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15.5 Weeks

Of course things are nuts right now with the Swim Bike Fam.  We’ve covered that.  And in the middle of the nuttiness, I have another thing going on—Ironman training.  And I have no idea how, or when, or how, or how, or how, or how I am going to cross that Ironman finish. But somehow, I know I will.  Logically, it feels impossible. But nothing about Ironman makes sense anyway.  Or triathlon, for that matter. So I wake up each day and start with the premise: When I am an Ironman…

Well, all I know is that I am repeating the words, over and over:  Trust the process.  You can do it.  Believe. 

15.5 weeks is here. And I really started repeating that after I saw next weekend’s training schedule.


I was eating great all morning… smoothie, Greek yogurt. Woke up at 4:45 to get in a swim and run.

And then the email from work:  “Lunch is here! Fried chicken and macaroni!”  And I did NOT go get any! Okay, so I did not go…right away.

But an hour later, my Greek yogurt felt sad, and I was stressing. So down I went to retrieve salad… chicken and macaroni. I actually did not get a cookie. Yay me.

I had a hard workout this morning, was the justification I gave myself as I carried my plate back to my desk.

As I was stuffing a big wad of macaroni into my mouth, I logged into Training Peaks to see Coach Monster’s schedule for me for this coming weekend.  I knew it was big (13 mile run Saturday, long bike of 65 miles on Sunday), but I was not prepared for NEXT weekend’s schedule which he had obviously just added.

Suffice it to say, when I saw it plastered on my screen—with my mouth full of macaroni and cheese, all hamster-like —I got sick to my stomach… And promptly stood up and spit out the food into the trashcan. And dumped the rest of my plate down with it.

Holy guacamole.

I pray every day that I can stop battling my food addiction. All the calories I burn—if I ate like a normal human—I would be so tiny. Not that I care about tiny anymore… but I do care about healthy. And fried chicken?  Seriously? That’s nutrition no-no 101. I know that.

But it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a workout that struck actual fear in my heart. I had many of those on the road to half Iron… all the “firsts” were terrifying.  And maybe that’s why this one made me gag and spit into my trashcan.  Two days of training with three very big “firsts.”

The longest open water swim in frigid water, plus the longest run of my life.  Saturday.
The longest bike ride of my life. Sunday.


Yes, my life is crazy. But really, when won’t it be? I rarely ever miss a workout. I do exactly what I am told by my coach… but then I sabotage my hard work with FOOD. Why? What is the point?

It stops today. (Again. For the 40,000th time.)

But it doesn’t stop just today. Rather, it stops with the next meal. Not tomorrow, not Monday.  It stops with my next meal at 3:30 this afternoon.  Period.


  • Anna

    March 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I get it, been there and done that a million times (food issues). I just started a new food program this week to kick start my weight loss again. So I completely understand the struggle. Thank you for putting it all out there because it shows me that my struggles are normal and we can get through this. Just finished a good swim workout during my lunch. I’ve started calling my swim workouts my pool therapy. 🙂

  • Allyson

    March 5, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    You are a high performance vehicle, you would not put diesel into such a vehicle would you? You would put the best gas into it you could so it performed optimally. Food is fuel so put the best quality in for best results. I live by the 80/20 rule, 80% is the best fuel possible and 20% is for being human and loving wine and chocolate.

  • Laura

    March 5, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Mere, I love and relate and appreciate that you just wrote about your food addiction. I suffer too from the self sabotaging beast that is this addiction. Even if it is 500,000th time that you stop, at least you are still stopping!! Don’t ever stop stopping (wow that is a lot of stops)! When you stop trying to beat it, it wins. Keep plugging away, that is all we can do.

  • Cameron

    March 5, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Mer, you got this! One day at a time. One meal at a time. One bite at a time! I completely relate to your struggles and can’t seem to pull myself away from the “bad” foods because in our world, food is either bad or good, not just food.

  • Kristen

    March 5, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    You can do this, SBM! You have come so far, and you’re such an inspiration! I struggle daily with the food, but after gastric bypass, food is even more important. More importantly, I’m struggling with that negative self talk that says, “Go ahead and walk in this 5K…you’ll never complete a half marathon or a half Ironman.” so that’s what I did. I gave up and walked during my first 5K. I didn’t even push myself. We all struggle with what we should do and what we want to do. One meal at a time, one bite at a time, one step at a time…we can do this! I used to be the type that as soon as I missed a workout or ate something I shouldn’t, I would give up and go whole hog in the other direction, eating whatever I wanted and not working out. Not any more, thanks to you! You are such an inspiration to so many people; you’ll never know how many people you have impacted, simply by being you! Keep up the fabulous work, and keep blogging…we need you!

  • Kathi J

    March 5, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    Girl, I hear you. I started reading your blog because I’m a wanna be triathlete, I’ve done 4 sprint distance races, and I weigh 190 at 5’8″. I’ve got one thing that sets me up for success every time, I tell myself I DESERVE BETTER. I deserve chia seeds and smoothies over big macs and convenience. AND..I follow 80/20 good/relaxed. No sense going crazy and depriving ourselves. Your head is your strongest ally in this, as it is with your insane training. You have this. You’re so much tougher than you know! Go get it!

  • Erin

    March 5, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    Use all of this craziness to help motivate you. For my first IM, I had moved to a whole new state and we had a *major* death in the family. Having the bad things happen actually motivated me more. I wasn’t going to let my sacrifices/sorrow/whatever turn into nothing. If anything I was going to push harder, to make all those hard times worth it.

    I’m hoping that IM#2 is more drama free (knock on wood). Here’s also hoping that your life calms down a bit and you can saddle up and focus on the next 15 weeks 🙂

  • Jeramie

    March 5, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I obviously can’t yet relate to the Ironman training, but my heart breaks as I read your words about food and I swear I can feel every emotion you feel as you say it stops now! You have proven time and time again how strong you are, and I believe some day you’ll be strong enough to deny the crap food!

  • Becky

    March 5, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    See, this is the upside of having to be gluten free-I can never eat anything we have at work! Nobody even offers it to me anymore. I like the 80/20 idea mentioned here, too. One way I handle food cravings is to say that I will not waste calories on inferior food- if I really want macaroni and cheese, don’t waste the calories on Kraft, make homemade with real cheese. Usually, if I have to wait, the craving subsides. If not, I make the good stuff and savor it. Usually takes a lot less to satisfy me, and I don’t get all the processed crap.

  • Rebecca

    March 7, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this! And you can do this!! You are such an inspiration. I can so completely relate to you, especially your last paragraph. I’m with you sister. And you can do this!


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