Thursday, December 26, 2013

Virtual Run for a Cause

You may have seen a 'virtual run' listed somewhere and wondered, WHAT IS THAT?

Well, it is a really great way to support a cause, get some bling, and do 'it' on your own time!

I am hosting a Virtual Run in 2014 to support my Pan Mass Challenge fundraiser.  I am providing a limited edition collectible medal for 192 people.  192 is a special number as that is the number of miles in the Pan Mass Challenge.

HOW FAR is the run:
You walk or run however far you want. 1 mile, 5 miles, 10 miles, half marathon or marathon,or any combination thereof. 
There are no times, so you are on your honor, also this gives you the opportunity to TRY without feeling the stress of a 'race.'
WHEN is the run:
ANYTIME you want, however I won't have the medals until Late March. They will be mailed out on April 1.  That's the beauty of a virtual run, if you want to do a 10 miler at 8PM on a Tuesday.. you CAN!
WHERE is the run:
ANYWHERE you want, treadmill, on the beach on vacation, around your neighborhood.. or even if you participate in another race, you can count it and wear the PMC medal with pride!
What is this "Pan Mass Challenge"  
I ride in a very successful bike-o-thon every year that benefits Cancer Research and Care.   5000 cyclists ride 192 miles from Sturbridge MA to Provincetown MA over 2 days
and last year alone, the raised $39 million dollars, where 100% of rider donations go directly to care and research.  Yes you heard that right, 100% *
My story and why I ride can be found here: PMC Link 
You can also read about what it means to ride in the PMC here.   What it's like to ride!
Each participant must raise $4300, and that is why I'm hosting a virtual run. I thought it was a good way to do something FUN with all of you, and still raise money for the PMC! 
 Why should I participate?
  • Because, unfortunately, just about everyone is touched by cancer
  • Because this is a limited edition medal
  • Because most of you are running anyway, why not get some bling out of it?
  • Because you are awesome and want to support awesome causes
How can I participate:
Go to this link and donate $35
Please note that I needed to use YouCaring so I could cover the cost of shipping and the medal. If you are uncomfortable with that method, please message me fatgirlironmanjourney @ and I will give you an alternative method.  
I will send out Medals when I receive them on March 28th.   These medals, although 2" in size, are awesome and are designed and printed by the same folks that do Ironman and the Boston Marathon.  If this event is successful I plan on doing it every year, and every year the Medals will be more exciting.

Thank you for your support!

**here is a facebook event for the Run,  Please note that it did not allow me to have an 'open' date, so remember the date is arbitrary'

* There is a cost associated to this virtual run, I guarantee at least $25 of your $35 will go to the PMC, most likely more depending on shipping costs to your house from mine.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Post Ironman Slack - Importance of working out, especially for EDS

I sit here 6 weeks post Ironman and  6 lbs up from the race (actually 5 days post IM was my lowest IM weight). I'm frustrated, feeling puffy, wiggly, and very out of shape.  I should be in the best shape of my life, instead I let my excuses get the best of me.

It is typical for post-Ironman to give into to the "you did that, so you get a break", but you have to be careful how far you take that excuse.

I ate Cheesy Fries with Bacon and some sort of high-fat dip for I swear 6 meals in a row.  I've been loading on cookies, pasta, and anything gross.  I did watch the scale. I did 'intend' on going to the gym, but every 5:45AM spin class gave me an excuse.   My coach even iterated "You need to stay active, if you don't you will regret it."- Yup Coach, I regret it.

I've spent the last 2 years with a coach, with workouts planned for me, with the accountability to 'get it done.'  Turns out, I am a total slacker without that accountability.

I imagine many of you have that same accountability problem, so I've created a 'myfitnesspal' account.  If you would like to share accountability with me, my username is fatgirlironmanjourney .

I've been slapped in the face with EDS lately too, on something that I KNOW already but I guess choose to ignore!?  For those of us with EDS it is SO important to work out.  Our muscles are all that hold us together, without them, we are wet noodles!

Ligaments, tendons, and anything connective tissue related can be pretty useless.  Our muscles need to be strong to compensate for any of that laxity.  I made the mistake of not working out for 6 weeks, and I'm paying the price.  My neck is the most wiggly thing on me.  Loose bones in the neck cause Migraines (even for non-EDS folks).

Yesterday I somehow subluxed something in my esophagus!? I didn't know that was possible.  What that means is I have to keep my head down or it hurts the front of my neck. I have to keep my head back with perfect posture to prevent migraines.. you see where this is going?

There is no relief except to get my butt back to the gym and restore these muscles!  Unfortunately EDS muscles have a very rapid atrophy rate.  Many of us get in downward spirals, where we are active and put together, have a bad week, can't go to the gym, which makes it worse, which make the following week bad, and so on and so on, never letting us catch up.

Morale of this story - DO NOT STOP, Ironman training was actually pretty good for me!  No excuse is worth the pain and fat collection!

If you want to be accountable, create a myfitnesspal account and let's share data. Once we have some folks on there, I will create a private group for discussions!

Good luck with the Holidays.  May you balance out your enjoyment of the holiday food with some good workouts!

I do have some plans for FY14, I'll share them with you all on Facebook.  I hope to see many of you at some of the events!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Things They Don't Tell You About Ironman

I thought about things I encountered during training and during the race. Things that no one mentioned, or that I just discovered.  I then shared with my virtual team BAZINGA and they contributed as well. Below is our compilationEnjoy!


  • You will have a training plan, you will follow it.  You will think you didn't train enough on race day.  Do yourself a favor, tell yourself every single day that if you follow your plan, you will be ready. Be HAPPY with your success getting to the start line, confidence on race morning will take you far.
  • You will miss workouts, and that is ok. Don't try to 'make them up.'  No one makes "every single planned workout." 
  • You will get LOTS AND LOTS of advise.  Don't just poo poo, listen nod your head and if applicable roll your eyes to yourself. BUT, at some point that info may actually become useful.
  • You will meet people who think THEIR way is the ONLY way, and THEIR coach is the ONLY coach - run from those folks!  There are always 'alternatives' and it's good to have the ideas  in your pocket.

Race Day:

  • You will think you didn't train enough (see my first bullet).
  • You will doubt yourself (see my first bullet).
  • You will cry / or have tears of excitement several times during the day, Crying is allowed as long as you finish.
  • You will smell, everyone does, If you don’t- you did something wrong.
  • You will have blisters- everyone does.
  • You will be caked with salt, so much that you think it is cement.
  • You will follow a farting guy – and will giggle.
  • You will get hit with some bodily fluid (pee, booger, spit, hopefully that’s it)- carry wetones.
  • There might be clowns at an aid station, if you are a Coulrophobic, better work that out.
  • You will forget something, just go with it.
  • You will get kicked, punched, dragged in the swim (ok they do tell you that one), learn to be a defensive swimmer.  (Note it is fun to grab and drag the foot of someone who just did it to you, they get all offended like they just didn't do the same thing).
  • You will giggle at the dumbest things.
  • You will forget A LOT! 
  • You will meet the most awesome people.
  • You will encounter aholes, don't get caught up in their 'cheating'. Just run your race and don't waste the energy on them.
  • You will get sand in your crotch and It will create havoc later!
  • The shower immediately following your race will feel like heaven. However be prepared for the sting when water finds its first bit of chafing.
  • Be careful where you put the public Vaseline.. it's been EVERYWHERE!
  • Port o potties are your friend. They will run out of toilet paper. Ask the volunteers for paper towels
  • You will see people puking during the run
  • If you can't change in a "public" space bumping up against other gross people, get over it.
  • That gatorade/gel/bar/whatever that tasted so good during training, no longer will during the race.
  • Fellow Ironletes that are suffering with you, will cheer you on, and make you feel better.
  • Put Vaseline (your own) on your feet , rather slather it on, before putting on your shoes or cycle shoes, will help prevent blisters later in the day. 
  • Put Vasoline in your special needs and reapply half way through the run.
  •  You will realize that chicken broth is the remedy of all stomach issues. Chicken Broth = Ironman Heaven.
  • It's OK if you vomit in the water ... all the cool kids do it
  • Singing to yourself or talking to yourself seems perfectly normal during both training and race day.
  • Make eye contact on the live video feed at the finish line. Give a thumbs up and mouth thank you to your friends and family that watched and prayed all day.
Post Race:
  • You won’t remember much of the finisher chute- enjoy your videos.
  • You will be hungrier than you ever imagined for the next week.
  • You will immediately want to sign up for another one- resist the urge!
  • You will swell up with at least 5 lbs of fluid. Don't worry, this is normal and it will go away.
  • Post Ironman depression is REAL.  Have a plan to stay active. 
  • Get a community of folks to  talk about Ironman with you, your non-triathlete friends will get tired of you fast.
  • If you are a girl, you will hear so many say "you are an IronWOMAN" and' you'll want to punch them.. just roll your eyes and know they just don't get it.
  • You will go broke. Or at least take out a second mortgage.
  • You will be bitten by the bug and start planning your "next" way sooner than you thought you ever would.
  • You will not feel like you can possibly verbalize the amount of appreciation and love you have for those close to you in tolerating this insane lifestyle!
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