace. I seen John on the sidelines, trying to find me, but he didn’t see me…. there were a lot of people there!! He took this picture without actually seeing me 😉 It’s pretty fuzzy….

There is a flat, or slightly downhill, 3-4 blocks before going down the big hill into the river valley.

I love running downhill. Years ago, while running coulees with a friend, she taught me that downhill running is just controlled falling….

If you try to slow yourself down, you are constantly braking, and that puts a lot of pressure on your quads, which makes them tired for the rest of the race.

So downhill is fun for me and pretty quick. But when it flattens out at the bottom, that’s when the real test starts.

Due to our lovely weather lately with the snow and melt, there were a lot of puddles on the route. In the beginning, I tried avoiding them, but eventually gave in and just splashed through them.

I reminded myself that if this were a trail race, I wouldn’t think twice about running through puddles or streams….

I felt great at the first out and back, but started second guessing myself at the turn off where the 10km runners broke off from the 6 km runners.

Questions started going through my head…. should I back off? I felt great, but I was only a third through my race. I almost was waiting for things to start falling apart.

But I decided while I felt good, to keep running at a good pace for me. If I ended up not doing well later on, I would deal with that then, but was not going to borrow trouble.

I focused on trying to find people I knew. Most people running the race are way faster than I am, so since we were on another out and back, I was looking at the people running towards me. (Keep in mind it is dark out, so even with a headlamp, this is not an easy task!!)

I did see about 3 people I knew, but most of all it kept my mind off of what I was doing…. which was running…LOL!!

I continued feeling great, and remembered to keep my posture good, and to “drive” with my knees. This makes me land lighter and more on the balls of my feet rather than my feet slapping down or heel striking.

When I got to the hill, my strategy was to walk one light pole and run one light pole all the way up the hill. I think the hill is about 1.5 – 2km long…. but not 100% sure on that. It feels like a long way!! I stuck to my plan and it worked, though looking back I think I could have managed to run 2 light poles for every one I walked!

At the top of the hill there is probably about 4 city blocks to the finish line. I usually have a mental block near the finish line and just start walking. I am not sure why, but this is something I struggle with. Most people pick up their pace at this point, but not me!! I always have to be a little different…;)

But I happened to see “short Sherry” in front of me. I remember her from my trail running days. She is about 5 feet tall, over 60 years old, and my goal at the top of the hill was to try to keep up with her until the finish line…. just sayin’.

She pulled ahead of me, but I managed to stay within 15-20 feet of her and ran all the way to the line!!

The Finish

I finished the race with jello legs, but feeling absolutely fantastic. I have not felt this sense of satisfaction over a race since my first half-marathon, which was many years ago.

I ran a good race and was incredibly happy about it!! My clock time was 1:02, which is just under a 10 minute mile. While this is slower than most peoples warm up pace, this is a great time for me. I would like to get under an hour for 10 km, but for now, I am happy 😀

We didn’t stick around for the free pizza and donuts, because we don’t eat that anyways ;).

The Monday Morning Weigh In

I was up half a pound this morning, 157.5, which I was not surprised at. Last week I just wanted to eat all the time. I wasn’t hungry but just wanted food.

I kept it to keto food, but I am sure overdid it calorie wise.

But it also enlightened me a little. I have a thing for Coke Zero. I know it is garbage, but sometimes when it is on sale I buy myself a case for a treat.

Last week I think I had 2 Coke Zeros every day.

The experts say that while diet sodas are calorie free, the aspartame tricks your body into thinking it is getting sweets, and therefore makes you crave more, or want to eat more. I really believe this is true now!

The fact that aspartame is linked to alzheimer’s should be enough to keep me away from it.

This Week

Right now I am walking around as if I am on wooden legs… I am SO SORE!! Lol… I need a good bike ride to get rid of this DOMS! (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).

Going downstairs this morning to do laundry was an interesting excursion. In involved one stair at a time, going sideways, holding onto the railing…

The plan today is to bike this morning and swim tonight. Though snow is our reality again today, I need to not be a sissy and start driving in it. Less than 7 weeks until race day and I need to be swimming often!!

I plan to bike again tomorrow and since I am working Wednesday and Thursday, I plan to run at the gym before work on both days. Its crunch time!

Hot yoga and/or bike Friday, and run Saturday….maybe even with the group!! I really miss running with people.

Have a great week everyone!!






8 Weeks Until Ironman 70.3 St. George!!

This past Saturday was officially 8 weeks until Ironman 70.3 St. George. I am excited, and a little nervous… the swim training is still not where it should be. But I console myself that I survived last year with very little training period. And I still have time to step it up! Especially since the weather should be better from here on out, so no excuses of snowy roads my reason for not making it to the pool!

On Saturday is the Moonlight Run in Lethbridge. I have signed up for the 10km, but have not been running much at all, in fact not even once this past week. I have not felt any pain in my ankle so I should be running now again.

I have considered just not doing the Moonlight Run, even though I signed up for it, because I have not been running enough. That’s a bad attitude that has kind of gotten into my brain.

When we first started doing races about 10ish years ago, I would never consider not doing a race I had signed up for. After all, they cost a decent amount of money!!

And runners etiquette is that you cannot wear the swag of the race if you did not do it 😉

One time while doing a half-marathon in Calgary, I threw up a couple miles in to the race, and quit.

Then came other 50kms, half-marathons, shorter races and one 70.3 that I did not show up to for various reasons.

The problem is, even if it is a valid excuse not to do the race, it becomes easier and easier to just not show up if you are not feeling like doing it.

But then the comments start… like, “Are you actually going to race? Or just sign up for the race?”

These are well deserved comments, so I need to recommit myself to doing every race I sign up for. It is not a good feeling to know you signed up for something and then backed out…especially if it wasn’t for a very good reason!

So I will let you know next week how the race goes… I have to do the race now in order to tell you how great it was 😉

This Past Week

This past week was a great week!

Not that I did enough exercise but in my life it was a memorable week… lol.

It started great with a really good bike on Monday, and then a FTP test on the bike on Tuesday. It went up 3 watts, which is still not where I should be, but in a few weeks I am going to try a different FTP test than the one I usually do. I don’t think this one is reflecting the power I can put out, but that could just be me overestimating my abilities.

I worked Wednesday and Thursday, did a course at work Friday morning and then went out for supper and shopping with my hubby and oldest child…


It is really, really wierd because I feel too young to have an 18 year old. Maybe we are never prepared for our first baby to turn 18, but it is pretty nice to be able to send him to the liquor store if I want some wine!! HEHE

We went shopping and then to the Keg for supper since that was his choice for restaurant. We have never taken any of our kids to the Keg, since that would be way out of our budget, but it was fun just to take him.

We sat in the lounge… because we could. And ordered steak. As a side note, this was the first time I have ever ordered steak at the Keg. I always order chicken or fish. I have never been a big fan of steak, but since starting Keto, I have really learned to appreciate a good steak!

The steak was good… but I ordered a side of mushrooms since that has always been my favourite thing to order there. Now its been a few years since we have eaten there, but I was very disappointed.

The mushrooms used to come in a sizzling, hot, cast iron pan and were seasoned to perfection. THAT is what I would look forward to at our rare visits to the Keg.

These mushrooms came luke warm in a low, cold dish, and were bland. When I tried to poke them with the fork, they were so rubbery I almost shot it into the martini glass sitting on the bar!!

Oh well. We had a good evening overall. Saturday night was birthday party night. I had more glasses of wine then I normally do, and while I didn’t eat non-keto foods, I definitely did not skimp on calories!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the artichoke dip, sausage, cheese, pickles, french onion dip, and Brie with a little red pepper jelly. I guess I did cheat a little there as red pepper jelly is a sugar first ingredient….

And the Number on the Scale Was a Reflection….

…. of my calorie high weekend.

Earlier in the week I had lost another half a pound to put me at 156.5….. just a half a pound away from the 20lbs lost mark!

But after the weekend that half a pound came back and I am still at 157.

And that is OK!

I am not just saying that through gritted teeth…. I am actually really OK with that, because we need to enjoy ourselves once in a while without being obsessed with the numbers on the scale after that.

Right back at it and hoping to lose a full pound this week. I want to hit the 20lb mark!!

My Goals this Week

I am working 3 days this week and doing school with the kids the other 2 days…. but I need to get exercise in there somewhere.

I am having a hard time getting to the gym in the morning, can’t go during my lunch or supper break, and am too tired when I get done work to go!

The way I see it, especially on days I don’t work out, I need to watch those calories. I love eating cheese, and dips and all kinds of yum, but need to scale back a bit since I am not burning too many calories.

Wednesday I need to bike and swim, Thursday is a run and Moonlight Run is Saturday…

That’s all I can say for sure right now!

Categories: Uncategorized

It Was a Great Week – With a Few Bumps!

Sometimes its hard to see progress from day to day, so I like looking at the whole week to measure whether I consider it a successful week or not. And last week….it was a great week!

Not perfect since there is rarely such a thing, but I am very happy with how things went.

Monday I got a good swim and bike in, Wednesday I biked and Thursday I had some serious spring fever, and had to get outside for a run!

It was so beautiful….around -3 degrees and not a whole lot of wind. But I did forget to look at the flag at the school….

Being that 98% of the time (by my estimation 😉 the wind comes from the west here, we have a habit of running towards the west at the beginning of our runs, so that the wind is at our back on the way home.

I am pretty sure I had a huge grin on my face for the first 1.5 miles along the river. It was so beautiful and not even a little bit of a breeze! I was actually feeling over dressed, but feeling pretty good on my run.

When I turned around to head home, I realized there was actually a north/east breeze blowing, so it was a little chilly, but not terrible. But shortly after I turned around to run home, I was hobbling because of my ankle.

In the past few years, even when I am not exercising at all, I have had instances where I will be going down the stairs, or even just step wrong, and it feels like I twisted my ankle.

I have even had it happen when I was running down a hill.

It seems so random though. One step I will be doubled over, and the next step doesn’t hurt at all.

The source seems to be in my calf. The muscles in my left calf are more tight and knotted than in my right calf. It feels like this is pulling muscles or tendons over my ankle area and that is causing the pain.

This is my unprofessional opinion.

Anyways, in the days leading up to my wonderful outdoor run, I had been having a few instances of feeling this pain. But since it usually goes away, I ignored it, and was determined to enjoy this run.

On the way back, I stopped several times to try to stretch my calf muscles and then keep running. I ended up hobbling over a mile home.

It was bad enough that if there was someone at home that could have picked me up, I would have phoned….and I HATE asking for help.

I made it home, but from compensating for my ankle and walking weird, my hip hurt for the next few days.

But it was still a gorgeous day and I am glad I got outside before the cold and snow hit yet again on Friday!

Thankfully after some massage sessions from John (where I literally had tears rolling down my face and my kids disappeared because I was yelling in pain) and some quality time on the roller, I don’t feel the pain anymore while walking. I won’t run for a few more days, but the bike doesn’t hurt at all, so I can keep on rolling on there!

And the Scale

Another nice surprise on the scale this week as I was down another 2 lbs!! I was 157 lbs on the scale this morning. That was pretty exciting!!

Last week when I weighed in at 159 lbs I thought it was just a fluke… that the scale was being generous or it was because it was the week after the funnest time of the month.

I am still not doing anything different than I have been since November. Still eating the same things.

Maybe my body just needed some time to adjust. Maybe because I have tried to lose weight so many times, it was in survival mode.

Either way, I hope that the numbers keep going down. I have 9 weeks left until Race Day and I am crazy excited!!

I dislike pictures of myself, and looking at pictures of last years race, I really dislike all the bulges and the XL rear end…

I am hoping this year the pictures are a little more friendly…cause there is no lying about your size when you are wearing spandex bike shorts!!

Categories: Uncategorized